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Choosing the right grill for your weekend hangouts can be a daunting task. The process is complex and can be compared to buying a car. There are tons of factors one must consider to make the right selection. Some of these factors include the materials and energy consumption, among others. To make the right choice, make sure you understand the different types of grills available on sale, bearing in mind each type favors different conditions and needs.
Barbeque experts urge buyers to take the time to consider the speed, efficiency, flavor, and convenience of a grill before purchasing. However, despite all the guides available online and recommendations offered by friends, personal preference will always outweigh any guidance offered. The baseline should be to find a model that will best fit your lifestyle perfectly and one you will be able to make amazing meals on with ease.
How to choose a grill
Before we look at the different types of grills available on sale, let’s look at things you should look into before choosing one.
Different models vary in features irrespective of type and brand name. Before you choose which one will best suit your needs, here are a few helpful features you should look into:
- High heating capacity
- Easy cleaning and maintenance
- High capacity grilling space
- Uniform heating- ability to evenly cook food
- A built-in temperature gauge
- A non-stick grate. Wrought iron, sealed ceramic and stainless steel are also good options
Sizes are measured in terms of the cooking grate. The larger the grate, the more you can cook at one go; however, you are likely to experience problems with heat displacement and even cooking. Below is a breakdown of standard sizes available on the market and how many people each can feed. If you can, choose stainless steel grates for cooking.
- Weekend: 360 sq. inches – can feed 4-6 people
- Standard: 400 sq. inches – can feed 6-8 people
- Semi-professional: 1000 sq. inches -can feed 9-10 people
- Professional: 1200 sq. Inches – feeds 10-15 people
Of course, you have to consider your budget before deciding which model to buy. Don’t make your purchase with the notion of better quality will cost you more, as this is not true. There are various top quality grills available in different price ranges, and you only need to know what you are looking for.
Check out our article to learn more about the best grills in different price ranges.
Correcting the problem
Now that you have an idea of how to choose a grill, let’s now look at the different grills and the pros and cons of each
Types of Grills
Charcoal grills are the most popular grills available on the market. This requires charcoal as fuel to function. The charcoal is ignited with fire or lighter fluid and once lit, it burns over a few hours nonstop. These grills best suit people who have time to mess around with coal when grilling. However, you only get your hands dirty when lighting the charcoal. Afterward, you get to enjoy smoky barbeque food with a unique taste and flavor that’s impossible to obtain on other grills.
A charcoal grill comes in various models that we deemed necessary to look at in this guide:
Initially, Kamado Grills were designed to be portable. The idea originated in Japan, but with time it has been adopted by manufacturers worldwide. Sometimes, Kamado grills are called Kamado style cookers. For best results, users are advised to use lump wood or charcoal for cooking food on Kamado grills, to retain its natural taste. The good thing about this design is that food does not get contaminated with the charcoal residue or metal as they are placed in separate chambers.
Charcoal Kettle Grills
Charcoal Kettle Grills are smaller in size when compared to standard-sized charcoal grills meaning they are much easier to transport. These grills are ideal for individuals who desire to cook their classic smoky barbeque flavor wherever they go. If you’re looking for an on the go grill, start by considering the charcoal kettle grill.
Traditional Charcoal Grills
If you are a grill enthusiast, you have probably heard about the traditional charcoal grill. However, if you are a beginner and have never heard about this type of grill, there are no reasons to worry. These types of grills offer users ultimate flavor and most of them are made from cast iron. Designed for heavy-duty tasks, these grills will offer you mouthwatering meals fast and easy.
- Offer more cooking options
- Possible to move your food around the heat source
- Offer wood smoke in the meat
- Slower and require more work
- Takes long to get the right cooking heat
- Tough to clean
Gas grills have gain popularity over the past few years due to their efficiency. These grills achieve optimum heat temperature fast, and most utilize liquid propane as fuel. These two features have made them a favorable purchase for any grilling enthusiast that cannot get enough of grilled ribs and burgers during family get-togethers over the weekend. Gas grills cool quickly and are extremely easy to clean. Before selecting which model to purchase, make sure you understand there are different types of gas grills.
The freestanding model is every griller’s favorite as they are easy to transport around without hassle unlike their counterparts the classic big grills. These gas grills are convenient and can be compared to outdoor high powered microwaves.
Natural Gas Grill
Natural gas grills have increased popularity over the past few years. These grills gas are preferred as they are efficient, functional, easy to use, and fast. Natural gas grills are powered by the gas you use inside your house. The natural gas is channeled from the gas line to the grill using a pipeline.
Infrared Gas Grill
This type of gas grill utilizes igniting elements like natural gas or propane to heat the ceramic tile. One of the major benefits of this grill is that heat spreads uniformly across the entire cooking surface, making it easy for the user to quickly prepare food. It’s possible to cook vegetables, fish, and sausages the same way you do in a charcoal grill.
Built-in Gas Grills
Someone looking for a small gas grill should opt for built-in Gas Grills as they are designed to take a minimum amount of space and sit on top of the island cooking base. This type is best for barbeque aficionados who have limited space but still want to enjoy mouthwatering home-cooked meals. These grills are also cheaper compared to freestanding grills and infrared gas grills.
- Quick to start cooking
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Ideal for outdoor grilling
- Limited flavor
- Expensive to obtain
Before you decide to buy a gas grill, you should understand the limitations. First, these grills do not get as hot as charcoal grills and are also an expensive choice. Also, there are claims that food prepared on gas grills tends to be less “classy”.
