What to look for when purchasing a grill
* How can people choose the best grill for their personal use?
- Determine where you are on, what we like to refer to as, the grilling spectrum. The grilling spectrum, is how we like to gauge a person’s interest in grilling and BBQ, and then we can help them decide on the type of grill that is best for their interest-level and lifestyle.
For instance, if you enjoy firing up the grill once a year during your annual Fourth of July party, then you are likely on the left side of the spectrum. On the exact opposite side of the spectrum are the people who lay awake at night wondering about the science and intricacies behind the Maillard reaction and fret over whether they should scrape the grill grates front to back, or back to front.
Once you determine where you are on the grilling spectrum, focus on the type of grill over a particular brand. Gas grills are great for beginners, whereas offset smokers are for the highly advanced griller.
Always keep in mind, just because you spend $4000 on a grill, doesn’t mean it will magically turn you into a grill master. So be realistic about your current skill level.
What are the perks of the following types of grills?
- Gas grills are great for beginners because they require little skill level to operate. We refer to them as great weekday grills because you can fire them up quickly and they are not associated with mess, like charcoal. However, they are not ideal for low and slow type cooks and they do not provide a lot of flavour like a charcoal grill does.
- Charcoal grills are for a more advanced type of griller, and they provide that nostalgic aroma of summertime BBQs that a lot of people grew up with. The charcoal provides that unmistakable taste to all food that is cooked on it, but they usually get criticized for being messy and requiring more time to set up. Our biggest tip for the charcoal grillers out there, do NOT ever use lighter fluid! It is toxic and unnecessary. Invest in a $20 charcoal chimney, it gets the charcoal fired up quicker and eliminates that chemical taste provided by the lighter fluid. Charcoal grills are also great for their portability.
- Pellet grills are another great beginner option, as they are similar to an oven. They provide a “set-it-and-forget-it” experience as they are electrically operated and powered through the push of a few buttons. You can often control and monitor temperature through an app on your phone! They are ideal for low and slow type cooks, as opposed to hot and fast grilling.
- We recommend electric grills to people who are low on space but still want that outdoor grilling experience. They are perfect for small balconies and RV living.
How can people decide on the following?
- number of burners they'll need: Be realistic about your lifestyle, do you pride yourself on flipping 87 burgers at one gathering? Or are you the type of person who enjoys individually-wrapped frozen salmon filets for that one time you have a craving for grilled fish? Do not over-buy. Small grills work just as well as large grills.
- whether they need a built-in thermometer: Built in thermometers should definitely not be a dealbreaker on the type of grill you buy. You can find an amazing thermometer on Amazon for $20.
- whether they'll need a side burner: Side burners are the first thing on a grill to conk out! But shh, you didn’t hear it from us!
- whether a side prep table will be useful: If there is a side table option, ALWAYS go for the side table! Balancing a tray of vegetables, BBQ tongs, and your phone (because grilling and Instagram were made for each other!) while trying to open the grill lid is an act that only a Cirque Du Soleil performer could manage without a side table! Get the side table!
* Anything else future grillers should know about picking out a grill?
Once you make that decision to welcome home a new grill, do not be afraid to reach out to the online BBQ community. The best part about grilling and BBQ is that there is a community online that is only full of the most supportive people who want to help your grilling journey be the best it can be. We refer to ourselves as on-call BBQ first responders, if it’s a BBQ emergency, please contact us and we will help!