Summer time is made for outdoor enjoyment and an increasing number of people are investing in outdoor entertainment spaces with luxury grill for their homes. Beautiful decks, elaborate patios, or just some refreshing outdoor furniture in the back yard can bring great value and usefulness to your entertainment area and sets the stage for some truly excellent summer get-togethers. The centerpiece of these fun and carefree events is almost always the grill, but what grill should you choose to complement your backyard paradise? Is the price of higher end grills really worth the cost? We’ll take a look at some of the options and see what you really need to make your backyard space shine.
The short answer is yes. You should buy a luxury grill if you’re looking for a higher performing appliance with more features and a more durable construction.
It’s easy for us to say this—all the grills we carry are premium products designed to be better than the big box stores. Today, though, we’ll show you why a luxury grill costs more than those budget models, and why we think they’re worthy of your consideration.
What is Considered a “Luxury” Grill?
We consider grills starting around the $1,000 price point to be the introduction to the “luxury” grill monicor. Though this price point may seem arbitrary, it’s here you’ll begin to really see true quality differences. With that said, luxury grills can climb upwards of $15,000 or more for reasons we’ll get into later in this article.
When we’re asked about the different classes of grills, we typically talk about four distinct price tiers: budget, entry-level luxury, mid-range luxury, and high-end luxury. When speaking of these tiers of grills, think about how the same applies for cars – each step up in class finds different qualities, features, and of course price.
Think of these as your first car. Sure, you were excited about it when you were 16. It got you from point “A” to point “B” (most of the time), but you certainly weren’t driving it for style or performance. In the same vein, budget grills serve their purpose and allow you to grill, but you won’t win any style points and after a while, it will fail on you.
Entry-level luxury grills
After you’re tired of dealing with the hassle of a budget grill, you upgrade. Grills in this range start at prices just under $1,000 and go up to around $3,000. These products offer good value and a great introduction to “high-end” grilling and begin to feature higher quality construction materials designed to last years.
Mid-range luxury grills
These grills build upon the features and durability of the previous class and upgrade everything a bit. Priced between $3,000 and $5,000, these grills offer enhanced features and even better quality than entry-level models. Once again, construction is enhanced and the quality allows these grills to potentially last for decades.
High-end luxury grills
These are your high-performance sports cars and they spare no expenses. These grills are top-of-the-line across the board and are a status symbol as much as they are a cooking appliance.
Among each of those tiers, there are different brands with different strengths just like in the car world. We’ll save those for a different article. For now, we’ll focus on some of the general differences between each of these price ranges.
The Real Differences Between “Budget” and “Luxury”
Unlike some products, the higher cost associated with premium grills translates to very noticeable quality and performance enhancements—you’re not just “paying for a name” when it comes to grills.
Do “cheap” grills work? Sure. At the end of the day, they’ll cook an acceptable meal, but some people want more than just “acceptable.” For those who understand quality, the biggest differences you’ll notice between a “budget” grill and a “luxury” grill can be narrowed down to three major categories: quality, features, performance.
One of the biggest reasons to avoid budget grills is their questionable quality. The most obvious example of this is the material used to construct the grill. Budget grills are often made from cheaper materials like cast iron, or coated steel, which are prone to oxidation (rust) over time.
Read reviews of these grills and you’ll often see remarks like, “flimsy metal,” “wore out after one season,” or “unreliable.” When you figure in time dealing with overseas customer support and the frustration of troubleshooting before every use only to have to replace the grill in a few years, you’ll realize you aren’t really saving anything compared to a higher price tag grill. After all, grilling should be an enjoyable experience—not a chore.
Entry-Level Luxury Grills
Within this grill tier from Kick-Ass Grills, you’ll typically see either 304 or 430 stainless steel used depending on the model of the grill. A grill with 304 stainless steel will be among the most durable on the market. In fact, this is often the same material used on more expensive grills, albeit at a thinner gauge in these entry-level luxury grills. This material upgrade allows these grills to resist rusting and stand up to the rigors of regular use.
Grills with 430 stainless steel will be a step below 304 stainless steel for build quality. However, the quality will still be far above that of a cheap grill. The trade-off for this slightly lower grade of material will often be more impressive features, though, so keep in mind your preferred grilling style to find the best fit for you (more on this later in the article).
