America’s Test Kitchen Rates Gas Grills Under $500

Hey Y’all! Grill Girl Here!

While I have my own favorite brand of gas grill (Modern Home Products or MHP), I know there are many out there to choose from! MHP also doesn’t currently have an option for a gas grill under $500.

America’s Test Kitchen is a company I love and trust for any recipe they provide because they thoroughly test recipes with different variations and cooking methods. When they came out with a video review of different gas grills under the $500 mark, I knew it would be worth watching.

I love the different ways they test the grills. Take note of the things they look at. Even if you don’t end up buying their recommendation, the way they test these grills and the points they make are really great! You should look at the heat dispersal, venting and general sturdiness of the grill. The BTU rating of a grill does not matter if all the heat will just go out too many vents!

What matters is a well made grill with a thick casting that can keep in heat and will cook your food evenly. Check out the video for even more details!

Hope this helps those of you looking for a new bbq this season!

-Grill Girl

Nexgrill Grillmaster Before & After

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Grill Girl Here! Today we have a special post inspired by one of our customers! He purchased a Grill Master  grill made by Nexgrill off a craigslist ad for just $30! It needed almost all new parts and so he came to us. He purchased brand new burners, heat plates, and cooking grids and is cooking with an essentially new system! That is an awesome way to save some money and get a great grill on your back porch – not to mention the fact he kept this grill out of a land fill.

Burners, heat plates, cooking grids   Used Grill Master Burners Heat Plates Cooking Grids Nexgrill

In the pictures above you can see the old parts. There are rusted burners, heat plates and the old cooking grids. One of the burners had a big hole in it, so our customer decided to replace all three at the same time. You can also see that the heat plates were very rusty and the holes were starting to get bigger. These heat plates probably weren’t protecting the burners very well. Whenever one of our customers buys a used grill, I always suggest getting a brand new cooking grid. Who wants to cook on top of someone else’s old food? Yuck.

Grillmaster by Nexgrill Tube Burner BMGKTB1  Grillmaster by Nexgrill Heat plate GMNGHP1

Here are the new burners and heat plates. Don’t they look so great? Both of these parts are stainless steel and when they heat up for the first time, they will get some discoloration from the heat. Still, the both parts are an exact fit, plus the heat plates are fully stainless instead of the original porcelain coated steel plates that were in the grill. This is an example of how you really can upgrade your grill by purchasing new parts from us!

Grillmaster by Nexgrill new parts fixed

Here is the final shot of the grill before it was used for the first time. Lookin’ Good!

Congratulations on your rebuilt grill! We love helping customers do projects like this. Thanks for sending us the pics!

-GrillGirl

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Hot Names in the Grill World

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Hey Y’all!

Grill Girl here! The sun is starting to melt that snow all across the country and I’m back, ready to fill you in on what you need to know as you start grilling in 2017!

Throughout the winter, I spend a lot of time researching the most popular grill models from the previous year.  This helps me make sure our website is up to date and ready when you come looking for parts and accessories. Here are some of the most popular names that you may have heard of, or even have on your back deck!

BACKYARD GRILLOutdoor Backyard Grill with Stainless Steel Head and Black Cabinet Doors. Grill has 5 Main Control Knobs and 1 Side Burner Knob.

These grills are sold at Walmart and Walmart online. With the majority of these grills falling between $100 and $200, they have been very popular since about 2013. The model number system begins with the letters BY, followed by a 2 digit number that seems to correspond with the year the grill was sold. Those first four digits are followed by 8 more numbers that are unique to each grill. For example, BY13-101-001-12 was a popular model from 2013. Some of the popular more recent models include BY14-101-001-01 and  BY16-
101-002-05. The grills have 3-5 burners and a large cooking area, but at such a low price point, the quality of parts and material is low. The good news is that there are already replacement parts available for these grills and the knowledge base is growing. You might need to start replacing parts in the first one to two years, but you should be able to find the parts you need to keep your Backyard Grill on your deck or patio!

