Summer might be coming to a close, but grilling season stretches far into the Fall according to most diehard grill fans. Whether you’re one of those diehards looking to upgrade or a grilling newbie looking for their first one, it helps to review the choices you’ll be facing when you walk in to pick out that new sizzle station. Don’t let that salesperson confuse you; it’s quite easy to break down grill types based on fuel, size, price, and extra features. Keep reading to discover the perfect grill for you thanks to this grill buying guide.
Most modern grills use either charcoal, gas, or pellet as a fuel source. Charcoal grills are the classics of the grill family. The charcoal briquettes impart a particular smokey flavor into the food, which many people consider to be THE “grill” flavor. However, charcoal briquettes can be quite messy and require a significant amount of cleaning time after each session if you are treating your grill responsibly. Charcoal grills, thanks to their simplicity, are typically the cheapest options.
Gas grills are convenient because they give you the ability to heat or adjust the grill’s temperature quickly. However, they require either a bulk propane tank attached, reducing portability, or a dedicated natural gas line attached to it, removing portability at all.
Pellet grills use pellets of actual wood as their fuel source. The pellets themselves and the onboard computer required for precisely slowly feeding the pellets into the grill mean that these grills are typically the most expensive of the bunch. These pellets, and their ability to so precisely slow cook, give what many consider to be a rather delectable flavor to the meat cooked in these grills. Perhaps the money is worth it.
The rest of the options tend to be based more on needs rather than preference. First, you should consider the size. Most families of three to four people will find a two-burner gas grill, or a similarly sized charcoal grill, to be enough for them. Moreover, consider a model with side burners if you’d like to move even more of the kitchen cooking outside for grill season; they work well to heat side dishes like sauces or vegetables.
However, if you like to throw a backyard bash every weekend, then a two-burner grill isn’t going to cut it for you. You will need to add at least one more. Furthermore, don’t forget that if your grill is sizeable, make sure it’s got a decent set of locking wheels to help you move it.
More and more modern grills include onboard computers to control various grill functions more precisely or remotely. Getting the exact temperature you want has never been easier, and some grills even have connected smartphone apps to let you monitor and control the temperature from however far away from your grill you’re willing to get.
So summer might be over, but there’s still plenty of autumn months left to get grilling in. Now you can feel confident that you are making the most of it, grilling in just the way you want. Bon Appetit!