Buying a Great GrillAs we head into the summer months, it’s time to ramp up your outdoor kitchen.
Cooking outside is based on one appliance: the barbeque.
But that doesn’t come without a huge cost and an impact on your bottom line.
Whether your current grill is on its last leg and needs to be replaced or you’re a first time BBQ buyer, MainStreet did some digging and put together expert tips when it comes to buying a new grill.
8 Tips for House Painting
1. When to Purchase Your GrillDoes it make a difference what time of year you purchase your grill?
According to James Krewson, CEO of FindersCheapers.com, the first two weeks of June will feature plenty of BBQ deals and sales: “Retailers will be running specials on grills leading up to Father's Day which is Sunday, June 17th.”
As for waiting until the summer grilling season is over, here’s what Krewson had to say: “You could certainly wait until September and try to pick up a grill as retailers make way for winter merchandise, but then you would not be guaranteed a specific model and worse, you would miss out on a summer of grilling!” Photo Credit: BarelyFitz
2. You Don't Need the Biggest GrillJust because you see a huge barbeque on display in the store, doesn't mean it's superior to some of the smaller grills.Chef Ted Pryor of Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C., says bigger isn’t better: “A small barbeque, like a classic Weber Smokey Joe, works great, seals well and is easy to get very hot in its small space. You can also bring a small barbeque with you for tailgating.”
A smaller grill is a cheaper grill, too! Photo Credit: greckor
3. Setting a BudgetGrills can cost thousands of dollars or only a few hundred. If you only plan to grill during the summer, a less expensive grill with fewer bells and whistles is a better option.
Regardless of what type of grill you buy, figure out how much you can afford to spend – and don’t exceed that number.
Photo Credit: Horia Varlan
4. How to Save Up for a GrillLet’s say you determine you can spend $300 on a new grill. The goal is to pay cash for this grill, rather than letting it sit on a credit card for months, where interest will accrue.
To save $300, simply automate your savings. Ask your bank to transfer $100 per month from your checking account and into your savings account. In three months, you’ll have enough to buy the grill.
Automating your savings forces you to make do with less, while building up your savings at the same time.
Photo Credit: Images_of_Money http://www.flickr.com/photos/59937401@N07/
5. Negotiating Grill PricesWhile it never hurts to ask the salesperson, “Can you do better on the price?” what is the likelihood that you’ll be successful in negotiating?
According to Max Levitte of Cheapism.com http://Cheapism.com, “Negotiating is harder this time of year although Lowe’s and Home Depot have price matching so you can always challenge them with that.”
Levitte even suggests incorporating your smartphone into the grill-buying process: “Look up the barbeque on your phone as you shop and show the lower prices at competitors to the sales clerk."
Photo Credit: ckelly http://www.flickr.com/photos/ckelly/
6. Gas vs. Charcoal GrillWhich one should you buy: a gas or charcoal powered grill?
“In a charcoal grill, when you lift the cover off, it should feel heavy. I have cooked on many charcoal grills and the ones that give off the best heat are heavy and thick sided,” Chef Michael Goldsborough of Bridgewaters and Twenty Four Fifth tells MainStreet.When it comes to gas grills, some technical jargon comes into play.
“Heavy construction is best. Quality stainless steel is a must. When I say stainless steel I am referring to 304 stainless steel. There are other types such as 404, which are still classified as stainless steel but are cheaper and will rust,” Goldsborough adds.
Photo Credit: Like_the_Grand_Canyon
7. The Interior of Your GrillStainless steel is all the rage – and while having stainless steel on the outside of the grill is aesthetically pleasing, the inside burners should be made of stainless steel, too.
“Bring along a magnet to test for this - if it clings to the burner, it’s made of a low-grade stainless steel and these grills should be avoided, as they may not last long,” says Andrew Schrage of MoneyCrashers.com.
Photo Credit: purdman1 http://www.flickr.com/photos/purdman1/
8. How to Maintain Your GrillJohn Mariani, author of Grilling For Dummies, offers the following tips for maintaining your grill: 1. Always use a coating of cooking oil on the grill surface before you heat it up.
2. Wait until your grill is completely cooled down before cleaning it after cooking.
3. Scraping with a wire brush or grill tools is first line of defense against soot build-up and burned-on grease.
4. Grills, even if cleaned, eventually build up rust. Scrape it off as much as possible. Photo Credit: TheBusyBrain
9. When It's Time to Buy a New GrillGrills don’t last forever – so here are some signs that a new grill is needed, according to Mariani:1. When a grill simply gets too burnt with grime and rust, buy a new one. Do this at the start of every outdoor cooking season. 2. Gas grills should be checked for gas tank leaks before the season begins and when it ends. Also check connections to the tanks and disconnect at season’s end. Photo Credit: Dan4th
10. Apps for RecipesOnce you’ve purchased a new grill, it’s time to start cooking. To perfect your grilling skills, check out these smartphone apps for help:
- iSteak: This app is especially useful for when you’re grilling for multiple people and everyone has different preferences as to how they want their meat cooked. Available on the iPhone, the iSteak app lets you create a virtual grill to keep track of everyone’s meat – it even tells you when to flip the meat. Price: $1.99
- Grill-It!: Features dozens of BBQ recipes and a new one is added to the app (on the iPhone and Android) each week. Price: 99 cents
Scott Gamm is the founder of the personal finance website HelpSaveMyDollars.com . He has appeared on NBC’s TODAY, MSNBC and CNN. Follow Scott on Facebook and Twitter.
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