MEMBER’S MARK GRILL

Stainless Steel Member's Mark Stand Alone Grill with 8 Knobs, 2 Side Burners and Cabinet Doors.This is the store brand sold at Sam’s Clubs. Grills with the Member’s Mark name have been popular for the past decade and many have lasted for that long! The best-made Member’s Mark grills were made in the early 2000s with cast iron burners. Those older grills had model number that looked like this: Y0101XC. However, grills being sold in the most recent years have long stainless steel tube burners. This is a pretty common grill style in the past few years, and while they don’t usually last as long as cast burners, they are pretty easy to replace. More current models are made by a different manufacturer and some have models that mix letters and numbers like this: M3206A or a series of all numbers like this: 720-0586. With a price point between $300-$500, you can expect a Member’s Mark to be made to a higher quality in both parts and material. These grills should give you at least 2-3 years before you need to start replacing parts. Even so, we carry burners, heat plates and cooking grids for a large variety of Member’s Mark grills and even have some grease trays available for older models.

MASTER FORGE GRILL

Master Forge BG179A Gas Grill Main Piece of Modular Outdoor System. Stainless Steel Grill with Six Knobs and a Side Table.Master Forge is the branded name for grills and other appliances sold through Lowe’s. It makes it difficult to find support because Lowe’s has different manufacturers for different kinds of machines. That being said, Lowe’s has had a huge variety of manufacturers make these grills with the name Master Forge and likewise, a pretty big discrepancy in quality. You’ll see models of all types from Master Forge. Some of the most popular have been 2518-3, MFA350,  or SH3118B. Another of their most popular and long-standing models is the built-in modular grill BG179A. Master Forge grills seem to be pretty well built, however, when you look at a modular set up like the BG179A, the cost is between $1000 and $1200, it’s good to keep in mind that you can buy a lot of other brands in that price range that have a better history of customer support and quality. Of course, after you spend the time and money of installing a built in grill, you want to keep it running. We are working very hard to have the parts you need to keep these grills working year after year!

CHARBROIL GRILL

Charbroil Gas Grill Front PanelCharbroil has been making grills for decades. You can expect a mid-line price point and a mid-line quality from a Charbroil grill. They make a much larger range of grills to cover basically any price point you can afford. Charbroil’s less expensive grills don’t seem to sacrifice quality as easily as other brands. Instead, you’ll find the cheapest Charbroil grills have only two heat zones with smaller cooking area. The more expensive grills will provide increasingly more burners and space. Every year Charbroil comes out with a wide variety of grills spread across dozens of new models. Charbroil is always looking to provide the next innovation in grilling as well. They add flashy ideas and branding to make their grills seem like they have an edge over “regular” grills. My suggestion here is simply to do your homework. Grilling is grilling. It doesn’t need bells and whistles or flashy marketing gimmicks. To give you an example of this; their newest electric smoker corresponds with an app for your phone! In my grill girl opinion, that seems to take the fun out of it. 🙂

What do you think? Do you have any of these grills on your deck? Maybe you love the idea of using a smoker with a phone app. Feel free to leave comments or questions below!

Happy Grilling!
-GrillGirl

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Buying Parts for and Repairing Your 15+ Year Old Gas Grill

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Every now and then we find a real gem – something that lasts and lasts. For some of us, this gem is our beloved gas grill. One of the main problems of grill owners who have had their grills for 15-20 years (or more!) is that it becomes increasingly difficult to find parts that keep your grill running.

Grill Girl to the rescue with a few tips about what to look for when the parts available don’t look exactly like the original parts.

The grill featured in this video is a Barbecues Galore grill, but the same principles hold true for any brand of older grill like Charbroil, Charmglow, Chef’s Choice, Weber, etc.

