Grilling is an art. Or, at least, many practices it as so. There is nothing like the feeling of pulling your grill out in the warm spring to have your first cookout of the year. Most of the best features to look for in grills require alignment with your personal preferences. Appearance may draw you in, but that does not mean it will last the test of time.
It can be disheartening when a grill disappoints and either malfunctions or does not cook sufficiently. Look for these specific features when purchasing a grill to avoid any problems in heating, cooking, and longevity of your grill. Some of these categories may prove more important to different people, so weigh your choices carefully.
Features to Look For In A Grill
Feature 1: Fuel
Decide early on whether you’re searching for a charcoal or gas grill. They are vastly different and most already know which is their preference. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. There are certain things you can only do on certain grills, and you will have to practice using your fuel of choice to use it most efficiently.
Charcoal grills are less pricey, but you do need to repeatedly buy charcoal to fuel it. Most associate the smokey flavor of grilling to these types of grills. Propane is a clean fueling alternative, so there is no leftover carbon escaping as smoke. The upfront cost is greater but the use of propane will save money on fuel in the future. One of the best benefits of a gas grill is your ability to turn it off right when you’re done, meaning there is no wasted fuel.
A combination grill can be the greatest option if you cannot decide between the two. A combination grill can use either gas or charcoal, so you can use what best fits the occasion. Or even whatever fuel you have at hand.
Feature 2: Size
The size is all dependent on your lifestyle. If you have a large family, you must provide a large enough grilling space to accommodate everyone’s meal. Large grills are also great for those who like to have others over to grilling get-togethers. For those who only grill occasionally or for only a few people, a smaller grill may more efficient for you.
Think of where you need to store your grill as well. If you have space, a large grill is a great addition to a deck or any outdoor kitchen. A smaller grill will be much easier if you need to put it away each time after use or transport it while camping.
Feature 3: Heating Efficiency
Large grills; however, can be wasteful if they are not needed for large meals. A gas grill will have set burners that cover a certain portion of the grill so you may be wasting fuel lighting a larger area than you need. Using too little charcoal in your grill can have these problems as well if you do not portion it correctly. You don’t always need a full bag of charcoal for every meal.
If the grill is gas, it needs to be able to appropriately heat what is being grilled. Each grill will come with a BTU (British Thermal Unit) amount, and researching BTU guidelines for the type of grill you are purchasing is the best way to find the appropriate BTU for your needs.
Feature 4: Price Point
The highest costing grill is not always the best quality, but the cheapest grills won’t last for years to come. Look at prices compared to features offered and see if the price is simply in the brand name. Try and avoid being charged extra for unnecessary features included with it which most consumers would never need or use.
Feature 5: Material
Stainless steel is one of the most desirable looks for a grill and a sturdy material to last, but also one of the most expensive. Cast iron is another popular option, but it is mostly for charcoal grills because of its ability to absorb and retain heat. Aluminum grills are the most common material on the market. It is much cheaper to buy and produce and will get the job done for most consumers, but won’t last as long as others.
Feature 6: Will it Last?
If you are storing your grill outdoors it is important to see what type of materials it is made out of to make sure it will survive harsh weather conditions. If your environment is too wet, rust can be a disastrous result. A grill cover is a valuable add-on to be invested in because it can save your grill from natural weathering throughout the year.
Feature 7: Style
Style is important when it comes to what you want to cook and where you want to cook it. Think of how you plan to use your grill and find a style that is appropriate for your personality.
Beware of novelty grills. There is an abundance of grills on the market made from reclaimed materials to give a homemade rustic feel. Often these materials are not up to par, and the designs while interesting are cumbersome. High-quality versions of these are a rare availability, but much more expensive than your average grill.
Feature 8: Additional Features
Many great add-on features include racks for placing foods, additional burners for vegetables or a second rack. These are necessities to some people and companies will boast if they include them. There are even grill hacks you can do yourself to improve the features on your grill.
Grill Buying Guidelines
Do not buy your grill on a whim. Research the many options available and make a smart decision. This is not only vital to saving money but just simply getting the biggest bang for your buck. Deciding what best fits your life requires just that- examining your life!
If you tend to cookout seldom there is no reason for all the additional bells and whistles. Now that you know the best materials and the options available, you can feel secure in your grill choice.