Finally, it’s worth mentioning all grills carried by Kick Ass Grills—be they entry-level, mid-range, or high-end—are built by trusted manufacturers with dedicated customer service departments.
Mid-range grills are going to feature 304 stainless steel more often than not. That said, we offer several grills featuring 316 stainless steel, and even higher quality metal. These grills, like the Blaze BLZ-4LTEMG, are a great option for those in particularly rough climates, like those where salty sea air or brutal winters are the norms.
Product warranties also start to get a little longer in this range. While manufacturer warranties cover some aspects of entry-level grills, it’s in the mid-range where you start to see more lifetime warranties to further reinforce these manufacturers’ commitment to the quality of their products.
In the high-end range, quality goes beyond the basic materials being used for the grill. These grills aren’t so much “manufactured” as they are “crafted.” When you use a grill like the Alfresco ALXE-56BFGR, you’re using a grill created in the United States with state-of-the-art technology and built to exceed the highest performance and quality standards. They’re also backed by some of the industry’s best warranties.
To sum it up, these are the grills used by professionals, by people who aspire to be professionals, or by people who want the best of the best in everything they own.
Features? What features? You might get a basic range side burner, but that will probably be the only “extra” you’ll see. Even these are uncommon on budget grills, though, so expect a basic grill head with a few burners and not much else. The included grill cart will be fairly basic, too. Low quality plastic parts seem to be common, as well.
Entry-level grills usually fall into one of two categories: premium build quality with fewer features, or above-average build quality with more features. The Bull Steer and the Napoleon Rogue SE 425 RSIB are two great examples in this category. The former uses a heavier grade of stainless steel but forgoes additional features. The latter uses a different grade of stainless steel to allow for the inclusion of side and rear infrared burners.
Mid-range grills take the best of both worlds from the entry-level tier. Here, you’ll get premium materials and extra features. The Blaze BLZ-4LTE2 is a great example of this category. This grill features 304 stainless steel construction as well as an infrared rear rotisserie burner, flame stabilizers, and integrated grill lights.
Huge grilling surface with a built-in refrigerator? Check out the Alfresco Refrigerated Cart Grill. Dual wood and charcoal functionality with a muscle car aesthetic? See the American Muscle Grill Dual Fuel Grill. High tech with restaurant results with little skill required? You want a Smart Grill by Lynx.
When it comes to high-end grills, the feature options are too numerous to count. When the budget isn’t your concern, the only thing that really matters is how you want to grill.
Budget grills will get the job done… usually. The problem with using inferior materials is they often offer unreliable performance. Welds break, burners clog, and thin grill hoods retain heat poorly. If you’re a good cook, you’ll get decent results right up until the grill starts to wear out. At that point, you’ll need to spend time trying to make the grill work again, buy a new cheapo big box grill to start over, or upgrade to something worthwhile. There’s really not much else to say about the performance of these grills.
Entry-level grills offer a lot of “bang for your buck.” You’ll be spending enough to get reliable, manufacturer-assured performance without breaking the bank. In the event you ever do need to replace a broken or worn-out part, you’ll have spent enough to make sure this can be done without scrapping the entire grill. These won’t be the most powerful grills around, but like the “daily driver” car comparison we made at the beginning of this article, they’ll offer reliable performance you can count on for many years.
A good mid-range grill will satisfy the needs of all but the most discerning grill user. Powerful, reliable, and still reasonably priced, these grills are a great investment to make if you spend a lot of time grilling or really enjoy the hobby. In addition, if you spread the cost of the grill over the lifetime of the grill compared to replacing a cheap grill every few years, the extra cost is a lot easier to justify.
Lots of burners, lots of BTUs, and lots of cooking space, these grills are top-of-the-line in every way. When you buy a high-end grill, it’s going to be as good or better than anything else on the market. You’ll still need to be a competent cook to reap the full benefits of these grills, but these grills will always be ready to perform.
Deciding on Your Next Grill
We’re ready to help you find your next grill. If you’re tired of wasting money on cheap grills, we encourage you to consider buying an entry-level luxury grill. If you’ve been using an entry-level grill for a while or you already know this is a hobby you’ll be enjoying for years to come, check out our mid-range options available. If you want one of the best grills on the market, go straight to our high-end selection of grills.