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Size and Cooking Area
Grill size is typically the primary factor when making a purchase. A big grill has the advantage of being able to cook a lot of food at once and providing extra counter space in the form of side tables, but it also takes up a lot of room on the patio, balcony, or deck. The portability of a grill is also related to its size.
The square inches of grilling space is the standard measurement of its size. There is a wide range of sizes available for grills for under $500, from small flat-top grills with less than 250 square inches of cooking space to huge, flat-top grills with over 700 square inches. A standard grill with 400 square inches of cooking space is around 4 feet long, whereas larger grills with 600 square inches of space are closer to 5 feet in length.
The longevity of a grill is directly proportional to the quality of its construction; $500 grills are on the low to mid range of durability. Folded sheet metal and plastic are common ingredients in the construction of a barbecue in this price range. It's still of great quality, though not quite as sturdy as the all-metal construction of more expensive grills. Although some stainless steel grills can be bought for around $500, most grills in this price range feature enamel coatings rather than more upscale all-stainless steel finishes.
It is vital to think about the grill's grate material because the grate usually wears out before the rest of the device and replacing it might be pricey. The best gas grills under 500 dollars typically have grates made of porcelain-coated iron, which is both durable and efficient at keeping heat. On the other hand, grates with a porcelain coating will inevitably rust as the porcelain wears away and the iron core is exposed to the elements. Grills typically have stainless steel warming grates.
Burner Number and BTUs
The capacity of a gas grill to attain temperatures high enough to properly sear meat is directly proportional to its output of heat. Just like with gas space heaters, a gas grill's total BTU (British Thermal Unit) output is the measure by which its burners' individual heating capacities are evaluated. In order to reach a total of 40,000 BTUs, a gas grill with four burners of 10,000 BTUs each is required.
More BTUs are required to evenly heat a grill's cooking surface if the cooking area is greater. A decent gas grill, as a general rule, will have a BTU output of 80–100 per square inch. A grill with a cooking area of 450 square inches, for instance, would require burners capable of producing 36,000 to 40,000 BTUs. A sear burner on some gas grills can create the high temperature needed to brown the exterior of meat, and it typically puts out 15,000 BTUs.
The amount of heat your grill can produce is dependent on the heat flux. Heat flux can be calculated by dividing the BTUs by the primary cooking area of the grill (without the warming racks included).
The hotter your cooking surface will get depends on the heat flux.
Electronic spark ignition systems are becoming standard on barbecue grills. That means you can start cooking in seconds with only the click of a button. Don't bother with the lighter or matches. Many of the market leaders, including Weber, use their own patented ignition method to guarantee a first-time grill light.
The highest grade gas grills will have a battery-operated ignition, which will last significantly longer than other types.
Despite their low price, gas grills should be constructed with excellent materials that will last. It's possible that a gas grill could be damaged by the elements if it wasn't of high quality.
Choose a stainless steel grill if you want a long-lasting appliance.
Cast aluminum and coated cast iron grills are likewise functional, although they are more prone to chipping, which can lead to corrosion. If you want your burners to last, you should stick with stainless steel.
It's wise to examine the coverage of the warranty and determine what components are covered. The grill's burners are typically covered by a longer warranty than the rest of the device.
Inquire about the coverage period and what components are covered. The grill's burners are typically covered by a longer warranty than the rest of the device.
Getting a grill with six burners and a 600-square-inch cooking space is unnecessary if you want a portable barbecue.
Instead, choose a small, portable, tabletop propane gas barbecue.
In terms of a gas grill, what functions are essential and which will you actually use? You probably won't need a side burner if you're just going to be making hamburgers and hot dogs. If you don't like to roast chickens or huge cuts of meat, a rotisserie is wonderful to have but not necessary. The push-button ignition found on most of these grills is convenient, but Hardy finds it annoying because he thinks it will be the first portion of the grill to break.
How do I clean my gas grill?
When the grill is still hot, a good scraper can accomplish most of the work. Clean the grates and the interior of the cover with one. The burners and heat deflectors can be cleaned with a plastic scraper, and the burners themselves can be scraped with a wire brush. Brush the scraps down into the grease trap after scraping. Finalize the grill cleaning by wiping it down with a moist rag or paper towel.
How many BTUs should a gas grill have?
For uniform cooking, the BTUs (British thermal units) of a gas grill should be between 80 and 100 per square inch of cooking area. Find a grill with a sear burner that can generate at least 15,000 BTUs for optimal searing results.
How do you smoke on a gas grill?
Hardy suggests either purchasing a firebox already made for this purpose or constructing one out of two layers of aluminum foil and bourbon-soaked wood chips. After lighting the chips over high heat, you can reduce the temperature of the burner to allow the meal to cook slowly while being immersed in the smoky flavor.
How long do gas grills usually last?
Grills typically have a two- to three-year lifespan when stored outside, according to both Rice and Hardy. Protect the grill from the weather by keeping it covered when it's not in use, storing it indoors, and giving it a thorough cleaning once a month. Before you toss away your receipt, make sure you check the manufacturer's guarantee on expensive but regularly changed equipment like grates.
What temperature do you cook steaks on a gas grill?
Temperatures between 450 and 500 degrees are ideal for cooking steaks. You should let your grill pre-heat for 10 to 15 minutes before you start cooking since the grates need to be at least 500 degrees to create sear marks.
How do you convert a propane grill to natural gas?
But not every propane barbecue can be adapted to work with natural gas. The safest approach to convert your grill to natural gas is to first check the owner's manual to see whether it can, and then to buy a conversion kit from the manufacturer. (Most Char-Broil grills, for instance, are compatible with both fuels, and the company even sells a conversion kit for those who want to use it.) Keep in mind that third-party conversion kits available online aren't always safe and may render your grill's warranty null and void.
If you're in the market for a grill but have a limited budget, you won't go wrong with any of the models recommended below.
The Weber Spirit II E-310 Grill, with its huge cooking space, powerful BTU output, and generous amount of storage space, emerges as the clear victor.
We enjoyed this grill's handy grease management system, and we believe both newbies to the grilling world and pitmasters will be impressed with the value for money this barbecue has to offer