Fit

The part needs to fit in your grill. For burners, the part should not be closer than 1.5 inches to the casting or side of your grill. There should be a nice space between the burner and the grill body for safety. For heat plate, briquette grates, and cooking grids, the part needs to be held up in the grill. Usually there are tabs or a ledge in the front and back of the grill that hold up these components. If it fits, it will work. For ignition, knobs, and regulator hoses, you can probably use a universal replacement. And for valves and manifolds, call an expert but be prepared to replace your grill.

Purpose

The part you buy needs to serve the same purpose as the original part, even if it doesn’t look exactly the same. The burner needs to be able to hook up to the gas valve or venturi and give you about the same amount of heat the original part gave. The heat dispersal (heat plates, angles, grates, briquettes, etc) are in the grill to evenly disperse the heat and protect the burner. The cooking grid is what holds your food so any replacement needs to be able to do that!

If you have any questions at all, you can always call the experts at GrillPartsSearch.com. We are happy to help you keep your OLD grill in your backyard and out of a landfill! 877-244-0737

Happy Grilling!

-GG

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How to Troubleshoot and Fix a Gas Grill

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Hey Y’all! I just finished up a brand new how-to video for your Labor Day weekend!

Grill Girl Fix It

The way I go about troubleshooting a gas grill is by taking out the major components one by one. This includes the gas grill tank, gas grill regulator, cooking grids, heat plates (or briquette grate and briquettes), and then inspecting the grill burners.

If your grill isn’t working, it might be as simple a fix as replacing the gas regulator.  That’s usually what I check first because it’s the easiest and one of the less expensive things to fix. If you need a new regulator to cook this weekend, you can find an inexpensive one at your local hardware store. If you have just a few days to wait, though, we take pride in the quality of regulators that we sell!

Here’s the video of the steps I took!

Leave any questions in the comments section!

Happy Labor Day!

-Grill Girl

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The Real Cost of Buying the Cheapest Amazon Offers

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I love Amazon as much as the next guy, uh… girl?  I don’t know if I’ve yet found anything more magical to a frazzled mom than the same day delivery offered for free to Prime customers. However, even as I type those words, and know them to be true, I flinch, sitting here at my desk working for an online company who sells products on Amazon and also competes online through our own website with Amazon.

I believe in the free market and the market laws that promote companies providing what customers want and need. However, I also believe in those same customers having all the information. It is not as cheery as it seems. Behind the promise of getting your new purchases to you in 1-2 days and at a cheaper price than anywhere else, there is a frenzy of small to mid size companies trying desperately to be seen where their customers are looking (on Amazon) while also protecting themselves from copycat companies looking (on Amazon) for the next easiest buck.

Food For Thought :: Tips for Shopping the Amazon Marketplace

  1. In my experience, it is much easier to become a seller on Amazon than you would imagine. I was able to set up a new account with a valid email address. What to do? Before you buy from an Amazon seller, try to get in contact with them or search for their company using Google. I know our company would respond within a business day and you could easily find us outside Amazon.
  2. In our experience as an Amazon Seller, it is much easier to list a product than you would imagine. You can simply go to a current listing and say you have the same item as what is already being sold. Don’t have a picture? That’s okay! Since there is already an existing listing, that picture and information will be used when you sell your product. ***Again, this activity violates the seller agreement every seller accepts, but if it’s close enough, how often do you think the violation would be caught? What to do? Be aware – one product from a seller that is far below the retail of all the other sellers, is probably not the same quality or the same product at all. Also, look at the reviews of the company selling the product, not just the product itself.
  3. Amazon Marketplace is very consumer friendly but not very seller friendly. If you complain to them, they listen. However, they are not proactive about keeping their marketplace clean and high-value. It really takes a big stink with lots of evidence to remove an infringing seller. What to do? Tell Amazon if a company rips you off. It’s not always good enough to just write a bad review.
  4. Your purchase supports the company you purchased from. This seems obvious, but I think it’s easy to forget when you buy through Amazon. We are people too! What to do? Again, just see if you can find out anything about the company you’re buying from.
  5. Reviews can be bought. Again, this violates the seller agreement, but it still happens. What to do? Look for wording like, “I was given free or discounted product to write this review.”  Look for a huge amount of reviews all written within a short time period. What’s the oldest review? What’s the worst review?
  6. And finally, if it seems too good to be true, it is.
    You will not find the same quality product for half the price from the seller Happy Dragon (unless perhaps you’re ordering takeout). What to do? Just spend the extra $10 and get the product you actually want.

