A good quality barbecue always turns simple backyard gatherings into the best of parties which is why having the right grill for the job is paramount. A grill is the perfect backyard party tool and the more food you can cook in there with perfect results, the better for you. Normally, there isn’t much to a grill apart from fuel and size although there are lots of other minor details to consider so that your grilling isn’t interrupted once it is in use. Any grill expert will tell you that a grill is only as good as the level of control it gives you over the heat and the amount of food you can put in there. Here is a look at the 10 things you have to look for when investing in a grill for your outdoor grilling.
There are three main fuel options for a grill with the most common ones being charcoal and gas grills. The third option is pellet grills which are powered using sawdust and have the reputation of heating up fast and being fuel-efficient. The best fuel for your drill is one that is most available and affordable for you. Gas-powered grills are of course the most efficient since you don’t have to spread the coals for even heating.
You can also choose between propane and natural gas grills or have a dual fuel one depending on the fuel choice most available to you. However, you have to replace the burner after some time on gas burners while coal and pellet burners have chambers that may last as long as the grill lasts. Pellets and charcoal may also be cheaper than gas but there is more manual work involved and they need more time to heat up the grill to the temperature you need to cook properly.
A grill is only as good as the variety of service it can offer and that heavily relies on heat control. You need to go for a grill that can hit the right temperatures you need to cook your favourite food and in most cases, the higher that temperature can get, the better the grill. To accumulate sufficient heat and distribute it evenly, a grill needs to be solid but it should also have clear temperature indicators and heat regulators.
The best grill has to allow you to increase temperatures high enough to sear your steak and also reduce it low enough to be able to cook your sausages, burgers and ribs. That is why you have to check the preheat tests and your heat control options so that you pay your money with the service offered in mind. For charcoal grills, adjusting the heat is simple if the grill has easily adjustable vents. You can always reduce the gas and hence the heat in gas-powered options but you have to ensure that the grill has all the adjustments you need before buying.
The size of a grill determines the size of food your grill can cook at a go which technically determines the usefulness of your grill. Now, many people will tell you to look at the number of burners in a gas-powered grill which may range from 2 to 6 or the quantity of coal or pellet it can take. However, the most important thing to look for is the size of the grilling area. Measured in terms of burgers, your smallest grill should be able to hold at least 15.
The small ones are compact hence easy to handle and store but you may have to cook multiple times if you have over a dozen guests. That is where the medium range grill becomes helpful. Its grilling area can hold up to 28 burgers. Larger than that is the best for the biggest parties although storage may be hard and the cost higher. Your budget and the number of people you serve regularly should guide your choice of size based on these specs.
Sadly, for grills, just like phones, the brand is almost certainly synonymous with quality. New grills may be hyped all over as the new great cooker around but then, the material used to build grills are expensive and they require skill and equipment to perfect. Before buying your next grill, you have to evaluate the brand in terms of the quality of the material they use to build their grills and the additional features they include as well as warranty.
Grills are lifetime purchases that will become part of your family which is why you should always go for the best brand in the market whenever you can. Kamado grills are made of ceramic which allows them to heat fast and evenly and also cook faster but they are more prone to breakages and can’t sustain as much abuse as cast iron and stainless-steel grills.
Anyone that has ever grilled outdoors will tell you that there is nothing like the perfect spot for grilling. You may have to move for one reason or another and the easier it is to move your grill the better the party will be. That is why the casters on your grill need to be working and not undermine the stability of your grill. Some casters become useless if you are pulling on an even terrain causing the grill to get knocks during movement which undermines the durability. The grill should also have comfortable handles for carrying during and after use.
Having to stop cooking because you are out of fuel is one of the biggest disappointments of any barbecue. That is why a deep charcoal bed is a great advantage in kettle grills. However, a deep bed alone is not good enough for some, especially if you have a lot of grilling to do. Most barrel grills now come with a removable charcoal bed which make it easy to refill with ease. As for gas-powered grills, the easier you can remove the gas tank and replace it, the better although that is rarely a problem.
Cleaning And Maintenance
You will have to clean every part of your grill at some point and the easier it is the better. The cooking area needs the most cooking though which is why you need one that can sustain frequent cleaning without rusting and becoming useless. When looking at your grilling panel, you should go for one with a non-stick material that is easy to clean and also rustproof. Cast iron panels lose their shape and colour after a few years of grilling and cleaning which becomes a turn off after some time. Charcoal beds also need to be cleaned frequently, so removable ones are the best.
Ease Of Repair
A good grill should come with a one or two-year warranty cover to save you from losses if it has faulty parts. Grills are expensive and sometimes buying a whole new one may not be part of your budget which is why you have to buy one that can easily be repaired. Burners ingas grills wear out the fastest which is why you should get one that has easily accessible spares. As for charcoal burners, you will have to replace the panel or the vents after some time since they get clogged.
Look For A Solid Build
When it comes to grills, you can always spot quality from a distance. You don’t want things falling apart while in the middle of a barbecue which is why everyone goes for a solid grill. The first thing to test is stability. Barrell grills are usually the most stable of all. However, kettle grills can also be stable enough if they are equipped with strong stands. Kettle grill hinges are also a major issue. Light aluminium hinges tend to get rickety over time and the grill ends up being useless. The entire body should be as strong and stable as possible and once locked for grilling, you want as few loose pieces as possible.
Most grills come with extra features that entice amateur grillers but end up being useless so don’t be impressed by some features that you may never need. The primary role of a grill is to cook and if any of the above-mentioned features don’t add up, onboard storage for utensils and an infrared searing alone shouldn’t convince you to buy a grill. That said, some extra features can be very helpful when grilling such as side burners, side tables, night lights and spice racks. However, extra features alone should not be a justification to pay for a low-quality grill. Only go for features that you will actually use and make sure that they don’t unnecessarily increase the price.