Monday, May 14, 2012

The Grillanator

I blame this entire post on the medication I'm on for the two bulged discs in my back.

Its All Mrs. MadMadScientists Fault!
She forced me to buy a new BBQ grill because she considered the old one to be unsafe....
I just considered it uh, unique and customized.

After much looking and researching I realized that we can't really afford a good grill....a decent grill that will last cost's around $600....

Enter Craig's List.
Saw an add for what looked like a very fancy BBQ. Did some research and yep its a very fancy BBQ. Seems that a failed bio-tech company in Redwood City was trying to liquidate their assets and this grill was one of em. They told me it was used once a week to cook burgers for 50 people for slightly less than a year...and it was never, ever cleaned....I had no idea what that was going to mean at the time...

My New Baby
I borrowed a friends little truck and headed off to a nice business park right on the water, to take a look.
WOW, its not actually the model I was told on the phone...its the next model up!!! In fact, its the fanciest model the company makes!!! I was so flustered I didn't even try to haggle I just wanted the mega grill for mega cheap! Got the grill for $400 and three full 20 pound propane tanks for an additional $100!!!
One thing I didn't notice at the time was that the thing doesn't even come with a side burner!?!?!

Oh, So Grungy!!!
Check out these pics.

There was a thick layer of grease on all the cracks, everywhere!
The grease was not the main issue though, it was the thick, up to 1/4" layer of carbon that was on everything inside the a thick layer of grease was covering a thicker layer of carbon...

I found the manual online and read the cleaning instructions....only allowed to use a mild detergent and a non-abrasive scrubbing pad!?!?!?!?!? No oven cleaner, nothing with bleach....geez...

Cleaning Up The Mofo
Here's my selection of cleaning gear on top of our old BBQ.

I decided to take the grill apart and soak all the nasty bits in a solution of Simple Green and water.

I soaked this stuff for a full 36+ hours....
The simple green did clean all the grease but it didn't even touch the hard carbon deposits...

While the stuff was soaking I went at the main grill inside and out.

The simple green worked great on the outside of the grill and helped a little bit on the inside.

The Final Solution
Someone mentioned it to me as a joke to use an angle grinder on it...
Well that's exactly what I decided to do. I got a wire cup brush that is supposed to be safe to use on stainless steel.
Well, it worked like a charm. I was able to clean off the grates, the burners, the veggie rack, the flame tamer things, and most of the inside of the BBQ! I didn't even realize that there are lights in the lid because they were covered with a thick layer of carbon.
Most of the metal looked like new except blued from the heat.
Of course myself and the surrounding ground was covered in black powder....just the thing you want to have happen before a party...

All Clean (sorta)
Cause I'm a total idiot I forgot to take pics of the grill after it was all cleaned up and polished....
Here's how it looked after cooking food for 40 this past weekend.

In Conclusion
Here's what I think after using the grill...
I don't get how this thing is worth $5k....its nice for sure but wow I don't think its
that nice. I don't know if anybody needs a grill this big.
But, even after spending an entire day cleaning it, I still think it was worth what I paid for it.
I really like the super-hot sear burner.
On the main part of the grill the heat was very even.
It took a loooong time to heat the thing up and with the lid open it cools down pretty fast.
Don't know when I'm going to feel the need to cook 4 chickens on the rotisserie.
There is a lot of acreage on the grill but I used most of it during the party.
Compared to our old Costco grill its obviously more upscale and better made with thicker metal and more burners/ sq ft.
At this price point I'd think that it would be made from 316 Stainless as opposed to 304.
It's lame that there is no side burner. Called the local BBQ's Galore store and they said it wasn't possible to retrofit a burner!?!?!?! Huh???
I had to switch out the propane tank in the grill for a new one because it was icing up and lost most of its pressure.

Still though, totally worth it for $500! Thanks Craig's List!!!


Mrs Joy said...

Me and my five bulging disks here you and say: get thee to physical therapy if possible. Next best thing is ice, moderate doses of advil, and extremely circumspect abdominal exercises.

The MadScientist said...

Unfortunately already done physical therapy, I live on ice and advil and when it gets really bad I step up to percosets unfortunately.

I hear ya on the ab exercises...I did them religously and they just made my back hurt worse and worse and worse.

Now I do 45 min of cardio everyday followed by a good stretch and that helps the most.

Still hurts like hell most of the time and we are looking at surgical solutions.