The best time to buy a grill

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Grilling season extends from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend in the United States. The best time to buy a grill is often outside that timeframe — in other words, during the fall and winter months. However, there are ways to save no matter when you purchase grilling equipment. We consulted grilling, barbecue and shopping experts to determine the best time to buy a grill, how to save on one and how to spot the best grills on the market. 

When is the best time to buy a grill?

There are actually a few “best times” to buy a grill. Broadly speaking, shoppers can find grills on sale during the “off-season” from September to April, with some of the deepest discounts appearing right around the end of summer. 

“As prime grilling season comes to a close, retailers will be looking to clear space for next season’s merchandise,” explains Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at Truetrae.com.

Great deals on grills also appear at the start of the season — namely, Memorial Day Weekend, says Matt Moore, author of “Serial Griller: Grillmaster Secrets for Flame-Cooked Perfection.” Sales also frequently occur on other national holidays (and their associated long weekends), including the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

Grills and barbecues are also among the items that retailers deeply discount during annual shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, since you can’t always time your purchases (grills can gas out, after all), we’ve assembled tips for saving on a grill all-year-round.

How to buy a grill

The price of a grill can vary dramatically, depending on what type you’re looking for. A gas grill generally costs more than a charcoal grill, though the price range for both categories is wide. A gas grill, for instance, can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $165,000, at least if you’re looking for a grill that is gold-plated

You can save by making a purchase during the best time to buy a grill. Given grills represent a significant expense for most shoppers, we’ve compiled the following additional ways to save: 

  • Compare prices. “Visit one or more stores to get a feel for the different models,” says Jason Webster, co-founder and chief editor at Barbeque Review. “This will give you an idea of the assortment of prices and which store has the best prices.” You can also use Google Shopping to quickly compare prices across retailers online.
  • Set up price alerts. “Grills will go on sale periodically throughout the year,” Bodge says, so use sites like SlickDeals.net to request email alerts for the grills, brands of grills or grill retailers you’re interested in. Coupon aggregators, like Honey or CouponCabin, can also help you identify special promotions or discounts. The site CamelCamelCamel can help you track prices — and identify the best deals — on Amazon specifically.
  • Sign up for e-newsletters or follow popular grill sellers, like Lowe’s, Walmart, Costco or Home Depot on social media. ”Websites and social media outlets are typically the most ‘timely’ notifications that often offer the highest discounts,” Moore says. “Sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter can often relay last minute, one-off deals on limited inventory.” Broader grill sales or deals are often highlighted in traditional newspaper and magazine circulars.
  • Negotiate. Consider cold-calling retailers to see what promotions or discounts are available, says Logan Fisher, outdoor living expert for online retailer BBQGuys. Keep in mind, retailers will be more willing to come down on price if you’re buying multiple items or have a higher starting price point, he adds.
  • Pay with a rewards credit card to get more bang for your buck. If the grill you’re buying is particularly pricey (and your credit is good), consider opening a new credit card to take advantage of a signup bonus. “You could use your grill purchase to help satisfy the spending threshold,” Bodge says. Some rewards credit cards also offer extended warranties on purchases.

The best grills of 2021

While there are certainly superior makes and models across categories, the best grills to buy depend heavily on personal preference.

“People like different things, grill different ways and use charcoal in different applications,” says Oron Franco, co-founder of Prime 6 Charcoal. “Some people need to have the bells and whistles whereas others are good with just a basic sturdy grill that gets the job done.”

Similarly, gas grills are often a good fit for people prioritizing convenience, while charcoal grills might be best for chefs looking to maximize flavor, Moore says. To determine your preferences, put prospective grills to the test. For instance, if a friend or family member has a grill they would highly recommend, see if they will let you flip some burgers (or veggies). If you can’t take a grill for a test-drive, there are other ways to assess your options. 

  • Read customer reviews on Google or retailer websites. “Pay attention to the positives and a few negatives and develop a comfort level for what you think will best serve your interests,” Moore says. 
  • Leverage social media to get a better feel for how certain grills work in your area. “Post an inquiry on your local listserve or Facebook group to see what grills local residents are enjoying,” Bodge says. “They may have recommendations that are specific to your climate or other local conditions.”
  • Grade the steel. There are several different categories of stainless steel. However, 304, 443 and 316L grades are considered the outdoor-construction standard. “You just can’t go wrong with any of them,” Fisher says. 
  • Think thick, because the best grills mix quality with quantity when it comes to materials. “Thicker grates, burners, and flame tamers directly translate to cooking performance and durability,” Fisher says. 
  • Consider shopping American. Grills that are made in the U.S.A. can contain parts that “are easier to find and service in the future,” says Josh Aslanian, owner of Fireside BBQ Appliances. Lynx, Broil King, Broilmaster and Weber Summit grills are among the brands made in America.
  • Ask about warranties. “If there are lifetime warranties on pieces, it’s likely that they won’t cause trouble later,” says Fisher, adding that you don’t necessarily need to balk if there are shorter warranties on small grill parts, like lights and ignitors. “Single-year warranties on those are extremely common, and they don’t speak to the durability or quality of the actual cooking components,” he says.

Where to buy a grill

You can find a variety of great grills at many major retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Costco and Best Buy. The MediaFeed team has identified some of the best-selling grills on the market, based on customer reviews, features, price and value. Check out the following roundups for more specific grill recommendations.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org

Image credit: Halfpoint

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The best time to buy a grill

Jeanine Skowronski

Jeanine Skowronski is a veteran personal finance journalist and content strategist, she has previously served as the Head of Content at Policygenius, Executive Editor of Credit.com and a columnist for Inc. Magazine. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, American Banker Magazine, Newsweek, Business Insider, CNBC and more.

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