Someone looking for a grill that is easy and simple to operate should consider an electric grill. These grills are a perfect choice for individuals who love to grill indoors. Traditionally, electric grills were less suitable, considering they required 120V to 220V power outlets. This added to the electricity bill, but over time through advancements, these grills now consume less power but still deliver the same results. There are various brands and models of electric grills, and you should look at the reputation of the manufacturer before making a purchase. These grills have gained popularity in the 21st century, considering they are simple to use. This plug and play grill option is ideal for in-house BBQs.
- Easy to use
- Safe for indoor grilling
- Does not cook the meat evenly
- Limited portability
Despite electric grills being simple to use, users do not get the traditional BBQ experience. Additionally, you cannot use these grills unless you have a power source nearby. This makes it impossible to grill in the middle of nowhere.
Woodfire/ Pellet Grills
Woodfire and pellet grills were the first grills to ever be used by man. Pellet grills have been in existence despite all the inventions and revolutions because no barbeque taste outdoes a wood fire BBQ. These grills are normally sold as open grills without wood. Wood grills provide users with a unique smoke taste that cannot be compared to anything they are used to. Another reason to opt for the wood grills is that it’s possible to change the smoke flavor based on the type of wood you use.
- Possible to cook at a lower heat
- User can get as much flavor as they want
- Ideal for fresh and cured meat
- Larger and heavier grills
- Takes long to cook food
- Not ideal for a casual backyard barbeque
Wood grills take long to get the fire roaring similar to gas or charcoal grills. However, once the fire is up and running, you are all set to start cooking. However, users have to keep an eye on it to know when to replenish the wood. Another limitation is that wood can, at times, be costly to buy.
Over the last couple of years, ceramic grills have increased in popularity. These grills work wonders as they easily maintain optimal temperatures and have limited airflow. These two distinctive features make it possible for users to get juicier meat. The grill can maintain a steady temperature for hours and is ideal for cooking fast and efficiently. Ceramic grills are on sale in various grilling outlets and online shops. Before you decide to settle for a grill, make sure you understand the following.
- offers even heating
- best for outdoor grilling
- High price
- Not easy to carry around
Ceramic grills are less popular as they tend to be more expensive when compared to other types of grills. They also weigh a lot, making them less portable. Though the prices are a bit high, ceramic grills are worth the spend considering they will cook you juicy and well-cooked meat without much input.
If you are looking to grill during outdoor camps and hikes, you should opt for portable grills. These grills are designed to be lightweight and highly portable. Most come with a backpack to help you carry it on your back conveniently. Some portable grills come with inbuilt gasoline or charcoal as their main heat source. To be sure you are making the right decision when buying, pay close attention to the following factors.
- heat up quickly due to their small size
- great for camping, outings, and picnics
- limited capacity
- does not offer a wide range of temperatures
The only limitation with portable grills is size. The grilling surface is limited, meaning you can only cook a small amount of food at a time.
Correcting Common Problems
Once you have settled for a particular grill, it’s time to have fun. You can choose to go golfing or wine tasting with friends, but you will choose to stay at home and grill. However, it won’t always be fun as there are problems you can encounter along the way. Luckily, we are familiar with common grilling problems and how to fix them.
Grilled food is too dry
The rising smoke from your charcoal grill adds a great smoky flavor to your food, but it could dry it out too. The solution to this problem would be grilling thicker cuts. Thicker foods are simple to grill and hold their juices better, reducing the possibility of food becoming too dry.
Fish and burgers stick on the grill and come apart
There are times when your burger or fish will stick and break apart as you grill. If you are constantly experiencing this, the best solution is to make sure you keep your grill clean. Make sure you scrape the grates before cooking anything. Grilling on a filthy coated grate is like using a dirty pan. Stainless steel grates are the best.
Analysis of the best practices in the industry
To achieve mouthwatering meals without much struggle, there are a few practices you must adopt.
- Cleaning grill after use
- Using a grill thermometer to monitor the temperature when cooking
- Grilling thicker cuts
- Avoid non-stick sprays at all cost
- Marinate food before cooking over charcoal
Tools You Can Use
The moment you set up your grill, it’s time to get down to business. You dream of enjoying delicacies is almost coming to pass, but you require essential grilling tools to get the job done right. We have prepared a list of must-have barbeque gadgets you should have.
Essential grilling tools:
There are various tools you should have when grilling. We will list a few and refer you to a short video to help you understand how to use each one of them.
- A grill brush
- Long-handled tongs
- Grill mitts
- Long-handled basting blush
- Instant read thermometer
- Fire extinguisher
- Chimney starter
- Flashlight or grill light
- Pizza grilling stone
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of grill is best?
The type of grill to buy is based on user needs and wants. However, we believe charcoal grills are the best as they offer users an outstanding smoky flavor.
How do I choose a grill?
Choosing a grill can be a daunting exercise, but we urge people to first familiarize themselves with the various types of grills available for sale. From here onwards, you should choose a grill that will best suit your needs based on its features.
Do I need a 3 or 4 burner grill?
3 and 4 burner grills are effective and worth buying if you are a professional griller.
What type of grill is the healthiest?
Gas grills are considered the healthiest as food does not come directly into contact with smoke.
There are a lot of things you should look into when picking out the perfect grill, depending on your needs and preferences. Make sure you approach your decision with care, especially when deciding which grill type of grill to buy. Remember, the best grill should offer you mouthwatering meals irrespective of the situation.
Resources & Further Reading
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