I've been doing a lot of research on ceramic grills and have several questions. I've narrowed it down to a Large BGE or Large Grill Dome.
1) What should I expect from a dealer. One of the advantages of the BGE over other ceramic grills are local dealers. Unfortunately, I just went into my local dealer and they were less than impressive. They are a pool store and didn't offer much insight on the BGE or ceramic grilling in general. Worst yet, when I asked them about the warranty (which I believe one of the advantages of having a local dealer), they recommended that I go directly to BGE (and incurr shipping costs) than going through them. Their primary focus seems to be selling rather than supporting.
2) Firebox cracks: how prevalent are they with the new design (expansion slit)? I know they are covered under warranty but I am just wondering. This has a lot to do with my 3rd question.
3) How is the BGE compared to other grills such as the Grill Dome in terms of durability and robustness. I don't want to have to baby a grill. For example Grill Dome recommends that you:
- Do not use chimney fire starters (temperature shock),
- Do not cook indirect heat at high temperatures (i.e. cooking a pizza) as that could damage the unit - this one was a shocker
- Do not close both dampers at the same time to shut down - they recommend closing the bottom and then waiting 15 mins or until <250deg before closing top). This would be an inconvenience each time I use it.
I've seen numerous postings and youtube video's where BGE dealers and customers say you can just close both dampers to shut down - is that really the case?
4) Other than item 3), my research actually tells me to get a Grill Dome based on the following advantages:
- Thicker Ceramic
- Stainless Steel hardware
- Beefier Hinge
- Larger dome (more room for cooking things like turkeys)
- Lifetime warranty on all parts including hardware (BGE is 5 year on metal parts)
Sadly, having a local dealer for future support was a big advantage with the BGE for me - but I didn't get the warm fuzzy feeling when I talked to them this morning.
I'd love to hear people's opinions on these questions.