What to Look for When Buying a Used Grill

  • By: Peter Allen
  • Date: 09/24/2020
  • Time to read: 9 min.

Buying a used grill is an excellent option if you are looking for quality, but you are on a budget or hunting for a unique gas grill that is no longer available on the market. It is better to purchase a high quality used grill than a brand new low-quality grill. However, you need to be extra careful when buying a used grill. Whether you are thinking of purchasing used charcoal, propane, or natural gas grill, below are important things to consider.

Buying used a grill can seem overwhelming because there are so many things to look out for before making your final decisions. Unlike brand new grills with a warranty, used grills don’t have one meaning that once you make a purchase, there is no turning back. You, therefore, need to be extra careful when buying a used grill to avoid regretting later. However, just because a grill is used does not mean that it is low quality or will not serve you for long. In fact, a high quality used grill can serve you for long compared to a low-quality brand new grill. What matters is how you choose a used grill.

There are multiple reasons why people purchase used grills. Some buy them because they are more affordable while others buy them because they are looking for a specific model that cannot be bought new anymore. Regardless of the reason for purchasing a used grill, you need to choose one that will meet your grilling needs and serve for a long time. So, are you planning to buy a used grill, but you don’t know what to look for before purchasing one? If yes, then today you are in the right place. In this post, we are going to discuss what to look for when buying a used grill.

Consider rust

One crucial thing to consider when buying a used grill is rust. I am not talking about the usual surface rust because grill can rust on the surface, mostly when they stay outdoor for long. There are two places in particular that you need to be concerned with when you spot rust. These places include the drip pan and the cooking grates because that is where a large amount of moisture sits for a long time, thus vulnerable to rust.

Therefore, if you notice the presence of rust in these two areas, then that is a clear indication that the grill has not been well taken care of by the owner. Before you purchase a grill, check the cooking grates and drip pan to ensure that they don’t have any rust sign.

Check if all accessories are intact.

Is it also essential to check if all the grill accessories are intact before you make your final decision.? All grill models come with a unique set of accessories. If a used grill has all accessories that it came with, then that is s clear sign that the owner well maintained the equipment. Avoid a used grill with missing or broken accessories because it is a clear sign of negligence and carelessness from the owner.

A used grill with many missing or broken accessories will also inconvenience you while grilling, making the entire experience boring. Necessary grilling tools that a used grill need to have include rimmed baking sheet, spatula, tongs, cast iron skillet, and wheels. You should not expect them to be in perfect condition because the grill is used, but they should all be intact.

Consider fuel type

This is a critical factor that most people usually overlook when buying a used grill. Grills are either powered by propane, natural gas or charcoal. Propane grills are ideal for people who are looking for convenience, portability, and fast cooking, while natural gas grills are ideal for people who are looking for comfort, reliability, and reduced cost. On the other hand, charcoal grills are suitable for people who are more concerned about giving their meat a smoky flavor. When checking the fuel type, it is also important to check if things like the regulator are in good shape. Only buy a used gas grill that is powered by a fuel that you are comfortable with. For instance, if your home does not have a natural gas line, it will be wise to choose LP powered or charcoal grill.

Consider the material it is made of

The quality of material that the used grill is made of is also a critical factor to consider when purchasing one. The quality of material that the grill is made of will determine its sturdiness and how long it will serve. The last thing that you want is buying a used gas grill that wobbles when grilling. Grills are made either from stainless steel, aluminum, or cast iron enamel bonded steel. Each of these materials has its own set of pros and cons.

For instance, stainless steel is sturdy and resistant to rust. On the other hand, cast iron is resistant to wear and tear but is more susceptible to rusting. The quality of material used to make the frame is very important as it determines the grill sturdiness and durability. Ensure that you inquire to know the type of material that the used grill is made of. Only choose one that is made of high-quality material to guarantee its durability.

Consider if spare parts are readily available on the market.

Unlike used grills that come with new brand new accessories, most accessories in used grills are relatively old, meaning that you will need to replace them sooner or later. The last thing you want is being told that your grill spare parts are no longer available in the market or import them for another country. Therefore, it is essential to buy a used grill that you can easily buy a spare part from your local dealer. This way, you will have an easy time replacing damaged and worn out parts. Buying a used grill that has readily available parts will not only make your work easy but will also save you a lot of money.

