What Type of Barbecue Grill Do You Need?
Good days are back and this also means the return of the barbecue season, if, obviously, you’re not one of those grilling all year long.
If you already have your barbecue grill and you’re satisfied about it, good for you! But if you’re thinking about changing it and get a new one, the following article might help you.
There are of course a lot of types of barbecue on the market and it might be hard to see clear. Here’s some interesting information about the different grills, including pros and cons for each.
Gas barbecue is probably the most common one in the country, mainly because of its ease of cooking and maintenance. Most of us are using propane, but you can also find models with natural gas.
How it works
Turning the valve will release the fuel which will get to the burners through pipes. Normally, this format will have two or more burner rows, allowing to maintain various cooking methods.
- Preheating quickness
- Less maintenance
- Lack of smoke flavours
- More expensive models
Often with a very compact design, the electric barbecue can also be portable. This kind of grill rose a lot over the last few decades, due to the increasing numbers of condo towers.
How it works
As the name suggests, this type of grill works with electrical energy. To cook your food, it uses infrared radiation, coming from metal rods placed underneath the grills, or above, depending on the model. It’s actually the same process than an oven when you select the Broil function.
- Ideal for those who live in a building – Some building complexes have very strict policies prohibiting the use of gas or charcoal grills. Always check your building rules.
- Available in small models
- Low maintenance
- Can be used inside
- Lack of the authentic grilling experience
- No smoke flavours
- Very energy-consuming
- Not recommended in the rain
Also very popular in Canada, charcoal barbecue is the supreme grill type for die-hard fans of this highly prized smoke flavour. It uses charcoal combustion, obtained by carbonizing wood, which gives incandescent light and high heat.
How it works
If you remove the grate, you’ll get access to the tank where you will have to pour the charcoal and light it with the appropriate method. Certain people use igniters from the store, while others use the good old newspaper.
- Ultimate grilling experience
- Smoke flavour
- Better sear control – Charcoal brings a higher temperature and thus allows better searing and caramelization on a meat.
- Pricey – On the long term, charcoal is more expensive than gas because you always have to put some more in the tank.
- Slow preheating
- High maintenance
Briquettes vs charcoal
If you use a charcoal barbecue, you might be wondering what’s best to use between charcoal and briquettes.
First of all, what’s the difference? Charcoal is made out of hardwood such as hickory or oak and is obtained by burning it at high temperature, without any oxygen.
Briquettes are made with ground charcoal mixed with starch to agglomerate it all and shape nice round briquettes.
So, what do you need? Charcoal burns way more quickly than briquettes, providing faster preheating. It also brings a higher temperature, allowing a better meat searing. And certain people claim that it tastes better as well, as others don’t see the difference.
As for briquettes, it burns more slowly, giving a long preheating process, but on the long term, you will save good money, because, as opposed to charcoal, you won’t need to pour more into the grill tank as often. Therefore, briquettes are preferable for meats requiring long and slow cooking.
Photo credit: Big Green Egg Facebook page
What about Kamados?
Translated from Japanese, “Kamado” means “cooker”. This kind of grill appeared in North America a few years back and its popularity never cease to increase. You might recall models like Kamado Joe or the Big Green Egg.
This type of barbecue is made out of ceramic, which considerably retain heat and moisture. It can also be used as a smoker.
If you’re considering this option, you can expect to pay around the same price as a good gas grill.
You are now ready for barbecue shopping!
Preserve your new barbecue! In order to do so, be sure to read our article: 5 Ways to Maintain Your Barbecue and Keep it Clean for a Long Time
Enjoy the barbecue season!
We didn’t answer all of your questions? Feel free to ask, comment below.