Electronic Igniters On Outdoor Grils: How Necessary ?

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Hello:
Want to get an outdoor grill (probably in the $ 400 range) as a gift. Really know nothing about them, but CR had a good writeup on them this month.
Concerning electronic igniters:
is this a "must-have" option ? how important ?
If it doesn't come with one, how do you light the burners; a match, or... ?
BTW: The Vermont Castings Brand seems to offer a bit more than the Webers that you see in all the stores. Any opinions on ?
thanks, B.
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wrote:

Now there's a concept: a must-have option.
If it was necessary, it wouldn't be an option, now would it?

Hardly at all. It's convenient -- right up until the time it quits working, which, if you use the grill much, won't be terribly long.

Any ignition source will work, but a match is the easiest. Light the match *first*, then insert the lighed match through the lighting hole. Then turn on the gas.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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On Sat, 07 May 2005 12:03:19 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

have it but if the cheap ones have it, the expensive ones must. i'd think.
however, since they fail in no time, you'll need to get a hand-held igniter anyway. matches aren't the best if it's ever windy in your area. ...thehick
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If it's too windy to light a match, it's probably too windy to grill, too.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Doug Miller ( snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com) said...

I wouldn't say that -- I have experienced a number of days where there was enough of a breeze to make it nearly impossible to get a lit match into the grill, but no problem at all for a hand-held igniter let alone actually using the grill...

--
Calvin Henry-Cotnam
"Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
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I've not seen a grillwithout one in years. They are safer than trying to get a match to the burner from either top or bottom of the grill. Older ones failed often, but the newer ones seem to be very reliable.

Doubt you will find a gas grill that does not have one.

Weber make a great grill and has many happy customers. I have a VC and thought it was a better buy. There are many good brands at the $400+ level.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Robert11 wrote:

Having done it both ways, I would not buy one, especially one in the $400 range, I would not buy one without it. I wonder how many good ones don't come with one.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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My grill is going on 3 years now and the igniter still works fine. I can't even remember the last time I saw a grill that didn't have one. I find it quite handy.
You have to go pretty cheap not to get one, so it sounds like you'll get one whether you want to or not.
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I have a Vermont Castings three burner. I absolutely love it. It is easy to regulate heat. The thing is heavy and holds the heat in. The porcelain grates are easy, just wire brush them, and spray with Pam before cooking.
But the one thing I like the most is the "clicker". It has worked FIRST time, EVERY time so far. I would suggest this barbecuer to anyone. I have a cheaper one at my rental, and I have to supply those long butane lighter sticks and hope someone doesn't burn off their eyebrows. I think I will be springing for a new Vermont Castings grill for over there soon.
It says quality from the first time you lift the heavy lid. I paid $400, but don't anticipate having to buy anothe barbecue in my lifetime. Up till now, I've owned about six. Get the nice cover at Lowe's and keep care of it.
Steve
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FYI,the "clicker" is a PIEZO-electric spark generator,it's not "electronic".
Squeeze a crystal and it generates a voltage pulse.Stack the crystals for higher voltages.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Jim Yanik wrote:

the sparking electrode gets bumped out of place or to change out completely with a low cost "universal" replacement.
I've never had to change one. The only problems I've had over many years were electrodes which got shifted too far away from "ground" to spark.
Since I quit smoking 11 years ago and nobody else in the house smokes either it isn't always that easy to find a match when you need one.<G>
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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Jim Yanik wrote:
...

electronic adj. 1. Of or relating to electrons. 2. Of, relating to, based on, operated by, or otherwise involving the controlled conduction of electrons or other charge carriers, especially in a vacuum, gas, or semiconducting material. 3. Of or relating to electronics.
I guess it qualifies as electronic.

True.
--
Joseph Meehan

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No. It's only electric,which also relates to electrons. It generates an electric current. Electronic relates to active components.(the key is "controlled" conduction,that's the "active" part) Piezo effect is only a electrical/mechanical characteristic,not any active components.It uses NO vacuum,gas,or semiconducting material,either.

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Jim Yanik
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Mine have always failed. Of my grill gets heavy usage. They come standard on all grills that I have seen sold in the last 10 years.
I have never replace one. I use the gun type butane lighter to light my grill. I go up though the air hole in the bottom. Lighting from the top can result in no arm hair. Propane is slighly heavier then air. The nice thing about the gun style ligher is that it keeps lighting the grill even after it is out of gas. The spark is all you need.
Colbyt
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I've had the igniters fail. Was always able to repair in one of two ways --
1. Wire from push button to spark gap came loose. Push wire back on.
2. Crude built up around the spark gap. Clean out the bottom of the grill.
SJF
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Can't the igniters be replaced for about five bucks??
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Yep. I've got a weber LP platinum series grill - the igniter lasted 4 years, and I grill ALOT.
A visit to www.weber.com, order a new igniter - it was in my mailbox 2 days later.
< $10 with shipping.
To the OP: That amount of $$ will get you a very nice grill. If you can try to determine what sort of features the recipient likes to have; there are so many options for these grills nowadays. I'm just saying that cause it would be a shame to buy a grill with an accesory that never gets used, vs. using that money toward an upgraded cooking surface, etc.
Also, I highly recc. Weber.
There are almost no nightmares worse than having to assemble a grill - Webers are pre assembled, or, in the worst case, are designed to be assembled very quickly. They put alot of thought into the design and operation of their product, and it's very solid.
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I had an igniter fail. While pretty cheap to replace, I only use the grill a few times each year, so a match lights it fine, or a piece of burning newspaper is easier to avoid getting your hand burnt.
Ron

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One other thing I just discovered about my grill, although this is the first year it has done this:
When you go to light it, don't turn on the gas with the lid closed.
First, open the lid, then turn on the gas, and then press the igniter.
For 2005, there are 3 additional steps.
1. Open lid 2. Turn on gas 3. Hit Igniter. 4. Watch 50 hornets begin to rise from inside the grill. 5. MAKE SURE THE GRILL IS LIT, SLAM TH E LID CLOSED AND THEN 6. RUN LIKE HELL
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Yah I have to carefully open my grill lid and check for wasps everty time I use it. The last 2 years in springtime I also have birds trying to build a nest inside my grill. They nearly filled up the interior with grass and twiggs the other day. I now have to plug the holes on the sides of the grill with pop cans to keep the birds out. Kevin
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