While there is nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned charcoal barbecue pit, you just can't beat the convenience and simplicity of a modern gas grill. There is no lighter fluid or starter cone to contend with, and for those of us who have ever had to use a broom and dust pan to clean up spilled ashes, a gas grill is a better choice.
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I recently acquired a Weber Q 200 portable propane grill along with the optional Weber Stationary Cart. These two items must be purchased separately, but unless you have a picnic table in your back yard this is definitely the way to go.
The grill has a cooking area of 280 square inches and puts out 12,000 BTUs per hour from a single rectangular-shaped stainless steel burner. Quality construction materials are used; the grate is porcelain-coated cast iron and the lid is aluminum with a plastic handle that did not become as hot-to-the-touch as some reviews may suggest.
With the lid open and the fold-out plastic tables extended the Weber Q 200 is about 26 inches high, 51.4 inches wide, and 24.3 inches deep. Folding the tables in and closing the lid reduces the dimensions to a height of about 15 inches, a width of 32.5 inches, and a depth of 19 inches. Mounted on the optional 2-wheeled Weber Stationary Cart the combined unit displaces an area about 40.5 inches high, 34.5 inches wide, and 23 inches deep.
One of the scary aspects of buying this type of grill is reading the two dreaded words "assembly required". For the record, I do not have an advanced degree in mechanical engineering and it once took me 11 hours to assemble a fancy gas grill with side burners and multiple control knobs. However, once I got this thing out of the box I threw it together in 15 or 20 minutes! There are only 15 pieces counting the 2 disposable drip pans.
The cart, with 29 pieces, is only slightly more complicated to put together. The only real challenge was attaching the metal "tank bracket" to the plastic "rear bridge". (The tank bracket secures a 20 lb. liquid propane tank.) This step will require some elbow grease! Of course I managed to strip the heads off of both of the supplied Phillips screws trying to get them all the way in; nevertheless, the connection is tight enough to function as planned. (Who is this guy Phillips anyway? I sure would like to have a word with him!)
There are three sizes of LP (liquid propane) cylinders compatible with the Q 200. The standard 20 lb. tank, which has 16.6 lb. engraved on the handle (go figure), can be fitted onto the Stationary Cart and connected with the included "tank adapter hose". For those people who really want to use the portability feature of the grill there are disposable 14.1 oz. and 16.4 oz. cylinders. Either of these can be screwed directly into the regulator, a concept that should appeal to tailgaters and picnickers.
Once the grill is positioned on the cart and the propane tank is hooked up just roll the unit into place, turn on the gas tank and burner control, and push the red starter button. So far the burner has ignited on the first push every time, but I haven't had the grill long enough to verify the reliability of this feature. I can verify that this grill has done a professional-grade job on strip steaks, pork chops, hamburgers, and hot dogs.
The fold-out tables are not sturdy enough to sit on or to support a case of beer, but they work fine as a holding platform for a container of basting sauce or a plate of food. Additionally, each table has two hooks for hanging cooking tools.
So if you want to enjoy the fantastic taste of grilled meats or vegetables and get out of the indoor confines of your kitchen at the same time, this made in the U.S.A. product can accomplish all of that for well under $400 including the cost of the cart, a filled 20 lb. tank of propane, and a vinyl cover for the unit.
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Amount Paid (US$): 170