Summer is here and the steaks are ready to grill, the only problem is that you don’t know exactly what type of barbeque grill to buy. There are many questions that need to be asked when buying a grill. Things such as cost, ease of use, other uses besides grilling, flavor and portability should be considered.
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Copyright 2006 Emma Snow
Summer is here and the steaks are ready to grill, the only problem is that you don’t know exactly what type of barbeque grill to buy. There are many questions that need to be asked when buying a grill. Things such as cost, ease of use, other uses besides grilling, flavor and portability should be considered. The most important item in this list depends on what you want. This article looks in detail at the different categories and makes a judgment on which grills would be best in that category, charcoal, propane, natural gas or smokers.
If cost is the main factor, the grill to go for is charcoal. They start at $15.00 for a small, basic unit and only $30.00 for a standard 22″ kettle grill. Propane grills are the next lowest in price, starting at around $100.00 for a basic unit. A small smoker starts at around $130.00. Since natural gas grills are supposed to be hooked to a home’s gas line, they tend to be larger units, and more expensive starting around $300.00. They now have dual fuel grills as well that use natural gas most of the time but can also use propane; these are the most expensive with an asking price of $450.00 up.
Ease of Use
The easiest grill to use is probably the natural gas grill. It is hooked to your homes natural gas line and therefore doesn’t require you to buy large propane tanks on a regular basis. Getting a grill that has a battery powered or electric starter makes things even easier. Propane is probably the next easiest to use since there are no charcoal briquettes or wood chips to worry about. While it seems that a larger grill is a better grill, remember that larger also means a larger area to clean.
Natural gas or propane grills can offer additional cook spaces that a charcoal or smoker unit cannot. If you plan to cook full meals on your grill, gas burners and a warming tray come in handy. A rotisserie option may also be important to you depending on what you want to grill.
If flavor is the most important item on your list, a smoker or a charcoal grill should be your first priority. Smokers are meant to slow cook over time and impart a smoky flavor to meats. You can choose the type of wood to smoke that will give you the flavor you are looking for. The only problem with a smoker is when you want a quick pork chop or hamburger, it isn’t so quick. Consider a gas grill for quicker cook meals and a smoker when you really want to impress the neighbors. Charcoal is the next best in the flavor department with no gas undertone. Gas grills can also impart a good grilled flavor, and now many gas grills have a smoker option on them.
When portability is the most imporant requirement, propane is the way to go. Charcoal grills run a close second. Small propane tanks make it easy to take your grill camping or to a tailgate party and you aren’t left wondering where to put the smoldering coals. Charcoal can work and there are several small portable units available; just make sure you have a plan for what to do with the used briquettes.