The Bottom Line
Ducane Gas Grills have been discontinued. See my list of the Best Gas Grills between $250 and $500 for a comparable product. Since this gas grill has been discontinued, parts for it are no longer manufactured. The warranty will only provide parts still available from the manufacturer.
For 2012 Lowe's is carrying the Ducane line of gas grills. This 4-burner unit with side burner is exclusive to Lowe's and at $439USD it is less than you could have bought the 4-burner without side burner for last year.
Comparatively, this is a better grill than most of the ones you are going to find for this price. Made in China at Weber's factory, this grill comes with one of the best features you can buy, full Weber support. Aside from this, the Ducane Affinity 4200 is a basic grill with a simple design. This translates into better internal components that you will find on many of the grills sitting next to it.
- Supported by Weber
- Durable and stable construction
- Lightweight grill
- Four 12,000 BTU stainless steel tubular burners
- 526 square inches of primary grilling space for a total cooking area of 693 square inches
- 48,000 BTU output from the main burners
- 12,000 BTU standard side burner under a flush mounted cover
- Electric (AA-battery) ignition
- Porcelain enameled steel cooking grates
- Hood mounted thermometer
- Porcelain coated and painted steel construction
- Propane tank, rotisserie kit, and cover sold separately
- Made in China by the Weber-Stephen Products Co.
Guide Review - Ducane Affinity 4200
The Ducane line of gas grills, owned by the Weber-Stephen Products Company has been discontinued. Weber will continue to support these products for as long as parts remain available.
Before talking about this grill, I should say a few things about the deal that made this grill possible.
Many years ago Weber bought Ducane. They shipped the manufacturing to their factory in China with an idea of making some lower cost grills specifically for the specialty market, meaning no mass market stores could carry the Ducane grills. After languishing for several years, Weber has cut a deal with Lowe's Home Improvement Stores to carry the Ducane grills and Weber has introduced this model, the Ducane Affinity 4200, exclusively for Lowe's. Dealers can carry the other two, but you have to ask why.
Why? Specialty retailers carrying the Ducane Affinity 4100 (the same as this grill, but without the side burner) had a suggested retail price of $540USD. At that price, they could make a profit. Lowe's is selling this grill, with the side burner feature, for $439USD. There is no reason for you to buy a Ducane Grill at a specialty retailer since Lowe's has all of them and at a much lower price. So there is no reason for any specialty store to carry Ducane Grills anymore. I would expect that to dry up in the first half of this year (2012).
While this isn't good for the little shops out there, it is good for you. The Ducane grills are well built for the price and better than most of the comparable products out there.
Yes, this is a basic looking grill without a lot of stainless steel and loads of features, but that is what makes it better. The fewer parts are better parts and while similarly priced grills might look nice, or offer you more extras, they won't last as long or grill as well.