Do you find the wide array of outdoor grills on the market bewildering? You want to be fully prepared for your backyard barbeques, but there is quite a wide variety of options to choose from, which can make the process overwhelming. Before you begin deciding between outdoor grills, here are a few of the things that you should take into consideration first to make the process easier.
The fact is that outdoor grills are available in an extremely large variety of prices. This means that before you begin your search for a new grill, you will want to consider how much money you will be willing to spend on this purchase. Creating a budget will help you to narrow down the number of grills you will be looking at and choosing from, which will make the process much easier. Furthermore, going into your search with a set budget in mind will help you to not overspend on an overly extravagant grill.
Size is another important thing to consider before beginning your hunt for the perfect grill. Choose one that’s too small, and you won’t be able to cook enough food on it to feed your family. Pick one that’s too big, and you could spend far too long trying to heat it up whenever you’re ready to grill.
Consider the space you have available in your yard for a new grill as well as the number of people you will generally be cooking for. This will help you to choose the grill that will be the perfect size to meet your needs, without overwhelming your homes outdoor space.
Just like cars, outdoor grills now come with a wide variety of built-in features such as side burners and rotisseries. Before you begin your grill search, you will want to research what extra features are available in your price range and decide what features are the most important to you. Considering what features you want your grill to have should narrow down the number of outdoor grills you will be looking at greatly, which will make your decision easier and less overwhelming.
You’ll want to make sure your grill has a well-fitting lid that contains at least two dampers, or openings on the top. These dampers will enable you to control the inside temperature of your grill and should open and close easily as well.
If you plan on cooking several rounds of meat on your grill, you might want to consider one that will allow you to raise or lower your charcoal while you are cooking. This will enable you to raise your briquettes higher so that you can then cook meat over the coals once all the charcoal itself is gone.
Your grill should also have panels that would make adding more charcoal (or moving existing briquettes around) easier to do. Of course, a door that allows for easy ash removal is desirable as well. When it comes to grates, you don’t need anything elaborate. Wire or aluminum grills tend to work just as well as heavier cast iron ones do and are also much easier to keep clean.
If there’s a chance you might want to move your grill, one with sturdy wheels on it will also be a must. Roll the grill back and forth a few times to get an idea as to how easy it might be to move. If possible, add a bag of charcoal to the kettle first, as this will let you know how easy the grill will move with additional weight inside.
Taking these features into consideration when browsing outdoor grills should make the decision process much easier for you. However, there are many more things one must take into consideration when considering outdoor grills.
Contact us to find out about what else you should take into consideration when searching for a new grill as well as for advice on what grill would be best for your home.
Aside from the characteristics of outdoor grills, you should also consider your own grilling skill level. In general, rookies should buy gas grills and seasoned pros should get charcoal.
Why Gas Grills Are Best for the Beginning Griller
For those of you who are just starting down the path to "Master Backyard Griller," we recommend picking up one of the well-priced gas grills we offer for several reasons.
Gas Grills Are Easier to Light
Compared with charcoal, propane grills offer painless ignition and don't require you to get dirty with coals, lighter fluid, or ashes. If you can push a button and turn a knob, you can light a gas grill!
Gas Grills Are Easier to Clean
Instead of dealing with soot, pulling grates off, and scraping goop out, gas grills can be cleaned by setting them to high heat. This burns off almost all the drippings and extra food inside the grill, but you will have to scrape off the rest.
Gas Grills Are Easier to Cook With
Probably the best thing about gas grills for a beginner is that they produce constant and steady heat. Because of this, you can nail down the basics of cooking and perfect grilling routines. Charcoal is much harder to control and can ruin a meal quickly if not monitored carefully.
Gas Grills Are Easier to Use Quickly
Grilling with charcoal is a serious time commitment, and sometimes the coals behave unpredictably which only adds more time. Propane is straightforward and can be counted on for a timely yet delicious meal.
In addition to being ideal for novice grillers, gas grills are flexible and leave plenty of room for growth as a cook. You can achieve high or low heat, indirect heat, searing heat, and even add wood chips for a wonderful smoky dimension! Using propane gives you precise control over your temperate and food, allowing you to grill exactly the way you want. Although gas grills are usually more expensive than charcoal, the investment is worth it if you pick a durable and lasting brand. We carry many such grills in all shapes and sizes.
If you decide you’d rather step into the Big Leagues of charcoal grilling, there are a few ways to ensure your success.
Tips for Using Charcoal Grills Like a Pro
Charcoal grills give food a unique flavor that can’t be duplicated with electric or gas grills. Here are some grilling tips you can use to make your next outdoor-cooked meal a success, regardless of what’s on the menu.
Gather your Supplies
Gather the supplies you’ll need ahead of time so that nothing will distract you once you start cooking. A few things you’ll need include:
- Oven mitt
- Charcoal starter and lighter
- Grilling tools (tongs, long handled spatula, basting brush)
- Long handled stick or dowel rod to move charcoal briquettes around with
Inspect your Grill
Many times, people are not successful at charcoal grilling because they forget to take care of the basics first. Therefore, it is important to inspect your grill thoroughly ahead of time for cleanliness and ease of operation. Too many ashes inside the kettle could make it difficult for you to control the temperature of your coals and will also block air from flowing. Vents or racks that do not work properly can also be a problem, which is why you should make sure everything is in perfect order before you get started.
Another common mistake that many people make is getting in too big of a hurry when grilling. Charcoal will take around 10 to 15 minutes to heat up completely, so you should wait until it is ready before placing food on your grill. After that, close the lid on your grill and avoid checking too often, as keeping food covered while cooking helps seal in the flavor.
You should always make sure meat is cooked thoroughly before serving it to prevent sickness. Keep a meat thermometer on hand and check the temperature of your meat before taking it off the grill. Once it is done, allow it to “rest” for around 5 minutes to help lock in the juices.
By following these simple tips, you’ll be an expert at charcoal grilling in no time.
Once you’ve got a few years of cooking with outdoor grills under your belt, it’s time to learn how to extend a grill’s lifespan.
Carefully Maintain Outdoor Grills
For outdoor grills to last for years, routine maintenance is important. While most people clean their grill lightly after each use, there is still work that should be done for outdoor grills to be ready for use at any time. Regular cleaning can not only make the grill easier to cook with, but also it can take care of bacterial buildup from food debris. Becoming familiar with what you can do to clean the grill thoroughly can ensure that the grill is in the best condition.
A brass wire brush is an essential tool for maintaining your grill since it is the best option for removing food and other debris from the grill. Scraping the brush over the grates can help remove anything stuck to your grill. After using the brush, it's best to soak the brush in hot soapy water then allow it to air dry thoroughly before putting it away.
Spraying your grill with cooking oil can help prevent rust and extend the lifetime of outdoor grills. Waiting until the grill has cooled down after use is important for the cooking spray to be as effective as possible.
Scrubbing the burners with the wire brush and around any of the smaller crevices of outdoor grills can help take care of food and grease that has built-up over time. Grease is highly flammable and needs to be removed thoroughly for the grill to be as safe as possible to use.
Removing charcoal and ash from the interior of outdoor grills is also important to ensure that grills aren't producing excess smoke when in use. Cleaning the insides after the contents have been removed can also improve the function of outdoor grills quite drastically.