Monday, June 1, 2009

How to Get the Grill of Your Dreams!

Whether it's burgers, hot dogs, chicken, ribs, salmon, or even shrimp on the "Bar-B" --getting hungry thinking about all the options, this is the best time of year to spend more time cooking outdoors. If you are in the market for a new one, here are some smart grill shopping tips.

1- First don't think you have to buy the most expensive to get the best! Consumer Reports Magazine tested 40 different models and found that sometimes the cheapest one wins! They found the Fiesta Blue Ember, and the Char-Broil Red, both at $450, surpassed the grills going for more than $1400. ( See the complete test study at

2- To save money, be open to having less stainless steel on your grill. Many manufacturers are adding color to the grill, to cut back on cost, yet also add some pizazz to your patio. Check out the Weber Genesis in Green and Blue.

3- If stainless steel is important to you, they do last longer and fight corrosion, make sure yours is really loaded with it. A great way to test is to take a magnet with you to the store. If it sticks to the grill, don't get it--it's made with a LOWER grade--Magnets will fall off the higher grade stainless steel.

4- Where stainless steel IS critical is the grates. Make sure yours are steel, or porcelain coated for better searing of your food.

5-After you've done your research and determined your price-point, consider buying after Fourth of July. And there should be a lot more rebates this year.

And from the "What will they think of next department"?-- Look for some of these new features and gadgets on grills:

The Fiesta Blue Ember iQue - Really does have "IQ" beause it has a touch-screen display and uses sonar to gauge how much propane is left in the tank. It is being billed as the "world's first computer controlled grill," meaning you need it plugged into electrical to work. It goes for $900 dollars.

The NexGrill (Makers of grills under Jenn-Air, or Kirkland) now offers a mini-fridge with space for a few six-packs and condiments below. Not sure how cold that stays considering you are heating /cooking above, but may be worth checking out. It sells for $860.

Happy grilling and let me know what you love to grill on!

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