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Derrick Riches

Which Gas Grill feature do you think is most useful?

By February 19, 2014

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They're on the floors, in the catalogs and ready for you to pick one up. Yes, grill buying season has started. If it isn't out there now, it's probably too late. This year will see more gas grills sold than any year in history. It will also see more gadgets, gimmicks and gizmos than any year before. So we can start telling all those shoppers what to look for, lets see what features you find most useful on your grill. Do you actually use a side burner? Is that rotisserie the must have feature of the modern griller? Click on your choice below to cast your vote.

POLL: Which Gas Grill feature do you think is most useful?
1) Side Burner
2) Rotisserie
3) Grill lights
4) Workspace
5) Infrared Burner
6) Something Else (please specify in the comments)

Photo © 2007 Sears, Roebuck and Co.


March 12, 2007 at 8:16 pm
(1) Ben says:

Ok here is my problem…

I love my grill and i don’t want to cover it with an ugly cover, it is an awesome grill that i love to show off to guests and company that i have over even if we are not cooking on it. I want some sort of protection for it from weather so i am looking at patio covers. The best patio cover i could find is one called Solara, it opens and closes so i can let smoke out through it and it has a rain sensor that will close the patio cover if it starts to rain and im away from home.

Does anyone know of any other ideas that could help me solve my problem.

http://www.patiocover.us is the website for solara if you want to check it out

February 20, 2008 at 1:22 pm
(2) Miki says:

What are you, a Solara rep? Why would you want to cover a grill anyway? Covers just get ugly and cleaning a bit of debris is no big deal. This was supposed to be about features. To show you what that means, I’ll make a features comment.
Grill lights are very important. I have a battery powered light (which is handy for seeing under sinks etc.) But my remote thermometer has let me serve perfectly grilled (or roasted when it gets below 10 in the winter) (okay, I’m a wuss, but cold slows the grill too much)

February 25, 2010 at 11:40 am
(3) Peter says:

I use charcoal 80% of the time. The food tastes better and I’m a guy that like to play with fire. My gas grill is cleaner, easier and has a slight advantage in heat predictability. These are my trade offs. The gas grill is an important part of my bbq arsenal.

February 25, 2010 at 12:24 pm
(4) Rich says:

Miki, I agree with you — why cover? I think they are mostly a sales gimmick, but I do think it’s better to provide cover than just leave a grill out in the open — espcially if you have large trees. So for that I agree with Ben. The best option is something to cover your grilling area rather than the grill. Whether you want to spend your money on the Solara or do what I did and build it yourself (assuming you know what you’re doing) doesn’t matter.

I covered a small area (8 ft x 8 ft) on my deck where I grill using smoky high impact poly-something plastic. Do it right, provide for wind and you don’t need much more. In my case, I had an overhead deck for support and one wall of my house provides some wind protection, so it was inexpensive and easy to do. I also am a woodworker and build my own decks, so I know what I’m doing.

The best part is that I have sun protection, I can grill in the rain, and the grill is protected except from hard wind driven rain. Of course, my wife still wants to buy a cover! Maybe I’ll just build in a hinged cover to go over the whole thing. Hmm…

February 25, 2010 at 12:33 pm
(5) Rich says:

A cover IS a feature. But most important to me is grilling space (not workspace which I think of as the side tables or whatever). My current grill is 17×24 in. (408 sq in) and is just not large enough. I can cook basic hamburgers, steaks, chicken, ribs (barely) on it, but there it’s a struggle to find room for veggies, potatoes, whatever in addition. Once you have overhead cover, you can really afford the luxury of grilling full meals regardless of weather and will feel the need for more grill space.

Fortunately, after 6 years my Brinkmann 2600 has rusted itself to death and my next grill will be a Weber Genesis 310 or 320 (don’t need the side burner).

February 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm
(6) Melanie says:

Hi Derrick,
The most important feature for any grill is the size of the grilling space. We like to grill entire meals, meat, veggies, warm the sauce, tortillas or bread, corn on the cob – whatever. So we need lots of grilling space. Our 2nd most important feature is cast iron for excellent searing and grill marks.

March 2, 2010 at 8:43 pm
(7) Christian Hamilton says:

A smoker box.

March 3, 2010 at 4:50 pm
(8) William Balacko says:

A natural gas bar b q was a great buy. No more running out of propane in the middle of a cook out, and you don,t even notice the additional cost on your gas grill . Initially I was having a hard time getting this 4 burner grill up to a hot enough temperature. I solved this problem by sheet metaling in the back side of the grill as tight as I could without impeding the closing of the lid. This now allows the temp to get up to an easy 400 or more degrees.

March 3, 2010 at 6:29 pm
(9) Birghey says:

I see that infra-red was selected as the best feature.
My wonderful grill has that feature, and I have yet to use it.
Any recommendations for recipes / uses for infa-red?


March 4, 2010 at 7:18 am
(10) richard says:

hi derrick i use a charcoal grill not gas,i would say the temp. gauge on the hood is number one for me and number two would be the side fire box for smoking. also i use what is called “stubb’s ” charcoal. it is not a expensive grill,it is what works for me. richard

February 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm
(11) Martin Shosid says:

A “smoker” attachment of some kind would be invaluable.

February 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm
(12) Bruce says:

Amount of Area for Grilling

March 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm
(13) Phill says:

My son-in-law bought a grill at Lowe’s with a small deep fryer on one side. I tried to buy one like it a couple of months later and they quit making that model. Have not seen one since.

February 27, 2013 at 11:51 am
(14) Dave says:

I wouldn’t use a gas grill, Might as well cook inside on the stove.

February 27, 2013 at 1:08 pm
(15) jason says:

infrared burner, definitely. i grill at temperatures between 1000 and 1400 degrees for amazing flavor. I also use a kamado weekly but for day-to-day grilling the infrared burner is the best. i also post cool recipes and images of the food because there are no how-to infrared books so my blog is becoming one.
I’m surprised to see side burners and rotisseries doing so well on your poll because no one i know ever uses those. maybe people think of those features as “features” rather than say what they actually use? in florida we rarely use a range unless the power is out after a hurricane — and by then the side burner is more important than a car; otherwise we never use it.

February 28, 2013 at 12:35 am
(16) ken says:

Being from SoCal, BBQ season is year round. I repair, clean and replace old built-in grills part-time as a side biz. Here is what I have come to learn. Nobody uses the side burner, because its usually the only thing that is clean. Infrared burners are always used wrong, and expensive to replace. One customer thought he was suppose to pour BBQ sauce on the infrared burner and cook like a smoker. Grill Covers are bought with the new grill, and thrown away in a couple years. Only 1 in 10 customers with a rotisserie uses it. Workspace for me is the most important part of a good well organized gilling, I even built a shelf extending from the kitchen window directly above my 48″ grill as a short-cut or go between from out/in with all the stuff, my wife loves it. The serious more seasoned griller will have a spotless BBQ, and knows his burners are burning clean, uses a meat temp probe and always has a charcoal grill as well as a gas grill. I also clean up alot of candle wax, so if your cooking at night use a candle, its nice… I always pass on to my customers tips that I have learned from Derrick, and tell them to visit about.com

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