Buying a grill is a large investment, not just because of the cash value, but also because of the emotional attachment. Your grill will be the centre of family barbeques for decades. You and your friends will gather around it to cook meat, make memories, and maybe even discuss money-making ventures, so you want to be sure you buy the right one.
Pick Your Fuel Source
There are three main types of barbeque grills. The most popular grill is fuelled by gas, while the two other kinds are powered by electricity or charcoal. There are cooktops that use wooden logs or wood pellets as fuel, but these are more frequently used for conventional cooking rather than grilling because their design often comes with a closed cooktop.
Another wood-fuelled alternative is a pizza oven, but this is a stationary unit, so while it can make a good beef grill, it can’t be moved around for portable barbeque sessions. It also has a small cooking capacity, since it can only do a few pizzas, some rib racks, or a casserole.
The main advantage of electric ovens is they can be used indoors, so you can barbeque even when the weather is less than ideal. They use a lot of power though, so they can run the bill quite high. Gas barbeque grills are a firm favourite because they light instantly.
They are environmentally friendly since there’s no carbon dioxide emission or smoke to induce coughing fits. The heat on a gas barbeque is easier to control since you can literally dial it up or down, and it produces an even, consistent flame.
However, charcoal grills win the taste test, because the smoke they produce adds to the flavour of your barbeque. They can get messy though since the soot from the charcoal will coat your clothes. They also require more clean-up, because the ashes will blow around once the cooking winds down.
Charcoal grills have to be used outdoors for ventilation purposes. There’s also more of a fire hazard because the sparks from the fire can ignite unwanted flames. Some buyers prefer to buy two barbies. They want a gas grill to use during the week and a charcoal grill for weekends when they can cook leisurely and spend more time clearing up.
Focus On The Features
When you’re choosing a grill, there might be specific functions that you’d like to have. If you want to cook on a covered surface, you can start with a charcoal barbeque grill. They come in different shapes, depending on what you need them to do.
The most traditional form is the kettle grill, which is shaped like two clasped woks. There’s also a cylindrical capsule-shaped grill. It works well for enhancing the smoky flavour of your barbeque dishes. These grill units are usually free-standing, but if you like to barbeque away from home, get a model with wheels for easy transportation.
Another choice is to get a tabletop charcoal grill that can be placed on a counter or raised surface. All these barbeque grills are available in different sizes, so think about the number of people you host and the amount of cooking you do, then pick the right grill capacity.
Any seasoned barbeque chef will tell you cooking thermometers can be a lifesaver. Some charcoal grills have in-built thermometers, so if this is a feature that’s crucial to you, be on the lookout for it. They’re far more convenient than constantly opening the grill and sticking a thermometer into your roasting bird or sliced steak.
Lighting the oven is an issue as well. Most gas grills contain an electrical ignition switch, but it’s not a standard feature on charcoal burners, so if it’s something you’d like to have, don’t forget to ask. Gas grills tend to be richer in terms of features, so you’ll probably need a list.
The average gas grill has side tables, shelving, and electrical ignition, so your decision will be driven by the number of burners you’d like, the amount of counter space, and your preferred finish. Another factor is the type of gas. Some regions use NG while others prefer LPG, so be sure that your chosen model runs on the type of gas available in your neighbourhood.
Of course, the most important factor is budget, so even as you drool over fancy grills, remember to stay within your financial limits. You could also make your selection based on the warranty. It helps to know you can get service, repair, or replacement if you need it.