I am continuing with my backyard patio renovations and when I am done or nearly done I am going to get a new full size grill. Even though the purchase is still a ways away, I am starting research now.
I currently have a small stainless steel Outdoor Gourmet table top gas grill. It's handy and convenient since I live by myself and it cooks fast.
The new grill will need to be sufficient for about eight people.
I am thinking about the Primo Oval XL. I like the idea of it being basically insulated and using natural hard wood lump charcoal. It's a slightly out of my price range even though I really can afford it. What bothers me about it is every little thing for it such as a table or cart or other accessories are so expensive that the whole package costs way too much.
That brings me to looking for a good gas option that does not get into the stupid expensive category but still is high quality and good flare up control. Something with a side burner, rotisserie, and a searing station would be good. Looking around, I think the Weber genesis E-330 might be the way to go. The downside is that it is a gas grill, so it's more of an outdoor oven compared to good smoked/charcoal taste. Do those add on little smoker box things help? Is there a better gas grill at this price point or less?
What about other options? What about the masterbuilt 40" electric stainless Steele smoker? I have zero experience with smokers, especially this type. I have high blood pressure, so salt water brine is out of the question, and I read that it is more or less a requirement for this type of cooking. Is that true? What kind of cook times would I be looking at for chicken leg quarters for example? I like the apparent ease, and set it and forget aspect if that is the case. I also like no flaring up fire out of control. I am thinking this might get me the smokey old fashioned barbecue taste I crave, but I am concerned about it not searing/browning like when placed on a hot grill. I want to avoid the baked taste. I also have gotten sick in the past from barbecue pits using normal charcoal like royal oak or kingsford imparting a creasote taste on food and the pit did not have a good smoke stack for ventilation.
Any advice or other things I should consider are welcome.
For the price of that Primo, you could probably get a Weber 22.5" kettle (I have a performer, which is basically the kettle set into a cart + propane ignition to get the coals lit off...I love it), a Weber gas grill and a Weber Smoky Mountain smoker. If you don't mind used, you can find great grills that often don't need anything other than a good cleaning on Craigslist for next to nothing. The nice thing about the Weber stuff is the plethora of interesting and useful accessories made to fit them, not only by Weber, but by a ton of aftermarket companies...plus the parts support is great.
Anyway, if I were going to get a ceramic grill, I'd probably go with a Big Green Egg - in my mind, they're like the Weber of ceramic grills - well made, good parts support and lots of aftermarket accessories if the BGE stuff seems overly pricey.
'06 Rubicon Unlimited Sienna Jeep Club: Member #15
I use a Weber charcoal grill and love it for the $100 price tag. My brother has a Weber gas grill that I use and like very much. You can get a great smoke flavor out of the little smoke boxes but I just use some wood chips wrapped in foil with some holes poked in it. You don't need to brine to have good smoked meat but it does make a good turkey... Buy quality and you will not regret it.
I am continuing my research and find myself leaning toward the Broil King Keg. It has undergone several name changes, with minor improvements each time. It originally was the Bubba Keg then it was the Big Steel Keg. Now that Broil King owns the company, it's now Broil King Keg. It's thick steel, insulation, then more steel.
There are several advantages I found. Number one is, big green egg and primo as well as others, all report some instances of the ceramic cracking. Most do not, but there are a fair number that do. By cracking, I mean cracking from heat, temperature changes, stuff like that. Additionally, the ceramics will break/crack if they are dropped or knocked over. Both primo and big green have a recommended gasket break in procedure which kind of sucks. Besides the break in procedure, they all require gasket replacement, the only variance is how long between gasket changes. The way the gasket attaches is not very good in my opinion, especially for such a high dollar grill. Another thing is the high cost of the initial purchase, plus every single accessory costs way too much, and there are things you really must buy such as some type of table, pedestal, or what have you, the cheapest of these still being a few hundred dollars. They do not include these necessary items in order for the price not to be as high, but yet you still need these things in order to use it. It's a racket.
Advantages of the steel keg include a better gasket and the use of steel instead of ceramic. Insulation is on par or possibly better than the ceramics. The top and bottom vents seem better designed, especially the top. The keg includes a cart with large wheels as part of the purchase price which is less than a comparable size big green egg or primo sells for bare bones. My favorite feature is there is a trailer hitch attachment for it that sells for $49. Big Green Egg finally came out with a trailer hitch for their large and medium size, but that thing sells for over one thousand dollars. Again, it demonstrates how much of a racket the accessories for those are.
I found it online many places, but I would like to see it in person before making the purchase.
Anyway, I just wanted to put that information out there for others that are considering the purchase. I will post my findings when I get a chance to see one in person.