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Ground Zero Newbie from the Bay Area- CA. Looking to buy my first small grill- probably propane, unless convinced otherwise.

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    Ground Zero Newbie from the Bay Area- CA. Looking to buy my first small grill- probably propane, unless convinced otherwise.

    Hey Everyone,

    Name is Josh, originally from Maine but I've been out in the Bay Area (CA) for about 10 years now. I feel a bit embarrassed that at 37 I'm looking to purchase my first grill and really start to "give a damn" about grilling and even at that what I am currently looking at is mostly small and or portable but living in apartments out here for around the first 8 years were super inhibitive for a grill. I got married 2 years ago and currently, my wife and I rent a small 500sqft apartment from her parents at a beyond generous price that is on the same property as their home- so we're about a 35-second walk to the front door their house. I have amazing in-laws (Yeah- that includes the mother-in-law haha) and they're taking a hit on our rent because my wife and I are aggressively saving successfully to be able to buy a home one day in the next few years... be it California or Maine. We eat dinner at the parent's house probably 3-4 times a week, my wife's mother loves to cook (bless her) and my father-in-law has a solid charcoal grill and smoker set-up on their side patio so unfortunately, fortunately, the wife and I haven't had a "need" to do a lot of cooking/grilling of our own. The wife and I also just found out we're going to be having a baby, and one of the first things that popped into my head after the excitement was... "Damn! I need to learn how to grill!" I mean, I can't have my kid grow up with a dad that doesn't grill- my Maine roots would be especially disappointed in me!

    I've obviously got access to my father-in-law's larger set-up whenever I need it, but I'd like to get something on the smaller side to put out back of our place to use on the nights it's just the wife and I doing dinner together. Having to do everything on the Stove Top or in the Oven has limited a lot of what we even consider cooking for dinner.

    I'm leaning towards a small propane grill unless people here want to convince me otherwise. I have an opinion (perhaps misplaced) that charcoal takes considerably longer to from start to finish than does propane? I'm looking for a grill that we can cook up chicken on for the week for our lunches, and then a couple of steaks, some salmon, or some burgers here and there for dinner during the week.

    These are what I am currently considering... click on them for reviews here at pitmaster. If I'm way off here please let me know your thoughts and own personal experiences. I am thinking of a budget under 200.00 but am INCREDIBLY FLEXIBLE with the budget if for say 300.00 I can get something FAR superior both in quality and longevity. My 2 biggest personality traits when I go to buy anything is that I spend probably WAY too much time researching it (spent like 18 hours researching crockpots/pressure cookers) but also I like the idea of "Buying for Life" when I'm able and it makes sense. Given my current living arrangement though, I'm not sure if a "Buy it for Life" grill makes sense for me... I have absolutely no idea what a "Buy it for Life" grill even looks like or what it would cost. Anyways... here's what I initially found. The Char-Broil Grill2Go sounds interesting (infrared... no idea yet what this means) and once learned up and ready to commit/invest in a bigger grill having a portable I can't imagine would be a bad thing- that said, the grill does not need to be portable.

    Char-Broil Grill2Go X200

    Weber Go-Anywhere

    Weber Q 1000 or 1200

    Broil-Mate 165154 LP

    Char-Griller Grillin' Pro

    Lastly, if there is a Newbie 101/How to guide or series of links anyone could recommend on grills, grilling, recipes, accessories that would be awesome. I promise I'll dive into them headfirst and not ignore them.



    Last edited by Kangabolic; February 24, 2020, 01:16 PM.

    Welcome to the Pit from a Bay Area escapee now living in the Okanogan Valley of Washington state. I owned a house in Crockett and lived in El Sobrante before heading north. Sorry I can't help much with the grill choices as I use wood or charcoal for grilling. I did, however, recently picked up a Blackstone gas griddle from Walmart at an amazing price. My only regret is I waited for 62 years to get one, I cook on it almost daily now. If I could only have one thing to cook with, this would be it.

    Along with tips, techniques, and recipes about BBQ we have a lot of fun.

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    • smokin fool
      smokin fool commented
      Editing a comment
      Local Walmart had the two burner Blackstone for $98.97, thought that was a great price until a little voice in my head, or the wife beside me said....NO!
      Its still there

    • Geekandproud
      Geekandproud commented
      Editing a comment
      If you are thinking about a griddle, now might be a good time to pull the trigger. I was able to pick up the 28" Blackstone "Pro Series" 3-burner on clearance at Walmart on Friday for $112.

