I don’t know about you, but my grill makes me pretty happy… Are you in the market for a new grill, there are plenty of different types you can buy and if you don’t already have a strong opinion (like me) it can be a little confusing. Whether it’s a pellet grill, a classic charcoal model or a gas grill you have to decide what is the best for you.
What kind of grill is right for you? The answer depends on what cooking style and level of convenience you expect from your grill. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type, so knowing their key characteristics will help you with your decision.
Gas grills are one of the most common fuel types. Built in a cart style, gas grills use either an attachable liquid propane tank or natural gas via a conversion kit connecting the grill to your home’s natural gas supply line.
There is also a debate over natural gas or liquid propane. Natural gas burns cleaner in terms of greenhouse gases, it’s cheaper to use and you won’t have to bother with refilling propane tanks. However, you won’t be able to move your grill around since it’s connected to a gas line. Liquid propane is the more popular fuel choice, and it’s portable. It’s also pricier and needs refilling. The good news is many gas grills can accommodate both, so you don’t have to choose right away.
With a gas grill, you’ll have more control over the heat and how it is distributed across your cooking surface. Gas grills are great for adjusting between high heat for searing and lower heat for steady cooking. However, if you’re looking to cook meats like whole chickens or racks of ribs for hours at a time, you’ll have better results with a charcoal grill, pellet grill or smoker.
Charcoal grills offer the traditional smokiness most people think of when they imagine grilled flavor. They come in lots of shapes and sizes, including the original Weber Kettle that introduced the charcoal grill design so widely recognized today. However, charcoal grills have their quirks, so you’ll need to be prepared to put in some work if you go this route.
Charcoal grills burn using charcoal briquettes or lumps of charcoal. That’s where the smoky flavor comes from. You’ll need to spend a little more time lighting the briquettes and preheating this grill. You’ll also need to clean out and dispose of the charcoal ash when you’re done grilling.
Charcoal grills might not be as precise or customizable as a gas grill when it comes to cooking, however they have a distinct flavor and are the most affordable option. You can find small, portable charcoal grills for as little as $50.
Pellet grills burn wood pellets and have an onboard computer to heat up to your desired temperature and add smoky, wood-fired flavor to your food. Pellet grills yield tasty meat, especially when slow cooked, but the pellets can be more expensive and harder to find than propane or charcoal.
Pellet grills use a hopper on the side to hold the food-grade wood pellets. Once you’ve ignited the grill with a switch and set the temperature, those pellets are moved into a burn pot by a rotating auger connected to the hopper. Pellet grills come in barrel or cart styles and prices range from around $350 to $1,300.
Once you’ve decided what fuel type is right for you, think about the size grill you need. Most small to medium charcoal grills and two-burner gas grills will do just fine if you’re cooking for four people or less on an occasional basis. Grills are often measured in square inches. Grills in the 400-500 square inch range are large enough for most people.
In my opinion, your grill shouldn’t just cook, it should look good doing it, and there are some seriously stylish models out there. You might not have a preference when it comes to how your grill looks, and that’s fine. But if you’re looking for a stylish cooker to crown your backyard, manufacturers give you plenty of options.
Traditional black and stainless grills are readily available; however Weber and KitchenAid both offer colorful enamel models, too. Aside from color, consider whether you’d like your grill to have cabinet doors. These doors hide propane tanks and keep them from sitting on the ground beside your grill.
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Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff