With grilling season now in full swing, are you feeling a bit left out of your group of grilling buddies? Or maybe just in the market for a new toy, ahem, grill? Our goal is to help you narrow your options, so you have a better idea of which grill your wife will roll her eyes at you about.
Charcoal grills have been a favorite of outdoor cooks since they were first invented. Charcoal grills are relatively easy to use, and offer that signature smoky flavor, not to mention they come in all shapes and sizes. The original Weber Kettle, for instance, has been around for ages and for good reason. There are also Kamado style grills, these are made from ceramic, which helps with heat retention. Charcoal grills burn using charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal, which is where the smoky flavor comes from. Lighting the charcoal and preheating the grill is a bit more time consuming than a gas grill. You'll also need to clean the grill and dispose of the charcoal ash when you're done grilling.
2. Pellet grills burn, you guessed it, wood pellets. With Pellet grills you have ease of use, set the temperature and use a meat probe to monitor the temp of the meat. Pellet grills produce tasty meat, especially when slow cooked, but the pellets can be expensive and harder to find than propane or charcoal. Pellet grills have a hopper, on the side, back, or front that you can fill with the pellets. They then feed into the burn pot, and are heated to combustion. These grills tend to come in a barrel or cart style grill. Pellets also come in a variety of wood "flavors" - cherry, mesquite, hickory, apple etc, to vary the flavor of meats you're cooking.
3. Gas grills are the second most popular grill, after charcoal. They’re generally the simplest grill to use, they’re built in a cart style, and can also be built in. They can be either attached to a canister of propane, or hooked up to natural gas. Whether natural gas or propane is better, is a hot debate. With natural gas, you’re tied to one place, but it burns cleaner. Propane is more expensive, as you’ll have to refill or replace your tank, but you’ll be able to move your grill.