New Grill

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by RJM62, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My old Charbroil grill, which I bought well-used about seven years ago for $10.00, seems to need a part that's no longer available (the manifold). It still works, but the flame is very low.

    As a point of reference, here are pictures of the grill to be retired, before and after my restoration efforts:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I did some more work on it since then. I replaced the wheels, the flame tamers, and a few other parts when they rotted away. But the manifold seems to be a lost cause -- at least officially. There probably are a bazillion other grills that use the same manifold, and I probably could cross-reference them somewhere.

    But my friends shamed me into admitting I decided that seven years on a grill that I paid $10.00 for and put maybe another $30.00 worth of parts into was enough. I can donate it to Goodwill and take a tax write-off for more than I paid for the thing.

    So with tears in my eyes, I decided to take the safety wire off my wallet and invest in a new grill.

    I'm far from a grilling fanatic (obviously). I've used $1,200.00 grills, $120.00 grills, and my $10.00 grill, and I really can't tell much difference. When all is said and done, they all blow propane through little holes. But at the same time, I didn't want to waste money on junk that I'd be throwing away after a season. So I aimed toward the middle: Not extremely high end, but not garbage, either.

    After about a month of research (seriously), I'd narrowed my choices down to one of the Charbroil "Performance" models, or a Member's Mark (one of Sam's Club's store brands) model. They were both about $300.00, but I would have gotten a 10 percent veterans' discount from Lowes had I purchased the Charbroil grill there.

    The other advantage to Charbroil would have been that parts for Charbroils are everywhere. Except for the manifold for my ancient grill, practically every part for every Charbroil model ever made is still available. And the new Charbroil I was looking at seemed well-enough made for my needs. The wind was pretty stiff that day, but it stayed put just fine.

    The Member's Mark grill, however, was much fancier; and although I don't care very much about fanciness in a grill, apparently other people do -- including some of my guests who were horrified by my old grill to the point of refusing to grill on it. The Member's Mark grill was much more grill for the money. I figured it would be at least acceptable to my grilling-snob friends and relatives.

    On the downside, however, although the Member's Mark grill got overwhelmingly good reviews, there were a few horrid ones that referenced the same two flaws: premature burner failure, and the coating on the grates flaking off. Also, the parts seem not to be available anywhere except from the manufacturer, at least not searching on the grill's model number; and the manufacturer's parts prices are a bit on the hefty side.

    The uniformity of the bad reviews made me believe there was some credibility to them; but the overwhelmingly good reviews suggested that only a minority of reviewers had encountered those problems. So I called Sam's Club and got the manufacturer's phone number.

    I called the manufacturer, and a real human answered on the first ring. I expressed my concerns, and she told me that the grate problem is due to people using wire brushes on the grates. They recommend stiff bristle brushes. That made sense to me. Steel is harder than ceramic. It's like a non-stick frying pan.

    They also said that I should clean the burners regularly, inside and out, with a nylon brush made for that purpose (which I never before knew existed, by the way) to avoid uneven heating, and that I should spray cooking oil spray on them to help prevent corrosion during the off season or when I planned not to use the grill for a while. Those also seemed like reasonable suggestions.

    I then called Sam's Club back and asked them if the grill would be covered under their "Member Satisfaction Guarantee," and they said it was. It can be returned at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all, as long as both I and Sam's Club are still alive. All I have to do is load it up on my trailer and shlep it back to the club, and I will get my money back.

    So I hitched up the trailer and set out for Sam's Club. Once I got there, I sought out the General Manager, who being unable to hide quickly enough when she saw me coming, greeted me warmly. Having her effectively cornered, I asked her the same questions about the return policies that I had asked Corporate, and she confirmed that the grill can be returned for a full refund at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all other than that I am no longer happy with it.

    She also told me that I could purchase a three-year on-site warranty on it from Squaretrade for $29.88, which would save me the schlepping should some part fail, but I want to keep the grill. I usually don't do extended warranties; but in this case, the weight-to-cost ratio seemed to justify it. I'd rather not have to rent a crane to get the thing off the deck, and then drive it 50 miles to Sam's Club, just because a knob falls off.

    But I digress.

    Reassured by not one, but two warranties, I forced my trembling hand to my wallet and told Marcy I'd take it. She promptly fainted and needed to be revived. Once she came to, she summoned two burly men to get it off the shelf, roll it out to the parking lot, load it onto my trailer, and pretend to decline my gratuity until I forced them to accept it; and one hour of travel and two hours of assembly later, I have a new grill.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I tell ya what, for $299.98, it seems pretty well-made. It's this one, in case anyone's is interested. I haven't grilled anything yet, though, because we've had rain, snow, sleet, and hail yesterday and today. (We're still waiting on the frogs and locusts.)

