BY SHERRIE NEWMAN
MY HUSBAND is a real pro at grilling up
tasty meals, from chicken and steak to
seafood and vegetables. His cedar-plank-grilled Alaskan salmon is the hit of every
party we have (see his recipe in sidebar).
Through the years he has tried a number of grill styles, from infrared to gas and
propane. In this regard, he’s a traditional
outdoor grilling enthusiast: Industry studies show that quality, key features and competitive pricing are most important to
consumers when buying a grill. Fortunately, Costco offers several options to meet
various needs and budgets.
SPECIAL SEC TION
BUYING SMAR T
Freelance writer Sherrie
Newman ;lls this month’s
consumer reporter slot
with this behind-the-scenes
look at a Costco program.
Email questions about this
article to buyingsmart@
To find out more about what goes into
a great grill, I asked Kevin Gleason, a
Costco lawn and garden buyer, to describe
the types and quality of the grills offered
at Costco and on Costco.com.
A special Costco grill
Costco carries a number of grill brands
and styles. But this year, Gleason and his
team worked with one of Costco’s suppliers
to develop a unique product: the Signateur
outdoor grill (yes, it’s spelled that way).
Costco is the only retailer that currently
carries this specific brand.
“We wanted to ensure that we could
have input throughout the entire design of
a high-quality grill that would meet
Costco’s standards of excellence,” Gleason
explains. “We worked with a well-regarded
international manufacturer to develop a
product that would meet our high expecta-
tions. We designed an outdoor grill that is
made of top-quality stainless steel and
devoted lots of attention to details in terms
of fit and finish. This allows us to provide
our members with an excellent product
and a great overall value.”
Designed for quality
So what makes the Signateur special?
Gleason explains that any discussion about
great gas grills starts with steel. Stainless
steel is the most popular material used in
outdoor gas grills as it provides greater
resistance to corrosion.
Higher-quality reinforced stainless
steel is expensive, but it helps maintain
the integrity of the grill longer, so Costco
insisted on using the best quality, Gleason
says. The highest-quality grade generally
used on grills is called Type ;;;. This stainless steel has about ;; percent chromium
and ; percent nickel, providing a high resistance to corrosion and making the grill
The price of nickel is high, so some
manufacturers resort to using Type ;;;
stainless steel, which doesn’t have any
The art of the grill
CREATING A QUALITY COOKING MACHINE
Signateur outdoor grill,