Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday Rant: Charcoal Barbecue Grills … by gimleteye

I don't have high barriers for choosing a charcoal barbecue grill. I don't want a shopping cart positioned over a wood fire. On the other hand, why are barbecue grills so poorly made?

I cover my grills faithfully and clean them out. But I've burned through so many grills over the years, why don't the manufacturers don't just label the grill: "this is a disposable product. After three years, discard."

Here is what I want. I want a charcoal grate to be adjustable, preferably by a lever; to raise and lower the heat. I want the air flow to be controllable. Is this too much to ask? I want thick enough metal in the key places where corrosion occurs; not skinny sheets.

If you have $2500 to spare, you can find a charcoal grill to do exactly what I want in terms of controlling heat. But even these grills you have to treat like an exotic car: put them in a garage after use or risk the fate of all grills stored outside: destruction.

Webers are fine, so far as they go.  The one with a bubble cover. But I wanted a grill is more capable of controlling heat. I found several. But they all were built like s@#t.

There are several grills out there that have adjustable height charcoal grates, costing from $300-600. I've had better success with lower priced models, from $100-$200, except for the fact they only last a couple of years. Sure, they have spare parts catalogues and departments. I called one the other day. Gave him the part number and model of the grill I bought at Home Depot three years ago. He said he'd get back to me, never did. How many people are going to first take the time to call the part department, then dismantle a grease caked grill to slide a new part in that may or may not fix?

As I scanned the web to replace my 3 year old Brinkmann, I'm considering going back to the basic Weber. There is nothing out there that doesn't look like a waste of money. Really, how hard can it be to build an affordable charcoal barbecue grill with an adjustable grate that isn't built for obsolescence?


Cardinham | Killgrew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
miaexile said...

i keep going back to small hibachi grills..enuf with the SUV sized pieces of %#*~

Anonymous said...

Now we know what the new wood fence is covering up at the Bell Klan's compound!

MD Grillmaster said...

Big Green Egg. Your life will never be the same. Has a cult-like following.

Anonymous said...

You're in South Florida and heating metal at incredible temperatures; I'm afraid oxidation and decay are inevitable. There is no grill that will work for you, and any company that says otherwise is full of shit and obviously really wants your money.

Anonymous said...

Wow! You really struck a nerve here! This is a very important issue since we all have spent many hours cleaning and fixing these despicable bbq grills. I want to know more about the "green egg".

Anonymous said...

On the most basic level, the smoky flavor and the char that you get from a well-grilled steak is not particularly good for you. When fat from the cooking meat drips down on the hot coals, the smoke that forms contains stuff called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). And the charred exterior of the meat (or inside, if you like things extremely well-done) is chock full of something called heterocyclic amines (HCA).

Both of these have been linked in studies, like one conducted by the National Cancer Institute in 1999, to higher rates of colorectal cancers, and both chemicals have been added to the DOH’s official list of carcinogens (PAH all the way back in 1981, HCA in 2005).

Anonymous said...

Steak should never be 'well-grilled'or 'extremely well-done.'

At most, medium. Otherwise, you're ruining perfectly good meat.

Planned obsolescence. Lots of things are built that way. simply a way for manufacturers to get you to buy more. Similar reasoning to why my Hp deskjet printer was only $99 but the ink cartridge I buy every month is $30.

Anonymous said...

$29 smoker/grill from Kmart, repeat every 3 years. Anything else is an expensive waste of $.