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 Post subject: What BBQ/Grill do you own? (and general grilling discussion)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:39 pm 
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[This is not a gas vs. charcoal vs. smoke debate -- so no flaming allowed]

Let me start out by saying that I have an appreciation for all types of grilling/barbequing, and am not intending to this to be a 'which one is better' thread. This is just a place to post what grill you have, and any other tips you'd like to share. Flaming will not be allowed. ;)

Grilling is something I love to do -- from spring to fall, if the weather allows, I'm grillin' somethin'. I have always loved the taste of foods cooked on charcoal grills or in smokers, but the convenience of gas keeps me going that route.

Recently, my old beast of a gas grill, http://www.foldedspace.org/jeff/images/BBQWebSmaller.jpg, gave out on me -- I guess you could say in a ball of fire -- not as bad as it sounds, but still, rendered unsafe to use. I had considered going with a http://www.traegerindustries.com/grill3.htm#1 smoker, because several of my friends have them, and I love the smoky flavor they impart. The downside is that they just don't heat up very hot, so it isn't quite as convenient as a gas grill, and it won't provide a quick sear like with a hot charcoal fire. In the end, I opted for a higher quality (than what I had) gas grill: http://www.weber.com/bbq/pub/grill/2007/gas/SpiritE310.aspx. One big deciding factor was cost -- it was about half the cost of a comparable Traeger.

Image

Last night was my trial run with the Weber. I soaked two handfuls of hickory wood chips and put them in tuna cans on top of the burners. Then I grilled up some marinated 'Japanese' chicken thighs and mixed veggies (from http://www.cookingfortherushed.com). I'm happy to say that the end result was most excellent -- I was able to get a good sear on the meat, with beautiful grill marks and no excess charring (the Precision Lame was notorious for charring foods), and I was able to get some of that ellusive smoke flavor into the meat... yummy! I'm sure my technique will improve as I get used to this grill, too.

I may end up buying an inexpensive charcoal grill or wood smoker -- just because it would be nice to have those options -- but I think I made a good choice as far as gas grills go...

So, what kind of grill do you have?

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Last edited by Jethro on Wed May 16, 2007 2:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:13 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:14 pm 

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We live in the city and our balcony is small, so I use a tiny Weber "Go Anywhere" gas grill; it's not a whole lot bigger than a shoebox. But it's a pretty lame grill and I'm not very happy with it....it just doesn't have a lot of oompf. Once my gas tank is empty (which could be another year, as this little grill doesn't use much), I'm going to switch to wood and upgrade to a Woodflame grill:

http://www.woodflame.com/en/

It's an unusual grill; if you've ever used a Sierra Zip stove for camping, you'll get how it works: it burns wood but has an electric fan (which you can either run off household current or a set of D batteries) to whip up the heat and produce coals quickly. The one I want is the Delecto:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:30 pm 

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Location: Portland, OR
I'm looking at getting one - my house is plumbed for it. How much did the E-310 set you back, and where did you get it?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:34 pm 
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DC Portland wrote:
I'm looking at getting one - my house is plumbed for it. How much did the E-310 set you back, and where did you get it?
Home Depot... $399 -- the E-310 is formerly known as the Genesis Silver B, so it has been around for a while. Weber asigned the 'Genesis' name to their new higher end line (which is nice, but more expensive).

I don't care much for HD, but I have a hard time passing up those no interest, no payment for a year deals.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:45 pm 
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We have the Weber Silver A, or something like that. I like it. Looks fairly similar to the pic you posted, but it doesn't have the enclosed cabinet beneath.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:34 pm 
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I have a Modern Home Products (MHP) grill. They are made from solid, mold cast (not die-cast) aluminum, very heavy duty, and come with a lifetime warranty. It is the best grill I’ve ever owned. It cost a little more, about $650, but I'll have it forever.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:46 pm 
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The thing is, Kris and I have always gone cheap on grills. "A grill is a grill," we tell ourselves. But we're continually underwhelmed by the models we get. The first one we had was a cheapo thing that I destroyed while hauling it to work for a BBQ. (Like an idiot, I didn't strap it down. It fell out onto the road, smashed in the middle of a bridge. What a fool I felt cleaning up the pieces.)

Our current grill is only three years old, but it feels much older. What I need to do is decide what's important to me in a grill and then shop for it. We use ours nearly every night during the summer. We love to eat outside. And now that we have an actual picnic table, we'll be living in style!

