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Types of Barbecue Grills

These days you can find a grill to fit almost any type of culinary use as well as physical space. This has been a huge boom to the amount of options available for the home and traveling cook. Not only can a person cook nearly anything that they want on their grill, they can also use the right type of fuel to fit their taste and sense of efficiency. With these options available, buyers can also find a size and complexity to fit their budget and home. All this boils down to cooking whatever you want whenever you want, and even wherever you want it. It’s a great boom to the flavors that only a grill can bring. Here are the basic types of barbecue grills available to help you find the right model that works for you.

The most classic is the charcoal grill. Though you can now find infrared style grills, this doesn’t mean this old fashioned grill has gone out of style at all. Instead, this product has seen a resurgence. The charcoal gives anything you grill on it a delicious grilled and smoky flavor that is difficult to come by anywhere else. In the past, these grills were simply hollow steel balls, but these days these models come in many different sizes and styles with a load of accessories. Best of all, modern models are much easier to clean than before.

This doesn’t mean charcoal doesn’t have its competitors. Gas, propane mostly, is perhaps the most popular style of grill. Propane is cheap, safe to use, and has no leftover mess like charcoal does after grilling. It’s a great convenience. Plus lighting is easier with instant heat, no waiting for coals to get to temperature. Propane also gives its own unique flavor to everything it grills as well. These models also have the greatest variety of options for the griller as well: side burners, flat tops, and huge sizes. All of these options make these products a great choice for the home. Additionally, these products are available in small portable sizes suitable for camping.

Electric grills are third in line for the styles of grill. These products have no extra baggage like gas or charcoal. Instead, these models just plug into a socket. This makes them especially suitable for inside the home, camping, or even tailgating. They don’t add as much in flavor, but they beat the major styles of products when it comes to convenience.

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Building a Top Quality Barbecue

It’s now the middle of winter so probably a good time to start thinking about next summer. Our portable barbecue springs to mind as one of the most used items in the garden last summer even more than the lawn mower and that seemed to be always on the go. It got us thinking about the possibility of building a permanent barbecue. We have a patio which is the best place to build it or if you have no patio then consider a sheltered area of the garden or backyard.

Our portable barbecue was purchased from a local store and although it served the purpose never seemed to look attractive in situ. Building your own is not costly. You can incorporate your own ideas into it. The size of it will obviously depend on the amount of space available. Hopefully you will have enough space to design a sensible area where the food can be cooked and served to suit your requirements. When you have found the right area for the barbecue to be built it is best to stack your bricks and layout the grill and tray to ensure it will look alright when the bricks are cemented together.

Try and position the barbecue to provide easy access to the house and any seating area. It is best not to place it in the centre of the patio as this could prove dangerous if there are young children playing. Size wise a barbecue should be big enough to cater for a large party. If the barbecue is large enough then it can always double up as an incinerator at certain times.

We have already discussed where to build the barbecue but if a wall is unavailable and you have no patio either then you must look elsewhere. You certainly should not build it under a tree nor too close to the neighbours. They might be good neighbours but there is always a limit. Trees will attract insects and anywhere near the house may allow smells of cooking and smoke to infiltrate the home.

Eventually you will find the spot and the barbecue will be completed. If you do have barbecues on a regular basis why not consider lighting the area with electricity from the house. If the barbecue has been built on the patio then it might be possible to install a sealed weatherproof socket. Lighting will then be available for the barbecue or alternatively you could have oil lanterns or even candles. Make sure these are carefully positioned so as not to pose a danger to anyone.

Different Types of Barbecue Grills

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.

Cost

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.

Additional Features

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.

Flavor

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.

Portability

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.

Copyright 2006 Emma Snow