Buying a barbecue grill is almost as complicated as buying a car. And some of them can cost thousands of dollars. “Today” home contributor Lou Manfredini was invited on the show to tell you what’s hot in barbecue grills and which ones have price tags that won't rake you over the coals.
Memorial Day Weekend is the official start of summer in the U.S. And when you think summer you think barbecue. Or at least Al Roker and I do. Actually in a recent industry study 60 percent of “barbecuers” use their grills all year long no matter what the weather. And with eight out of 10 households owning a grill, chances are you may be in the market for a new grill.
With so many grill manufacturers claiming that theirs is the best, how do you choose one? What I found in my years of not only using, but also assembling and installing grills in homes that I’ve built is that you get what you pay for. So with that in mind, the grills I am going to feature are ones that I feel offer the best value, and offer greatest versatility in how you can use them.
If you say grill, the next word is usually Weber. The company has been making grills for over 50 years, and they have come a long way since their first charcoal kettle. I think Weber offers just about the best made grill for the price on the market.
When the Weber® QTM grill was first introduced, it looked a little odd to me. But after I had a chance to cook on it, I found that this grill could really cook. The gas unit has a very heavy cast iron grate that provides even heat. You can pack the grill in a bag and throw it in the truck, so it’s not only great for tailgate parties, or camping. And it’s available in four different sizes. Prices range from $129.00 to $349.00.
The Weber Performer® grill is a classic charcoal kettle integrated in a cart with a work table. This grill also has a gas charcoal lighter, so the grill gets hot in a hurry. This grill retails for around $299.00.
The Weber Summit® Platinum B6 is a really sweet grill with all the features you want in a professional grade one. With its stainless steel body and heavy duty cooking surfaces, it looks as good sitting there as it does when the heat is on. It can run on LP gas or you can hook it up to your natural gas service, if your building codes allow. It retails for around $2,000.00. To learn more visit www.weber.com.
The Electrolux Icon grills are some of the best looking grills I have seen. With heavy-duty construction and infrared heat, these grills give you hot, even searing capabilities. Though Electrolux is new to the grill market, the company conducted extensive consumer studies to find out what people look for in a high-quality grill. The results are sturdy, well-designed grills that offer complete cooking control. Not only do they feature storage cabinets, but they also have with a side burner, a rotisserie, and a warming drawer. They come almost fully assembled from the factory, so you can buy it in the morning and have a party in the afternoon. They range in price from about $2,000 to $4,500.00, so they are not for the faint of heart. To see more go to www.electroluxusa.com.
If I told you one of the best way to cook out doors is with a “Big Green Egg” what would you say? The Big Green Egg is a ceramic cooker based on an ancient clay cooker called a “Kamando” It looks funny, but, boy, does it make food taste good. This unit not only lets you grill, but also smoke and bake. The ceramic body gets hot and stays hot. And by controlling how much air enters the heat chamber, you can precisely control the temperature. When closed, you seal in the food’s moisture, retaining its natural flavor. When baking, you can achieve “brick oven” flavor right in your own backyard. And since you control the heat, when you extinguish the coals you can re-use them the next time you grill. “The Big Green Egg” can be used with any type of charcoal, but you’ll get the best results with lump-style charcoal. (In fact, that’s true for any charcoal grill.) The price range for the “Egg” is between $250.00 and $1,000.00, depending on the size. To learn more go to www.biggreenegg.com.
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