How to Choose a Gas Grill
It has been a long and isolated winter. You are probably as eager as we are to meet up with family and friends in a socially-distancing safe way. What better time to buy a gas grill! But with many choices and little time 'til prime grilling season, what do you look for when shopping for a grill?
We at the Outdoor Appliance Store have done your BBQ-home work for you! In the section below, we will smoke through the most important things to consider when buying a gas grill. We will make sure you make a choice fit for a grill master. Spoiler alert: it comes down to lasting quality and price points.
You and your wallet determine the price. However, quality gas grills are our area of expertise, and we love to help! Here is our list of features to look at when buying a gas grill
- grilling surface area
- fuel type
- cooking grids
- metal flame tamers
- burner construction
- BTU ratings
- warranty and options
And for all of you already bored. Here is a short-cut! Our list of the best gas grills ticks all the boxes above and are priced under $2000.
Grilling surface area
Grills are classified by size. The grill manufacturers compare models by the number of burners, usually-two to six. However, that doesn't give you a straight idea of the size of the cooking surface. An easier way to think of this might be by burger-count, and then you end up with three categories:
Small grills: 18 or fewer burger patties
Midsized grills: 18-28 burgers
Large grills: hold 28 and more burgers
Midsize gas grill (18-28burgers) is the best-selling grill size. That is a comfortable space to cook for a crowd. Remember, grill cooking real estate matters because you need enough space for versatility. With a larger cooking surface, you can sear a steak on one side and cooking veggies at a lower temperature on the other. Cooking indirectly on the grill also requires more space.
Gas grills run on two types of fuels: natural gas or propane. The major advantage of propane is the portability factor, but natural gas's convenience is second to none. Your fuel choice might come down to cost and which fuel sources you have access to in your area.
If it is hard to decide, look for a grill with dual-fuel valves for conversion to natural gas. Another good option is to buy a compatible conversion kit.
You want your grill purchase to last for a long time, so take a close look at the material and the cooking grid's thickness. Cooking grids made out of cast-iron or stainless steel will get you the most longevity. A thicker grid will give you better heat retention, which in turn means a better sear and faster cooking.
Also, some grids have tighter spacing than others. Closely spaced grids mean more surface contact to your food (think more caramelization). Tight spacing will also stop smaller food items from falling between the grids.
Metal flame tamers
These are also called flavoring plates or bars. Flame tamers give a surface for the drippings from your food to vaporize. In other words, this feature protects the burners from direct dripping of grease. Grills with full coverage flame tamers will give a more evenly heated cooking surface because the heat diffuses as it rises from the burners.
You want to look for bars that can resist corrosion. The best flavoring plates are made of either gauge stainless steel or quality ceramic pieces.
The grill burners decide how hot the grill can get and how the heat is distributed. It is also the parts that get replaced the most. When it comes to choosing gas grill burners, the heavier and the more durable the material, the longer it will last.
The best material is stainless steel. However, all stainless steel is not the same. Cast stainless steel is thicker than regular stainless steel. It will cost a little more, but it will last longer because it is weather-resistant.
Many use the BTU ratings as a short-cut to figure out how hot their grill will get. However, a high BTU rating does not always mean more sizzling. You need to look at the entire grill design! A well-insulated hood and a heavy-duty constructed grill can use the same amount of BTU:s better than a less efficient grill model.
Instead of BTUs, ask for maximum temperature when shopping for a grill.
Warranty, Spare parts, and Options
With the right care and cleaning, a quality gas grill should last you at least five years -but likely more than ten. Generally, the more extended warranty, the higher the product quality is. Some high-end grill manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty and a burner warranty ten years and more.
Consider buying from a company or an agent store that will be around to provide you with spare parts and options down the road. A gas grill is subject to a lot of wear and tear because of the constant heating and cooling. It also has to endure all kinds of weather. You want to be able to maintain it for years to come.
Finally, remember to check out the compatible accessories that come with a gas grill. Gas grill companies offer griddles, smoker boxes, and even compatible pizza stones. There are charcoal fuel baskets designed to fit your gas grill perfectly.
Ready to make a gas grill buy like a pro, or do you still have some questions? We are available for speedy answers! Fill out our contact form online, use the live chat option on our website or call us at (844) 305-0125.
Keeping Your Outdoor Kitchen Clean
Outdoor kitchens are a great addition to any home or community clubhouse. They create a fun, versatile space to entertain outdoors. In South Florida, we have more beautiful days than we know what to do with. A good barbecue is always a satisfying way to spend an afternoon with friends and family.
But it would be silly to ignore the fact that things outside get dirty. It is simply unavoidable. And when we are talking about a kitchen, you want it as clean as possible. Many of the cleaning habits you have for your indoor kitchen are the same for outdoors. But there are special considerations you should keep in mind. The Outdoor Appliance Store is here for your maintenance and cleaning questions. It is important you know the proper technique and products to use. The wrong product can erode the exterior of your appliance.
