The current Consumer Reports tests some grills out. In a nutshell: They're virtually all the same. The # of burners is important and the BTU rating, but other than that I really don't see why you'd want to buy a Weber. BBQ's are extremely simple devices.
Charcoal grills sort of suck because they create lots and lots of ash... very annoying to clean.
I bought an el cheapo from Sam's for about 100 bucks a year ago and it still does a number on meat. I figured that since it would stay out in the weather it didn't make any sense to put anymore into one than I had to.
don't worry about getting one with a viewing plate, but the heat guage sometimes is nice. The external side burner comes in handy alot of times. If you like to cook get the added racks on the inside; makes it very easy to keep stuff warm while you finish cooking other items. Unless you're just cooking for small meals, get a large grill. And I have found that you get what you pay for. Some friends opted for a less expensive unit and wound up replacing the burners in a year, then the hinges self-destructed. Webber and Char-broil are solid units. Hope this helps.
There is no way I would put a good piece of meat on a gas grill. And it takes the same amount of time to cook with the charcoal as the gas. Its just that you have to fire the charcoal up 45 minutes ahead of time. I won't even use lighter fluid on it because the smell of it lingers. I use a propane torch to start the coals. Quick as a wink. No trouble at all.
Shoot Batti, I never did find the "UFO". At this point I'm pretty sure the Grill Gods poked a hole in it to teach me a lesson for buying the stupid thing. I thought it would be nice for cooking steaks in the dead of winter. I've learned that I might as well just stick those steaks in the broiler instead... even more "convenient" than the gas grill and taste is the same
We had a Rib Cookoff 2 weeks ago at the Great Lakes Mall next to our home. One of the trailers had a gas leak that exploded. It rattled the windows here, but nobody was really hurt. I oughta just take our gas grill and pitch it...
I owned a Char-Broil for about two years...decent...or so I thought.
Then...got married, moved and gave the Char-Broil away...
We purchased a Weber from the local Home Depot and we have never been happier!!! No flame-ups, very consistent...that kickass red color...
and yes, it is a gas. My family has cooked with both charcoal and gas, but has stuck with gas for the past 10 or so years...and I see no problem with it. I am hooked on Weber grills and think they are totally WORTH the money!!!! Mine has provided my family with the best grilling experience ever with some of the best tasting grilled food.
Whichever grill you decide on, ensure that you get a good cover for it. About 4 years ago, I found a new gas grill (sorry Ornery, I'm willing to sacrifice a little flavor for convenience) from Home Depot. I then found a heavy duty grill cover made by Magic Chef @ K-Mart for $20 to $24. Sears also sells these heavy duty covers. This is the best investment that I've ever made. During the past four years, I have never moved my grill into the garage and the cover has protected it from all of the elements. The grill still looks like brand new.