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
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  2. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I thought we were gonna see some gold teeth or something
     
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  3. Matthew

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    You can cook 3 dozen hot dogs at a time, easy.
     
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  4. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    My wife almost left me when I paid around $1,800 for a grill around 10 or 11 years ago. I got sick of replacing Home Depot specials every 2 or 3 years. I use it around 5 or 6 times a week, 52 weeks a year, in Florida directly across from the intracoastal waterway, where airplanes get eaten from the inside out. It sits out in the elements, although it does have a cover that I usually remember to put over it. I give it a thorough cleaning about once a year, and it still looks and cooks like new.
     
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  5. SoonerAviator

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    Propane grills are a crime against humanity.


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  6. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I wish I'd thought of that when I was still with Jeanette...

    Rich
     
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  7. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Not if you grill out almost every day. But for the really good smoking or bbq, I use my Kamodo smoker.
     
  8. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The propane grills are pretty nice anymore. The heat is very consistent and repeatable. Every the thermometers can be accurate. Season the grill itself well. Be happy you don’t have to schlepp charcoal.

    Me? I’m stuck schlepping charcoal. Oh well, I like the flavor even if there is inconvenience...
     
  9. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This grill has a chip tray. I bought some chips. They seem kind of hard, though. I don't want to break a tooth.

    Rich
     
  10. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Propane.....taste the heat, not the meat....:lol::lol:

    I used charcoal for many years. I still have one small charcoal grill. 10 years old and has sat outside its entire life.

    But now I use my pellet grill 99% of the time.
     
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  11. SoonerAviator

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    Wood pellet is where it’s at. Consistent heat, set it and forget it. Wood smoked flavor, ready to grill in 10-15 minutes.


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  12. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Crap. If Rich is replacing HIS rescued Charbroil, mine is probably due for a wallet opening too.

    Don’t think I’ll bother with any donations to Goodwill though. It probably won’t survive getting it off of the second story deck the easy way. LOL.
     
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  13. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    I replaced my old Charbroil a few years ago. We'd gotten about 15 years out of it, nursing it along with replacement parts for the last 6 or 8 of those. I gave it to my son who may still be using it (though more likely it's sitting derelict in his back yard, but it's not my problem any more). I actually sprung for a middle-of-the-line Weber, which is unusual for me. I have to say, no regrets. The sucker weighs close to 200# and is built as solidly as a tank. It wasn't cheap, but I feel like I actually got what I paid for. In the four years since we started using it, it's taken exactly zero maintenance other than a decent cleaning once a year.

    I've seen the Sam's Club Weber clones, they do look pretty good.
     
  14. ateamer

    ateamer Line Up and Wait

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    Our Weber Genesis Silver gas grill lasted for 13 years of almost daily use before it rusted through. Six or seven years ago, I got another - same model, early 90s vintage. Someone was giving it away because it didn't work. Cleaned the burners, blew compressed air through the manifold, hooked up the gas and in five minutes it hit 550 degrees. It's still going strong.
     
  15. Sac Arrow

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    I've had a propane grill before, and I liked it, but after it finally succumbed to deterioration, I went back to charcoal.
     
  16. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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  17. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now I use a wireless meat thermometer. I didn't realize I was over cooking many meats.
     
  18. RJM62

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    Well, it gets hot at least. I seasoned the racks today. I was going to use salt, pepper, basil, and oregano as seasonings; but my granddaughter told me to use canola oil in a spray can and run the grill on low for about 20 minutes with the lid closed, and then let it cool down completely. So that's what I did. After all, she must know about these things. She works in a pizzeria.

    [​IMG]

    The indicated temperature reached about 462 F with all the burners on low. I say "indicated" because I've been told those gauges are more for show than any useful purposes. But at least it got hotter than the OAT, which was about 30 F.

    Rich
     
  19. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    That seems too hot for “Low”. Going to make cooking chicken or fish a very fast event.
     
  20. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Pattern Altitude

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    After many different gas grills over the years, we went rogue and got a Traeger wood pellet smoker. We absolutely love it, except it doesn't work as well as propane below 40F OAT. But we have made some magnificent feasts on it in the first year we have owned it.
     
  21. RJM62

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    Yeah, I was thinking about that. Although it was with all the burners on. I suppose that might make a difference. Time will tell whether it's a problem.

    Rich
     
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  22. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've never had any problem with anything sold under any of Sam's Club's various house labels. Whether we're talking coffee, olive oil, blue jeans, laundry soap, or whatever, it's all been high-quality stuff. Same for Costco and BJ's. I suppose a lot of the products sold under all three companies' labels are made by the same manufacturers.

