With summer under way and barbecue season in full swing, looking for the perfect grill may seem daunting.
The types of grills break down into charcoal, electric smokers, ceramic cookers and gas grills, which can connect to propane tanks or natural gas. The level of expertise and how involved you want to be in the cooking process should be factors when picking a grill, said T.C. Kelsey, manager of Ace Hardware of Simpsonville.
“The gas grills are the best for novices,” said Bob Kressler, store manager of Firehouse Casual Living Store of Greenville. “They heat quickly and are great for grilling burgers, steaks, kebabs, et cetera.”
In addition to using propane-fueled cookers, beginning grill masters may want to explore using a grill with a built-in computer, such as the Traeger brand. This type of grill has an app that allows the griller to control the cooking temperature from a distance.
“Traeger is all about gadgets,” said Kelsey. “It has a dial on the front panel, and it sets itself. There is zero effort in using it except for putting the meat on. You can be on a plane flying across the U.S. and communicate with the grill back on the ground. The walk-away convenience is the big aspect of the Traeger.”
And don’t forget to consider taste. Charcoal grills may produce a richer taste than a propane grill, and there are different types of charcoal to choose from, including briquettes and all-natural wood varieties, Kelsey said.
While beginning charcoal grill customers may be more familiar with the bowl-style Weber grill, this style of cooker has evolved over the years into the kamado style, which is a heavy ceramic egg-shaped oven. The most well-known version of this grill is The Big Green Egg, and it is popular for its versatility, said Kressler.
“The oven heat [on this grill] can easily be regulated, and it will hold the heat for a very long time, which makes it perfect for slow cooking a Boston butt or a roast,” Kressler said. “The moist heat does not dry out the product. You can also add wood chips to smoke meats, and with the addition of a multi-layer grill rack, you can cook the entire meal all at once. You can also bake bread or pizza.”
Ultimately, before you buy a grill, consider how much the cooker will be used, what type of food will be prepared on it and how involved you want to be with the process.
Some types of grills:
- Charcoal grills, such as the bowl-shaped Webber grills
- Gas grills, which can connect to propane or natural gas
- Ceramic grills, such as the Big Green Egg