The 4-1-1 On Gas Grilling

When buying your next gas grill, a little research will pay off. Big time.

Buying a grill is a big deal.  It is, after all, an outdoor appliance. Grills are not complex machines, but understanding the basics of grill construction can help you get the best grill for your money to suit your unique space.

Weber has some expert tips to help you make the perfect purchase.

Basic Anatomy of a Quality Gas Grill:

A) Grill Hood: Its main function is to keep the heat from escaping.

B) The Cooking System: The cook box rests in the cart and houses the components of the cooking system.

  • Food is placed on the cooking grates
  • Metal bars, lava rocks or ceramic briquettes disperse heat from the burners to the cooking grates above. At the same time, they also deflect drippings from food to prevent flare-ups.
  • The burner tubes create heat.

C) Grease Management: The grease management system collects and funnels grease into a catch pan beneath the cook box.

Now that we know the simple A, B, and C of grill anatomy, let’s move on to the sales floor. Here is a quick list of what to look for when buying a gas grill:

1. First, Let’s Talk BTU’s: BTU stands for British Thermal Unit.  They are not an indication of how hot a grill will get, but rather a measurement of how much fuel willbe used in a given period of time. A grill might qualify for a high BTU but simply not get hot enough due to size, materials, and design of the cook box.  Many grills with high BTUs will have a large opening in the back of the lid to allow the heat to escape, translating to wasted BTUs and wasted gas. There is much more that goes into a grill that determines how much heat it can retain, distribute and create to make it a powerful grill.  Purchasing an energy efficient grill is more about quality of construction.  Higher BTUs means you will be filling your gas tank more often.
2. Good Grills Don’t Wiggle: A quick way to test construction is with a simple shake.  A good quality grill will feel solid and sturdy when you shake it.  A poorly made grill will wiggle unevenly and may sound loose or flimsy.  If a grill isn’t solid on the sales floor, chances are it will fall apart rather quickly on your patio or deck.
3. Cooking System: For a free-standing, non-portable, gas grill, you should look for models that have two or more separate burners that allow greater heat control.  Smaller, portable and electric models may have fewer burners but should still have solutions for heat control and emit even, consistent heat. All grills should also have an efficient grease or ash collection system to keep the heat source clear of any clogs.  The best systems quickly flash the drippings, eliminating flare-ups and creating flavourful smoke.
4. Assembly: Easy assembly is a priority.  Some grills require hours upon hours to assemble.  Better brands reduce or eliminate the amount of assembly required by the consumer.
5. Customer Service: Top-notch customer service should come with any quality-made grill.  This should include thorough, easy-to-understand information about the products, plus a toll-free service number for any questions after you get the grill home.
6. Consider the Manufacturer: Look for a reputable manufacturer that has been in the business for a long time, has positive product reviews, a toll-free customer service line, offers a good warranty on parts, has strong distribution at the retail level, and a web site that offers product comparison, grilling tips, recipes, and a Q&A section.

Remember, the quality of the food you grill is largely dependant on the quality of your grill, so make sure a one-time bargain doesn’t turn into a long-term disappointment.

Now that you have all the information, its time to put your skills to the test! This recipe lends itself perfectly to gas grilling and makes for a fantastic date night meal. Enjoy!

Weber Genesis E-330 Green
Weber Genesis E-330 Gas Grill

Herb-Crusted Prime Rib with Red Wine Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Grilling Time: 1½  to 1¾  hours
Makes 6 – 8 Servings


Weber Q3200 Gas Grill
Weber Q3200 Gas Grill

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
5 medium garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
1?4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt
1 boneless rib roast, about 5 pounds, trimmed of excess fat
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons herbes de provence


1. To make the sauce: In a large saucepan over high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the carrot, celery, and onion, and cook until the vegetables begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium, add the tomato paste, and cook for about 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the broth, wine, vinegar, bay leaves, rosemary, and 1?2 teaspoon of pepper. Mix well. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 45 minutes.

2. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a medium saucepan, pressing down on the solids with the back of a spoon. Continue to simmer until about 3?4 cup of liquid remains, about 45 more minutes. Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking to melt them. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the sauce from the heat.

3. Allow the beef to stand at room temperature 30 to 45 minutes before grilling. Lightly brush or spray the roast all over with oil and season with the herbes de provence, and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Grill the beef over Indirect Medium heat until cooked to desired doneness, 1½  to 1¾ hours for medium-rare, but start checking with an instant read thermometer after 1 ¼ hours. Transfer the beef to a cutting board, loosely cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile warm the sauce over medium heat. Carve the beef and serve warm with the sauce.

For more information and delicious recipes, visit

Recipe courtesy of Weber-Stephen Products LLC.