Sunday evening – time for a good BBQ with family. I had meat for roughly $40.00 on my Brinkmann BBQ Grill. And then this: My old BBQ (a Weber) had lasted for about 10 years and died last year. I replaced it with a Brinkmann 3-Burner Grill hoping to get similar mileage out of it. Well, now roughly 14 months after I bought it I am going to throw it out and will get a Weber BBQ Grill again.
Back in 1999 I bought the then cheapest Weber Gas BBQ Grill (2-Burner) at Home Depot. I did not even have enough money back then to buy the pre-assembled one. Instead my wife and I spent about 1.5 hours putting it together. And as mentioned, it lasted for about 10 years with lots of grilling during all 4 Colorado seasons each year. Last spring when the old finally BBQ died I bought a pre-assembled 3-Burner Brinkmann Grill at Home Depot.
A few weeks ago the upper stainless Cooking Grate started making trouble. The 2 “legs” that were holding up the cooking grate started slipping through the holes where they were attached to the main part of the grill. I was able to pull them up again, but I also noticed that the holes were getting larger and knew that it was just a matter of time before they would slide down again. They slid down again today while BBQ-ing – with barely any weight on the upper cooking grate (5 Brats). I had some Pork loin rips on the lower grate and Veal Brats on the upper grate when this happened. I could neither close the grill anymore nor was I able to open it all the way, because lifting the lid increased the down-facing angle of the upper cooking grate. Trying to save the food I used the BBQ tong to pull the upper grate back up, but this did not work and the BBQ tong broke into pieces while trying to lift the upper cooking grate.
Again, trying to save the food I ran inside to get a set of water pump pliers. Then I tried to carefully lift up the upper cooking grate, but it was totally stuck. I took the brats and moved them down to the lower cooking grate and lowered the temperature setting of the burners to low. As mentioned I could not close the BBQ nor could I move the upper cooking grate in any direction. Pushing it down would have mean to squeeze my rips and my brats with the grate. I became a little bit upset and applied more pressure and decided that I would rather save my food and my dinner and not the BBQ. I ripped out the upper cooking grate as the final attempt to be able to use the BBQ.
I am BBQ-ing a lot and over the years I found “my own” way of getting the food right and part of that is using the upper cooking grate a lot. I depend on it and so this really threw me off. For one I did not have my preferred way of cooking + I did not have enough space on the lower cooking grate. Nothing sucks more than doing a BBQ with guests and the BBQ not working. Somehow I managed to get everything properly cooked, but some stuff got really black and burned a bit. Fortunately I had enough food available to feed everyone anyway, but “REALLY?” – a Brinkmann BBQ does not last more than 12-15 months?! This was a medium priced BBQ purchased fully assembled from Home Depot last year. I am very upset about the quality of the Brinkmann BBQ and this was definitely my first one and my last Brinkmann BBQ. Now if Brinkmann would just stop by and pick up this useless BBQ, please. I don’t think I would do anyone really a favor by donating it to Goodwill or some other organization.