    • ComfortablyNumb
      ComfortablyNumb commented
      Editing a comment
      Geekandproud I'm sure marshall would like to know if you found it anywhere near Indiana. https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...is-this-a-deal

    Welcome from just north of you, another escapee There are a bunch of reviews on the free side on this site along with a gazillion of recipes.
    Plus ask all the questions you want. Someone will have the answer!


    • ofelles
      ofelles commented
      Editing a comment
      ComfortablyNumb SO SO true!!

    • ComfortablyNumb
      ComfortablyNumb commented
      Editing a comment
      I've even been known to hallucinate an answer or two. Once, while blending up some margaritas I visualised whirled peas. I'm still trying to get the UN to understand.

    • ofelles
      ofelles commented
      Editing a comment
      ComfortablyNumb Step away from whatever you're taking please!

    Welcome, I am in a very similar situation but the hassle of trying to fit a grill into the apartment lifestyle is worth it.


      Welcome from another Bay Area resident. Normally I'd recommend Weber, but you are looking at two little dudes. Unless you want to tailgate, I'd avoid them. The other two look pretty good based on the reviews, and I'd choose one of those over the little Webers. If cost is not an issue, then go with a larger Weber with three burners.


      • tbob4
        tbob4 commented
        Editing a comment
        Welcome from Chico, CA. Given the fact you have a good sized yard, I agree with mgaretz’a first suggestion. I would get a 22 inch Weber with an SnS. You have bigger units at dad’s house. I am not against propane at all. Just reading your wishes makes me think the kettle is for you.

      I have the Broil Mate you show in your post, matter of fact I'm on my third, forth maybe fifth one thru Home Depot.
      It suits my needs, sits out in the elements 24/7, some covered some not so lucky, so I usually get 3-5 years out one.
      Its a tough dependable unit though the ignitors don't last thru the first winter but its the burner that usuall spells the units demise. I've transplanted after market burners in some with varying results.
      I've done low and slow right up to fast n furious on these BBQ's.
      There's bigger and more expensive units out there but this one(s) has served me well for over 20 years now and I'd buy one again in a second.
      Last edited by smokin fool; February 24, 2020, 01:26 PM.


        I own a larger version of the Broil-mate (mine's labeled a Huntington and it's been a solid grill for me. Still going strong after about 5 years (I replaced the stock grates with stainless a couple years ago). The heavier aluminum box should make it easier to keep temps consistent on longer cooks.


          Welcome from south Texas. Different issues here, but sounds like you’re already getting some good feedback. Glad you’re here.


            Welcome from Maryland.
            A lot of us have been in your situation sometime in the past. For us, in the early 70’s, we used a small hibachi grill, something like a Lodge Sportsman Grill. Small, inexpensive, and just fun to cook on. Just did a search and here is a link to one seller. https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p...sprtsmnsgrlcac

            Even now we often bypass our other cookers and just use the Lodge when cooking for just the two of us.


              Welcome from Colorado ...


                Greetings from South Africa.
                I can only offer 3rd world knowledge on a suitable cooker and thats not going to help you. But you will get some solid advice / suggestion from the rest of the folk here.


                  Welcome to The Pit Josh. I'm a charcoal guy, so I'm not much help, (which my wife tells me all the time...).


                    Welcome to the pit. If you aren’t just dead set on gas, I would suggest a 22” kettle with a slow n sear. It will be around when the little ones become big ones (congrats on that, by the way). A little slower than firing up a gasser, but excellent results.

                    Similar to ComfortablyNumb ​​​​, I have a camp chef Tahoe stove on the deck. It is incredibly fun to cook on.


                    • ComfortablyNumb
                      ComfortablyNumb commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'd be careful about using 'similar' in conjunction with my name if I were you, you do have your reputation to uphold!

                    I began with gas many years ago, but now use charcoal. The gas grill sits mostly idle other than to keep food warm. With a $15 chimney you can get be ready to grill with charcoal in 20 minutes. The advantages of charcoal is that you can get much higher temperatures and do many more things, from slow cooking to sizzling steaks. I'd recommend a PK grill at about $150 over your budget of a Weber Go-Anywhere for $70.


                      Welcome to the Pit from Dallas! I had a Char-Griller and it was an excellent griller. Since your goal is to learn I think a good plan would be to learn to cook on it and expand your skills into other areas using your father-in-law’s cookers. While the Char-Griller isn’t a lifetime purchase, it give you enough time to learn grilling until you know the kind of cooker you want to invest in more substantially.



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