Of course, I'm too cheap to actually replace the current grill until it's gone for good.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:11 pm 

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We've got a Vermont Castings grill (no idea the model number, but it's the one that's been top-rated in Consumer Reports for their past few reviews) and love it. It was about $700CDN at Home Depot, but worth every penny.

We justified the purchase by viewing it as a major appliance. Considering how much use we get out of it, it's definitely worth the expense. And, it'll likely last forever - it's extremely well constructed.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:17 pm 

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My family owns a full-blown hot dog cart - including the red and yellow umbrella!

(This is because up until this year, my family's business was catering parties using the cart, which evolved out of selling hotdogs on the street. Catering is far more lucrative, easier, and less time consuming than selling directly!)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:27 am 
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We have a gas grill, pretty old, but hey, it grills. We also have a small charcoal grill when the situation calls for charcoal-ness.

Grilling is great, love it during the football season. We roll out a few TV's, fire up the grill, and throw the ball around while watching the game

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:03 am 
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kgazette wrote:
My family owns a full-blown hot dog cart - including the red and yellow umbrella!
That is actually really cool. :D I think all the kids in my neighborhood would be swarming to my house if I had one of those.

I used to wonder why hot dogs never tasted as good as they did from vendor carts or at baseball games, and then I realized that it may not be entirely in the method used to cook the hot dog, but in the dog itself. Then I discovered Kosher Franks... and that flavor that I had been missing. With small children, we end up grilling hot dogs quite often, but I don't mind spending a little extra to get a quality hot dog -- if I'm going to go to all the trouble of grilling them, I may as well get ones that are worth eating.

But since I brought up cooking methods for hot dogs, I usually heat the grill up, shut off one burner, and then cook the hot dogs using indirect heat -- keeps them from getting overly charred.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:52 pm 
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I have a POS gas grill that I got in college, oh 10 years ago or so. I replaced the rock grate & rocks 2 years ago and scraped off the crusty grease. The igniter is dead, but one of those butane matches does the trick every time.

It's been years since I've had a bad meal grilled on this thing so I have no intentions of upgrading. The key thing is that I've used this grill a lot since I got it so I'm familiar with its idiosyncrasies. Know thyself, know thy grill.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:56 pm 

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Location: Rochester, NY AND Los Angeles, CA
Jethro wrote:
That is actually really cool. :D I think all the kids in my neighborhood would be swarming to my house if I had one of those.

I used to wonder why hot dogs never tasted as good as they did from vendor carts or at baseball games, and then I realized that it may not be entirely in the method used to cook the hot dog, but in the dog itself. Then I discovered Kosher Franks... and that flavor that I had been missing. With small children, we end up grilling hot dogs quite often, but I don't mind spending a little extra to get a quality hot dog -- if I'm going to go to all the trouble of grilling them, I may as well get ones that are worth eating.

But since I brought up cooking methods for hot dogs, I usually heat the grill up, shut off one burner, and then cook the hot dogs using indirect heat -- keeps them from getting overly charred.


The type of hot dog does matter. I myself actually hate hot dogs (and that's not even a product of selling them for years, I've always hated them) unless they're turkey or chicken franks. But here in Rochester, the only brand we can sell is a brand called "Zweigles" - because it's the only brand Rochesterians will eat! (I don't like them because they're beef and pork, but they must be pretty good, considering an entire city won't eat anything else!) Also, Rochester is doubly weird by having two types of hot dog - called "white hots" and "red hots." Well, actually, with our accents, it's more like "white haats!"

Your cooking method sounds a lot like how we cook on the cart, actually. We have four steamer pans - one for each product we make (hot dogs, hambugers, chicken breasts, italian sausage). We cook the food directly on the grill to temperature, then put it in the steamer pans until someone orders it. The hamburgers actually sit directly in an inch of water - the burgers at the bottom of the pot, that have been in the juice for a while, are AWESOME.

You know, when I clicked this thread, I was sure I wouldn't have that much to say. I guess 8 years of cooking hot dogs finally sunk into my brain... :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:12 pm 
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For my part, nothing beats a Polish dog from Costco. I forget the actual brand, but it doesn't matter because nothing compares to getting them fresh from Costco's steam trays. YUM! :P


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