Whether you’re a year-round griller or more of a seasonal barbecuer, now is a good time to take a look at your grill and decide if it needs replacing ... but do you know what to look for?
If your grill is still under warranty, fixing something, like a broken igniter, is a no-brainer. If it’s not, here’s Consumer Report’s advice:
“Get a cost for the parts that need replacing. Add it up and if it’s more than about half the cost of a new grill, it might be worth considering splurging,” Paul Hope with CR said.
Here are the five things CR says to look out for – number one, a firebox that’s cracked or rusted through.
“Not only is it not gonna cook well, but it’s also unsafe,” Hope said.
CR said there really is no fix for a damaged firebox. You’ll need to replace your grill.
Number two: if a burner is pumping out uneven or yellow flames — that means there’s a clog and your grill isn’t getting as hot as it could.
CR said to clean the holes in the burner tubes with a toothpick.
If the flames go back to blue, it’s fixed. If not, you can try new burners.
Number three: grates that are flaking or cracked.
“Flaking grates need to be replaced because it can actually break off and get into your food,” Hope said.
Number four, cracked hoses and connectors.
“If you’ve got a leaking or cracked hose, replace it immediately. The last thing you want is a gas leak near an open flame,” Hope said.
Finally, an iffy ignitor.
“An igniter is a part you want to replace immediately when it starts to falter because gas can build up inside the grill,” Hope said.
If you decide your grill needs replacing, CRhas tested more than 500 models.
A few standouts for price and performance: a model from even Embers and the Cuisinart 5 Burners Dual Fuel available at Walmart.
Consumer Reports said when cleaning your grill — don’t use a wire grill brush because the small sharp bristles can break off, stick to the grates and then to your food, and accidentally be swallowed.