Consider ease of maintenance.

Another vital thing to consider when buying a used grill is the ease of maintenance. Used grills require more maintenance than brand new grills. For instance, if you buy a used grill with many worn out parts, it will cost you a lot of money to keep it in excellent condition. On the other hand, if you purchase a grill that is still in great shape, then the maintenance cost will be low. Before buying a grill, check the overall quality of its parts to ensure that they are all in great shape to lower maintenance costs.

Consider brand

There are many grill brands on the market. However, some are known to manufacture high quality and durable grills than others. Considering the brand is even more critical when purchasing a used grill because it indicates how long the grill is likely to last. If you buy a used grill from a reputable brand, then the chances are that the grill will serve you well for a long time.

On the other hand, if you purchase a used grill from a brand that does not have a good reputation, then its chances of breaking down fast are high. If you want to be on the safe side, then ensure that you only buy a used grill from reputable brands that have been around for a while and are well known to manufacture high-quality grills.

Consider if it has all the features that you are looking for

We all have unique features that we like in a grill. For instance, some people prefer a grill with night lights and a side table while others prefer side burners and spice racks. Please don’t compromise on unique features that you like in a grill just because you are buying a second-hand grill. Instead, be patient and search for a used grill with all the extra features you are looking for. This way, you will always enjoy cooking on the grill.

Consider the size of the grill.

The size of the grill should be proportional to the amount of food you are planning to grill. For instance, if you have a large family (more than five members), then you need to need to buy a largely used gas grill that will comfortably prepare meals for your entire family in a single round. If you plan on doing mostly large cookouts, then it is vital to choose a used grill with sufficient surface area to cook a lot of food at once.

On the other hand, if you have a small family, then purchasing a used grill with extra space is not worthwhile. The used grill that you buy should also match with the size of your backyard. For instance, placing a large-sized used grill in a small backyard will make it feel crowded and challenging for your family or guests to move around freely during a barbecue party. So, ensure that you purchase a used grill that is proportion to the size of your backyard.

Know more about the seller

Before you make your final decision, take your time to learn more about the seller. When the seller invites you to inspect the grill on this home, check how well he/she maintains his backyard. If the seller’s backyard looks disorganized and untidy, then the chances are that he has also not taken good care of the grill that he/she is selling. On the other hand, if the seller’s backyard is clean, tidy, and well organized, then chances are high that the seller has also taken good care of the used grill, only by used grill from a seller who has a neat and tidy home.

Consider BTU rating

British Thermal Unit (BTU) rating typically means that amount of heat that burner dissipates. Generally, most people prefer buying a used grill with the highest BTU rating, but that is not a wise move. For instance, if you buy a used grill with the highest BTU, but with poor construction, you will still not get what you are looking for because most of the heat will be wasted. Although BTU is a crucial thing to consider, you should note that high BTU does not always mean more heating power.

If you grill your meals fast, then you should purchase used grill with high BTU. Additionally, the grill should have high-quality components such as an excellent ventilation system, thicker cooking grates, and much more to support a high BTU rating.

Consider durability

Even if you are purchasing a used grill, you want it to last for as long as possible. You can estimate how long the grill is likely to survive by checking things such as the material the grill is made of, the thickness of the grates, stability of the frame, and the quality of other crucial features such as the burner. In addition to that, how the grill has been maintained will also determine its durability. For instance, if there is plenty of rust or grease buildup on the cooking grates, then the used grill will not last for long regardless of the brand or the grill material.

Check heat distribution settings.

This is a crucial factor that most people ignore when buying a used grill. Buying used grill with poor heat distribution will make your grilling experience awful. Proper heat distribution is essential because it ensures that your food cooks evenly and faster. Therefore, before you purchase a grill, check if it has adequate heat distribution. The best way to determine if the grill has proper heat distribution is by moving your hand over the grill and noting any temperature difference. Also, check the type of cooking grates that the gill is equipped with. For instance, cast-iron cooking grates have better heat distribution than stainless steel cooking grates.


Buying a used grill is a great option, especially if you want to save costs. However, you need to be extra careful when purchasing one. If you follow the tips given above, then you will drastically improve the chances of buying high quality used grill.