Grilling burgers and dogs on a warm summer’s evening is a time-honored tradition across the world. 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 puts pineapple and beets on top. India serves chicken and veggie burgers.
As for hotdogs, those were invented in Frankfurt, Germany. Americans adopted them in the 1860’s and Nathan’s Hotdogs made them a national phenomenon in 1916. 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 grill to cook their 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. Today you have a choice. Gas grill or charcoal.
If you’re looking to buy a new grill, once you’ve made your choice of what kind you want all that’s left to do is purchase! It’s important to know what the best time to buy a grill is, though, so you can save.
Best Time To Buy A Grill
When it comes to buying a new grill, you want to make sure you get the best price. 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 a best time to buy! And grills are no different. 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,” which is a frame of sticks placed over a fire to cook meat on. Christopher Columbus was introduced to this mode of cooking in 1492, when he landed on Hispaniola. Your grill is more sophisticated. It’s also subject to wear and tear. Don’t let that get too far, especially with a 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 really 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 barbecue grill. I’d like to tell you that’s not a good idea, but retailers and online sites like Amazon run a lot of grill sales in May and June. It’s not the best time of year to buy, 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 who buy a grill in July or August are usually replacing one that broke down. Retailers know that, so price breaks are limited. You may see some sales, but don’t buy anything unless you absolutely have to. Fix the old grill with replacement parts if you’re able to and just make it through the summer.
September is unquestionably the best time of year to buy a new grill. Think about it. Summer is coming to a close and tailgating season is about to commence. Prices will be low because retail stores want to clear out inventory before the holiday season starts. This puts you, the consumer, in a good position to get a great deal on charcoal grills, gas grills, and smokers.
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 grills are also easier to use and maintain. Charcoal grills tend to be a messy cleanup.
You can buy a good charcoal grill for under $100. Don’t think the price in any way means they’re an inferior product, though. 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 flair up while you’re cooking. Traditionalists actually 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 back yard or patio if you plan on leaving them there. 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’s plenty of research and consumer reviews available If you buy a grill during the late summer or fall. Every model on the floor has been bought and used by others over the summer, so take advantage of their input. Visit Consumer Reports or take a look at the ratings and reviews on Amazon. You might even find a great sale price while you’re there.
Make a list of all the features you want and make the decision on gas or charcoal 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.
The final savings tip we have for you is to shop during moving season if you don’t mind buying a used grill. 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 over with an upgraded model at their new location. Old grills are practically given away.