Maintaining Your Floor
In your indoor kitchen, you likely sweep and mop often. In an outdoor kitchen, you also need to sweep regularly. Especially if your outdoor kitchen does not have a cover, you can speed this up by using a leaf blower. A leaf blower is also good for removing hard to reach spider webs in covered kitchens.
After you remove loose debris from your kitchen, you need occasional wet washing. Wet washing removes surface dirt that gets ground in. You can wet wash easily with a garden hose and a good nozzle. You do not need a ton of pressure. But the more pressure from your hose, the less likely you are to scrub up the dirt. Once you finish wet washing, you can break out the leaf blower again. Flip it on to blow off excess water. A lot of outdoor kitchen flooring gets slippery when wet. The last thing you need is to slip when cooking.
Always keep your floor material in mind when cleaning. Grease and food stains are bound to happen. But some grease cleaners are acidic. You can not use acidic cleaners on natural stone or concrete floors. For tough stains, use a pressure washer instead.
How to Clean Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel is a common material used for outdoor appliances. It is beautiful and durable. It is perfect for outdoor use. The bad news is that it shows every fingerprint and dust fleck. But do not worry! It is actually pretty easy to clean with the right product and cloth. We recommend using microfiber cloths to wipe down your stainless steel. The real trick is wiping in one direction and using less cleaner than you think you need.
There are a lot of options when it comes to cleaning products for stainless steel. We recommend using cleaners made specifically for stainless steel. These products are often polish based. Use them sparingly. Too much polish will lead to dirt and grime sticking to your appliances. You can remove too much polish with water, dish soap, and a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse with clean water and dry to avoid water spots.
Cleaning Your Grill
Cleaning your grill is a multi-step process. The best way to clean a grill is from top to bottom. Cleaning your grill is more than just scraping off the grates. Different types of grills need different levels of cleaning.
Charcoal grill grates tend to get grimier. They may need more scraping than gas or electric grills. Before scraping, heat up your grill to the max heat and close the lid. Allow the heat to run for about 15 minutes. This loosens the grease and makes cleaning easier. Scrape with a grill brush or even a bit of rolled up tin foil. This process is the same for all types of grills. Make sure to let the grates cool for a few minutes before trying to handle them.
Gas grills have many parts beneath the grates that need attention. The internal parts of your grill need cleaning at least once a month. You can space these cleanings out if you only use your grill occasionally. But it is a good idea to open things up and take a peek at least once a month anyway. This way, you can avoid any massive internal issues.
Under your grates are the flame tamers. These look like long, metal pyramids. Remove them from the grill and scrape with a stainless steel grill brush. You may also use water and dish soap.
Once the grates and the flame tamers are out, the inside walls need an inspection. Look for signs of corrosion and grease build-up. Scrub the inside of your grill with the same grill brush from before. Again, use water and dish soap for stubborn grease. Avoid getting the actual burners wet.
Finally, you need to check your grease trap. At the end of the cleaning, it is probably pretty full. This is why we clean from top to bottom. Empty the grease trap. Make sure all your grill parts are completely dry before replacing them.
Keeping the outside of your grill clean is the easy part. Wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove dust, dirt, or other debris. We also recommend using a grill cover to protect your grill from the elements.
Cleaning Products to Avoid
Avoid chlorine and bleach around stainless steel. Both chlorine and bleach will damage stainless steel. Black staining may occur from bleach or chlorine exposure. This is especially relevant if your outdoor kitchen is near a pool. Keep this in mind when designing your outdoor retreat.
Bar Keeper’s Friend is a good product to keep around if your outdoor kitchen is near a pool. In some cases, it fixes damage from chlorine, bleach, or other chemicals.
Bleach is a good product to avoid altogether for your outdoor kitchen. It will also damage your grill. The damage from bleach is often worse than built-up grime, grease, or even rust. Heavy-duty acidic cleaners are also not recommended for tough build-up. Follow the above protocol for tough messes.
The Outdoor Appliance Store loves to help you build a beautiful outdoor kitchen. We have a large selection of appliances and grills available. Making sure you have the knowledge to keep your outdoor kitchen looking great is important to us. We hope this blog was a helpful teaching tool. But if you still have more questions, call us toll-free at (844) 305-0125. Our team is available for all your outdoor kitchen needs and questions. Our specialty is outdoor kitchen design and appliances. But our knowledge of maintenance and upkeep is a high priority.
We offer free design help on our website. Our free design services include several amazing perks. You get professional advice, colored 3D renderings, and a custom layout and plan. We are also completely transparent about costs. Our design service also gives you an itemized quote. Your quote details every element of your design.
For all your outdoor kitchen needs, contact us, The Outdoor Appliance Store. We are also available 24/7 via live chat on our website!
7 Tips for Designing Your Outdoor Kitchen
Cooking outside has a certain appeal that can not be beaten. Grilling up a good burger or some hot dogs is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. It’s also a great way to bring people together. So why limit your outdoor cooking experience to a grill in the middle of the patio? You can bring the whole kitchen outside with our design team's help at The Outside Appliance Store. We can help you build a full entertainment area with your new kitchen at the center of it all. We can keep it simple or build it up with the top of the line appliances and outdoor seating. Whatever you imagine, we can bring it to life.