    Rich
     
  23. Ryanb

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    All I use is propane. Of course if you're after the 'off the grill' taste, than charcoal would be best. I usually only grill fish and burgers, so propane does well for my needs. Looks like you've got yourself a mighty fine piece of equipment there.
     
  24. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Indirect is always an option. May take a few attempts to get things the way you want’em to be. I use a pan of water between the fire and the meat when smoking. It helps stabilized the temperature.
     
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  25. Zeldman

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    Traeger does have an insulating blanket for using in cooler temperatures. I haven't used it but my neighbor says the blanket makes a world of difference in cold weather.
     
  26. SoonerAviator

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    Which model did you go with?


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  27. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The Traeger Blanket is worth every penny in cold weather. Pellet consumption improves drastically. I have the Pro 34. Cook on it year round in north central PA...
     
  28. RJM62

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    I'm happy to report that the results of my first test revealed that the food that went on the grates raw, came off the grates cooked.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The meat was evenly cooked, and the flavor was one would expect from cooked beef. Sorry, I'm not a grilling expert.

    The smoker tray also appears to work pretty well, although I probably should have let it, um, smoke for a longer time before putting the meat on the grill.

    [​IMG]

    I didn't realize it until I was done, but I slightly bent the tray during assembly so the side nearest the handle was too high. That was easily fixed by slightly bending it in the opposite direction. That may be why the wood chips nearest the handle didn't heat up. Not that it makes any difference that I can think of. The smoke filled the lid anyway.

    All in all, I'm very satisfied so far. When it warms up a bit (the OAT, I mean, not the grill), I'll invite my grill-snob friends and relatives over and get their expert opinions.

    Rich
     
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  29. midwestpa24

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    We went with the Tailgater model. It was big enough for me and my wife's needs. Plus didn't want to drop big dough on the bigger models not knowing if we would like it. We mainly do burgers, steaks, chicken, etc., but we have done a couple of briskets and tri-tips. Excellent!
     
  30. midwestpa24

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    I've read about the blanket, may have to go that route by next winter. I tried a few weeks ago in the 40s and could only get up to 325 on max, enough to do some burgers but a little slow.

    Been snowing ever since though...so not so much grilling.
     
  31. ETres

    ETres Line Up and Wait

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    I wuz espectin grillz fo realz, yo!

    [​IMG]
     
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  32. Matthew

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    I've seen a few Weber Ranch kettles over the years, but I haven't used one yet:

    [​IMG]
     
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  33. SoonerAviator

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    I have been looking at a pellet wood grill for a present for my fathers birthday coming up, and Traeger pretty much invented the market. I was mainly concerned about durability/quality. Would probably go a bit bigger than the tailgater model as we usually cook for 6-10 people when we grill out a dozen times a year. He’s always used charcoal but it may be time to change it up.


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  34. AKBill

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    Been using an old Webber or 17 years, works for me in February grilling in Alaska...:)
     
  35. Zeldman

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    Yeah, but your in Juneau where it barely gets as cold as where I am in New Mexico...;):lol::lol:

    Are the halibut biting yet..??
     
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  36. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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  37. Zeldman

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    That is no joke, I saw more rain in the first month I was in Juneau than I had seen in the previous 10 years in Gallup....:lol::lol:

    Well, King Crab and shrimp is closed, my wife won't want to come up there... That is bad news for the folks that depend on the crab and shrimp for a living. Hopefully better numbers for the next year.
     
  38. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not if you grill 24/7/365 in the mid-Atlantic states. My Weber is more reliable than the postman, excepting when I fail to refill the propane tanks (and I do have more than one). Come rain, nor snow nor gloom of night, nothing keeps the grill from its appointed duties.

    But have no fear, I also have a WSM smoker, which is charcoal & wood chunks and turns out a tasty brisket, butt, or ribs on a regular basis.
     
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  39. SoonerAviator

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    I honestly don’t know a thing about smokers. I got an electric smoker for Christmas this year and it’s still in the original packing in my shop, lol. I do pretty well grilling steaks/chicken/burgers, just don’t have the patience for smoking/maintaining heat for 6+ hours.

    I’ve had a propane grill in the past, I just don’t care for the lack of wood/charcoal flavor on grilled meats. I’d just assume use an electric grill indoors if I need something grilled in the colder months.


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  40. jallen0

    jallen0 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    A few years ago during the winter I found a giant nest full of mice had camped out inside the top part of the grill. You know, the place where you eat food. I ahve not been able to use the grill since then. It just sits there.