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Input on Gas Grills, please?


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We are considering a gas grill, but have no prior experience with them. Would appreciate some input on the two we're considering...

Looking at the Napoleon Triumph 495 (Strom White), and Weber Genesis S-330 (Tio Sam). Weber is a bit cheaper, but looks to have fewer burners (?). Either will be adequate for 2 people, with occasional use for additional guests. We've always had charcoal grills, so not sure what features to look for, what the BTU ratings mean, etc. One has stainless steel rod grates, the other has cast iron - which is better? Is one dealer better than the other for service (if needed), accessories (we might get a rotisserie later), etc.?  We have a gas hookup on our terrace - is it better to connect there, or get a tank for inside the grill?

Thanks for any pointers.

Heather

PS.. Links to relevant websites for each grill:
Weber
Napoleon
 

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Took a quick look at both your choices, and as usual it is difficult to find the BTU rating for the individual burners. The Napoleon has 5 burners for 57,200 BTU (that's an unreliable standard, although that's what we have to deal with), which means max 12,000 per burner. The Genesis has three burners at 38,000, or a three-way split of 13, 13 and 12, probably. At 10,000, you are getting a very weak BBQ that will under-perform. I want my burners to be 15,000 each or more (you can get them up to 30,000) for those items like steaks and burgers that need very high heat.... but those are hard to find, especially around here, and probably prohibitively expensive.

And more burners under the hood is a good thing, depending on what you are grilling. If you are making a mess of burgers or steaks for people all the time, three inside burners is dandy, but if you will only be entertaining a small number of people and mostly cooking for yourselves, two burners is plenty. It's the heat that counts. (A third burner, on the side, has always been a waste to me: I cook my other stuff inside on the stove, where I have more control. I once bought a BBQ that had a fourth burner at the back on the inside, for roasting chicken, etc., on the spit... but it of course took 1/3 of the gas away from the other two bottom burners, and was so weak as to be innefectual.

Two burners is important for two zone cooking, which means you can put your chicken or other protein on one side where the burner is off, and allow it to cook via convection. Also really good for smoking fish and other meats. and of course unlike charcoal or wood grilles, you can adjust the flame for more control. (My pineapple chicken, for example: instead of a beer can, I prop a whole chicken on a squared fresh pineapple, and put it over the burner that is not flaming. The juice makes it very tasty and... juicy.)

Definitely hook up to your house gas; that means never having to change tanks. You will need to have an adaptor or two, to couple to the BBQ. And either type of actual grill, whether steel or iron, works for me; I've used both. Iron leaves bigger marks and gets theoretically hotter than the steel, but I haven't noticed a difference in the results.

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Heather, have had both.   Strom first sold Webber now Napoleon.   They are both excellent choices.   Never needed service but both are good I'd think.   I think 3 burners are fine as long as they are all on the bottom.    Yes house gas, need an adapter.    Maybe ask each location if they have a service man to bring the grill to your home and get it working on your house gas.   If you elect to use a cylinder pick Strom because I believe they will sell refill gas tanks to their clients.

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Love my weber 2 burner control, from tio sams. Have it hooked to the house. Don't remember needing an adapter. Plenty big. They delivered but did not hook it up. Easy set up, already assembled.

zeta gas does refills. Just take the tank to their facility by telmex.

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My current BBQ is a $140 unit I got on Amazon and had Hugh deliver for me. It cost a fair amount to deliver, because of the size of the box and the weight, but it was WAY cheaper than buying locally... by hundreds of dollars, and it works just as well as the "big names". Interesting story: the description on Amazon's website showed the fully-assembled dimensions, which would have been prohibitively expensive for Hugh to bring down. No one at Amazon could tell me whether or not it simply came disassembled in a box, like every other BBQ I've seen. But Hugh offered this: if it does come fully assembled, he would just send it back to Amazon. In the end, it did arrive in parts in a box. I still can't believe Amazon couldn't figure that out.

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Thanks so much for the great input. Your chicken sounds great, ComputerGuy. :)  We considered the option of buying NOB and having it delivered, but figured it was worth the peace of mind to get something locally, in case anything breaks or needs service. From comments here and elsewhere, I think we'll hook it to the house gas... don't plan to move it around and will probably build some cabinets around it eventually. The Weber seems large enough (for 2 plus occasional company), even with fewer burners, and I like the SS grill... seems it would be easier to clean than iron. That plus costing $200 US less gives Weber the lead currently. It is convenient, however, that Strom will take a US check, meaning we don't have to transfer money down and convert to Pesos. Still debating. 

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Mike has it right on. Being able to turn off one side makes all the difference so do be sure to check the burner configuration. Some Webbers (I don't know the Napoleon) have a 2 burner config but it is one inner ring and one outer ring. Yes, you can turn off that inner ring if you need to , but you don't get the same slow grill you would get by being able to turn off one side  and distancing the meat from direct heat completely. I thought this article would be timely.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/life-video/video-in-the-market-for-a-bbq-heres-what-you-can-get-if-money-is-no-object/article24416621/

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1 hour ago, hkrause said:

Thanks so much for the great input. Your chicken sounds great, ComputerGuy. :)  We considered the option of buying NOB and having it delivered, but figured it was worth the peace of mind to get something locally, in case anything breaks or needs service. From comments here and elsewhere, I think we'll hook it to the house gas... don't plan to move it around and will probably build some cabinets around it eventually. The Weber seems large enough (for 2 plus occasional company), even with fewer burners, and I like the SS grill... seems it would be easier to clean than iron. That plus costing $200 US less gives Weber the lead currently. It is convenient, however, that Strom will take a US check, meaning we don't have to transfer money down and convert to Pesos. Still debating. 

Tio Sam's takes credit cards so you get a good rate.

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Thanks, folks. Made our decision and ordered up the Weber from Tio Sam. A bit cheaper, so it will pay for the rotisserie if/when we decide to get one. We'll have it hooked into the house by somebody when we get a chance. 

Semalu, thanks for the video. Yeah... think I'll look into one of those Kalamazoo Q's. NOT!  :D

Heather

 

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