As we’re coming out of what seemed like an extra-long winter, people are looking for an excuse to go outside and enjoy the warmer weather, which means it’s time to start getting ready with your tongs and meats for a good old-fashioned cookout. But buying a new grill is no small decision. That’s why we’re breaking down exactly when and where you’ll find the best deals on a new outdoor grilling setup.
Whether you’re an amateur barbecue artist or a 5-star grill master, there’s bound to be a sale on a grill that’s right for you. So get ready to sit back with an ice cold lemonade as we break down the best ways for you to save money on a brand-new grill.
What Types of Grills Are Out There?
If this is your first time buying a grill, you may want to know a little more about what kind of grilling options are available to you. While there are tons of different types on the market, most grills are going to be fueled with either charcoal or propane.
1. Charcoal Grills
Charcoal grills tend to be cheaper than propane grills, but that doesn’t mean that they are inferior. Keep in mind that though these may be cheaper, you’ll have the added cost of purchasing lighter fluid and charcoal briquettes.
How does it work? It’s pretty straightforward: A charcoal grill will typically have air vents at the top and bottom, which allow air to come through the bottom and pass through the top. This regulates the heat of the lit coals, and you can adjust the temperature by adjusting how much air goes up the intake.
- Advantages: For people who crave smoky flavors, cooking with charcoal might be the choice for you. It’s a common belief that grilling with charcoal leads to superior flavors in grilled meats and other foods.
- Disadvantage: Heating up a charcoal grill takes extra time than a propane grill. And you’re also gonna need to put in more elbow grease to maintain cleanliness, which involves properly discarding the ashes.
2. Propane Grills
While typically a little pricier, propane grills are the most common grills in the U.S.
How does it work? Propane grills work similarly to gas stoves, with several burners that can be adjusted easily for precision cooking. You can often buy accessories to step up your grilling game.
- Advantages: The major selling points for gas grills are cleanliness, ease of use, and adaptability. They are easy to set up, and require less clean-up than charcoal overall. Many gas grills also come with added features and functionalities for doing more than just basic grilling.
- Disadvantage: Unlike the charcoal grill, you’re not gonna get the smokey flavors that you might be looking for.
3. Electric Grills
How does it work? Unlike other kinds of grills, electric grills do not use fire or fuel to generate heat, but instead use electricity as suggested by the name. Most other grills are designed to be used exclusively outdoors, but some electric grills are meant for indoor use.
- Advantage: If you got a small space or live in a condo or an apartment with a limited area and patio restrictions, an electric grill might be perfect for your needs.
- Disadvantage: Unfortunately, you’re not going to get the most authentic, grilled taste from an electric grill.
4. Wood Pellet Grills
How does it work? Like their name says, these grills use wood pellets as a fuel source rather than charcoal or propane. Grills designed for wood pellets are similarly priced to charcoal grills, although they can be a bit pricier depending on the model.
- Advantage: You can use different wood pellets to impart unique flavors into your meals, like hickory for BBQ ribs or walnut for red meat.
- Disadvantage: Wood pellets can go bad in a humid environment if they’re not sealed properly. You’ll get a smokey flavor but it’s not as intense as you might want it.
How Much Should I Spend on a Grill?
While there is a grill for every budget, you have to ask yourself what you’re looking to get out of your grill:
- Are you planning on using it every day?
- Is this something you’re only bringing out on special occasions?
- What size will fit best in your home?
Depending on your needs, a grill can cost you anywhere from a hundred to over $1,000. Regardless of your choice, you’re going to get what you pay for. The cheapest possible options are often the ones that won’t last the longest. Rust and other environmental factors can do some serious damage to a grill over time.
Average Cost of Charcoal Grills
Charcoal grills are almost always more affordable than ones that run on propane or natural gas. A solid charcoal grill will typically retail in the $100 to $300 range, but it’s common to find even lower prices on some models. There are portable grills online for between $20 and $60, but you’ll be definitely sacrificing some size and functionalities.