Here’s why I feel so passionate about this:

Of course, the best example I can give is from my own industry of gas grill replacement parts. We spend hundred of hours every year providing our customers with the best possible listings of parts for their models. We talk one-on-one with customers daily, having them measure their original parts and measuring the parts in our warehouse to compare. We source the best replacements for our customers because we believe in helping them find a real solution that will get them through many more barbecues. I personally update line after line of code so that our front facing site is easy to use and our customers are happy with their experience.

And then, just like that, a faceless “company” pops up on the Amazon Seller Marketplace selling the part I just updated, using the exact listing we have on our site and at an unbelievable price of 1/4 (or less) our retail. They use the same code, sometimes even the same picture. They use my hard-earned customer-based information.

It should be noted that this practice is not allowed under the terms of doing business as an Amazon Seller. However, an infringing seller has to be reported to Amazon and Amazon has to go through the process of verifying the claim to take down the seller. Instead of innovating, listening to consumers, and engaging in the industry, owners of these companies find themselves constantly petitioning Amazon to remove fraudulent, copycat producers that ship product from China directly to Amazon warehouse. The most frustrating piece is that as soon as a bad seller is removed, a new one pops up in its place like a never ending carnival game gone horribly wrong.

Even CNBC took notice. This article is from about a month ago:

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/08/amazons-chinese-counterfeit-problem-is-getting-worse.html

We do better when we know better.

It will take a whole lot of us to make Amazon take notice, but like I said at the beginning of the article – I do believe in the free market!
As always, happy grilling! We remain determined to stay around and “Get You Back to Grillin’!”

-Jennifer Barry
Director of Marketing
GrillPartsSearch.com

Late Summer Grilling

Try a fresh piece of fish for your next grill meal!

Try a fresh piece of fish for your next grill meal!

Let’s admit – by the time we all get to August, we’re kind of done with the burgers and hot dogs. Even if you’re not totally sick of them, you should give it a break for just a few weeks because they will certainly become your staple again once football season starts back up.

For an alternative grilled dish, give a nice fresh fish a try! One of my favorites to throw on the grill is salmon. It has a pretty sturdy flesh which makes it much easier to maneuver on the grill.

The absolutely easiest way to cook fish on the grill is by putting it in an aluminum foil tray, smothering it with a garlic-herb butter and then just putting the tray directly onto the grill grids. You won’t get that pretty grill sear, but you are guaranteed that the fish won’t stick!

You can also use a cedar plank, just a sheet of aluminum, or put it directly on the cooking grid. Just make sure that if you do choose to put it on the grid, you oil it properly before placing the fish on it.  The safest way to oil a cooking grid is to put some oil on a paper towel and rub that thoroughly on the grid. Also, try to put your fish where the grid is the smoothest and the cleanest.

For even more tips, check out this video I made to answer a question from a customer!

That’s it for now! Do you have any tips on grilling fish? What’s your favorite thing to grill at the end of summer?

As Always- Happy Grilling!!
-Grill Girl

Happy Fourth of July

2016 is halfway gone…

Fourth of July Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July!

…and wow, what a year it has been.

Over here at GrillPartsSearch.com, we’ve been working very hard to keep up with all your orders and also a new project we’re very excited about! Soon you’ll start to notice some changes on our website.

Our hope is that these changes will make it easier than ever to find the perfect parts for your gas grill. After all, we’re here to get you back to grillin’!

