As the weather warms up in March and April, retailers begin marking down prices up to 40% off on grills and accessories as they shift seasonal inventory for spring. Additionally, keep an eye out for closeout deals of 50% or more on grills in August and September as merchants make room for fall and holiday items. Check Sunday newspaper inserts, sign up for store loyalty programs, and leverage holiday weekend promos for maximum wallet savings on barbecue essentials.
As the weather starts warming up, many people begin thinking about firing up the barbecue and cooking outdoors. However, grills can be a big investment, with prices ranging from a couple hundred dollars for a basic charcoal kettle grill to over $1,000 for a high-end gas model. If you’re looking to save money on a new barbecue, timing your purchase right can make a big difference.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the best times of year to shop for grills, both online and in stores. We’ve also compiled top tips for scoring deals, popular grill models and features to consider, and key factors to think about to determine what type of grill is the right fit and budget for your needs.
Spring and early summer grilling season – the hot deal period
The weeks leading up to and around Memorial Day mark the kick off of peak grilling season. During late May and into early June, most major retailers and home stores will be hosting sales in an attempt to lure in hungry shoppers. This is because people tend to be most interested in buying grills and outdoor cooking products when the weather is nice and BBQ excitement is in the air.
Here are two key reasons why spring is prime time for deals:
Inventory clearance – Retailers are beginning to transition their inventory from spring/summer products to autumn merchandise in the summer months. Many stores will mark down remaining grills in stock to make room for new product deliveries towards the end of summer. This is especially true for models from the previous season.
Holiday and event tie-ins – National BBQ month in May and Father’s Day in June mean you’ll also likely come across deals and sales touted to align with these annual events. For example, Father’s Day barbecue and grilling promotions are extremely common.
You’ll typically find significant discounts and bargains from most large retailers like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, and Target during this hot deal zone period in late spring, allowing you to save up to 25-30%.
New fall shipments and Labor Day sales – end of season clearance
Come August and Labor Day, stores again discount remaining summer stock – and that includes grills! The end of the summer barbecue and grilling season means retailers are trying hard to offload inventory to make space for autumn and holiday merchandise.
September ushers in an influx of new outdoor products and grills for the year ahead. Retailers must clear older models by offering alluring bargain prices, with markdowns up to 50 to 60% or even more in some cases on both display units and new-in-box grills from the previous season or two.
So for those who barbecue often and will make use of a grill beyond the coming winter months, scoring a deeply reduced high quality grill for next season makes September a fantastic month to shop. The key is taking advantage of clearance post-Labor Day sales while inventory of premium grills still lasts.
Holiday sales and Black Friday deals
Come November, many people are focused on upcoming holiday preparations and gifting rather than outdoor cooking (unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere warm!). Consequently, you’ll notice attractive pre-season prices offered in anticipation of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the biggest bargain retail events annually.
The discounts kicking off in late November may be worthwhile for folks upgrading an existing grill or willing to store a new one over winter for next year.
Big box stores and hardware chains like Home Depot and Lowe’s in particular feature early Black Friday sales on grills, sometimes dropping prices by up to 40%. Keep an eye out both online and in stores for deals.
Considerations to get the most value from an off-season barbecue purchase:
Storage – Have space to keep the grill protected over winter or through months you won’t be using it regularly. Consider a storage cover.
Transport – Carefully measure your vehicle or know you can arrange professional delivery to get a large grill home. Have an assistance plan before purchasing.
Future-proofing – If investing a hefty sum, pick a higher-end grill made to last 5+ years of moderate to frequent use. Stick to reputable bestselling brands.
Warranty – Review warranty terms. Generally only intact on brand new unopened boxes. May give peace of mind for bigger investments on marked down premium models.
Buying at the right time is key, but you also need…
Tips for scoring the hottest grill deals
Timing your grill shopping strategically can certainly unlock exciting bargains. Yet a bit of advanced preparation will ensure you snag the absolute best grill deals when discounts hit.
