Time to Fire Up Your Grill…but do you have the right grill??
Who doesn’t like the wonderful taste of grilled food? If you’re planning to purchase a grill in the near future, you might be wondering what type of grill you should get. Many years back, everybody had a charcoal grill. Going back just a few years, it was the gas grill that was in style. Now the charcoal grill is making a comeback, and pellet grills are gaining in popularity. What grill best suits your needs?
1) Gas Grills – Gas grills are the most common type of grill. They are available in a wide range of prices, they’re versatile, convenient, and they light up instantly and heat up fast. Many accessories are available with gas grills. There are side burners, rotisseries, charcoal trays, smoker boxes and built-in food thermometers, among others. The one thing some might criticize about gas grills is that they add little flavor to the food compared to charcoal and/or pellet grills.
2) Charcoal Grills – What most love about charcoal grills is the distinct flavor the smoke from the coals brings to the food. The price range is very wide, depending on the size and type of charcoal grill you are looking for. Charcoal grills are also versatile, but they need more manual input to operate properly. Temperatures are adjusted manually by vents at the bottom and top of the grill. The more air going through, the hotter your grill gets. You can cook with both direct and indirect heat, although for indirect heat you need to place your coals strategically to get a hot and a cold section.
3) Pellet Grills – Pellet grills are hybrids between grills and smokers. They’re easy to use…simply load the hopper with pellets and set the controller. The temperature is controlled electronically, which means there are very few adjustments to make throughout the cooking process. Because they are electronic, pellet grills need to be plugged to an electrical outlet. The constant temperature provided by the electronic controls is very convenient for longer cooking meats. It allows you to let the meat cook with very little monitoring. Price ranges vary between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. You can sear, smoke, bake or roast with them. If you like to both smoke and grill your meat regularly, you should take a deeper look into pellet grills. They’re a great two-in-one solution, and bring that great taste you get by cooking food over a wood fire.
4) Electric Grills – Some might not consider electric grills as grills, per se, but they are a good alternative when you cannot have a live fire, as in townhouses or apartments. Some models can be used indoors and outdoors. Temperature control is easy and you never run out of fuel, unless there’s a blackout. And electric grills are more affordable than most other grills. Choosing a grill comes down to personal preference, but all factors should be considered. We are often asked “why would someone spend $200 versus $2000 on a grill?” The answer most often is longevity of the grill and the grill’s ability to hold heat in cold and/or windy weather. Cooking with a grill that is ill-suited to your needs can put a damper on the whole experience. It’s essential to analyze what you need before committing to one model in particular. Most settle with the basic gas grill, but it’s a good idea to take the time to explore other options, especially if you’re an experienced griller. Who knows? You might discover new grilling styles and fall in love all over again. Talk to one of our Fireplace & Bar-B-Q Center experts if you need help finding your best grill!