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How long does a person expect a grill to last?

Discussion in 'Grilling Tips' started by wade b, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. I have been researching for a new grill.  I know Weber is a great brand but I just cannot justify the cost.  I keep hearing how Char Broil, Brinkman, etc. and other cheaper brands are trash.  But I am looking to replace a Char Broil that we've been using without issue for the last 9 years.  I have replaced the burners and heat plate.  If that's trash, how long are these Webers lasting?  What is the life expectancy?  

    It is time for a new heat plate again and I was thinking of updating my home unit and sending this one (with new heat plate) up to the cabin where we currently only have a charcoal grill.  

    Here is the new Char Broil I am looking at.  http://www.lowes.com/pd_503219-8221...ales_dollar|1&page=1&facetInfo=Yes|Char-Broil
  2. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    I have a Uniflame brand from Wally Word..apparently marketed by the Blue Rhino propane folks.. which still works good after 15 years sitting out in the elements uncovered. I am going to try to find another when the time comes. it was around 150 bucks. Best of fortunes.
  3. My grills last about three to four years then I go get one from WalMart with our employee discount for the least I can.  I mean heck I use it to death and for finishing what comes out of the smoker. 

    At some point I plan on a built in grill and outdoor kitchen, but for now I just rely on cheap.

  4. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    FWIW, at one point in history, both RCA and Sylvania were high quality TV brands.    Today, they both pretty much suck.

    I wouldn't say that all Char Broil grills are trash now, but many of their offerings are no where near as good as they were 10 years ago.    Same thing with Brinkmann.   I have two Brinkmann Pro Series 2700 6 burner grills and they are both beasts.   Yet I picked up a Brinkmann 5 burner for my brother four years ago and it ended up being a cheap grill and had to be replaced after 2 years.

    My two Brinkmann's are close to 15 years old and I have replaced the 6 cast iron burners in each of them one time.   My Weber Genesis Silver C is 1 year younger, and I've replaced the stock cooking grids with cast iron grates and replaced the Flavorizer bars one time.  I've picked up a couple of Weber Genesis Silver B's and a couple of Silver A's on Craigslist, each were about 10 years old and needed new Flavorizers and cooking grids.

    Then again, Weber's don't have the same quality today that they had 10 years ago.

    If I was shopping for a new grill, the brand name wouldn't persuade me one way or the other.  Rather, I'd check the grill out personally and try to determine it's build quality.   If it feels like a cheap and flimsy grill, odds are, that's exactly what it is. 
  5. davidhef88

    davidhef88 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I usually grab one for around $100 get a few years out of it and do it all over again.
  6. Just for knowledge let's keep the conversation going.  

    However I should note that I just paid $9.99 for a new heat plate.  The burners looked fine and may need to be replaced next spring.  Chances are we'll keep it another year.  It did and awesome job cooking the chops and veggies tonight. 
  7. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    Hey I will vote along with the other smart folks .Get a big old good cheap one and when it pukes go get another.  Its just like cars. Some of us do not play well with injuneers who take care of their stuff when they aint busy being a pain the ass.

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
    big t bbq likes this.
  8. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Every time I see a thread like this I check Craigslist.  Man I wish I didn't do that.  Practically unused 22.5" WSM for $300, which means you could get it for less.  In my own neighborhood!

    Lots of other great deals too on Weber One Touches.  My 26 year-old 18.5" Weber has finally bit the dust; rust thru on the areas where it fell over and the ceramic coating broke off.

    "Must stay away from Craigslist."

    Forgot to put the gasser information on the post I got so distracted by Craigslist.  I have a Kenmore Ceramic coated 5 burner gasser (3 grill burners plus side burner + rotisserie burner) my wife bought me quite a while ago.  Kenmore is made by Weber, Char Broil, or another contracted manufacturer.  It has been left uncovered in the NorCal weather for years.  No rust.  Works like a charm.   Never really cared for the rotisserie burner though because it limits you to one roast or chicken and I usually do two or three.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  9. miamirick

    miamirick Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I believe that if you take care of it then it will last as long as you want it too

    Trouble with our society today is we don't care for things like our previous generations did. We just throw things out and go get a new one

    I got a charmglow chefs choice cc-1 side by side grill which looks like new, they don't make anymore, maybe 20 yrs old

    New Braunfels smoker I got from craigslist for a few bucks fixed it up and it looks like new

    I live on salt water so you know how that corrodes

    Get the parts online so they are cheap.
  10. davidhef88

    davidhef88 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Rick, I keep my gas grills clean and covered. They don't make them like my 20 year old webber. I get 3-4 years out of them and the burners are shot. I just did some research and it will cost more to replace the parts on the one I have now than I paid for it 4 years ago.
  11. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have gone through two charbroils in six years and in general are not happy with the quality of them. They were covered, cleaned regularly, yet they still rusted inside and out. They are flimsy, don't cook evenly, and don't retain heat well, take forever to get real hot. Caved in and spent almost double the amount of a charbroil on a weber genesis and I don't think I can ever go back. Sturdier, even heat across the whole grill, better system for draining grease from the grill, cooks much hotter which is great for steaks...overall, it's just a great product. My opinion is do what works for you but if you think long term, the weber seems like a better investment.
  12. bigbirdk

    bigbirdk Fire Starter

    We bought a Weber Silver Genesis roughly 12 years ago. I keep it covered and the first 5 of those years were in New Hampshire. In that time I have replaced the diffusers 3 or 4 times (i should probably just break down and buy the stainless ones), and 2 Weber covers. Its a pretty basic model, no side burner or anything like that, but it still looks and works great and is rust free. The thing with Weber, is they have great parts availability. Something to think about. If you see a deal on a used one, I would check it out.
  13. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    When it comes time to replace the flavorizer (diffuser) bars again, there is a guy on Ebay who sells custom ones made  of 304 stainless steel, same as Weber, but higher gauge (16) .   They are better and more durable than the ones from Weber.  They are less expensive as well.    I've gotten them for all my Webers (including my Craigslist rescues) and couldn't be happier.  If you want, I can PM you a link to the seller.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  14. bigbirdk

    bigbirdk Fire Starter

    Please do, Sir! Very appreciated!
  15. bigbirdk

    bigbirdk Fire Starter

    Just for kicks, I got on the local Craigslist last night and searched for Webers. Saw several in all price ranges, but not one was even half of what it would go for new!
    Most needed nothing or just some basic easily available parts to get them up and running.
    Lets face it, a grill really is not too complicated if you can turn a wrench!

    IF mine ever dies (Big IF at the rate it's lasting!), I will be hitting up Craigslist.

    Edit: found my same grill on MN. Craigslist for $75!:
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
    notquitevegan likes this.
  16. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  17. I'd be interested in the PM as well.  Love my Weber, 13 years and still cooks like new.
  18. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    PM sent.
  19. bkbuilds

    bkbuilds Fire Starter

    I have always had cheap grills growing up. After a year they would get all wobally and need to be tightened up and would start to show signs of rusting. Year two they would be all wobbally again and the rust would be killing the machine, year 3 it would need replaced. After I got married I bought a Weber Genesis natural gas grill. The difference has been night and day. This will be my 5th year with the unit and I haven't had to do a thing to it. The grates are still perfect, the body is perfect. Nothing needs tightened, and I've never ever run out of gas in the middle of a grilling. I will admit that the diffusers are starting to show some rust and will need replaced this year. But had I bought a el'cheap o I would have already had to replace it at least once. So at $100-$200 a pop I would be in say $300 on cheap grills so far, in another couple years my TCO (Total cost of ownership) on the Weber will be lower then cheap grills.

    A few weeks ago a friend talked my wife an I into buying the same smoker they had because it was cheap and "works great, we smoke everything in it". Brinkman 2 door ECB. So far I've spent $100 on the smoker itself, $20 to replace the coal tray, $25 on a new water pan, $20 on oven gasket, $20 on adhesive. I'm already $185 into this thing and its still a POS. Our friend came over with his family and brought his ECB and he was going to teach me how to use it. Even though we bought the same model you could see how Brinkman and gone even cheaper on the construction since he bought his. His door latches were better and his coal tray with larger but still had nowhere for the ash to fall out of the tray. At the end of the day, I was still left extremely frustrated with this smoker, either today or tomorrow I will be going to buy a WSM 18.5. The ECB's next assignment might be holding targets for target practice. I don't even think I want it for my camper.
  20. oddball

    oddball Smoke Blower

    My current grill is a Brinkman.  It's a solid, two chamber charcoal model.  I've had to replace both grills once.  I've had it for 10 years now, possibly 12.  I'm getting a replacement this year as the ash tray is finally rusted through.  It likely would have lasted much longer, but the squirrels liked to eat through the cover so I stopped covering it.  It was purchased from Sam's Club. 

    >> http://www.brinkmann.net/products/details.aspx?item=810-3245-0