The PSP Shopping List: Grilling and Chilling

In the market for a grill? Read on for the best brands, advice on propane vs. pellet, and more.

If you’re a parent in Brooklyn who’s not yet a part of Park Slope Parents, join us today to get connected to the Cooking Group, the Dads Group (where this awesome grilling discussion took place), and so much more!

One PSP Dad asks…


“I need to get a new backyard grill, and I am crowdsourcing suggestions. Do you have any recommendations that:

  1. Use a propane tank
  2. Have good and easy temp control
  3. Easy to clean

I don’t need anything fancy or with lots of bells and whistles. Mostly for grilling burgers, hotdogs, chicken, but occasionally something a little more involved.

Recognizing that purchasing, using, and maintaining the grill is among our most sacred dad responsibilities, I humbly beseech your help.”

Members recommend…


Nexgrill 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill

“I bought this one last season and no complaints. Won't last a lifetime, but nice looking and does the job. Picked it up from the store fully assembled!”

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Weber Spirit series

“Reliable, relatively easy to assemble and pretty consistent. 

They have also come out with a smart series, which allows you to control temp from your phone and set alerts. If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t want to rely on gut or feel to measure doneness, this could be something to consider.

If you don’t need it to be gas, I’d highly recommend a pellet smoker and grill combo. More versatile and if you want to get into smoking meats, it’s a good option.”

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“I had a Weber Spirit 3-burner and it was great.”

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Weber Genesis series

“I’ve bought many propane/natural gas grills over the years for the fancy buildings I manage. And I keep going back to the Weber Genesis series of grills. Easy to work with, service and clean. If you felt so motivated many of them are able to accommodate a rotisserie attachment (sold separately) and some feature a side burner for cooking in a pot or pan.

There are much fancier ones upwards of $3K but if I was buying one tomorrow (waiting til I get a house - the Weber kettle grill will have to suffice for now) I’d go with the Genesis series. Ducane is another brand I’ve worked with along with Vermont Castings. I’d still go with the Weber even still. Hope that helps!”

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“I’m satisfied with my Weber Genesis 3 burner - I cook on it all year. Easy to assemble and operate. I previously had a Weber Spirit which was more than adequate as well.”

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Char-Broil Classic 360 3-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill

“Got this one last year - very happy with it.”

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Traeger

“I can’t recommend a Traeger pellet grill highly enough. I know it violates your rule one, but having done propane, charcoal and pellet extensively throughout traeger is hands down the easiest and best grill I’ve ever had. I cook everything from ribs to pulled pork, steak and burgers, chicken parts or whole roast chickens, vegetables, the list goes on and on. It is hands down the best tasting grill food I’ve ever made.

I cook year round on mine. Burgers take the same amount of time as a regular grill (my traeger goes to 500 degrees). The advantage they have is temperature control (like an oven) so literally no more guesswork. 

Salmon, bacon, burgers, veggies, whole chicken, chicken legs, etc etc etc. anything you would use a grill for I think a pellet is better - have not found anything that does not taste better on mine

Plus you can go full Pitmaster and smoke ribs, pork shoulder, whatever and it’s easily as good as Dino BBQ...IMO 

Also they have an app that connects to iOS so I literally grill from my couch inside.

With the available thermometer I have never over cooked anything on the traeger. Ever. Which happened more than I wanted with other grills.

I buy pellets in 35lb bags from Costco - probably 3-5 /yr? I use more for a 12hr smoke than a quick burger cook. But all depends on usage (and there’s no propane tank to haul around).”

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Green Mountain Daniel Boone Prime

“I recently got the Green Mountain Daniel Boone Prime pellet grill. Its fantastic. Very similar to the Traeger, though more of an up and coming brand. What sold me on Green Mountain was the optional pizza oven attachment. So great!” 

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One griller’s take on pellet vs. propane grills:


“Pellet (Traeger)

Pro: easy to use, app control available with recipes for free, everything tastes better, super easy to control temperature so cooking is easier, wifi enabled so can cook while away from grill, can do everything a grill does and can smoke meat, can control level of smoke with temp (low temp more smoke, high temp less smoke), see all above

Con: pellets aren’t as universally easy to fill / find as propane (but still easy), grill start-up can be smoky.

Propane

Pro: easy to use, fuel available almost everywhere, flavorless heat environment

Cons: food doesn’t taste as good as a pellet grill/smoker, you have to store propane, no thermostat temp control (more trial and error), may or may not have wifi enabled cooking.”

For more, check out this YouTube video on Gas Grill vs Pellet Smoker. Which is Best for You?

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Tips for charcoal grillers:


“Also just want to add my 2 cents for those who are keeping it real

with a weber kettle, like me, make sure you have this: Weber RapidFire Compact Chimney Starter

We made the shift from propane back to charcoal a few years ago and with this thing, you don't need any starter (or matchlight) and get a consistent and very hot fire going surprisingly fast. Use it with a wax starter cube, natural brick charcoal and you get a really good flavor and nothing beats a charcoal fire for making smores.”


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