Top 3 Summer BBQ Grill Review

For the Grill of It!

2012 Cook Like A Dad Grill Review

Living in San Diego, I am lucky to say that every day is summer. However, for some folks, summer time doesn’t come fast enough for the back yard grill season to begin. If you are looking for that perfect Gift for Dad, or just looking to upgrade your present BBQ; Cook Like a Dad is going to give you the Top 3 Grills of 2012 for under $500 dollars.

The first step in your journey is to decide what type of grill you are looking to buy or replace. There are three types of grills to choose from and it is important to know the differences between the three.

Gas Grill – These Grills are the ones that will hook up to a standard house, natural gas line. Before heading out to the store to buy a gas grill, make sure you have an outside line that will accommodate a gas grill. Another helpful tip is to make sure the grill you are buying is built for Natural Gas. Many people waste a lot of time in the store buying a grill that is not set up to run natural gas.

Propane Tank– The most common of the BBQ grills you will see around hardware stores are the Propane Tank grill. The propane tank is often bought empty, so make sure you know that it is an added expense to purchase the propane to fill the tank before you leave the store. These grills come in all shapes and sizes and we will talk more about the best ones to buy later in this article.

Standard Charcoal Grill – These grills are “kettle” style grills that were made famous by Weber. Kettle grills have two separate levels; one holds the charcoal, while the other grill is the one you cook on. These grills will be the most affordable, but it will cost you a bag of charcoal every time you use it, so keep that in mind.

Price, Features & Heat

Everybody’s on a budget these days and it is important to match a quality grill with an affordable price. My grill reviews were based on a budget of under $500 and I was looking at both propane and gas grills. My next level of comparison was a grill feature.

There are a variety of grill features that may or may not be important to you.  Like, Do you want a warming rack? Or what about side burner or a rotisserie feature? Some of these things may not appeal to the weekend griller, but Cook Like a Dad wants you to know that these things may appeal to some Dads who like all the bells and whistles.

The final measuring stick that I used in my grill comparisons was the amount of burners and the amount of heat that the grill would produce, (also known as BTU’s). The higher the BTU’s, the higher the heat indexes. I like a lot of heat, (at least 40,000 BTU’s for grill standards). In addition, I like to have at least 4 burners on my grill so I can have better control of my heat distribution. For Example, if I need to lower my heat evenly in my grill, having the even number of 4 burners allows me to lower the heat in 2 of my four burners evenly. Get it? Good.

2012 Cook Like A Dad Top 3 Grills:











Char Broil Commercial Series 500, ($375) – This Grill has my best overall review. The 4-burner grill offers both Gas and Propane features. It has 4 burners and puts out a whopping 50,000 BTU’s.  It’s built with heavy-duty frame and has nice stainless steel construction finish. The C-B 500 has 500 inches of primary cooking area and warming rack of 167 square inches. This grill sits nice and square, (57 inches high, 55 inches long and only 22 inches deep) so it won’t take up a lot of space. Top scores in all CookLikeADad categories.  Check out for more details.









Master Forge, Split Lid, ($379)- I liked the feature of having a split grill lid. This way I can simultaneously cook two separate items or just keep my grilling to one separate area and not waste the gas or propane. The price was under my budget and the Split Lid Grill had just a little larger cooking area of 535 square inches. Where this grill gained in cooking space, it fell a little short on the heat index, (49,000 BTU’s) but impressed me with only having 3 burners. This grill was also noticeably wider at 61 inches, which was only 6 inches wider than the Char Broil. If width space is not an issue, this is a good grill. You can find the Master Forge Brand at all Lowe’s Hardware Stores(click here)













Ducane Affinity Series – ($529) This grill was one of my favorites, until I saw the price tag. There is definitely quality of construction with a Ducane grill and you are paying the premium for this 180-pound grill that will probably outlast your lifetime behind the BBQ. I was surprised to see that the Ducane had a heat index of  only 48,000 BTU from 4 burners. This grill sits a tad bigger in all categories, (62 inches high, 58 inches wide and 29 inches deep). If you re looking for a BIG grill and have the space for one; this would be your baby! Check out the Ducane website for the latest deals.(Click here)





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