The economy of buying cheap barbecues is beginning to drive me crazy. Spend $300 or so, to buy a shiny new BBQ that has rusted beyond belief in just three years. Of course the alternative is to pay over a grand to buy a beastly machine that will last years longer.
Our last BBQ purchase was a stainless steel model from Lowes, just three years ago. It was a big unit with four burners and an infrared rotisserie burner. The side burner was also an infrared unit with a cool cast iron grill/griddle plate. The construction was more robust than any BBQ we have bought to date. Near the end of last Summer, holes started to appear in the massive grilling surface. Replacement grills were only available from the States and cost over $200 and an aftermarket solution wasn’t available because of the size. Then, the pieces that held the top shelf in place broke off, sending food flying.
That picture above is the remains of the inside of this “stainless steel” BBQ as it sits out front waiting for the scrap metal guy to pick it up.
The following Spring, we bought Sandy’s Mom a cheap Life @ Home BBQ for her birthday. We knew she wouldn’t use it a lot, so we figured it would be a good solution for her. I think it was used a couple of times, before she sold her house and moved to an apartment. It has been sitting in our garage ever since. I used it last night for the first time and I have to say that it is the worst piece of garbage I have ever attempted to cook on. It struggled to reach 350 degrees with the lid closed. It would barely even create grill marks, let alone cook 2 1/2″ thick pork chops. Our little Weber portable unit with the tiny propane bottles does a better job.
On average, we probably use our BBQ 4 days a week year round, so having a sub-standard cooking unit out on the deck just won’t cut it.
And so, the hunt for a good quality BBQ will begin soon. Weber. Broil King. Vermont Castings. I’m not sure yet what direction we’ll go, but I am done with buying a new grill every three years.