Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right Grill
Is your grill on its last leg? Or maybe you are just starting to explore the world of grilling.
Picking a grill seems easy, but looking at rows and rows of options can quickly make you realize there is a lot to learn about grills. Using a buying guide can help you dissect the different types and features of grills to choose the one that best fits your outdoor cooking needs. Keep reading for help deciding on the best barbecue grills for your backyard.
Set your budget
Having a grill budget in mind before you shop helps you avoid overspending. You can spend thousands of dollars on grills with all the bells and whistles. It is easy to get caught up in the extras, so set your limit ahead of time.
Don’t forget to budget for accessories that don’t come with the grill. This might include a grill cover, thermometer and grilling utensils. You will also need to budget for the fuel, which could be charcoal, propane, natural gas or wood pellets, depending on which type of grill you buy.
A gas grill heats up quickly, which saves you time when you want to grill on busy nights. Temperature control knobs let you adjust the heat on a gas grill, unlike a charcoal grill where you are at the mercy of the coals. If you buy a gas grill with multiple burners, you can choose different temperatures in each area of the grill. This comes in handy if you are cooking multiple foods that need different temperatures.
You won’t get as much of the smoky flavor with a gas grill since there isn’t any smoke. Gas grills also don’t usually get as hot as charcoal grills.
Gas grills can run on either propane or natural gas. Propane grills use tanks that you can get refilled at many hardware stores or gas stations. Natural gas grills connect to your home’s natural gas lines, which can make them cheaper and lower maintenance.
Charcoal grills take a little more planning because you have to light the charcoal and let it burn down before you can start grilling. Charcoal burns hot, which makes it easier to sear your food. It also produces the classic smoky grilled flavor that you don’t get with gas grills.
You can’t get precise temperature adjustments with charcoal grills, but you can adjust the vents and dampers to control the flames.
Pellet grills use wood pellets to add smokiness to your grilled food. They also need an electrical outlet nearby. Pellet grills typically offer precise temperature control, giving them an advantage over charcoal grills. Learn more by reading this Z Grills review.
Consider grill size
The size of your grill is an important consideration for functionality. Before you buy a grill, consider where you will put it to evaluate how much space you have. For safe use, it is best to position your grill at least 10 feet away from structures.
Another size factor is how you plan to use the grill. If you will mainly be grilling for your small family, you don’t need a massive grill. If you entertain frequently with lots of guests, a larger grill makes it easier to cook enough food for everyone.
Look at the grill grates
Your grill grates will take a lot of abuse from high heat and grease. Choose a grill with strong, durable grill grates to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Stainless steel grill grates tend to be the most durable. They are also good for searing and help maintain even temperatures. Coated cast-iron grates also help hold temperatures well and give you a good sear. Coated aluminum grates tend to be less durable than other types. Over time, they might become warped or the enamel might wear away.
No matter what your grill budget, you want a grill that is durable. You will get more for your money, and you will increase your grilling safety.
You want a grill that is sturdy with strongly welded joints. Cheaper, less durable grills often feature thin steel or aluminum in the construction. These materials don’t retain heat well and likely won’t last as long. Higher quality grills tend to use heavier weight materials. You will usually find high-quality stainless steel in the build.
Don’t forget to look at things such as the hinges, wheels, shelves and legs when evaluating construction. Grills with plastic parts or inferior materials and construction in those areas are also less durable.
Every year, grills cause an average of 10,600 home fires and send 19,700 people to the emergency room for injuries. Choosing a safe, reliable grill can help you reduce your risk of a grilling accident.
A wide base with a stable design helps with safety to prevent the risk of the grill tipping. Durable materials and strong construction also ensure the grill is safe. Avoid a grill with sharp corners, which can cause injury.
Once you purchase your grill, keeping it clean, no matter what type you buy, is important in grilling safely. Inspect the grill regularly to make sure it is working properly and doesn’t have any damage that could cause an issue.
Consider the extras
You can spend as much as you want on a grill. As the price increases, the extra features also typically increase. Look at those extras to see if theyn are really worth the extra money when choosing your grill.
Some grills have side shelves, which offer space for plates, trays and other cooking gear. You can also find gas grills with side burners, so you can cook everything outside. Consider how much extra space this will add to ensure the grill and the side shelves or burners will fit well into your space.
Drawers or hooks for storing utensils can come in handy. Pullout grease trays on gas grills make cleanup easier. Some grills come with accessories for different types of cooking. This might include a rotisserie or smoker box. Consider whether or not you would use those cooking methods to determine if it is worth it.
Follow our grill buying guide
With our grill buying guide in mind, you can evaluate your needs and choose the best grill for your home. Comparing the different features and the durability of each model helps you narrow down the options.