The weather is finally warming up after the cold winter. Your thoughts turn to enjoying the outdoors with your family and friends. Part of this fun includes cooking out on the grill. There is only one problem and that is you need a new grill. However, it has been so long since you bought one that you are in a quandary about what to look for in grills today. This guide will help you choose your next grill.
Charcoal, Gas, Electric, or Wood Pellets?
First, you must look at what type of overall grill you want. There are charcoal, gas, electricity and wood pellets used today to fuel various grills and smokers. Which one do you prefer? Let’s look at each type to learn more about them.
Charcoal has been used for years to grill food. The grills that use this for fuel are among the most affordable on the market today. As the food cooks over the charcoal, the juices drip down, and cause smoke. This smoke provides a unique flavor unlike any of the other methods for fueling a grill. Charcoal can be tricky to ignite, which scares some people away from it. Many turn to charcoal lighter fluid, but this must be handled with care. In addition, there is no thermostat to regulate the temperature with charcoal.
Gas grills on the other hand use propane gas to ignite the cooking heat. These also impart a unique flavor to the food. However, these have thermostat controls that regulate the heat more easily than the charcoal grills do. Some of the grills contain upper racks for slow cooking or keeping food warm along with the cooking grates. There is an electric ignition to ignite the burners. Many people who dislike dealing with the charcoal grills love the gas grills. These grills can also have side burners, tool storage, and a work space depending of which model you decide on buying.
Electric grills are more like cooking on your stove top. Other than placing the grill marks on food there is little else in common with these and the other types of grills. They do not impart a unique flavor into the foods cooked on them. However, they are easy to use. The controls on these are as adjustable as your electric stove top is. These grills can also have side burners, tool storage, and a work space similar to that of the gas grills depending on the model you decide to purchase.
Wood pellets are used to fuel smokers. If you are looking to slow cook meat rather than grilling it, the smokers will be where you need to look. Out of all the types of outdoor grills or cookers, this style has the most regulated temperature controls. Meat comes out of a smoker tender, and rich with smoky flavor.
Other Things to Consider
You also need to consider the material out of which your grill is made. Do you want shiny with stainless steel or is cast iron more to your liking? Stainless is more difficult to keep clean and shiny when it is outside, which will spoil some of the attractiveness of it. However, it is durable. Cast iron takes less maintenance to retain its looks. In addition, you can find aluminum grills but these are usually not as durable. So pay attention to how the grill is built before purchasing.
Size also is an important consideration. If you are only grilling for you and maybe one other person, a small grill is ideal. However, if you are going to be grilling for a large family or group of friends, you will need to purchase a larger model. The smaller grills of any type typically have fewer features that the larger models do.
Your last consideration needs to be the price. Make sure your budget can handle the expense of the grill you desire to purchase. Remember, you still want to be able to afford to cook on the grill!