Woot woot! Spring has arrived, and summer is just around the corner. That means it's time for backyard barbecue parties and fun in the sun! If you want to sling burgers and flip steaks, however, you're going to need a grill. Here is a look at your options.
1. Gas Grills
A gas grill is super convenient. With the turn of a button, your gas grill is on and heating up. Most use propane tanks for the fuel source, but natural gas is also an option. Within minutes of flipping the switch, your grill will be ready to cook on. A gas grill is ideal for those busy evenings when you want to get dinner on in a hurry. It's perfect for quickly searing a steak. It's also great for cooking a piece of fish as the unpleasant odors will stay outdoors rather than collect in the house.
Many gas grills also have a shelf above the grate, which makes it perfect for baking potatoes or other things that need indirect heat. Additionally, you can get a grill with side burners, enabling you to boil corn or make a sauce while your meat is grilling. While a gas grill can handle anything you throw at it, you're not going to get much of a smoky flavor. You're also not going to have to deal with messy ashes, though, so it's a win-win situation.
2. Charcoal Grills
Cooking on charcoal will provide you with that smoky flavor that lets everyone know you cooked it on the grill. A charcoal grill is also great for slow cooking meats. While it's not quite the same as a smoker, it does have similar qualities that allow you to use it as such if you pay attention to the coals. Unlike a gas grill, you can't just press a button and voila! Instant heat. You'll have to arrange the charcoal and ignite it and then wait 15-30 minutes before the grill is ready to go. Cooking with charcoal can also be messy, and you'll have to empty the ashes as well, but there's nothing quite like the taste of a charbroiled burger fresh off the grill. If you plan on doing a lot of "low and slow" grilling, be sure to ask your grill dealer to show you a model that has an easy-access door to add charcoal as needed.
3. Portable Grills
When you want to take your fun on the road, you're going to need a portable grill. Whether it's a picnic at a park, tailgating at the game, or cooking the day's catch at the lake, a portable grill makes it possible. Portable grills are available in both charcoal and propane. While portable grills are handy, they are only suitable for cooking small amounts of food at a time.
While each of the three grills has their advantages, many people eventually own one of each type. When you visit the store, let the grill dealer know what your needs and wants are, and they'll guide you towards the best grill to start with.