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Grilling Grills
Grill (verb): to examine thoroughly

Currently I'm in the middle of a grilling quandry and have been carefully examining my options.

When Ben moved away three years ago, I purchased his Aussie Bonza 4 propane grill for $250. Last year one of the cast iron burners was not operating very well. In an outdoor grill, exposed to alkaline ashes and moisture, cast iron has a tendency to corrode very quickly. Replacement burners (I need four) cost about $35 for cast iron and $100 for stainless. I considered just getting a couple but decided to hold off.

This year I noticed that the gas pressure was extremely poor, resulting in only two burners working properly. A new search revealed some not-so-favorable reviews of Aussie grills. Supposedly their warranty service is actually ok, but I have no original documentation and am probably beyond the coverage. I also discovered that Aussie Grills finally put up a consumer website with replacement parts with the burners costing just $20 each. However, given the poor pressure, I believe the gas manifold needs to be replaced as well for another $30.

If I replace all these parts, that totals $110 just to bring my grill to basic functioning level. The ignition electrodes and thermometer are also broken, the ceramic coated grates are starting to rust and crack, plus the metal housing is severely rusted as well and could soon turn into a bottomless grill. And I'm not so sure about any other parts that aren't so easily replaced.

On top of all that, the plastic grill cover has disappeared. This might be because someone took it off to steal the grill or to steal my propane. If it was the former, the wannabe thief was thwarted because the grill is cable locked to the house. If it was the latter, they were probably successful. I suspected someone was stealing propane last year and I'm convinced now because I found the propane canister on the ground instead of installed on the grill base.

So I'm considering getting a new grill instead. I might stick with a simple and reliable kettle style Weber charcoal grill, which can be had for about $90. I might wait until next year though.

In the mean time, the Bonza 4 is listed as charcoal compatible so I may just give up on the burners and use charcoal in it until the thing finally dies.
Posted 07/23/2008 09:04 PM in Cooking, Ramblings | Total Comments: (0)
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