Temperatures outside is going up and up, so it's time to invest in a grill. Depending on how much air conditioning it takes to keep your home comfortable, a cheap grill will pay for itself quickly. If you're looking to save some cash on your grill purchase, it is possible to get a good deal on a used BBQ, but you need to search with care.
What to Watch Out For
The biggest problem with used grills is rust. On a charcoal grill, rust is pretty straightforward. You may see it on the outside of the kettle or near the rivets. Inside, the grate may be rusty or even the inside of the bowl.
If you're getting a great deal and don't mind putting in some elbow grease, you can clean up the rust on an outdoor grill. Another option is to simply keep the base and cover and just replace the grate. Using the grill as-is won't work. You will need to clean up the grate before putting food on it.
There are some hazards in buying a used gas grill. Corrosion hides inside the gas burner and may not be evident until you fire it up and the whole burner crumbles into dust. You can replace this burner, but it takes some skill and may end badly if you don't get it hooked up correctly. However, if you get a very good deal and are willing to learn, you may be able to save a used gas grill.
When shopping for a used gas grill, bring your own propane tank and test drive it. If the seller won't allow that, don't buy the grill.
Where To Shop?
There are several places to buy a used BBQ. In addition to Facebook groups and Craig's List, be sure to check out pawn shops. In fact, because the pawn shop owner needs to check out the grill before they put it up for sale, you will likely find grills in much better shape than at a yard or estate sale.
A new grill will come to you in a box and you'll need to put in some assembly time to get it up and running. A used grill will likely come to you fully assembled, but the onus is on the buyer to check out the unit and make sure it's a good investment.