- With the higher-end charcoals, there are useful features like cast-iron grates, removable ash catchers, well-designed air vents/dampers and the ability to fold the shelves for better portability.
- Lower-end models will typically have less durable steel or stainless steel grates and a smaller grilling surface.
Average Cost of Gas/Propane Grills
Gas and propane grills are a little pricier. Prices vary based on a few factors, including quality and functionality. You can easily spend $500 to $600 on a quality gas grill, but you’ll also find options in the $150 to $300 range, as well.
- A lot of gas grills come with customizations and other novel features that can make grilling more convenient. Things like side burners, electric ignition and storage drawers make the whole process of grilling easier.
- Lower-end models typically lack all the bells and whistles, and they may be made with lower quality materials depending on the brand.
Grill Shopping Tip: If you’re shopping in person, one way to test the general sturdiness of a grill is to simply put a little pressure on it. See how it feels when you lean gently against the grill. If it feels a bit flimsy, it probably won’t last as long as you’d like.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, do some research and make sure you’re getting exactly what you want from your grill. If you’re serious about grilling, paying a little more for upgraded materials and features could definitely make sense in the long run.
What Months Do Grills Usually Go on Sale?
While grilling might be most popular in the summer, it isn’t the best time to buy unless you want to pay full price. With demand so high, retailers have little incentive to mark down prices, so avoid shopping for grills in the summer and the months leading up to the hot season!
Best Times To Buy a Grill
- End of summer: August/September
- Labor Day Weekend
- Winter: January
It’s not until the waning days of July and August that retailers start slashing prices on grills, often in response to lower demand. As Labor Day weekend approaches, you’ll start seeing significant discounts as retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s work to get their remaining summer stock off the shelves before the season is over.
Depending on the grill, discounts in the 60% to 80% range are not unheard of at certain retailers, especially during the off-season.
How Do I Save On a Grill?
Besides waiting to buy in the off season, there are other methods to paying less out of pocket for a good-quality grill:
- Wait for sales at Walmart, Home Depot, Costco, Sam’s, Sears Outlet and Big Lots. They are typically known for being the first to offer huge savings on older and close-out models.
- Consider buying a used high-quality grill as opposed to a new low-end model. But be aware of the brand, rust, whether it has all the accessories included and if there are spare parts on the market in case you need future replacements.
- Opt for a floor model at a retail store, which most oftentimes have never been used (just touched) and you can haggle for bigger discounts. Just remember to ask about the return policy and any warranties!
- Browse the clearance section. You don’t need to put up your hard-earned money for the latest and greatest model. Getting a previous model can yield better savings.
- Set a Deal Alert to be notified directly about any type of grill or specific grill brand you might want.
Do Weber Grills Ever Go on Sale?
When you’re talking about quality grills, you can’t leave Weber grills out of the conversation. Weber carries both gas and charcoal grills, plus everything in between. That includes electric grills, wood pellet grills, and even portable grills for camping and cookouts.
With so many products to choose from, we’ve selected a brief sampling of Weber grills to showcase what is on offer:
- Weber Q 2400 Electric Grill — Reg. Price: $379
- Master-Touch Charcoal Grill 22″ — Reg. Price: $294
- Spirit II E-210 Gas Grill — Reg. Price: $294
Hot Deals on Grills
- Pit Boss 340 Sq. In. Portable Tailgate, Camp Pellet Grill with Folding Legs — Sale Price: $297 | Reg. Price: $365.99
- Kamado Joe – Joe Jr. 13.5-inch Charcoal Grill — Sale Price: $351.76 | Reg. Price: $499.99
- Victory 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill With Infrared Side Burner — Sale Price: $699.99 | Reg. Price: $999.99
Ready to get cooking on a new grill? Remember to get notified about the latest deals on all types of grills by setting a Deal Alert. You can also check out all the current discounts on grills by visiting our Grill Deals page.