My experience with bbq grills goes way back to the early 70's. I remember watching my Grandpa cook burgers on his backyard grill. There was something magical about the way the smoke would rise up out of it and fill the air with all that goodness. I was too short to see the food inside, but I could hear the sizzle and smell the flavor. I associated having a bbq with good times with cousins and other family members, good food, and long summer days. It's likely that you also have similar memories and associations.
When considering the many bbq grills on the market, it is important to recognize as soon as possible that you definitely get what you pay for. If you opt for the "el cheapo" unit you should expect to get minimal longevity out of it, maybe a couple of years at best. If you spend a little bit more you can probably get up to a few more years and a few more features. However, it's only when you really put out the big bucks that you are going to get a grill that will last for a long time. Since moisture and heat work their corrosive magic on metal, the higher quality metals used in the more expensive grills are the only ones that can really stand up over the long haul.
A few weeks ago our 12 year old son went fishing with some other family members and came home with about fifty little blue back salmon. The daily limit on the lake they went to is one hundred fish so I guess you could say he had a pretty poor day of fishing! Don't you feel bad for him? Yeah, me neither. These fish are small, but really good. I wasn't sure what we were going to do with them, but he decided that we should cook them on the grill. He laid out some aluminum foil and got the propane fired up. He laid out the fish and before long they were cooking away and ready to serve. It only took about 10 minutes and we were enjoying a nice meal. So now I can attest that bbq grills are good for more than just burgers.
Speaking of other foods that you can cook on BBQ grills, I discovered a few years ago that another great thing to cook on them is shish kabobs. They are fun to make and incredibly easy. The first time we did them we just skewered chunks of chicken with pieces of onion, bell peppers, and pineapple. We basted them with teriyaki sauce as they cooked. We discovered that if you cut the veggies too small, they will overcook before the chicken is finished cooking. The next time we did these, we just kept things chunkier and it came out great.
Obviously, many bbq grills come with features like side tables, storage shelves, and side burners. These things just make the grill more versatile, but also add to the cost. I find that a basic, quality, name brand grill does the job, and that many of the bells and whistles go unused, and ultimately prove to be unnecessary. But that's just me. I'm sure that many others find all the extras really helpful and nice to have. Just find what you want and start cooking. And most importantly, have fun!
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