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By John RihaMore in Outdoors
The thrill of that do-everything grill
In the springtime, walk into any Lowes or Home Depot and you’ll likely be greeted by a phalanx of gleaming grilling units. The front-and-center position of these do-it-all outdoor appliances are one indication how important the world of the outdoor kitchen has become in American culture, and how outdoor cooking continues to evolve.
Only a few years ago a top-of-the-line, 30-inch-wide gas grill featured a couple of 12,000 BTU burners and side extension shelves for holding condiments. Prices ranged to $2,000.
These days, consumers demand flexibility and quality construction. Options and add-on features abound, and today’s gas-powered flamethrowers may sport as many as 12 stainless-steel, 42,000 BTU burners with variable temperature control, side burners for boiling water and heating sauces, electronic ignition, a warming rack, and a built-in infrared searing grill made especially for giving steaks that restaurant-style touch of exterior char, all for under $1,600.
Throw in a rotisserie, multiple fuel capability (gas, charcoal, infrared and wood), a 48-inch-wide cabinet with under-counter storage, 12-gauge stainless steel construction, and a little brand-name caché, and you’ll pay more than $5,000. Nevertheless, today’s market has something for everyone, and it’s possible to find quality products across a spectrum of prices. Weber, for example, has grills that range from $29 to just over $3,000.
Style is important to consumers, too. For the first time, Weber’s Grill Watch Survey reports that most current grill owners will select a colored finish for their next grill. All-black grills have moved into second place, and a stainless finish has slipped to third.