It’s no secret that the grilled meal is one of the most craved ones. Seriously, who can stand the delicious smell of chicken, veggies, and burgers tossing on metal tines? There is plenty of things that can be cooked at a grill.
Traditionally, we associate it with the summer season and cooking outside, when we’re having family or friends coming over. What makes it even more exciting is when you fire up a grill outdoors and enjoy the beautiful sunshine and warm air.
But the thing is, you can use the grill all year round and enjoy the taste that it brings to you. You’ve probably known before that there are several types of grills and each one has different aspects of use. That’s why it is even harder to make a choice when you want to buy a grill for your house.
The most important things that you should pay attention to when choosing a grill is the type of the food you are cooking the most, weather conditions in your area, your budget, the scale of gatherings you have and some other aspects. For example, you don’t really need a barbeque grill if you are a vegan and only make grilled veggies.
The same is for weather conditions. If you live in, for instance, Florida, where it is sunny all-year-round, it makes sense to buy a backyard grill so it always stays outside. Also, pay attention to the height of the grill. It may seem insignificant, but in fact, it will determine all the comfort of using this appliance.
Another feature that many people forget about while choosing the right grill is whether they want one-zone or two-zone cooking grills. Two-zone cooking is an essential feature in the use of grills that’s independent of the fuel or grill type.
As the name suggests, it entails the idea of having two separate cooking zones with different temperature treatments to better control grilling. This helps you prevent the meat from burning or drying out.
In this table you will find reviews on the most popular types of grills:
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Which type is better to choose? Which one will be better for you? There are so many of them so it’s hard to make a definite decision. No panic. This article will inform you of the best types of the grill and which one is used for what. Enjoy!
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1. Charcoal Grills
Probably, the classic type of a grill and when we even pronounce that word the first thing that comes to our mind is the charcoal one. This is the perfect barbeque grill. This traditional type involves the use of charcoal briquettes and a starter such as lighter fluid.
Why so many people love this grill so much is because it gives a meal probably familiar to you smoky flavor, taking the taste of the food to the next level. For their cooking style, they’re using high heat cooking and can be turned into old school makeshift smokers.
If you decide to buy this type of grill keep in mind that they have high fuel consumption. When engaged in long haul cookouts, it will be an unpleasant surprise for you how quickly you will be running out of the coal. A good tip here is to always have a couple of extra coal sacks in your garage.
You can, however, figure out the cooking and grilling techniques which will help you to reduce the consumption of the coal and make the whole grilling process faster.
The charcoal grill is perfect for almost any type of meal – meat, BBQ, vegetables, nuts and so on. It will be more suitable for those people, living in warmer climate zones with escalated humidity.
2. Kettle Style Grills
Another quite popular kind of grills. It is much easier in usage than the previous one. They got their name, obviously, because their shape and structure of work resembles a kettle, comprising of a rounded bottom, a stand, grill grates, and a tight, removable lid.
In this grill, the charcoal is placed to the bottom, below which lies a small grate that allows the ash and other cooking debris to leave the heating charcoal and fall away, leaving room for necessary airflow. An advantage of this type of grill is that it doesn’t occupy much space and it is easy to replace. They are usually made of metal.
Moreover, if you acquire an item of a respected brand, this grill will serve you for long years. These grills are extremely versatile, offering a two-zone grilling, allowing you to set hot and fast or low and slow sessions and regulate temperatures.
Besides, they are quite customizable. You can find them in a variety of sizes and pick up one that suits you the most. Smaller items require less coal.
3. Kamado Grills
A type if a grill that significantly increased its popularity in recent years. It is known as an egg grill or ceramic smoker. Considering the algorithm of work it is similar to a drum smoker, however, this version is more sophisticated and it has a more elongated shape reminding of an egg.
These grills are usually made of ceramic materials and they are not so easy to replace as, for example, kettle grills. But it can be both their disadvantage and advantage.
The thing is that ceramic is capable to hold the necessary temperatures in harsher weather conditions, which makes this grill a perfect option for those living in cooler climate zones. With Kamado grill you can make outside grilling even in snowy winter.
These grills can weigh between 150-500 pounds based on their size. The airflow regulation and temperature controls function works pretty much the same as in Kettle grills, but in the case, with Kamado grill even the slight changes and adjustments can result in significant changes in temperatures.
It happens because of the way it’s engineered and thermal mass. The lid of this grill is attached to the base of the grill using heavy-duty, spring-loaded hinges, and thus, cannot be completely removed. Take this into consideration before buying this type of grill.
The kamado grill makes use of hardwood lump charcoal as a heat source that produces less ash than manufactured charcoal briquette. The type of charcoal that will bring the best flavor to the food cooked on this grill is hardwood lump charcoal. Usually, it takes 45 minutes before the Kamado grill is fully heated and ready for cooking.
Apart from serving as an excellent heat source, the most appealing part is its versatility in functionality. For instance, a heat deflator, recognized as a tremendous accessory for kamado grills, is like a thick pizza stone that serves as a barrier between your food and the charcoal.
