It's that time of year again; time to see what’s new in backyard cooking. With the world grill market in the billions of dollars, there are a lot of companies out there trying to get you to buy their products and every year new products are introduced to catch your attention. So, here I am, to help point you to grills and smokers that fit your needs. I can't touch every make and model, but these highlights should get you going in the right direction.
Char-Broil has introduced two new products this year, the Quick Set line and the 4-burner grill. The Quick Set grills incorporate a design that allows assembly in six steps without the requirement of tools. The x-shaped frame is 20 percent wider than similar models giving the grill a more stable footing. These grills come in 35,000 and 44,000 BTUs with an optional side burner. The price ranges from around $160 to $250 depending on optional extras. Look for sale prices about $20 less than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. At this price it is comparable to similar models from Char-Broil. If assembly is a problem for you then you might want to consider this unit, but I don’t see it as a great advantage unless you are planning on storing or transporting your grill frequently.
Char-Broil’s new 4-burner grill (its actual name) represents a higher end product with a large 632 square inch cooking area and optional multi-function cooking grids. The four burners are made of cast iron and are independently controlled. The cooking surface is comprised of four grates that can be swapped with either a porcelain griddle of a porcelain tray for stir or deep-frying. The frame of this unit comes in either steel frame or Australian Jarrah wood that is supposed to be highly weather resistant. Look for this grill in the $750 to $800 price range.
If portability is important, but you still want a full sized grill, you can try the Grill2Go by Thermos. With 310 square inches of cooking space you get plenty of room to cook, but if you want to put something under the lid it can’t be very tall. In making the unit portable a certain amount of space had to be sacrificed so don't plan on grilling a whole turkey. However you can get it with a combination of grill grate and griddle so you can cook pancakes for breakfast and burgers for lunch. It folds up into a suitcase size unit that can be easily stored and transported. This grill is powered by either a 1-pound propane cylinder or you can purchase an optional 4 foot hose to connect it to a full size 20 pound tank. This unit can be found for around $200.