Selection of Propane Grills

 Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane GrillCamp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane GrillCamco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane GrillCamco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Portable Propane Grill
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Capacity (cooking space)608 square inches180 square inches240 square inches145 square inchesGenerous
BTUs90,00012,00015,0005,50012,000
Vented lidYesNoYesYesYes
Wind protectionYesYesYesYesYes
ConstructionPorcelain, stainless steelStainless steelPorcelain, stainless steelPorcelain, stainless steelStainless steel, porcelain, cast iron
Propane tank sizeVariesVaries14.1oz and 16.4oz16oz14.1oz or 16.4oz
PortabilityYesYesYesYesGood
Easy to cleanYesYesYesYesYes
Cast iron grill grateYesYesNoNoYes
Heat distributionThree burnersYesOne loop burnerOne burnerYes
Ignition systemSelf-ignitingPiezoTwiStartNoTwiStart
Precision temperature gaugeYesNoYesYesYes
Removable side tablesOneNoTwoNoYes
Easy to assembleYesYesYesYesYes
Energy efficientYesYesYesYesYes
 Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane GrillCamp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane GrillCamco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane GrillCamco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-180T Gourmet Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Portable Propane GrillCuisinart CGG-200 All-Foods Portable Propane Grill

Propane Grill Buying Guide

Updated: January 20, 2017

Propane Grill Buying Guide on Amazon

Propane Grill Buying Guide

When the summer’s fast approaching, and the weather is getting really warm outside, it can become tempting to whip out the barbeque and get cooking.

But there might just be one problem: you don’t have a grill that’ll fit your needs.

Propane grills have become so popular because they are really easy to set up. You won’t have to stand around a complicated appliance, with a plethora of parts and absolutely no idea about how to assemble it. Instead, all you need to do is become acquainted with the different mechanisms which have been included in the machine, and fire it up using the simple ignition system provided.

All you need to do is become acquainted with the different mechanisms which have been included in the machine, and fire it up using the simple ignition system provided.

Of course, there are other types of grills available which don’t run off gas. These alternatives might be particularly ideal if you’re a connoisseur who is looking for that mouth-watering smoky flavor that is often found in meat cooked on an open grill. Here’s a rundown of the three other power sources you’ll find on the market:

Charcoal: If you’re pretty well acquainted with grills to begin with, you’ll find the higher temperatures of these grills a breeze. However, it takes time – and coal has become pretty expensive these days.

Electric: Bogged down by fire regulations in your area? Want to grill indoors? This is going to be the best approach for you.

Portable: These models can operate off charcoal, electricity or propane gas, but the main advantage is they can be your guest of honor while tailgating or at a picnic.

Choosing the Right Propane Grill

2-propane-grill-buying-guide-choiceNaturally, you’re going to want to purchase a propane grill which can go the distance. Research conducted by the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association suggests that a sturdy appliance should last you about 36 months with moderate use.

For a grill that extends far beyond this lifespan, you should be hunting for a machine constructed of sturdy materials. Also, if it’s designed for outdoor use, rust resistance should also be high on the specifications you’re looking for. Otherwise, you could find that the metal begins to tarnish once it’s exposed to humid environments.

In propane grills, there’s a very high probability that it’ll be the burner which goes first – and more advanced firms do provide replacements which are easy to install.

Additionally, it’s worthwhile checking whether or not the manufacturer of your propane grill offers replacement parts for their appliances. All too often in our society, we waste so much money throwing away perfectly good machines just because one significant component has decided to go on the blink.

In propane grills, there’s a very high probability that it’ll be the burner which goes first – and more advanced firms do provide replacements which are easy to install. That way, you can best three years.

Your propane grill should come with a lid which can be placed over your food as it cooks. There are several advantages to this.

