With the wide variety of outdoor grills available, purchasing an outdoor grill can sometimes be very challenging. We are here to help you make the perfect purchase when determining what type of grill would fit all of the needs of your household. Please use this handy buyer’s guide from Number1Direct to educate yourself on all the factors that go into your decision process of buying a new outdoor grill.
Types of Outdoor Grills:
Gas Grill (Natural Gas or Liquid Propane): This choice is very convenient and allows for a more even cooking temperature. Natural gas can be connected by a gas line from your house with a continuous flow that never runs out. Liquid propane grills can be easily moved around and are transferrable from place to place. Although liquid propane grills are very convenient always pay attention to the size of the grill being heated since the liquid propane tanks are limited in size.
* Caution: Check with your local gas company choosing a natural gas grill.
Charcoal Grill: Food can be more flavorful with the essence of charcoal grilling. Cooking with this type of grill can take more time because heat is not evenly distributed. With the changing technologies and different features do not be discouraged from purchasing a charcoal grill. It is more intended for the serious barbeque chef, not recommended for the occasional weekend barbeques.
Features & Issues to Consider When Shopping:
The more burners a grill contains the more control of the heat the chef is provided. When considering the amount of burners needed consider the number of people the grill will be cooking food for, and if direct and/or indirect heat is needed when cooking a variety of different foods. A grill with only one burner will not provide indirect cooking, and will give the chef less control of the heat.
Porcelain enamel and Stainless Steel are the two different types of cooking grates available. When cooking with the porcelain enamel grates the cook will notice wide sear marks, and a more defined sear marks with the stainless steel. While stainless steel grates require more maintenance when cleaning they retain heat longer to allow cooking at lower temperatures.
Crossover Ignition System
The Crossover Ignition System feature allows the cook to light all burners at once rather than igniting each one at a time.
Drop-In Grills are a great alternative to a regular free standing grill. They can be installed into a cart that can be purchased from the manufacturer or can be built into a brick, stone or wooden deck style fixture. This is a great option when considering an outdoor kitchen.
Flavorizer Bars are designed to convert the juices that drop down into the grill into smoke while adding flavor to the food. They are made up of Porcelain enamel or Stainless Steel and will eliminate the need for lava rocks and ceramic bisques while containing flare ups. Please take note the flavorizer bars are a patented cooking system designed by Weber.
Portable Grills are just like standard grills with the added feature of ease of mobility. This option can have the ability of an easy to use push button ignition also with a removable grease drip pan for easy cleaning.
Post grills are made to be mounted to a surface such as a concrete patio, wooden deck, or even out in the lawn. Most of the post grills available are made to be hooked up to natural gas, so this can determine the location of the grill.
Primary Square Inches
Primary Square Inches is the size of the cooking surface of a grill. This determines what size barbeque to purchase.
Push-button igniters are easy to use automatic lighting tool for the modern day grill. This matchless feature provides easy quick lighting every time.
Quick-Disconnect is a feature to consider since it allows the cook to connect and disconnect tubing to a hose or pipe without using any tools.
Rotisserie’s are for building juicier meats when they a basted by the cook and slowly roasted. Keep in mind rotisseries are used for the heat to move around the food, and not the food to move around the heat.
Secondary Square Inches
Secondary Square Inches are the size of the warming racks sometimes included with a grill.
Side Burners are a great addition to the side of a cooking surface to build a full meal outside. They can be used to cook your favorite side dish or even keep a side dish warm.
Slide-Out Bottom Tray
Slide-out bottom trays distribute access grease and cooking juices into a catch pan for easy clean up.
A Smoker Box adds a smoked flavor to the food cooking in the grill and can be used with gas, electric, or charcoal grills.
Swing-Up Work Table
A Swing-Up Work Table adds more workspace to a grill by pulling up and locking it into place. This is a great feature to have when wanting the grill to be in a confined space while not in use.
Thermometers are used to identify the cooking temperature of the grill before or during the cooking process. If this is separate from the grill they can also be used for checking the temperature inside the meat for ensuring the meat is done.
Tool holders allow easy access to all of the barbequing gadgets needed while cooking. Typically tool holders are found to the side or in front of the cooking surface.
Total Square Inches
Total Square Inches is the full space of the grill cooking areas.
The work surface is a permanent surface counter top on either side of the grill for more space.
BTU’s (British Thermal Units)
BTU’s indicate the volume of gas a grill can burn. Grills that are securely engineered use less BTU’s and cook food more resourcefully. In this case sometimes less is more. When researching the amount of BTU’s, too many can lead to damage of the burners and reduce the life of the grill. The rule of thumb when considering the amount of BTU’s in a grill is larger grills with larger cooking surfaces entail higher BTU’s.