How To Pick the Right Grill for Your Needs

Charcoal Grills

Charcoal grills are one of the most used types of grills. Charcoal grills utilize charcoal and lighter fluid to heat up and cook your food. Charcoal grills come in all shapes and sizes, and vary in cost.

Charcoal grills come in small sizes, which are ideal for apartment dwellers or people with small homes. Once you have used your charcoal grill, you can clean it, and store it away.

One of the most noticeable features when using charcoal is the flavor of the food you cook. To cook with a charcoal grill, you must buy charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid.  Charcoal is a one use item, and will need to be discarded after each use. Charcoal can be picked up at your local superstore, gas station, or grocery store, and is typically pretty inexpensive. Charcoal must be light and allowed to burn until the charcoal is no longer on fire, but is red embers. The best way to get the pile to burn is by stacking it in a pyramid.

Propane Grills

Propane grills are also useful for someone in small areas, since they can come in smaller sizes.  Propane grills use propane gas to cook your food. If you want to quickly cook foods while still maintaining a grilled flavor, you may want to consider Propane grills.

Gas grills work by a spark igniting the gas within the grill. Gas grills typically have a knob or button in which you push, which in turn activates a small hammer. The hammer hits the top of an ignition crystal. Then the burner mixes the gas with oxygen and spreads it all over the cooking surface.

Gas grills, unlike some of the other grills types, have the ability to come with many different types of cooking surfaces. These different cooking surfaces include a BBQ surface, a flat grill, and a ribbed grill. Some grills even offer these types of surfaces as none stick, which allow you to cook a whole array of foods that you would not be able to cook on a grill otherwise. You will be able to cook your whole meal, including side dishes if you plan correctly. Some gas grills even contain a Wok type surface for cooking pasta and rise dishes, or a full rotisserie set that allows you to cook rotisserie chicken.

Natural Gas Grills

The easiest grill to use is by far the natural gas grill. Natural gas grills are designed to hook directly into your home’s natural gas line, eliminating the need to provide the fuel source. Natural gas grills are also one of the easiest grills to clean since you do not have to worry about cleaning out the charcoal or wood.

Natural gas grills are a little more complicated then smaller grills, so they require more room.

Fryers

While not really a grill, a fryer is great for when you want to deep fry a turkey or make a large amount of fried fish or shrimp.  They are fairly inexpensive and a great addition to your backyard cooking tools!

Smoker Grills

Smoker Grills are used when flavor is the number one priority. Smoker grills use wood to slow cook your meat. Flavor can be controlled by using different types of woods.

Some of the common types of wood used is:

Cherry – Similar to apple, but slightly bitter because most Cherry wood comes from chokecherry trees. / Use on Poultry-turns skin dark brown.
Sugar Maple – Smoky, mellow and lightly sweet. / Use on Fish & Beef.
Hickory – The most highly used wood, both commercially and for home use. Has a strong, heavy, bacon Flavor. / Use on Pork, Ham, and Beef.
Mesquite – One of the hottest burning woods. Predominately Honey, earthy flavor with a slightly bitter aftertaste. / Use on Beef, Fish, Poultry.
Oak – A lighter version of mesquite. Red oak is quite Similar to mesquite; white oak is milder. / Use on Beef & Fish.

For more tips, please visit the Lawn & Garden section of our website

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