First up, you’re able to save energy, meaning you need to replace the propane canister less frequently. It also prevents strong winds from interfering with the flame – an all too common gripe when you’re cooking outdoors. And, last but not least, it helps to ensure that heat circulates throughout the grill – guaranteeing that meats which carry food poisoning bacteria, such as turkey and chicken, are heated throughout and evenly cooked.

A final thought should be paid to the propane grill’s stability overall. It needs to be able to stand upright on flat surfaces sturdily. If it’s prone to being knocked over easily, it could be a fire hazard.

Propane Grill Buying Specifications

What is the appliance’s cooking capacity?

3-propane-grill-buying-guide-cooking-capacityThis should be the first consideration you make above all others. If you don’t, it’s possible you may end up paying through the nose for an appliance of gargantuan proportions, even though you’ve only been looking to grill a romantic meal for you and your significant other. Conversely, a lack of homework could mean you struggle to feed 15 people on one measly burner at your next picnic.

You’ll normally be presented with the surface area of the grill by manufacturers – but do remember that this often includes extras such as the warming rack, which don’t have the power to prepare meaty foods such as steak and burgers.

Typically, your brand-new propane grill is going to be equipped with two burners, but some products push the boat out further and offer three instead.

Also, consider what you’re going to be cooking during your events. If you’re well known for your fish – or seared vegetables – it’s probable that they’ll take up less room than you think on the grill, meaning you can size your expectations down.

However, when it comes to those larger cuts of beef – or a mouth-watering rack of ribs – you’ll need as much room as humanly possible.

Typically, your brand-new propane grill is going to be equipped with two burners, but some products push the boat out further and offer three instead.

When it comes to the cast iron grate, you should see whether or not it flips over, providing a customized surface to reflect what’s on the menu. For example, a flatter side might give your chops and steaks that all important grill line for authenticity, while another is better suited to delicate foodstuffs such as seafood.

Despite what we said about warming plates earlier, they do come in handy – and shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. The same applies for side tables.

How many BTUs are on offer?

4-propane-grill-buying-guide-btusBTUs – shorthand for British Thermal Units (even though, oddly, they aren’t really used in the UK anymore) – are the measurement for grill power which has been widely adopted by many manufacturers here in the US.

One BTU is the amount of power that’s needed to warm up 1lb of liquid by one degree Fahrenheit. As such, you can easily see that appliances with more BTUs to offer will have greater levels of power, at least in theory.

BTUs also need to be combined with burners which are of a decent size, and well distributed across the whole propane grill.

Some experts warn that a high BTU rate – which will usually reach the tens of thousands with a good propane grill – doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get a higher-quality result when cooking.

Equally, you should take the same amount of caution when you’re heating up pre-cooked food, and use a temperature probe at all times. Although it may be ready slightly faster, it won’t by any means slash your cooking times in half – so do bear this in mind.

BTUs also need to be combined with burners which are of a decent size, and well distributed across the whole propane grill.

If you have a tiny hob, it’s likely there will be a disproportionate distribution of heat in the appliance, and some areas of the grill will be colder than others. As such, you should check a manufacturer’s description to guarantee that heat circulates well around the whole appliance.

One thing that many people don’t understand about this measurement is that a small propane grill with a modest BTU will prepare food at the same pace as a massive grill with an astronomically high BTU. That’s because there’s a sizeable surface area which needs to be covered during the cooking process.

Does it have a precision temperature gauge?

5-propane-grill-buying-guide-temperature-gaugeMany companies know what they’re talking about when it comes to preparing mouth-watering cuts of meat with the precision they deserve. That’s why they ensure that their propane grills come with delicate temperature gauges which allow you, as the nominated Head Chef, to fine tune the burners until they are at an optimal heat.

This is especially important with steaks, as otherwise, you could find the meat dries out prematurely – and it won’t be anywhere near as enjoyable to eat.

Some propane grills offer a digital display which actually shows you what the temperature is inside the grill at any given time, once the lid is down.

Some propane grills offer a digital display which actually shows you what the temperature is inside the grill at any given time, once the lid is down.