This aspect helps this grill function like an oven, so you don’t even need one when you already own this grill. The heat is consistent and it covers the meal from all directions. You can bake various items inside, like pizzas and cheesecakes.
4. Propane Barbecue Grills
An option for those who don’t like charcoal grills. If you are afraid to get burned while grilling with a charcoal type, then pay attention to the models working on propane and natural gas. In general, this version of the grill is more modern and automatized.
For example, if in the case with a charcoal grill you have to spend more time actually grilling and watching if the charcoal is still hot, than entertaining your guests, then in the case with this one you will get plenty of free time. All you have to do is simply turn it on and leave your food cooking.
You don’t need to wait until the charcoal is heated up. In the case with grills working on propane, this gas contains much more energy than its natural alternative. Thus, the grilling and heating process is much more efficient with propane.
These types of grills offer multiple cooking methods such as indirect heating and multi-zone cooking. Moreover, it’s incredibly easy in usage. But the thing you should pay attention to here is that propane tends to be more expensive than the ordinary natural gas.
On the other hand, this type of gas is the most widespread and can be found pretty much everywhere. This decreases all the possible stress with the storage of fuel. Moreover, this type if the grill is easier to clean, especially than charcoal ones.
5. Natural Gas Grills
These are really similar to the propane grills. Moreover, this type will be a perfect choice for those who live in colder climate zones. When tanks turn cold in winter, the BTUs can be wasted. A BTU (British Thermal Unit) is the unit of measure that determines the amount of work required to heat 1 lb. of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
The fall in BTUs converts the propane from liquid to gaseous state, which isn’t a problem with natural gas grills. Natural gas grills are extremely fuel-efficient, and you can run the natural gas through extensive cookouts without the need for a refill.
The only disadvantage is the case with this grill is that once you installed it somewhere it is almost impossible to replace because of the gas supply. Besides, you will probably need to call a specialist to install this type of a grill since handling the natural gas yourself can be dangerous.
6. Infrared Grills
The name of this type of the grill may sound futuristic but in fact, these have been around since the 1980s. It heats up using the radiant heat source. Infrared grills prevent any flare-ups, thus it takes them less time to warm up and cook food, so any meal will be grilled quickly and effectively, from all the sides.
Most of them come with the electric burners, but some of them comprise infrared burners. By the way, this type of grill is too strong for cooking vegetables or fish. It is a perfect option for thick pieces of meat and for all the items that require a short-time and high-temperature grilling.
7. Dual Fuel/Hybrid Barbecue Grills
This kind of grills combines both the convenience of usage of the gas grills, but adds the smoky flavor to the food like the charcoal ones. These grills like a hacked version of the latter, but without all the hassle that you usually have with those charcoal grills.
Dual fuel grill does work on the charcoal, but with the difference that here it gets heated up with the gas usage, which makes it burn and stay warm all the time. Thus, you don’t need to constantly check if everything is going right with the heating. At the same time, the meal is being cooked at the traditional charcoal grill.
Consequently, Hybrid Barbeque grills are much more expensive than any other type of grills. The technology they use is not the easiest one to work. And the disadvantage of those is that you still have to clean up the charcoal afterward, as in the case with classic grill. Also, you will have to keep track of both charcoal as well as gas.
8. Pellet Grills
This one is also a hybrid of a smoker and a grill, which has been quite popular over the past 5 years. It comprises of food-quality wooden-pellets that are loaded into a hopper and placed in a burn pot using an auger. The grill itself is working on electric power.
Since an electronic thermostat controls the temperature and keeps it within your specified range, you don’t need to bother much with the operations to get it running. These factors make this type of grill perfect for cooking such products as ribs, large roasts, and briskets.
Because this grill is running on electricity it makes it a dubious option for outdoor use. It is better for inside grilling. Moreover, there used to be an opinion that Pellet grills are not so good at browning meat as other types. This made the marketer introduce new recipes specialized to Pellet grills and now you can have delicious meals with that one as well.
9. Portable Barbecue Grills
The requirements of modern people to the technical appliances that they use are high and manufacturers have to satisfy them if they want to stay on the market. That’s why nowadays we have even the portable grills, which you can always take with you on the weekend trip or if you are going to visit your friends’ house who don’t have a grill.
This is the perfect option for those who are going camping or to a beach party, and for all the people who don’t like their things attached to one place in general.
These grills come with multiple heat sources like gas and charcoal. However, when it comes to cooking large cuts of meat or accommodating parties, their small structures make them incompatible. The portable grill may be also a budget option of a grill since they are significantly lower in price than all other types.
10. Yakitori Grill
You can guess by its name that this type of grill has originated from Japan. It is a subtype of a charcoal grill, but at the same time, it is quite authentic. It has a rectangular form and it is designed to cook skewered meat – primarily chicken. Yakitori has gained huge popularity in the US during the last 5 years.
The home version of this type of grill is a rectangle that is about a couple feet in length. The width is narrow so that the end of the skewers can hang off the edge to allow the meat to be turned easily without burning the hands. Usually, these grills are heated up with charcoal, but there are some rare models working on electricity.
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