Buying Tips

What to look for when buying a barbecue:

We always get asked: “What is the best barbecue to buy?”

Our answer: It really depends on your wants and needs. You can spend $15,000 on the top of the line high end luxury barbecue (that has all the bells and whistles), or spend $300 on a common one (with the basic needs for grilling).  The prices vary dramatically because technology has improved over the years and there is a huge transformation in barbecues today.  They are bigger, heavier and more high tech then ever before.  Prices now range from $300 to over $15,000!!!

Which barbeque to buy really depends on your needs.

Here are some pointers to look for when choosing what is best for you…

Things to consider:

  1. You get what you pay for. 
  2. Support the Canadian and United States manufacturers.  These manufacturers have a long, trusted history in the industry.  They make good quality barbeques that are strong, long lasting and technologically advanced.  Parts can be replaced easily if necessary and accessories are available.
  3. Look at the construction of the grill and the material used: Manufacturers use things like plastic, aluminum, brass, and stainless steel with all different grades.  It is very important that when you are looking at the unit that you “kick the tires”, get a feel for the barbeque:
    • Inspect the burner.  Burners are usually cast iron, brass or stainless steel.  Look for stainless steel.  It is better because it will last longer and it is easier to maintain.  Make sure it is large enough to distribute heat evenly.  It should cover 80% of the base of the barbecue.
    • Remove the grills and feel the weight.  The grills can be made of nickel wire, cast iron or stainless steel.  The heavier the grills, the better. This helps to retain the heat and distribute it more evenly. 
    • Lift or move the barbecue.  You want something heavy for stability.  Make sure it does not wobble and is sturdy.
    • Ask about the grade of stainless steel.  A gauge of 302 S/S or higher is what you should be looking for.
    • If aluminum is used for the lid or the base: Look for a heavier and thicker grade.  This way there is less chance of it cracking or warping due to the heat.
    • The plastic used should be durable, heat resistant and fade resistant.
    • Remember to ask about parts being readily available if necessary.
  4. Look at the size: How many people will you be cooking for at once? Do you have a big family? Do you like to entertain? These are things that must be considered when buying a barbecue.
  5. Look at the number of BTUs (British Thermal Units).  This is the amount of heat energy that is produced by the barbecue.  Think about the types of food you plan to cook on it.  If you will be barbequing a lot of heavy meats (eg. steak), then a barbeque with a high BTU (50,000 and up) is needed for grilling and searing your steaks.  If you plan do a lot of light meat (eg. chicken and fish) or vegetables, you can opt for a barbeque with a lower BTU rating (35,000-45,000).
  6. You have 2 options to choose from: Natural Gas or Propane. 
    • Propane
    It comes from natural gas.  It is liquefied and stored in a canister.  

    Benefits: barbecue can be moved to different areas;

    Downfall: must be refilled regularly or you may run out, may be a hassle to connect, disconnect and transport.

    • Natural gas  
    Benefits: more economical, never run out, safer because it is not pressurized in a canister;

    Downfall: initial cost may be expensive to hook up, limited to one area, can only move barbecue around a couple of feet.

  7. Look at accessories.  Many customers that buy add-ons such as side burners, rotisserie burners and other “toys” never use them.  There are so many different accessories available today.  It is important to decide if you will need and actually use them before adding them on.
  8. Ask about the warranty.  A good basic warranty would be 5 or more years on the burners, 10 or more years on the outside casting and one or more years on the whole barbeque.
  9. Look at your budget: What can you afford? Remember: You get what you pay for! Spending a little more now may save you a lot later!
  10. Lastly:  You’ve invested good money on your barbeque: make sure you maintain it, like you would any important purchase.  Your car needs tune-ups, your home needs fix-ups, your lawn needs maintenance, and your barbeque does too. You wouldn’t cook in a dirty pot, so don’t cook in a dirty barbeque.  Make sure you have your barbeque maintained regularly.  We offer the very best maintenance and service for your barbeque!
  11. Things to be aware of (especially when buying an import):

    • Cost: Imports tend to cost much less, but the quality of the barbeque is not the same and ultimately you may end up paying much more in the long run.
    • Replacement parts: It’s usually a problem to get them because they rarely sell the replacement parts.  If the part is not available, you may have to replace the whole barbeque
    • Craftsmanship: Imports tend to use a cheaper grade of stainless steel, aluminum and plastics.  This is how they are able to cut costs.
    • Imitations: Consumers tend to be fooled into believing they are getting the same quality but are not.

BBQ BOY TOP BBQ PICKS

Top High End Grills Top 3 Grills
1. Viking 1. Weber
2. DCS 2. Napoleon
3. Lynx 3. Broil King
4. FireMagic