Well, that was something of a mistake…

We just bought a new grill, a {gag} CharBroil. I didn’t really want another CharBroil/Kenmore grill. I still have a dent in my forehead from where the last one bit me and a burn scar on my belly from where it bit me a 2nd time.

In the last few years it seems grills got crazy expensive. I almost went with a charcoal grill but the work for the reward of just cooking for two people was too much so we stuck with propane (and propane accessories).

We do use our grill every week. Rarely we’ll use it twice in a week but fresh burgers on Thursday (shopping day) has become a tradition. The previous grill lasted five years. Granted these last couple months I was forced to use a screwdriver to open the lid because the handle rusted off and I was really worried the firebox was going to flop over backwards, tear off the regulator and set me on fire as it took off like a rocket but it still turned out some tasty burgers.

I spent the last several months looking online. Checking the local Ace Hardware, Lowes, Walmart, etc. I watched the Sunday sale flyers. What I did NOT want to do was put the stupid thing together whatever I bought. My hands just aren’t up to that kinda work anymore. I could get any number of places to put a grill together for free but my little Ford Probe wasn’t going to be able to cart a fully assembled grill home. Most of the places I check wanted at least SEVENTY ($70!) bucks to deliver a grill.

I only wanted and need a two-burner grill. Anything else for me and mom is just wasted space, wasted heat and wasted propane (and propane accessories). That limited my choices even more. I finally picked this model from the Ace Hardware web site. It was very similar to evil bitey grill in that it had a left and right burner set-up rather than front and back which is what I really wanted.

The price was… competitive for a two-burner basic grills. I wanted the one without the side-burner as I never once used it on the old grill but they didn’t carry the model without it. Anyway… Ace offered to assemble and deliver the grill for less than half what the other places wanted for delivery.

So I dragged myself down to Ace last week, ordered the grill (they didn’t have it in the store) and arranged for assembly and delivery.
They called just after noon today and said if it was convenient with us they were ready to deliver the grill.

The driver arrived about twenty minutes after he called. brought the grill around the back and was nice enough to take the evil one away to be scrapped. He was in and out inside of two minutes….

Then I got a good look at this thing. What a steaming pile of crap. $155 for something that’s NOT as sturdy as the five year old rust bucket they just carted off! It wobbles, it wiggles. I haven’t cooked on it yet so tonight will be the big test but I can’t see this thing lasting anywhere near as long as the last one did. The construction is just that cheap and shoddy. OH yeah, and there were screws missing holding one of the side shelves on. When I called the store the guy I talked to said I needed to pull one of the existing screws out, bring it in and if they had one he’d give it to me. An hour later the store manager called me and said that was unacceptable. He then drove out here, pulled a screw from the underside of the shelf, drove back to the store and returned with the right parts to complete the assembly.

I can’t say I’m really happy with the grill, we’ll see how it cooks, but I can’t fault Ace Hardware for making things right… granted they probably should have noticed the shelf going boingy-boingy up and down but the manager, Paul, went seriously above and beyond to make it right. Thanks Paul!

Well, it’s later… This new grill cooks okay and, bonus, no apparent food poisioning. I hate re-learning how to cook everything. For the last couple years it’s been almost second nature cooking. I had burgers and such down to a science and of course the new grill is just different enough that I’ve got to re-think all my cooking stratagies. I know, such horrors, how can I go on? Ah well. It’s in better condition than the old one. It cooks and I don’t have to use a screwdriver to open the lid. Can’t say I’m super happy with the build quality but there it is and there it stays. Somehow, dear readers, I’ll find the strength to carry on.

Hawk (This space unintentionally left blank…or maybe it wasn’t)

Read more about my past, painful, grill buying experiences here and some more here… {grumble}


  1. Cindy

    Definitely agree on the propane grill (plus accessories) choice – charcoal is waaay too much work for so little benefit, especially with just two people to cook for. Bye bye old bitey grill, hello new floppy grill! 😀

  2. Carl

    Yeah, I’ve discovered that one of the many pains of getting older is that nothing seems to be made or build as good as they used too. It seems ever year I grow older the quality of things decrease. On the flip side as long as it works than you didn’t get totally ripped of. I remember one time camping we got so hungry we cooked hotdogs with a Bic lighter, and to tell ya the truth they weren’t half bad, just a little black with light soot but tasty. Enjoy, grill on. . . .

  3. Jeff

    That side burner sounds like such a usefull thing doesn’t it? I’ve used mine once in 8 years, and I think then I only used it because I hadn’t used it before. Love the taste charcoal adds, but really is a lot of work just to throw on a few burgers and maybe a dog or two.

    I agree with Carl, that nothing seems as well built as we get older, that includes me. I wasn’t so wobbly 10 years ago.

  4. Hawk (Post author)

    I’ve cooked, for the scouts, over natural charcoal several times and the difference in taste is AMAZING but I can’t justify the effort and trouble for just me, mom and a couple burgers.

    Carl – I can remember, more than once, hiking in and out of Naugatuck with a Bic lighter because everyone forgot flashlights in the excitement.

    Jeff – Tell me about it. 10 years ago I didn’t need a cane to prop me up. It is handy for keeping the vultures away though 🙂

    Oh yeah, the side burner… I boiled a pot of water once to kill some ants and to see how long it would take (forver). I thought it might be handy if we were without power for a long time due to a hurricane but, nope, it’s useless.


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