By Thanh Buswell, Contributing Writer
National Barbecue Month kicks off May 1st and residents across Prince William County will be prepping their grills to get ready for a season of outdoor cooking. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association’s (HPBA) State of the Barbecue Industry Report, 85 percent of North American households own either a grill or smoker. As Memorial Day approaches and the nights get warmer, plans of picturesque outdoor gatherings with friends and family will be made, and some of us will start considering whether or not to upgrade our own grill.
There are two main considerations in the purchase of your perfect grill: preference in fuel type or source and grill size and portability. Experienced grillers who enjoy the authenticity of a traditional barbecue over convenience will prefer charcoal grills and the titillating results from cooking meats and vegetables over hot coals. Those seeking convenience and easy clean-up will be most satisfied with a gas or electric grill, which can still produce great results. When it comes to making the purchase of a new grill, experts suggest buying the best value you can afford. While a more cost-effective grill may offer similar results to a high-end offering, the product may require replacement much sooner.
Local retailers, such as Pitkin’s Ace Hardware stores, are listening to customers’ needs. For the first time ever, Pitkin’s will hold a Grill Trade-In event this May. For the entire month of May, customers can bring in their used grills and receive money towards the purchase of a new grill at and receive a discount on all grill accessories. Depending on the condition, Pitkin’s will donate the used grills to local nonprofits in the area. Sarah Pitkin, owner of Pitkin’s Ace Hardware stores in Dale City, Woodbine and Sully Station, noted, “We know that with the grills, a lot of people would like to upgrade or trade-in and want to figure out what to do with the old grill. We help them solve the problem.”
Those who participate in this event by trading in, upgrading or purchasing a new grill at any of the three locations will also receive an invitation to Pitkin’s Grill Party, held at Centreville, Woodbine and Dale City locations on May 28, 29, and 31 from 6 to 8:00pm.