My 10 year old Brinkman gas grill is on its last legs, and I'm looking to replace it before too long. It's been an OK cooker, but the temps have always been uneven and I've had a lot of flare-up problems, despite trying three different types of ceramic briquettes over the years. It's gotten especially worse lately, since the burners are pretty much rusted out. I do a lot of grilling, usually at least once a week, so I'm looking for something a bit more substantial than the $200 jobs from the Borg. On the other hand, I'm looking for a good value, and do have some limits to how much I want to spend.
I'm primarily looking at two different cookers: the three-burner Weber Genesis E310, and the 4-burner Char-Broil RED.
The Weber has a great reputation and some of the best customer loyalty I've seen. It's the Stihl chainsaw of the BBQ grill world. I've never cooked on one, but everyone I know who has one loves it. In my price range, the E310 is about all I could swing. It's a no-frills unit that I could expect to last a long time. It's also made in the US, which is a good thing. Replacement parts are readily available, and their 24/7/365 live Customer Service has a great reputation. The main disadvantages I see to it are the relatively small grilling surface and the fact that the burners run lengthwise across the cooking chamber. I often only use one burner at one end and put the meat at the other end to cook with indirect heat, and this type of configuration wouldn't do that well. It also has no side burner, which I do use from time to time.
Right now, the orange Borg has the 4-burner RED (who comes up with these names?) on sale for about the same price as the Weber. (Marked down from about $800 to $670.) It appears to be well made (I've checked it out in person), but it uses lighter gauge steel than the Weber. Char-Broil has a mixed reputation for service and parts. The primary difference with this grill is the U-shaped infrared heat diffuser. It's a whole new approach, and the reviews on the cooking performance have been very, very good. It cooks hotter and faster, but uses less fuel. It's supposedly flare-up free. It's also set up better for indirect cooking, since the burners run crosswise instead of lengthwise. And it has a side burner. Bonus. At this point, I'm leaning toward the Char-Broil. I don't expect it will last as long as a Weber, but I think it will last as long as my current one, since I take decent care of my grills. (Heck, I still have my old K-Mart 2-burner, and it's about 16 years old.) I also like the features and functionality.
So, my questions...
Do any of you guys have one of the Char-Broil RED grills? If so, what do you think about it?
You Weber owners...how do you do indirect cooking on your grill? (I'm assuming you love it as much as I love my Stihl chainsaw.)
Any other grill suggestions in the $600 to $700 price range?