Adding a grilling amenity to your outdoor living space can add oodles of zest and fun to your family weekends. And if you’re having guests over, there’s nothing like a backyard barbeque- think sizzling, just-off-the-grill steaks, hotdogs, and juicy burgers. If outdoor living is your thing, then having your own grill is definitely a good investment.
But before you purchase one, you need to know about the different ones available, features, pros and cons, and price ranges, to help you make the best choice. Read on!
Charcoal grills are best if you want the classic grilling experience- that characteristic smokey, char-broiled flavor of meat on the grate. This grill uses lump coals as its fuel source and the mechanism involves air intake at the bottom part, passing through the hot coals, and then going out through the vents. The more air movement, the hotter the grill.
Charcoal grills come in three basic types: Kettle, Barrel, and Kamado.
Kettle Charcoal Grills - A kettle grill is rounded and tapered at the top, with a roomy bottom space for holding charcoal briquettes. It’s best for long-cooking meats that you want cooked through without charring the skin.
Barrel Charcoal Grills - This grill is wider, but shallower than the kettle. It has a wider surface so it’s great for grilling big batches, but it also tends to burn faster. It warrants more attention when cooking but is versatile and good enough for basic grilling.
Kamado Charcoal Grills - Kamado originated from the classic Japanese way of grilling using ceramic. This is a thick, dome-shaped grill, and more sophisticated than the kettle. It’s engineered to optimize heating using hardwood lump charcoal and a heat deflector that transfers heat more evenly to the food. It can also double as an outdoor oven or smoker.
What to Look For in Charcoal Grills
Charcoal Grill Pros
Charcoal Grill Cons
Charcoal Grill Cost
The price can range from $25 to $200 except for the Kamado type which usually costs around $500 or more.
Gas grill is a good choice if you prioritize ease over the experience of classic grilling. Many American households use a gas grill mainly because of convenience - easy to heat up with a turn of a knob and press of ignition. There is less chance for dark charring because gas grill heat is easier to control than charcoal grill heat. With regards to flavor, it provides some degree of smokiness but less intense compared to charcoal grills.
Gas grills use either natural gas or propane gas. Natural gas grills are powered by the gas mains supply in your house, have a smaller carbon footprint and are generally cheaper.
Propane gas on the other hand requires a tank for the liquid gas that can be refilled. According to users, propane gas grills provide a more smokey flavor to the dish than natural gas grills, making it worth the extra weight.
What to Look for in a Gas Grill
Gas Grill Pros
Gas Grill Cons
Gas Grill Cost
Price range is usually $200 to $800, depending on the brand and features.
An electric grill is the best option if you want a grill that you can use both indoors and outdoors, wherever there’s a power outlet. It’s practically just plug and play without the need for fuel source. The smoke is much less intense which means less smoky smell, fewer carcinogens, and no smoke alarms going off.
You can choose based on size- personalized or stand-alone, countertop, or full-size setup for outdoors. The trade off for the convenience is the lack of that classic smokey grill flavor.
What to Look For in an Electric Grill
Electric Grill Pros
Electric Grill Cons
Electric Grill Cost
Electric grills can be bought for as low as $100 to $200.
Pellet grills make use of hardwood pellets and a fanning system to generate heat. It’s like a hybrid of traditional smokers and a convection oven because it uses a firepot and electric ignition. Once the grill is turned on, the pellets are moved to the firepot where hot rods ignite them to create flames. The fanning system stokes the fire created, which leads to heat convection responsible for cooking the food.
Wood pellet grills are multifunctional - they can grill, bake, roast, and smoke food. Wood pellet grills can emit smoke and with a lid in place, it creates a chamber where all the smoky goodness happens. The results? The classic wood-fired flavor, tenderness, and locked-in juiciness.
What to Look For in Wood Pellet Grills
Wood Pellet Grill Pros
Wood Pellet Grill Cons
Wood Pellet Grill Cost
Wood pellet grills come at a high initial cost that usually range from around $400 to over $1,000 depending on the brand and features.
With this guide, you can narrow down your choices and pick the grill that fits your budget, lifestyle, and taste. Relish the homey, savory flavor and experience of grilling right in your backyard any day with family and friends like it’s a summer weekend or the fourth of July.
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