If you’re a novice in the world of BBQing, you may be puzzled as there’s more than one type of grill.
You might find yourself in some kind of frustration weighing advantages and disadvantages, features and specs, before making a final decision on the grill you want, so in this article, we will tell you about 4 different types of BBQ grills and help you choose the right one for your needs.
Different types of barbeque grills
Generally, the type of BBQ grill depends on the amount of free space that you need and the space that you have.
If you usually have big barbeque parties for a large family or friends gathering, you will need a grill with a big surface to prepare a lot of food in one take.
If you choose the grill for diversifying you and your partner’s food routine, then you should look for a space-saving grill with built-in gadgets to simplify the cooking process.
1. Gas grills
If you want to spend more time talking to your partner, family, or friends, you should probably choose a gas grill since you don’t have to be constantly near it. Also, you can cook right away as gas grills heat up really quickly.
The only thing that they lack is a distinctive smoky flavor that we all love about BBQing. There’re several variations of gas grills: propane, flat top, natural gas, infrared, freestanding, portable, and built-in.
Propane grills provide a lot of power, heat up quickly, and are easy to use. Propane grills allow you to cook food with indirect grilling and multi-zone cooking. They’re more portable since propane is stored in small tanks that can be bought in any supermarket.
Flat top grills
Flat top grills have a flat surface and are fueled by propane. The fact that grease doesn’t vaporize and produce smoke is both an advantage and disadvantage as food is juicier but doesn’t have a rich smoky flavor.
Natural gas grills
Natural gas grills are connected to the home’s built-in natural gas line and can be either built-in or freestanding. Natural gas grills allow you to cook food the same as propane grills. The only downside that they have is that they’re not portable.
Infrared grills are known for producing even heat across all grilling surface and they work on natural gas or propane. Infrared grills are perfect for cooking thick pieces of meat because of its very powerful heat.
Freestanding grills or standalone work on propane or natural gas and can be moved around easily.
Portable grills work using propane and can be easily transported everywhere you want. One major disadvantage is that you can’t cook for a large group of people using these grills.
Built-in grills work on natural gas and are the smallest of all gas grills, so they easily fit on the top of the cooking island or in the cabinet.
2. Charcoal grills
Charcoal grills are the most widely-known grills and they provide that desired smoky flavor. You always have to keep an extra amount of charcoal and be ready to spend some time cooking. There’re four variations of charcoal grills such as traditional, kettle, kamado, and portable.
Traditional grills have rectangular shapes and a few heat zones to cook a lot of food simultaneously. Typically they look like a box or a barrel made from heavy metal and cast-iron grates that are very durable.
Kettle grills are versatile, portable, and easy to use. Their shape might remind you of a kettle, as they have a rounded bottom where you put the charcoal, stand, grill grates, and removable lid. Although they’re smaller than traditional grills, they let you cook using heating zones. Moreover, you can easily regulate temperatures using a built-in or surface grill thermometer. Kettle grills can be used both for high-heat grilling over direct heat and BBQing vegetables and meat over low heat.
Kamado grills are also known as ceramic grills or egg grills and work the same way as kettle grills. Kamado grills can be made from ceramics or stainless steel. The first ones are capable of holding high temperatures up to 750°F all year round. That being said, you can grill, bake and roast in a ceramic kamado grill. Steel kamado grills are less heavy and don’t retain as much heat as ceramic grills. The only downside is that both ceramic and stainless steel need about 45 minutes to preheat before reaching your desired temperature.
You should also know that you need to use lump charcoal instead of charcoal briquettes when using kamado grills. Although charcoal briquettes may cost you less, lump charcoal can reach higher temperatures and it smells better. Note that you mustn’t use lighter fluid and rather stay away from using instant-light varieties as it may be absorbed by the ceramic walls and eventually, all your food might taste like fuel.
Portable charcoal grills
Portable charcoal grills, as the name suggests, are designed for you to have an option of BBQing anywhere you see fit. These grills work on charcoal and are a perfect choice when you’re cooking for no more than 3 people.
3. Pellet grills
Pellet grills are a mix of the smoker and a grill, therefore offering you the possibility to grill and smoke your food of choice. This grill works on wood pellets with the addition of flavored wood chips that are responsible for the rich and delicious flavor. Pellet grills are perfect for cooking ribs, briskets, and large roasts, as you don’t have to constantly monitor the meat.
Although these grills are fueled by pellets, they still need electricity to operate various components. You can connect them to 120 VAC power, power station, gas generator, or power inverter connected to a boat or car battery. When speaking about disadvantages, you shouldn’t use pellet grills in wet conditions and always be sure that you have a power source nearby that limits the situations where they can be used.
4. Electric grills
Electric grills are easy to operate and are perfect for use indoors. Those that work from 120 V are much smaller than those that work from 220 V. Electric grills can be tabletop, freestanding, and combos.
Tabletop grills are usually small and are mostly used indoors. They have a carrying handle, folding legs, tabletop stand, and lid lock, which makes them easy to transport.
Freestanding grills have either a wheeled base or stationary stand that helps to transport the grill to where it’s needed. They can be used both indoors and outdoors. These grills have a main cooking surface and might have a few warming racks above the main surface.
Electric combos include a hybrid of smoker and grill and typically are used outdoors. By adjusting the temperature, you can cook typical grilled food such as steak and burgers. If you turn the heat down, add water and wood chips, you’ll be able to smoke a roast slowly.
Now you know about the different types of BBQ grills, we hope this helped you in knowing the difference between gas, charcoal, pellet, and electric, and shed light on which one could possibly fit your needs.
To sum up, gas grills can work on propane or natural gas, heat up quickly, but you will lack desired smoky flavor. Charcoal grills guarantee you smoky flavor, but you need to be patient and spend a significant amount of time waiting for your food to be ready.
Pellet grills are a combination of a grill and a smoker and need to be connected to a power source. Although electric grills require a power source, they let you enjoy BBQing without the mess, and in the case of an electric combo, you get rich smoke flavor while roasting.