When the summer warmer weather comes, there’s nothing better than food on the grill. Here are some ideas to consider when considering a new barbecue grill.
Are you in the market for a portable Barbecue Grill for both home and picnics? Do you use a grill for frequent barbequing and entertain and cook for a family reunion or a company or block party?
Barbecue Grills range in size depending on your personal requirement and budget a basic rule of thumb for the size all types of grills is- How many people do you typically cook for?
• The small category fit 10 to 18 burgers or less. These grills are usually a two-burner grills, are the perfect size for a small family or if you have a home with limited space.
• Midsized grills can hold 18 to 28 burgers, expect to have four burners.
• Larger grills will handle 28 burgers or more, and will usually have at least five burners. A four-burner to five burner grill are great if you entertain frequently and have large parties, but it’s more expensive, takes longer to heat, and it uses much more propane.
Storage Size Required
How much space will the Barbecue Grill require on your patio or deck or garage? This is an important thing to remember because you will need to store it, depending to your climate, in a garage or simply on your deck covered. Small grills can easily be stored in your house or apartment.
Where will you put your grill?
A Barbecue Grill with side tables can take up a lot of room on a patio or deck, so be sure to measure your available space before you shop. If you’re thinking of a small grill, you will need a heat-proof surface to keep it on so that you don’t have to squat down to cook.
People who live in communities where gas or charcoal grills are banned, electric grills can fit your need.
What do you plan to cook?
A basic Barbecue Grill is fine for cooking burgers, vegetables and hot dogs, but if a whole chicken, turkey, or roast is on the menu look for a grill with a rotisserie burner or room for indirect cooking, you need a way to slow cook meats by placing the meat next to the fire, not directly over the heat.
Check the construction of the Barbecue Grill sturdiness, the more stable the grill, the better. Check the cart, firebox, lid, and shelves for sharp corners and edges.
• Keeping your Barbecue Grill clean and in tip-top shape not only improves the flavor and quality of grilled food, but also helps extend the life of the grill.
• Cover your Barbecue Grill after it has cooled down, it will help protect the grill and add years to the life of the grill.
• Does this Barbecue Grill l resists rust? Any grill or smoker you purchase should have stainless steel or porcelain-coated burners to help avoid rusting, as well as rust-resistant outer materials.
• Does this Barbecue Grill retains heat? The grill should feature thick walls, with no gaps around the lid, to help retain heat. This solid construction will contribute to quality grilling, especially if you use it for indirect cooking or smoking.
• Does this Barbecue Grill have a warming rack, tool hooks, thermometer, gas gauge, condiment shelf, thermometer, under grill storage, what do I need and what is unnecessary?
• Barbecue Grill maintenance-Check for easy to use grease drainage system and ash removal, and clean up for all parts. Ease of cleanup is very important or it will not be done.
• When you buy any Barbecue Grill, you will also need some other accessories, such as a grill cover, cooking tools, a cleaning brush. With charcoal grills or smokers you’ll need charcoal and wood chips.
Barbecue Grill Safety Tips
• Check the gas cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A leak or break in the gas hose was the leading factor contributing to gas grill fires.
Use a light soap and water solution, applied to the hose, will quickly reveal escaping propane by releasing bubbles. To determine if your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
• Use only equipment with the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions on how to set up the grill and maintain it.
• Place the grill well away from your home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
• Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic. Put safety rules for kids in place. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
• Clean your grill often, removing any grease or fat buildup from the grates and in the trays below. This also will improve the food safety and taste.
• Stay next to your grill at all times while cooking; never leave the area unattended.
• Put out several long-handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames when flipping burgers.
• Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
• Use propane and charcoal grills outdoors only. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as tents, they pose both a fire hazard and the risk of exposing occupants to toxic gases and potential asphyxiation.
Gas or Charcoal or Electric Barbecue Grill?
• While each fuel offer different values. The main argument for charcoal is the smoked flavor of foods grilled over open coals. Hardwood charcoal gives foods a wonderful, smokey flavor.
• Gas grills are easier to clean, there is no ash residue to dispose of and the propane tank lasts longer than a bag of charcoal. Gas grills offer a simple ignitions switch, temperature control and convenience. The gas, electric and charcoal grill cleaning and grease are equal in clean up.
• A charcoal grill are more durable and tend to last longer than gas ones because they have fewer moving parts.