You should also make sure that this lid is made out of a resilient material – such as heavy-duty porcelain – which ensures that the heat is contained inside the grill. Not only does this save energy, but it also makes it far less of a safety hazard.

Although it is true that you can get far higher temperatures by buying a charcoal grill, it’s important to remember that such appliances have considerable drawbacks. You need up to an hour in order to prepare a charcoal grill before use, and when it comes to cleaning, you’ll have a real headache on your hands. This is a stark contrast to propane grills – and we’ll come on to how they are maintained in a little while.

Now, you’ll be reassured to know that advanced propane grills can still reach temperatures in excess of 500 degrees Fahrenheit – not far off the 600 degrees Fahrenheit seen in their charcoal counterparts. The one thing you need to remember is that hitting the highest temperatures will use an intensive amount of propane gas.

Is it a portable propane grill?

6-propane-grill-buying-guide-portableAnother crucial consideration you’re going to have to make – especially if it’s your turn to take your shiny new appliance along for a picnic in the park, or for a tailgating session after you’ve been to a festival or the big game.

Always check the manufacturer’s description to see whether or not the machine has been designed for portable use, and you’ll also be able to tell by the features which are integrated into the propane grill for your convenience.

The hallmarks of a propane grill which has been tailored for portability include a sturdy carrying handle.

For starters, it’s going to be nice and lightweight. Although it might not have the surface area of a machine which is intended to stay in one place, you’ll certainly have ample room to whip up some fantastic meals for your friends and family.

The hallmarks of a propane grill which has been tailored for portability include a sturdy carrying handle, which allows you to fold up the appliance and pick it with just one hand when it’s time to head home. In addition, you should find that there are legs made out of a resilient material – such as aluminum – which fold out to create a makeshift stand for your propane grill.

A portable model is also recommended if you have quite a modest garden, and you don’t want the appliance to take up all of the precious space you have on the patio.

Oftentimes, companies ditch some of the gimmicky features – such as grilling areas that you would sporadically use because of their impractical size – so ensure they are as economical and unimposing as possible.

You might also want to purchase a carrying bag for all of the accessories you might be using – such as spatulas and cutlery – to keep everything organized.

Will the grill be easy to clean?

7-propane-grill-buying-guide-easy-to-cleanOut of all of the grills which are available to buy in the marketplace, an appliance which runs off propane is certainly the easiest to clean and maintain in general.

It’s just important to make sure that you keep your safety in mind first, by disconnecting and turning off the gas supply prior to taking off your cooking grates. You should be rinsing the tubes with lukewarm soapy water before drying them off.

Grease can be one of the main challenges you’ll encounter when you’re grilling food.

In addition, you need to ensure you don’t cause any unwanted corrosion during the cleaning process – and that’s why you might need some tin foil in order to shield the valves which are used for distributing gas.

Grease can be one of the main challenges you’ll encounter when you’re grilling food. As such, you should burn it off and use stiff grill brushes to eliminate the buildup of any other fat or stains which can prove stubborn to remove if left for a prolonged period of time.

Next up, you’ll want to take good care of your propane grill when you’re stowing it away until the weather improves in a few months’ time. This is when your deepest clean should be taking place, and although it may seem cumbersome now, you’ll thank yourself when the grill emerges – as good as new – next summer.

In summary, there are five key specifications to look out for. How much food the propane grill can cook at any one time, the British Thermal Units which are being provided to each burner and the appliance as a whole, and whether or not the temperature can be sensitively adjusted at the touch of a button or the switch of a dial.

This, coupled with a portable model that cleans up nicely, means that you should be onto a winner – and the envy of your friends at that next picnic.

Camp Chef Big Gas Portable Camping Propane Grill

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Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Propane Grill

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Cuisinart CGG-220 Everyday Portable Propane Grill

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Pro: Briefcase-type handle
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Pro: Heat resistant handle
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