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Give dad the thrill of a grill on Father's Day

CNW - Everyone knows that men love to grill.

CNW - Everyone knows that men love to grill. Grilling is perceived by most guys as one of the few remaining male-only, testosterone-filled rituals - starting and maintaining the flame, watching the food sizzle and sear while enjoying a chilled beverage of choice, then presenting family, friends or neighbours with a finished culinary delight that generates a plethora of praise. No wonder that many families want to buy the ultimate gift of a gas grill for dad on Father's Day.

However, shopping for the right grill for your dad can be challenging if you don't know some of the basics. Overall, keep in mind that the top three things grilling enthusiasts want to avoid are 1) uncontrollable flare-ups, 2) grills that fall apart after a couple of seasons, and 3) burnt food (most people blame burnt food on the chef, but often times it's the quality of the grill).

It's important to make sure that a one-time bargain doesn't turn into a long-term disappointment: Invest in a quality grill so dad can focus on dinner and not his toolbox!

Here are some insider tips to find the right gas grill for Dad that will be part of the family for years to come:
1.  Choose a Grill with pre-assembled or welded parts. It will be much more stable and stand up to everyday use.

Look for easy-to-follow instructions and precision cast and die-cut parts for easy and accurate assembly. Even if the store assembles it for you, you want the least number of fasteners, which can come loose over the grill's life.

2.  Choose a grill with a long-warranty period. The best manufacturers can afford to stand behind their products. The warranty should be at least five years on all parts. Make sure promises for long-term or lifetime warranties aren't shrouded in fine print and caveats.

3.  Choose a well-known company with a reputation for quality. Do you  know and trust the name on the hood? Look for a company with a history of great customer service-one you can reach later if you need accessories, service, and (eventually) replacement parts. Look for a customer service phone number and website address.

4.  Give it the "wiggle test." Grab the grill by the sides and give it a good shake. If it doesn't feel sturdy at the store, you can bet it's going to fall apart in your backyard. A well-built grill feels solid and stable and is made of high-grade steel, baked-on porcelain enamel, and heavy-gauge stainless steel.

5.  Take a good look inside. Most grill shoppers stop at opening and closing the hood. If it feels heavy, they think the grill is good. But just like buying a new car, you need to check under the hood and inspect the inner workings.

6.  Cooking grates. Look for durable cooking grates made of porcelain-enamelled steel, stainless steel, or porcelain-enamelled cast iron.

7.  Under the grates. Beneath the cooking grates you will see some type of system to disperse heat from the burners and channel away food drippings. Stay clear of lava rock or ceramic briquettes. Drippings can pool on these surfaces causing nasty flare-ups. The best design is a v-shaped metal bar that rests on top of the burners to vapourize drippings.

8.  What about the burner system? Make sure the grill is equipped with at least two individually controlled burners to enable you to cook by the Direct and Indirect cooking method. Burners should be made of high-grade stainless steel.

9.  Where does the grease go? Look for a system that funnels drippings down and away from the burners into a high capacity catch pan - at least one inch deep - that can be accessed easily from the front of the grill.

10. Finally, check how the gas line is run from the tank to the grill - is it a safe distance from the hot underside of the grill? Are the wires for the igniter also tucked safely away? Cheap grills from unskilled manufacturers don't always put safety first.

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