Gas or Charcoal? Let’s settle this once and for all! Tips on picking the right grill
Gas or Charcoal? Freestanding or built-in? Let’s settle this once and for all! For most masters of the grill, there is no compromising; you are either in one camp or the other. Here you’ll find answers to these questions and more to help you pick the right grill for you.
Pros: Charcoal grills have an incredible hot temperature for searing, and are a decent pick for the low-and-slow
approach needed for really terrific barbecue. Some folks prefer the flavor that smoke and radiant heat provides from the hot coals. Charcoal is also more portable than gas grills. A bag of charcoal can easily be chucked into the car and taken to the park or beach.
Cons: Many swear by the smoky taste charcoal grills offer — but patience is required. Charcoal grills take longer to get started and take longer to cool and clean. Also, if there is not enough oxygen in the air or if it’s a humid day with no wind to actually fuel your fire you won’t get as hot of a burn. And let’s face it–charcoal also involves an element of danger
Cool Idea: Wood chips to smoke your food. As BBQ enthusiasm gains momentum, more grillers aspire to enter the mysterious realm of smoking. On a normal barbecue, you grill your meat, but smoking it imparts even more flavor. Simply soak the wood chips for about two hours then put the moist wood chips directly on the coals. Just like spices, you can combine different types of wood chips to enhance your grilled fare.
Outdoor pizza ovens: the latest trend. Most people agree that a masonry oven is the optimal choice for cooking pizzas, thanks to its ability to cook in three different ways simultaneously. These ovens use reflective and conductive heat along with convection to create the perfect pizza: crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.
Pros: Convenience and spontaneity! A gas grill allows you to instantly “fire it up” anytime and get down to cooking with very little to clean up. You can also regulate heat with a simple turn of a knob, allowing you to grill delicate foods like veggies, fish and poultry. Bigger bonus – you do not have to worry about continually replenishing coals!
Cons: Gas grills produce flare-ups and need to be away from any structure to avoid those pesky house fires. Gas grills also tend to cost more than charcoal grills. Some cheaper models may not get hot enough to sear well (you’ll need to reach about 600 degrees Fahrenheit).
Cool idea: Infrared and sear burners. These burners deliver a much higher heat than the other burners and are just the thing for getting a good dark sear on steaks. These superheated elements allow you to cook foods like steak in a way that a normal gas grill just cannot do.
Built in or freestanding? If you grill all year, you will definitely get your money’s worth out of a built-in. However, if it’s not in your budget, a freestanding grill is less costly and offers you more flexibility. One thing to remember is that should you ever want a different size or type of grill, built-ins could be a challenge to swap out.
Ultimate Cool Idea: Retractable Screens.
Grill all year around by enclosing your patio with motorized retractable screens. Bonus – no nasty bugs to bother you while grilling!