Grilling burgers and dogs on a warm summer evening is a time-honored tradition worldwide. That’s right. It’s not just an American custom. The hamburger may have been invented in the United States, but it’s grilled over an open flame in other countries. Mexico adds ham and cheese, Australia includes pineapple and beets, and India serves chicken and veggie burgers.
As for hotdogs, those were invented in Frankfurt, Germany. Americans adopted them in the 1860s, and Nathan’s Hotdogs made them a national phenomenon in 1916. Of course, what would the Fourth of July be without a world-famous Coney Island hotdog? Those are grilled, by the way. Nathan’s uses a dual-temperature, industrial flat-top BBQ grill to cook hot dogs.
The first modern charcoal grill was designed in 1952 by George Stephen, a metal fabricator at Weber Brothers. The name should sound familiar. Weber manufactures some of the best barbecue grills on the market. George’s invention was upgraded two years later when Chicago Combustion added a fuel tank. So today, you have a choice: gas, electric, or charcoal grill.
If you’re looking to buy a new grill, once you’ve determined the kind you want, all that’s left to do is purchase! It’s essential to know the best time to buy a grill, though, so you can save.
Best Time To Buy a Grill
When buying a new grill, you want to make sure you get the best deals and save money. But, did you know there are good and bad times for buying items for your home? Whether you’re purchasing a mattress, a TV, or furniture, there’s the best time to buy! And grills are no different. So what is the best time to buy a grill? Let’s take a look!
Signs That You Need a New Grill
The term “barbecue” comes from the Taino word “barbacoa,” a stick frame over a fire to cook meat on. Christopher Columbus was introduced to this cooking mode in 1492 when he landed on Hispaniola.
The grills from brick-and-mortar stores are more sophisticated. But, unfortunately, they are also subject to wear and tear. Don’t let that get too far, especially with a natural or propane gas grill. Signs an upgrade is needed are:
- Holes in the Firebox
- Yellowish or Uneven Flames
- Broken Grates
- Worn Gas Hoses and Connectors
- Dysfunctional Ignitor
If the firebox is rusty and holes or cracks appear, it’s time to buy a new grill. This is the one area where you can’t simply replace the part. Your gas tank is situated beneath that firebox, creating the possibility of an explosion. Even if you’re using a charcoal grill, you’re still looking at a potential fire hazard. If you see the ground through the bottom of your grill, buy a new grill.
Yellow flames instead of blue flames mean that you need new gas jets. It could also be a problem with your gas hoses or connectors. These are both fixes you can do without buying a new grill, but do you want to? Take the age of your grill into account before you start buying parts for it. It could be that it’s just a good time for an upgrade.
Best Months To Buy a Grill
There’s something about the first glimpse of spring weather that makes us all want to run out and buy a new BBQ grill. Of course, it’s not a good idea. But local stores and online sites like Amazon run many grill sales in May and June, the peak grilling season.
It’s not the best time of year to buy a brand new grill, but it’s also not the worst. You’ll pay less than full price if you shop around. The summer months are hit or miss. People buying grills in July or August usually replace one that broke down.
Retailers know that, so price breaks and grill deals are limited. You may see some sales, but don’t buy anything unless you have to. For example, if the old grill broke down during early summer, try fixing it with replacement parts and wait for the summer season to end.
September is unquestionably the best time of year to buy a new grill. Think about it. Summer and the BBQ season are coming to a close, and tailgating season is about to commence.
Prices are low in the off-season because retail stores and online stores want to clear out inventory before the holiday season starts. This puts you, the consumer, in an excellent position to get a great deal on charcoal grills, gas grills, and smokers.
Labor Day weekend (although in July) is a great time to find amazing deals. Retailers often hold Labor Day sales for those looking to buy grills in honor of the holiday. As a result, you’ll get lower prices for popular grill brands. So take advantage of these July sales.
Gas Grills Versus Charcoal Grills
Which do you prefer? Gas grills are more expensive to buy but cheaper and easier to use. You can buy a fifteen-pound pre-filled tank of Blue Rhino for $19.99. The same money will score you fifteen pounds of charcoal, but you’ll get far fewer cooking hours out of it. Gas BBQ grills are also easier to use and maintain. On the other hand, charcoal grills tend to be a messy cleanup.
You can buy a good charcoal grill for under $100. The low price does not make it an inferior product, though. On the contrary, one of the main benefits of charcoal is that the coals will give you a steady temperature once heated. In other words, charcoal grills don’t flare up while you’re cooking like propane grills. Traditionalists prefer charcoal for that reason.
A decent gas grill will run you anywhere from $150 to $400, but you’ll need a pick-up truck if you want to use it for a beach day. Gas grills are a fantastic addition to a backyard or patio if you plan on leaving them there and love outdoor grilling. There’s nothing better than coming home after a long day’s work and pushing a button to get grilled fish or steak tips in a few minutes.
Tips And Recommendations for Buying a Grill
There are plenty of research and consumer grill reviews available if you buy a grill during the late summer or fall. Others have purchased and used the floor models over the summer, so take advantage of their input. You may also get the best deals on floor model grills.
Visit Consumer Reports or look at the ratings and reviews on Amazon. You might even find the best prices while you’re there. Then, make a list of all the features you want and decide on a natural gas or charcoal grill before you start shopping. You’ll also want to look at smokers. They come in gas, electric, and charcoal.
If you’re a purist who wants to slow-cook, a smoker could be the right solution for you. There’s nothing better for pork loins, turkeys, brisket, and chicken wings. Consider pellet grills as it grills and smokes.
Don’t wait too long and miss out on grill sales. Also, brick-and-mortar or online retailers may clear out the entire grill section and replace it with holiday items. Try negotiating for the lowest price, and also factor in delivery costs.
The final savings tip for you is to shop during the moving season if you don’t mind buying a lightly used grill. The moving season usually starts in April and runs until September. One of the most commonly left-behind items is the grill. Most folks plan to start with an upgraded model at their new location. Used grills are practically given away.
You can find great deals on used gas, charcoal, or electric grills at moving sales (garage sales), thrift stores, or online sites like Craigslist. Note that the stated price may not be the best deal. So negotiate with the seller until you get a good price.
Final Thoughts: Best Time to Buy a Grill
The trick to buying a grill in season or off-season is looking for current deals. Unfortunately, prices tend to fluctuate, so always check with an in-store or online retailer for ongoing big sales.