SAN ANTONIO – Whether you’re a year-round griller or more of a summer outdoor cook, now is a good time to take a look under the hood. Even if you keep it clean and covered, grills don’t last forever. Consumer Reports reveals five signs that it may be time for a new grill.
1. A firebox that’s cracked or rusted through. Not only is it not going to cook well, but it’s also unsafe. Consumer Reports says there really is no fix for a damaged firebox. You’ll need to replace your grill.
2. If a burner is pumping out uneven or yellow flames. That means there’s a clog and your grill isn’t getting as hot as it could. Clean the holes in the burner tubes with a toothpick. If the flames go back to blue, it’s fixed. If not, you can try new burners.
3. Grates that are flaking or cracked. Flaking grates need to be replaced because flakes can actually break off and get into your food.
4. Cracked hoses and connectors. If you’ve got a leaking or cracked hose, replace it immediately. The last thing you want is a gas leak near an open flame.
5. An iffy ignitor. An igniter is a part you want to replace immediately when it starts to falter because gas can build up inside the grill.
If you decide your grill needs replacing, Consumer Reports has tested more than 500 models and found several good ones. A couple of standouts for price and performance are the Even Embers GAS8560AS, at $400 and the Cuisinart 5 Burners Dual Fuel GAS2556AS (Walmart), at $500.