Once the weather gets warm, no food is safe from grilling. From burgers to kebabs to fruit (served over ice cream), I love it all. I’ve grilled on several different gas and charcoal grills, but I haven’t decided which kind to purchase for myself. With summer fast approaching, I’m excited to announce today’s guest post: How to Choose the Right BBQ Grill. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the great gas vs. charcoal debate!
Can you believe that we are already a quarter of the way into the year? 2013 is flying by. Spring is well and truly here, with summer just round the corner.
As the sun comes out and the temperature gradually rises (fingers crossed), many people will be thinking about getting out the grill and cooking up some tasty treats to celebrate the beginning of BBQ season. But what if you don’t own a grill, and haven’t brought one before? Don’t panic!
Buying your first BBQ grill can be a bit of a daunting decision. It’s a huge step-up from the portable BBQs used fondly by teens on camping trips. It’s certainly not the biggest decision you’ll ever have to make, but it is one that’s paramount to ensuring your enjoyment of the entire BBQ experience. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to give you a better understanding of choosing the grill that’s right for you.
Charcoal versus Gas: The BBQ Battle Royale
These two grill types may be the titans of the barbeque world, but in reality choosing which type of BBQ you want is usually just a matter of preference. Do you want the more traditional BBQ experience of cooking with charcoal, or are you tired of waiting around for your BBQ to light and are looking for a gas BBQ with a little more spark?
Below is a quick summary of each BBQ type, complete with pros and cons in order to help you decide:
There’s nothing like the original BBQ experience of cooking with charcoal. Lumps of this fantastic fuel source are easy to come across and relatively cheap. Plus once charcoal gets going it burns really well, and leaves your food with that unmistakable BBQ chargrilled flavour. As an added bonus, charcoal grills are less expensive than their alternatives, making them the ideal choice for those who are barbequing on a budget.
Problem is, unless you cheat a little bit and use something more flammable, charcoal can be a real pain to light on a windy day. You’ll also always need someone monitoring the grill, moving the food to the cooler spots when it’s cooked and shuffling the charcoal in order to get the best heat. Charcoal can get messy too, so after the party stops you’ll have to designate someone to empty all the ash and dust, ready for the BBQ to be used again tomorrow. For many though, this is all part of the fun with barbequing.
- Original BBQ Taste
- Cheap and easy to come by fuel
- Burns well
- Charcoal grills are less expensive than others
- Can be difficult to light
- Has to be regularly monitored
- Lots of clean-up afterwards
- Can take longer to get started
If you’re looking for a versatile, quicker-lighting BBQ then you’re in the right place. Gas barbeques are the kings of compatibility. Because they run off of gas (either propane or the more natural butane) the grill can be used all year round as long as you keep it supplied. You don’t have to waste valuable grilling time waiting for the BBQ to heat up either, as a decent gas grill should heat to cooking temperature just 10 minutes after you ignite it with a simple turn of a valve or flick of a switch. You can then adjust the temperature as easily as you’d adjust your own oven at home.
Whilst it may have some great features, they come with a price. In this case it’s literally the price tag, as gas grills are usually much more expensive than their charcoal counterparts. It’s not just the grill that’s expensive either. Whilst they may be easy to clean up, gas grills contain a lot of intricate parts that can cost considerable amounts to keep maintained or to replace, should it come to that. On top of this, BBQ traditionalists don’t feel that gas grills can deliver the same authentic grilled taste associated with charcoal.
- Incredibly versatile, grill whenever you want
- Easy to light
- Steady and manageable heat
- Cleans up easy
- Although it’s close, they can’t quite replicate that original BBQ chargrilled flavour
- Larger price tag
- Pieces are expensive to replace
So which barbeque grill is better? Well, that’s up for you to decide. Why don’t you try them for yourself and see? Sound off in the comments section below and let us know which type of grill you prefer.
This article was written on behalf of the Garden Gift Shop, home of the perfect gifts for all gardens. If you are interested in submitting a guest post to Humble Foodie, email me at alicia (at) humblefoodie (dot) com!