Choosing the right outdoor grill for your home
Warmer months bring out the desire to spend time outdoors, and there's no better way to do so than gathering up family and friends and preparing a meal over an outdoor grill. An outdoor grill is the centrepiece of any outdoor kitchen. For this reason, you want to ensure that you choose a unit you can count on for many years.
A reliable and well-designed outdoor grill will bring the heat of the kitchen to your outdoor living space and provide the best flavour to your food. However, with a wide range of outdoor grills available on the market, deciding which is right for you can lead to an endless search that may not be succesful.
If you’re looking for an outdoor grill that meets your needs and you don’t know where to start, we’re to help. In this easy guide, we’ll walk you through the process of selecting an outdoor grill that is practical and functional.
What outdoor grill types are there to choose from?
Investing in the right outdoor grill is the best way to enhance your outdoor dining experience. No single type is better than the other as they all have their own advantages and disadvantages, depending on how you intend to use them. Most outdoor grills are portable, so you can easily move them around your home or transport them to events. Here are the main types of outdoor grills based on fuel type.
A charcoal grill is the best option if you want a natural smokey flavour on your meat. These outdoor grills may take more time to heat up than their gas counterparts, but they can reach higher temperatures, which is good for BBQ. The hotter temperatures and smoke produced make a charcoal grill good for cooking pork, beef, and chicken. However, you can still use them to prepare delicate foods like vegetables, hot dogs, and fish.
Because charcoal grills don’t come with temperature control knobs, the temperature cannot be regulated more precisely. In addition, charcoal grills take more time to clean, but many users believe the taste compensates for this.
These outdoor grills use natural gas or propane. Propane grills are more popular than gas grills because they are more portable, cheaper, and heat up faster. However, using it would be better if you have a natural gas utility line, as it will help you cut your overall energy cost. The main advantage of a gas BBQ is that it is easier to use, clean, and heat up faster than charcoal grills. In addition, gas grills don't emit a lot of smoke, making them a good option for cooking sausages, fruits, vegetables, and poultry.
Electric grills don't use fuel but have a cable that allows you to connect them to an electric outlet. These grills would make a great choice for areas where charcoal or gas is not allowed. However, this means your food won't have that smoky flavour. The electric grill didn't have a good reputation for a long time, but that has changed recently. These compact cookers are a great choice for occasional grillers. In addition, they provide high-heat cooking.
Characterised by their egg-shaped design, Kamado grills are more versatile than charcoal grills, allowing you to smoke, roast, and grill. They are mostly made from ceramic, which retains heat and cooks food more evenly. Kamado grills use charcoal and have ventilation that makes it possible to regulate the heat, allowing for even and consistent cooking. Most units come with two-tiered cooking grates that make it possible to cook more food at the same time.
Although a charcoal grill can serve as a smoker, a dedicated smoker will sweep you off your feet with its tasty ribs, pork, salmon, or bacon. BBQ enthusiasts who want to give their steak that smoky taste know that the best way to achieve this is with a smoker. A BBQ smoker can also smoke side dishes, vegetables, and cheeses. Some smokers have programmable controls for precise cooking, while others require to follow the cooking process. The latter is considered the most authentic way of preparing smoked meals.
What material should you select for your outdoor grill?
Most outdoor grills, including electric, gas, charcoal, and smokers, are made from metal. This is because metal can handle high temperatures and high-stress environments for cooking. Regular models are often powder coated or flat-painted in black to prevent rusting, while modern units are made from stainless steel. High-end outdoor grills are made from high-quality stainless steel, which is very easy to clean.
One of the most important factors to look out for when shopping is the construction of the grill's body. Pay attention to how the housing of the grill has been made. It should be made of steel and sealed together with high-quality welding. Below, we look at the various materials you can choose for your outdoor grill.
Cast iron is the most popular material for a barbecue grill. It's a good conductor of heat and retains heat for longer periods, so you don't have to supply the heat constantly. In addition, the material is very strong and lasts longer. In addition, you get those grill marks on your food.
The main advantage of stainless steel grills is that they do not rust. This means you don't have to worry about water getting in contact with your outdoor grill, whether you've mistakenly left it outside or when cleaning it. Additionally, stainless steel is tougher than most materials, making it a more durable option. Stainless steel outdoor grills are also easy to clean and maintain.
You can prepare anything on an enamelled steel grid. Enamel is typically a protective layer of model glass used to protect the metal from rust. So, enamel provides an extra layer of protection against carrion and discolouring from high temperatures. Additionally, the enamel is easier to clean. However, be careful not to use sharp objects on the material.
A chrome steel grid is another great option. It's relatively cheaper than other materials. The layer of chrome protects the metal from rust. So you can clean your grill without fear of corrosion.
Choosing the right barbeque grill size and cooking surface
The size of the outdoor grill is another important point to keep in mind. You want to ensure your grill has enough cooking surface for your meals. It should also be versatile to add more foods. Think about the number of burners you need. Buy a bbq grill with at least one more burner than what you need. Here are a few guidelines for choosing the right outdoor grill size.
The size of the burner
The first step is to check the sizes of the burners. This will help you determine whether they are large enough to cover the cooking area. You should also take into account the number of burners.
Check the maximum total temperature
The best outdoor grill should have a maximum total temperature of at least 316 degrees Celsius.
Look for extra side burner attachments
This is for those who want to cook multiple dishes at the same time. You can customise your setup with this outdoor grill.
Pay attention to how the grids are made
Steel cooking grids are sturdy and resist chipping and warping. Enamel steel grids are even better, using the power of the enamel to protect the material and allow for easy cleaning. Cast iron grids are the best of them all, heating evenly and cooking your meals well.
Care tips for your outdoor grill
If you're a first-time owner of an outdoor grill, you may be a bit intimidated by the idea of cleaning it. The good news is that cleaning your grill doesn't require much effort. Regardless of the type of grill you have, you'll be required to do some cleaning after each use and thorough cleaning at least once a year. Here are a few care tips to keep your grill in top condition.
Clean the grates
The grates are in contact with your food each time you use the grill. Ensure you clean regularly to prevent bacteria, grease, and debris from building up on the grates. Use a steel grill brush to clean the grates. If possible, take out the grates and scrub them from the bottom.
Clean burner protectors
As the name suggests, burner protectors shield the burner from debris and grease. So they get dirty. However, a dirty protector can prevent the burners from working properly and transfer bacteria to your food. The best way to clean the burner protector is to remove it from the grill and clean it in a bucket of soapy water.
Get rid of the dirt and debris at the bottom
You also need to clean the bottom clean, which essentially collects all the debris and grease. While this doesn't affect your food, too much debris can easily clog up your grill. So, you need to clean the ash tray several times per season.
Clean the outer surface of the grill
If you want to impress your guests with a spotless grill, you'll have to clean the outside. The good news is that you don't need to use technical cleaning methods. You only need a rag, soap dish, and water. Ensure you go over the grill with a wet cloth afterwards to remove any soap residue that could form stains or rust.
Shop outdoor grills at vidaXL
Looking for the right outdoor grill? Here at vidaXL, we have a large collection of superior-quality outdoor grills designed to meet your needs. They are available in different materials, sizes, and fuel types to suit everyone. Even the pickiest buyers are guaranteed to find something in our collection.