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Ignitions and Features - Gas Grills 101

Ignition Type refers to the type of device used to ignite the burners in a gas grill. There are several types of ignitors used in gas grills, some more reliable or effective than others, and some requiring more upkeep. It can take time for gas to flow to burners, so continuous heat or spark ignition methods are a popular choice.

Chef Tony Matassa
By - Corporate Chef
ShoppersChoice.com, LLC

Hot Surface

Hot surface ignitors use electricity to bring a small heating element to a red-hot glow, much like the heating elements of an electric stove. These ignitors create a steady source of heat to ignite fuel, requiring batteries or an electrical connection to operate.

Flame Thrower

The flame thrower ignition system uses a piezoelectric ignitor to light a small tube directed toward a burner, the tube provides a stream of fuel that ignites into a long flame. Piezo igniters require no external electrical source and they use the same fuel as the burners they light. Another benefit is that by creating a long flame and lighting from a distance, sensitive components can be stored away from high burner temperatures that might otherwise cause early failure.

Continuous Spark

A continuous spark ignitor generates sparks with an electrode attached to an ignition rod, the ignition rod is placed in the flow of gas near a burner sparks are emitted continuously while activated. This ignition method requires batteries or an electrical connection to operate.

Single Spark

Single spark ignitors are similar to continuous spark systems, but they emit a single spark using a piezoelectric starter. These systems require no external power source and are typically operated using a push button or by turning a burner knob to activate a switch.

Match Light

Match light burners are manually lit by match after turning on the burner fuel source.


Other Aspects

With the myriad of options on the gas grill market, there are simply too many to discuss about in great detail. However, there are a some important details to consider before you narrow your choices down.

Warranty

Gas grills have a variety of warranties and they are not all created equal. Some brands offer lifetime warranties which cover the burners and exterior body of the grill. The warranty coverage regarding parts and labor usually varies as well.

Fire Magic Cooking Grid

Grill size

Knowing the right size to buy is often a tough thing to decide. One 36 inch grill might actually have a 34"x18" cooking area while another might be 36"x22". Obviously, the first one will not hold as much food as the second, even though both are labeled 36 inch. It's helpful to consider how often you cook, and how many people you typically cook for. Our most popular grill sizes are 36 and 42 inches.

Lion Rotisserie

Rear Burner Rotisserie

Rotisserie cooking has some great benefits. For example, the rear burner provides indirect heat which helps keep food from drying out. When meat is cooked on a rotisserie, the fat and drippings baste the meat while excess is collected in a pan underneath.

DCS Smoker Tray

Smoker

Some grills come have a dedicated burner directly underneath the smoker box. Others simply have a small tray that accommodates wood chips to be placed under the cooking grates. Both options can help add additional smoked flavor to your food.

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