The summer is here, that is, it is high time to dry the grill (perhaps consider) and go to barbecue.
Or maybe it's time to buy a new grill. The landscape is constantly changing, and the great debate about which type of grill is better has only become more complex with more options. It is no longer just about coal for gas.
If you haveor are on the market to replace your worn out with a shiny new BBQ grill, here are the five main types of barbecues to choose from.
The classic among the purists is the charcoal grill, which is often referred to as a superior or more authentic way of grilling. Although they come in all shapes and sizes, they use all charcoal briquettes (sometimes mixed with wood chips) or charcoal as a fuel source, which produces a pronounced, strong and smoky flavor.
Cooking over charcoal is also an inherently slower way to cook that requires exercise. Controlling the inside temperature of the grill is more difficult and less precise, and bringing a charcoal grill to a cooking temperature can take more than 20 minutes. The cleaning is also a bit more laborious. Nevertheless, the taste makes all the effort worthwhile.
Charcoal grills are usually quite affordable, starting as little as $ 30 and going as high as $ 300. They also come in a bevy of different styles:
- A charcoal grill is an open grill that is often seen in parks.
- Kettle Grills are the classic round (sometimes square) grills on a tripod (usually with two wheels) and a lid. They often have a simple vent to control the internal temperature.
- A Barrel Grill is, well, shaped like a barrel. The first versions were actually made from a 55-gallon barrel that was turned on its side and halved in length. Add a handle, hinge, bottom grate for holding charcoal, a top grate for cooking and some legs, and you have a barrel grill. Of course, today you can buy ready-made Barrengitter.
- Cart Grills are the style you normally see outside of hardware stores today, but only a few of them are charcoal. Most grill grills are gas fired grills.
- Kamado Grills are based on a Japanese rice cooker called "Mushikamado". It has the shape of a kettle grill, but is usually a deeper bowl, made of ceramic instead of metal. This isolates the heat, which creates a more consistent cooking temperature everywhere and burns the charcoal more efficiently. They are also big, heavy and quite expensive with a starting price of about $ 500.
- Portable Grills are usually smaller, shorter versions of kettle grills that can be easily packaged and taken for a picnic or weekend in the woods.
The other common grill style is a gas grill. They usually come in the form of a car or are installed in a permanent outdoor cooking area with a different number of burners.
The old debate was between charcoal and gas, but now there is a new debate: natural gas or liquid propane. Natural gas burns cleaner, is cheaper to use (anywhere from half to a sixth of the price) and no longer leak or need to swap tanks half way through cooking. With natural gas, your barbecue becomes a permanent installation. You will not be able to move it at will.
Liquid propane is still used more often and offers the convenience of portability. But you also have to plan ahead or make rough estimates to guess how much cooking time you have left on your current tank. Luckily, if you have a gas connection in your house, you may be able to buy a conversion kit for your existing grill so you can enjoy both types of fuel.
The advantage of gas grills lies in the user-friendliness and precision. It does not take 20 minutes to heat a gas grill; Just turn on the gas, push the igniter and wait until it reaches the desired interior temperature. And if the grill is too cold or hot, just adjust the dial. Cleaning and maintenance are also much easier on gas grills without emptying ash. Nevertheless, you will miss this smoky taste (unless you get a smoking box).
While there are countless models to choose from with a handful of sophisticated features (such as side burners or skewers), when you buy a gas grill you have to decide how many burners you need. Gas grills generally start at around $ 90 for two burners, but can range up to $ 1,000 and beyond for four- to six-burner grills.
Electric grills are generally much more compact and can sometimes be used both indoors and outdoors. Think George Foreman grills, but there are dozens of different styles and form factors – countertop, pedestal, kettle, open face, cart, etc. One of the newer electric grill options available is awithout lid
Electric grills are the easiest to start – simply plug them into a nearby outlet and turn the knob. As you might expect, they can only move as far as their power cord lets them go. If you do not have a power outlet in your garden, you will need to change the grill or use an extension cord to power the grill.
Electric grills are often good alternatives for apartment residents who are not allowed to cook on the balcony with a gas or charcoal grill.
Like gas grills, they lack the smoked taste of cooking with charcoal, but they are an affordable, convenient way to cook that keeps getting better over time. Electric grills start at around $ 50 and can cost up to $ 600 for higher value models.
Pellet grills have been around for over 30 years, but have seen a resurgence in recent years. You can work as a grill or smoker.
A pellet grill has a funnel on the side of the grill that you fill with food-grade wood pellets. Then, to ignite, just turn on the power switch and set a temperature. A screw connects the funnel to a casserole under the cooking grid and when it rotates it moves the pellets into the casserole.
The grill also has a so-called "hot rod" that ignites the pellets when they fall into the firing container. The wood pellets burn and smoke and give you the taste of hardwood smoke. You can cook at high heat, which is comparable to most grills on the market, or cook low and slow, really making it the perfect middle ground.
Since a computer controls a fan to stoke the fire, and the rate at which wood pellets are added to the boiler, you need to be near a power source to use a pellet grill. And like a charcoal grill, you must clean up the ash after each use.
Pellet barbecues usually only come in barrel or cart shape, although there are some exceptions to the rule. The prices can be between 350 and 1,300 US dollars.
Infrared grills look like any other barbeque gas grill. In fact, they are normally powered by natural gas or liquid propane, but can also be powered by electricity. The difference lies in as they cook.
Instead of using the radiant heat to warm the air inside the grill, they use an electric or gas element to heat a solid surface, such as ceramics, which emits infrared waves to heat the food. What you get is a grill that heats and is ready to use in minutes and cooks evenly without relapses.
Not to mention, infrared grilling is fast . They can often reach temperatures of 700 ° F.
The real disadvantage of infrared is the price. While entry-level infrared grills have dropped to about $ 800, the vast majority will put you $ 1,500 and beyond. That said, more infrared options are starting to hit the market, such as.
Choosing the Right Grill
Ultimately, there are no universal answers to so many options on the market. Choosing the grill for your needs depends on what you cook, the comfort you seek, your budget and even where you live.
If you have a tight budget, the infrared connection is immediately available. Charcoal is more expensive to use over time because the briquettes must be replaced with each use. Electric or gas are your best budget options for long-term use and entry-level prices. And they are the most stress-free with the least amount of cleanup.
For flavor, coal and pellet grills are generally accepted as the better options, but they require more maintenance and higher operating costs. You also need time to make your grill hot enough to start cooking. With a pellet grill, you basically get a two-in-one deal for a grill and smoker.
No matter which grill you choose, it's always a good excuse to grab your favorite six-pack, a huge meat plate, and invite a bunch of friends to "try things out".
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