When it comes to cheap grills, you get what you pay for. The problems with cheap grills may seem impossible at first, especially if you're a novice cook or don't have much time on your hands. However, you can fix many problems by following the advice in this article and making a few simple adjustments to your cooking habits. Keep reading and see if these problems sound familiar!
Common Problems and Solutions of Cheaper Grills
Purchasing a grill is an exciting and fun thing to do, but sometimes problems can arise, and that excitement or even the desire to grill at all can disappear. Let's go over some of the issues that cheaper grills often have and how you can fix them!
Problem: The grill doesn't turn on.
- Solution: Check the power source, whether that's at an outlet or with a battery. If it's not getting power, you should check to make sure everything is connected correctly. If everything is plugged in and working but still no heat, try another outlet or try using a different power cord to see if your source of electricity is the problem. If you don't have issues with your power source, there could be a faulty wire somewhere in the grill, and an expert should check it.
Problem: The grill is too small to cook for large groups of people.
- Solution: Look for grills that provide at least 280 square inches of cooking space, enough to hold six burgers.
Problem: The grill doesn't heat up enough.
- Solution: The grill might need to be cleaned. Check for problems with the igniter and make sure your valve is fully open. If it still doesn't heat up enough, check to see if there's a blockage in the venting system.
Problem: Flames shoot out from under the lid.
- Solution: Make sure that all vents are open and that your grill is at least 10 inches above the coals. If this doesn't stop the flames from shooting out of your grill, then it might be a venting problem.
Problem: My food is sticking to the grate and not cooking properly.
- Solution: Try coating both sides of your grate with oil before adding food to it (it will make for easy clean up too!). You can also try using a grill basket or an aluminum foil drip pan to prevent food from falling into the coals.
Problem: The grate is rusting and needs to be replaced.
- Solution: Check with your warranty company to see if there are problems with it, but otherwise, you might have to replace it yourself.
How to Make Your Cheap Grill Last Longer
Stretching the lifespan of any grill, and especially a cheap grill, requires consistent routine maintenance. The greatest danger to a grill is oxidation and rust. Corrosion can happen from weather, but more often, the residual drippings, grease, and food will eat away at the integrity of the grill. Since most cheap grills are not constructed of durable metals, they need to be kept clean to keep the corrosion at bay.
A quick fix for problems with cheap grills is to buy a grill cover that will protect your investment from the rain and snow. You can find many affordable covers on appliances stores like Sears or Best Buy. Also, before you start cooking, make sure to clean it out and scrape off any rust (this will help prevent problems in the future too).
Tips for Cooking on a Cheap Grill
If you're stuck with a cheaper grill, the following cooking tips can help you get by until you can replace it.
- Keep it covered. Cheaper grills are often designed with an inadequate heat source. Most food requires intense heat to sear and cook to expectations, but every time the cover or hood is opened, heat escapes, and it can take a long time to build back up. In these conditions, burgers that should take minutes can take a half-hour to finish.
- Ensure your grill is the same temperature as the recipe you're following. Not doing so can affect the outcome of your dish, and worse, you might ruin it entirely and have to start all over again.
- Stay attentive when cooking with a cheap grill to ensure accidents don't happen. Inexpensive grills are often not made well, from the burners to the stand. Leveling issues, structural stability, and component stability can easily be overlooked if you're distracted or absent.
- Use a grilling thermometer to help monitor the temperature.
- Always preheat your grill for at least ten minutes before cooking. This will allow for even heating and proper cooking times, so you don't have to take food off early and potentially overcook it while it's still on the grill.
Maximize your grilling experience and prevent problems with your cheap grill by following the above cooking tips.
Advice for Buying a New Grill
The best solution to cooking with a cheap grill is to replace it. The investment of a new grill will pay off in many ways, but the biggest one is how much better your food will taste. It's challenging to get a grill that cooks well, is easy to use, and looks great, and it'll be even harder with problems like faulty ignitions and small grates.
Get unrivaled power, features, and style with American Made Grills. We pride ourselves on the quality and features of each of our models to provide the definitive grilling experience. You can choose from the luxurious Estate Gas Grill or our hybrid grill models, the Encore and Muscle Grill. Configure your new grill today and replace the old grill that you've been nursing along. It's time for a whole new world of outdoor cooking and living!