9 Ways to Screw up your next Barbeque : Part 1 Buying Cheap Supplies
Yes, that meat is a dollar less per pound. Yes, that grill is quite a bit cheaper, and so is the charcoal and other supplies, but typically you exchange quality for those discounts.
Purchase shrewdly. Look for deals and watch for sales, but try to get high quality because the taste of your barbequed foods will depend on it.
Avoid low quality grillsOften times, cheaper grills will be rusted out within three years. Grills that are not stainless inside and out do not last very long at all, especially if exposed to the elements year round. And it simply is not practical to keep the grill covered. For one thing, you cannot cover a boiling hot grill with that flimsy plastic cover that come with some grills because the grill is too hot after using it. Few people remember or care enough to go back outside after three or four hours and try to maneuver that body glove onto the grill.
Next time you are driving through a subdivision, just look at everybody's grill -- 90% of them will be completely exposed. This is one of the reasons that the cheaper quality grills disintegrate so fast. Typically, the cheaper grills do not use stainless interior parts, which is just as important as the exterior of the grill because of the temperature and chemical changes that stress the internal parts. I would argue that the interior of the grill is even more important. Too many grills have gone the way of kitchen appliances : they are basically the same cheap quality but with lipstick. Manufacturers know that consumers make their purchasing decisions based largely on 'bling' and sex appeal. That shiny stainless refrigerator, microwave, or dishwasher may cost $500 to $1000 more, but if you look closely you will realize that the only 'stainless' part of it is the front panel (most of which are not true stainless steel anymore, but rather a silver colored composite). The sides and rear of that refrigerator, along with the interior, are all (you guessed it...) plastic.
When shopping for grills, look for deals on models that offer true stainless steel grill grates and burners, as these part are usually the first to go. Also, make sure that the handle is heat absorbent (including the hardware with which the handle is attached! -- I've burnt my hand on those 500 degree screws sticking out plenty of times).
Finding good quality BBQ meatsCheaper meat produces seem like a great deal, especially with today's meat costs where it is often cheaper to go out to eat than it is to go to the grocery store to buy the same ingredients as you would get at that downtown restaurant which is offering the two for one special tonight, or the restaurant that incessantly emails you coupons. But be careful of grocery store meat sales; often those meats are on their way downhill, or they are of considerably lesser quality.
That's not to say that you can't find super duper deals at the store, just be sure to find them on the higher quality meats if you plan to impress anybody (including yourself!) at your next barbeque. Try to find meat cuts that offer consistent fat ribboning throughout, and make sure the meat is actually of a good color quality.
Look at the expiration dates (or, as today's marketers label it: "best by" date or "use by" date). Many times the same group of meats in the 'on sale' section will have products that expire the next day right along side the meats that are good for another three or four days, so be sure to dig or reach far into the back of the grocery store refrigerator. Most butchers will bring the new meats out on large trays and rotate the older meats toward the front and put the fresh stuff underneath or in the back in order to rotate their stock effectively. There is nothing illegal about reaching for the good stuff, especially if the price per pound is all the same.