Tag Archives: Gas

Buying your first Gas Grill

Gas grills, as with most things in Singapore, don’t come cheap. We don’t manufacture many things here because labour is expensive and so is land for factories. So when you’re looking for a gas grill, you’ll want to make sure you can get the most bang for your buck.

Here is a check list of things to look out for when purchasing your first gas grill:

  1. What does the BBQ come with? What are you REALLY paying for?
    The price tag can be quite deceiving at times. Why does one 2 burner BBQ cost so much less than the other? Before deciding, find out if the BBQ comes with some essentials like a gas hose and regulator, and a rain cover (which is very necessary in Singapore weather!). Sometimes you’ll be getting a motorized rotisserie – it’s good to check on this one, especially if your BBQ comes with a back burner. Also, don’t forget to check on the local warranty period and what the warranty covers. Some local companies cover transport, service as well as replacement parts under their warranty.

  2. Why buy a grill in Singapore when it’s so much cheaper overseas?
    It’s not always the case that it’s cheaper overseas – take one of Napoleon’s more popular models, the Triumph T325SB. It’s USD499 (SGD698) on amazon, and after adding the standard amazon shipping charges and import fees, you’re looking at about USD840, which equates to SGD1174. It costs SGD999 to get it locally (or SGD1199 with the rain cover and rotisserie unit). For this amount, you will be getting your BBQ with a gas hose and regulator suitable for use in Singapore, 1-2 day delivery straight to your door, free assembly, and a local warranty which covers repairs, transport and replacement part costs.
  3. Materials!
    A BBQ grill can be made out of different materials so you have to know if the materials you’re paying for are justifiable. Standard materials for the bulk of the BBQ are usually stainless steel or powder-coated steel, but can also come in die-cast aluminum (usually for the fire box), chrome-plated steel (for the warming rack), and of course, cast iron (for the cooking grids and griddles). 304 stainless steel is probably the highest grade of stainless steel you can get for a standard gas grill, but most will be made of 430 or a mix of both materials. Why does it matter? Singapore’s humidity and rainy weather means lots of moisture everywhere, and moisture is bad for metal, especially when the grade of stainless steel is low. You’ll find corrosion and rust are a common sight.

    How do you know what kind of steel you’re getting? Do the magnet test. Magnets don’t stick to 304 stainless steel, but they do to 430 and powder-coated steel. Sometimes a BBQ will have a double-skinned hood, which means two layers of metal – the magnet test can be tricky here, because the hood could have a layer of 304 on the outside, and 430 on the inside. It’s designed this way to protect the more moisture-exposed areas of the BBQ.

    If you’re looking at a BBQ, and it has a steep price tag, check if the materials are 304 stainless steel or die-cast aluminum. That might be what you’re paying for.

  4. Other features – Burners, side burners, foldable side tables…
    Other parts you could be paying extra for are the burner power, so compare the BTU/kW with other similar BBQs. Some BBQs come with a side burner or back burner, and some will even be infrared types which are more expensive. Check if the side tables are foldable (if you have a space problem) and if the LPG tank can fit in the cabinet (not necessary, but helpful if you want a sleek integrated look). Other little features such as condiments racks, chopping boards, lights, hooks… these could be small little extras that make the BBQ special.

  5. Lastly, where is it made?
    Where the BBQ is made can contribute to the final price point just because it’s cheaper to ship from China than North America. Some brands will have factories in both locations producing different model ranges. For example, you might have Weber manufacturing their lower end range in China, and their higher end range in the USA, while Napoleon manufactures their entry-level range in both Canada and China, while their high-end Prestige and Rogue R425SIB models are all made in Canada.
Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

YES! Napoleon has hit Singapore!

I’m really stoked that we’ve finally brought Napoleon to Singapore because we’ve been using our Masport Maestro Deluxe gas grill for almost 5 years now, and I think it’s time to retire it (it’s still in great working condition even though I’m really lazy when it comes to maintenance).Image

I have to say that they really had me sold on the whole infrared sizzle zone concept. This isn’t new technology. I say this because the original infrared cooking actually derives from the concept of burning charcoal, where you would have all those glowing red bits on the charcoal, instead you get 10,000 tiny little ports with tiny little flames on each burner. So really, similar cooking method to charcoal, but less mess. Hooray!

There are lots of other features on the Napoleon LEX485, but what really caught my attention is this accessory you can get called the Napoleon Charcoal Smoker Tray. Lots of customers come in and they ask, “hey, can I put charcoal inside my gas barbecue?” The answer is NO! Gas barbecues are built to take that kind of heat. Don’t confuse Lava rocks with charcoal. Lava rocks heat up, charcoal sets on fire!

ImageImage

Anyway, let’s continue. The Charcoal Tray is a brilliant way you can convert your gas barbecue into a charcoal one, simply by placing the tray above the burner (without the flame tamers) and adding in the charcoal. You’d light them simply by switching on your burner and leaving it for about 5 minutes, then switch it off (but leave the hood open the whole time). You can even add woodchips to the mix because it’s got a triangular slot on one corner with holes in them. This tray is made of cast iron, so it’s sturdy and takes heat really well.

Available from Liberty Patio.

Tagged , , ,

Smokin’ Hot!

For Mothers’ Day weekend, I decided to experiment with our new wood chip smoker box.

I tried a spicy pork rib recipe from a Southern cookbook called “Adam’s Ribs”. It’s a dish that takes up to 5 hours to cook.

Despite having owned a barbecue for years, I’ve never actually tried to smoke anything before.

Some things to note from this little experiment:

1. Soak the wood chips in water before putting them into the smoker box. This will help to keep them moist and last longer.

2. I actually turned on 2 burners at first (as the recipe instructed), but the heat proved to be too close to the meats. Some of the meat closer to the burners started to get black really fast. So I turned off the 2nd burner and it was much better.

3. As you can see from the images below, I’ve actually put the ribs on the unlit side. I put the smoker box on the lit side.

4. It’s good to preheat your grill like an oven as it takes a while to heat up. The general idea is to get about 175 degrees Celsius.

5. Baste the ribs every hour for about 2 – 3 hours. On the last hour, baste every 10 minutes.

Image

Image

Your thoughts: Would you get a smoker? If so, what flavours of wood chips would you like to try?

Wood Chips and Smoker Boxes are available from Liberty Patio.

Tagged , , , ,