Here are pro tips for saving big:
- Sign up for retail newsletters and create accounts – This allows deal alerts and personalized promo emails to help identify sales in advance.
- Ask about price matching policies – Stores like Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, and more will match their own website pricing. Inquire about verification requirements.
- Monitor community deal forums – Members often share firsthand info on unpublished in-store finds.
- Be open to display or open box marked down 20-30% extra – Carefully inspect grill damage first. May come with retail warranty if new.
- Price track models of interest ahead of sales events online – Browser extensions like Honey can automatically apply discount codes at checkout too.
- Remember additional savings tricks like using discounted gift cards – Combine these with sales for extra bang for buck.
While timing is critical, you’ll want to make sure you select the right grill for your patio, cooking preferences, and budget…
How to choose a grill wisely
Ideally you’ll land outstanding discounted prices on the perfect grill for your barbecuing needs when leveraging money saving tips and sale events wisely. But that does also mean doing a bit of homework first on grill options and narrowing choices down smartly based on considerations of long term value over outright bargain hunting alone.
Here are key factors to think about:
- Charcoal grills – Classic. Impart smoky flavor. Temperature control takes some skill. Often most affordable. Consider kettle style or ceramic models.
- Gas grills – Convenient. Push button start. Rapid heating. Consistent heat. Higher range of prices based on features and build quality. Determine fuel type based on access and infrastructure first between natural gas and liquid propane.
- Electric grills – Easy plug and play functionality. Budget friendly models available. Limited on hitting very high heat levels required for good sear though.
- Evaluate size of primary cooking area based on expected grilling load for family/household needs plus entertaining guests.
- Additionally, side trays and secondary shelves as prep space.
- Ensure burners adequately cover full span on gas grills when considering quantity and BTU ratings of each.
Construction and durability
- See what grill bodies and vital components like burners, grates, and fireboxes are made from. Common metals used include stainless steel, cast aluminum, enameled steel, etc.
- Understand differences in grades for models like 304 vs 430 commercial stainless steel.
- Study thickness gauges provided which signals better heat retention and longevity.
- Consider attached vs. easily removed fuel tanks if buying gas.
Secondary warming racks, rotisserie burners for meat roasting via motors, side infrared searing zones, LED illumination, integrated temperature gauges and even WiFi connectivity take outdoor grilling and cooking to the next level. But also add cost. Weigh importance and determine if you truly require.
Bestselling grill models and types
Top rated brands and specific grill models provide insight on features and capabilities most appreciated by consumers. While sticking to proven models likely available at major retailers doesn’t hurt increasing odds of scoring deals and clearance finds, always confirm updated reviews and ratings on latest model years.
Here’s a table summarizing the different types of grills along with their respective models and categories:
|Weber Genesis II
|Char-Broil Performance 4 Burner Cart Style Gas Grill
|Dyna-Glo Black & Stainless Premium Grills
|Monument Grills 4 Burner Propane Gas Grill
|Weber Original Kettle Premium
|Dyna-Glo Dual Zone Premium Charcoal Grill
|PK Grills Original Outdoor Charcoal Portable Grill & Smoker
|Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill
|George Foreman 15-Serving Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill
|Kenyon Floridian Portable Electric Grill
|Cuisinart Electric Grill with VersaStand
|Char-Broil Electric Patio Bistro TRU Infrared
|Pit Boss 700FB Pellet Grill
|Z Grills Pellet Grill & Smoker
|Camp Chef SmokePro Lux Pellet Grill
|Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill
|Expert Grill Heavy Duty 24 Inch Charcoal Grill
|Cuisinart Kettle Style Charcoal Grill
|Master Cook Classic Liquid Propane Gas Grill
|Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill
|Hestan Pro 4 Gas Grill
|Lynx Sedona 36-Inch All Trident Infrared Gas Grill
Determining the right grill for your needs and cooking style doesn’t need to be complicated. Consider convenience factors, frequency of use, construction quality and reviews over flashy extra features.