Once our new site is up and functioning, you’ll see even more of this blog and GrillGirl videos to help you be the grillmaster yourself!

Happy Fourth of July Y’all! We hope you have a wonderful day with people that mean the most to you and a grill full of delicious food!

-GrillGirl

 

Manufacturer Highlight: Master Forge

Master Forge is a very popular brand of grill available at Lowe’s stores across the country. The Master Forge grill parts customers most often need when they call is either the burner (the tube where the flame comes out) or the heat plate (the metal shield that covers each burner) and sometimes both! We sell burners and heat plates made specifically for Master Forge grills in addition to many other parts.

Where do you find a model number on a Master Forge Grill?

What if you don’t have your model number? Here are a few places to look:

  • Most Master Forge grills have a product number assigned to them at Lowe’s. Sometimes we can find parts using that product number, but the best way is to find the model number exactly.
  • To begin, try looking on your original owner’s manual. The model number should be on the front page and will usually be listed on the bottom of each page.
  • If you don’t have your manual, that’s fine too! Look for a small metal plate or label with certification information on it, including your model number. These plates are usually on the back of each grill but sometimes can be found on the inside of the front doors.
  • Master Forge models can be number, letters, or a combination of the two! Here are a few examples of popular models: 2518-3, 2518LN-LPG, 288994, 3218LT, 678489, B10LG25, DG0576CC, E3518-LP, GCP-2601, GGP-2501, GGPL-2100CA, IGS-01015J, L3218, MFA350CNP, P3018, or SH3118B.
  • See the listing on our site: http://grillpartssearch.com/category/Parts_for_MASTER_FORGE_Gas_Grill.html

These grills are generally low-to-mid quality so if you intend to purchase one, do so with the expectation that you might have to replace parts in 2-5 years.

If you have any other questions about your Master Forge grill or any other brand of gas grill, give us a call! 877-244-0737

-GrillGirl

 

Hot Hot Hot!

Temperatures all around the country are HOT and getting Hotter!

The temperature highs around the country for July 13 2015Whether your means of cooling down is an air-conditioner that blasts 24/7 or an open window with a fan and a desperate hope, there’s absolutely no need to heat up your living space more than necessary!

That’s right folks, avoid those ovens and stove tops like the plague! You can cook SO many things on the grill using indirect heat and some roasting pans. Today, I’m dreaming of a nice crisp salad to end my day. You know me though, as the Grill Girl, I couldn’t have a salad without a lovely grilled chicken breast, or maybe some sliced grilled steak.

Doesn’t that sound amazing?

I don’t consider myself a chef, but here’s how I would build my dinner salad:

Get that grill going and throw on your choice of protein; how about grilled steak, chicken, salmon, or even shrimp? If using chicken, pound it out a bit so it’s nice and thin. It will take less time to cook. I like to add some citrus into my foods, so drizzle fresh-squeezed lime or lemon (your choice) along with some salt onto your meat before putting it on the grill. It is summertime after all!

Start your salad with a bed of romaine. In the hot summer months, nothing compares to the cool, watery crisp of romaine lettuce. Atop that, I would add some corn. If I have leftovers from a cookout I would definitely put that to use, or just open a can of sweet corn. Then throw on some chilled cherry tomatoes and sliced avocado. Add your meat and finish off with a sprinkle of Parmesan. Then, try making your own summer dressing instead of purchasing one from the store. Fresh is best! Here’s my all time favorite:

Cilantro Lime Dressing
The ratio you need is 2:1, oil to lime juice. I use olive oil, but you could also use canola. Then, add in some chopped cilantro, salt and pepper and fresh garlic! I blend in up and it gets pretty creamy. It’s very yummy and so easy!

Ok everyone, get outside to cook! Let the grill and the sun battle it out for who’s the hottest, while you get a great meal and run back inside to keep cool.

Happy Summer Grilling!

-GG