Charcoal or Gas Grill? What’s the Best Way to Barbecue?

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Rich

Subject: Grill's

I use a Weber Performer. And have been for some years now. They don't even make them anymore! Either way, it is the best of both worlds.
Propane, either 1 pound disposable bottles, or a 20 pound rentable or refillable tank with a 10' hose from Mister heater, to start a real charcoal fire. Real being no filler or char/coal dust to make a hot fire in just minutes. Food tastes better on a real or charcoal fire. I' pretty sure they make something similar to the "Performer" series of weber-stephens products.

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Any time you're dealing with repairing or installing natural gas supply lines, I would definitely recommend hiring a plumber who has experience installing gas line plumbing. You can find local plumbers and look at their specialities on www.AngiesList.com (use the coupon code ANSWERS to get a 20% discount on a 1-year memership if you're not yet a member). The Yellow Pages are OK, but all they have is names and numbers of companies, not verified reviews from real homeowners who actually hired the companies like you'll find on Angie's List.

Good luck with your project!
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COOL!!!  Someone who asks a question actually responds.  Rare.  Love it.  Let us know how things work out.
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You have ruled out the truly fancy grills with your price range, but there are a lot of brands for $500 down to $150 with 4-5 burners.

What you want to do, because of the number of choices, if make a list of the characteristics you want, then go to a site that list a lot of them or lests you compare characterisitics, and maybe go to a few stores and look at them.

Then, after you have short-listed it down to maybe 5 or less, look for reviews. Angie's List does not review consumer products, but there are sites that do that, and of course Consumer Reports will have reviews (buy a subscription or go to your library).

Then, compare reviews and prices to decide. Remember to factor in shipping costs, if ordered.

Bear in mind the real economy ones may be made of "stainless", but you can bet most of the cheapest ones from Asia will start rusting fairly soon - if you want true quality "stainless" you are going to be in the mid to higher part of your price range.

If you decide on natural gas and do not currently have a grill using that, count in some plumber cost for a connection - from maybe $150-200 if close by the gas service in your house, can run to $500+ if you are goiing to be running pipe along the outside (or inside) of the house or basement to get to where you want the valve. Be sure to keep kids in mind - small kids love to open valves, so be sure to put it in a locked vented box if that is a concern. Ditto to plastic pipe (if allowed in your area) if you have chewing critters.

For a propane grill, bear in mind the cost of buying (or repeatedly renting) a couple of gas canisters and probably an extension hose.

When figuring where the grill will sit, ASSUME it will catch on fire some time - so for safety put it at least 10 feet from the house, and if the tank ever tips over and catches fire, 25 feet is the "safe" distance. Remember also, frequently using it within less than 20-25 feet will grease and smoke up the side of the house, making it slimy looking, and also requiring a lot more prep work before repainting.

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