• One disadvantage of charcoal grilling can be the wait time for reaching cooking perfect temperature. You have prepare the coals, and wait until they are ready to use, about one half hour from the igniting the coals to time to cook. The Rapidfire Weber Chimney can start the coals quickly without the need for lighter fluid.
• When you buy a gas grill and the gas hose and regulator for the propane tanks are often sold separately.
Gas Barbecue Grill
Three out of five U.S. households own a gas grill of various sizes. Some of the benefits of having a gas grill are its portability, the convenience factor, and food is cooked well because of the easy thermostat for temperature control. The gas grill is it is easy to keep clean.
• Note the burner warranty. Burners are the most replaced part and a short warranty is a hint that this grill may not last many years.
• Check how easy it is to install and remove gas tank.
• The easy to use electronic ignition system make the start up fast and easy and the controls help regulate the heat.
What does Btu mean?
Btu/hr.(British thermal units per hour) tells you how much gas a grill uses and the heat it can create, but often more Btu doesn’t guarantee faster preheating or better cooking. For gas grills, look for a Btu rating of 80 to 100 per square inch. Make sure the lid fits snugly and the grates have a heavy construction, this Btu rating should be sufficient for a standard gas grill.
Do you have access to natural gas?
Many of the gas Barbecue Grill can be converted for use with a natural gas line when used with an approved conversion kit. Using natural gas instead of propane will save you money and help you avoid trips to refill the propane tank. Natural gas is a clean burning alternative, and it usually cost less than propane, if your house has it available.
Each year an average of 8,800 home fires are caused by grilling, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. While nearly half of the people who grill do it year-round, July is the peak month for grill fires followed by May, June and August. Gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires overall than their charcoal counterparts.
Charcoal Barbecue Grills
Small charcoal grills are designed for picnics, camping and tailgating and are also useful for people with limited outdoor space or who only need to cook for one or two people. In general, charcoal grills are the least expensive.
What do you plan to cook?
• Size Consideration-Figure out how much cooking surface you need. It should be large enough to fit enough food to feed your regular group.
• The small-size grills fit 10 to 18 burgers or less. These gas grills are usually a two-burner grills, are the perfect size for a small family or if you have a home with limited space. This size is the same for charcoal and electric as well.
• Medium-sized grills
The most popular size grill, these can fit 16 to 30 burgers
• Large grills
These hold 30 or more burgers
What to look for when buying a Charcoal Barbecue Grill:
• Charcoal-Adjustable coal beds, side tables, extra burners, and locking wheels, all of which make a grill easier to use.
• All Grills- Check that the domed lid makes the grill roomy enough to close and not touch the cooking food.
• If you plan to smoke meats, then choose a charcoal grill with smoking capabilities built in or dedicated smoker (either charcoal or electric).
• Are you willing to pay more for convenience? If so, look for a model with features such as a built-in thermometer, charcoal storage bin (for charcoal grills) and side tables or tool hooks.
• Is there a rotisserie available? This can make many larger pieces of meat cook well.
• Purchase the proper starter fluid and store the can out of reach of children, and away from heat sources.
• Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and never use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.
Electric Barbecue Grills
Electric grills have begun to improve but still have not gotten as good as gas or charcoal grills. Electric grills are not very popular they just don’t have the firepower for it for a great grill flavor that gas or charcoal grills offer.
Pros and Cons:
• For apartment and condo dwellers or those who live in communities where gas or charcoal grills are banned, electric grills offer sizzle without a lot of fuss. No big bags of charcoal or heavy propane tanks to lug home, no gas leaks to repair
• It takes about 20 minutes to heat up to cooking temps.
• Can be used indoors or outdoors.
• Small counter top or table top grills can feed from 1 to 6 people at a time. Larger ones are available.
• The electric grill generates intense radiant heat and then powers off and re-energizes its heat coils intermittently on a timer or if the temperature drops. Searing foods may not be possible as it requires intense heat for long duration.
• Electric grills are of two types – clamshell contact and open grills with single side heat element. The heating element is either embedded within the cooking surface or is directly below it. Many electric grills have a drip pan underneath the elements to catch any juices that run off meat and other items during the grilling process. These pans are detachable, so the drippings can be used elsewhere. Electric smokers are also available.
• An electric grill has low, medium and high temperature settings. It generates intense radiant heat and then powers off and re-energizes its heat coils intermittently on a timer or if the temperature drops. Searing foods may not be possible as it requires intense heat for long duration
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