The only limit to designing your outdoor kitchen is the space available. Together, we can create an amazing space to enhance your outdoor cooking experience. We have put together a couple of design tips for you here. Read on below for some quick tips to think about as you start to design your outdoor kitchen. If you get stuck, reach out to us for our free design services.
1 - Brands Matter
Florida is the Sunshine State, but we get a lot of varied weather here. Powerful thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tons of sun wreak havoc on anything outside. This is why it is important to choose sturdy brands. At The Outdoor Appliance Store, we only stock the best quality appliances. But not every model is best suited for your unique situation.
For brand comparison, you can google your heart out. Or, you can make it easy on yourself and ask a member of our team. We want to help you pick the best appliance for your needs. We have a deep knowledge of what our products are capable of.
2 - Keep Size in Mind
You may want a more petite outdoor kitchen to make room for other outdoor activities. In this case, be sure to pick smaller appliances. The larger the appliance, the more room it takes up. This may seem like common sense, but it is really a hot tip. Often, people think more about the quality or appearance of the appliance. Size gets forgotten about or ignored completely until installation day.
That is why we like to remind people to look at the dimensions of their appliances before ordering. We also like to stress the importance of measuring space. Measure it three times if you need to before ordering appliances. Of course, our team will make sure that your design is functional as well as beautiful. And our team believes in the phrase measure twice, cut once. But the more eyes on size, the better.
Also, keep in mind that smaller does not always equal weaker. We have many smaller sized appliances that pack a real punch. Our Alfresco Built-in Counter Top Refrigerator is a great product for saving space in a smaller design. It is perfect for quick access to a few cold drinks while grilling. You can also use it to store pre-cut burger toppings until you are ready to serve!
3 - Don’t Forget About Flooring
Flooring is easy to forget when talking about outdoor kitchens. But it is not something you should overlook! For a full, outdoor kitchen, you will not be leaving the grass as is. You need something below your cook space. Again, durability is important here. You want a flooring that will stand up to the weather as well as grease and gas stains.
Cooking is messy. Grilling can be even messier. You need flooring that can stand up to the weight of the kitchen and the stains of cooking. Common outdoor floor materials are brick, concrete, and natural stone. Concrete and natural stone tend to be better for durability in an outdoor kitchen. All three materials are porous. That means that they allow some liquids to pass through. You may want to seal your outdoor flooring to prevent serious stains. Grease that gets into outdoor pavers usually needs pressure washing for removal.
Also, bear in mind the texture of your floor. Is your kitchen near a pool? If so, avoid slick surfaces that will become slippery when wet.
4 - Choose Your Location Wisely
Outdoor cooking creates smoke. For this reason, it is best to keep your kitchen a little further away from your home. This way, you avoid smoke stains on the outside walls of your home. You also avoid smoke entering your home. If you do not have the room to put some distance between your kitchen and your home, no problem. Just make sure to choose an area that is well ventilated. A strong cross breeze across your outdoor kitchen is ideal. But you can also create the ventilation you need with an outdoor vent hood.
You should also think about the time of day you will use your outdoor kitchen most. For afternoon sun, place your kitchen on the west. For morning sun, place your kitchen on the east. For constant sun all day, look towards the south. Finally, for the least amount of sun exposure, build your kitchen north facing.
5 - Don’t Forget Storage and Counter Space
Just like your indoor kitchen, you will want a place outside to set things down. Storage is also important in any kitchen. Think about the kind of meals you plan to prepare outside. Will you be serving a large crowd? Will you need a buffet area? What kind of storage will you need, and where do you want it? What kinds of things are you storing?
All of these questions are valid. Everyone organizes and uses kitchen space differently. That is why it is important to consider every storage need during the design phase. The Outdoor Appliance Store offers many storage options, including a built-in paper towel holder and roll out trash can center.
6 - Remember Mood and Aesthetic
What we mean by this is remember to design a kitchen you like looking at. You also have to like being in your kitchen. You should feel comfortable and at home in your outdoor kitchen. Find a way to make the outdoors feel like home. An easy way to do this is add some outdoor furniture, lighting, or a patio heater. You want your outdoor kitchen to be a place where you and your guests can relax.
Depending on the size of your outdoor kitchen, you can also add a fire pit. Nothing says relaxation like a fire pit under the stars in your new outdoor kitchen. Not to mention, you can cook up some s’mores without firing up the grill.
7 - Covered or Uncovered?
There are several months throughout the year where Florida rains come without warning. This is a good reason to decide if you want to build a cover over your kitchen. Umbrellas work just fine in a pinch. They are even great for some quick shade. But for all over sun and rain protection, consider building a structure for your kitchen.
Covered patios sometimes need vent hoods, though. Make sure you keep proper ventilation in mind when covering your outdoor kitchen.
Seven tips not enough? Give our experienced team a call at (844) 305-0125 to get answers to all your questions. The Outdoor Appliance Store is here for all your outdoor kitchen needs! We are available by email, live chat, and phone.