Let’s be honest with each other for a moment – you want a grill. That’s why you are reading this right now. That’s ok – life really isn’t the same when you don’t have a grill – I mean, have you tried grilling or searing meat on a stove top? I know I have – and set off the fire alarm, had the monitoring company call the fire department, and it was a mess that could have been saved if I had just had a grill.
There are literally thousands of different grills out there on the market today – how do you know which one is right for you? And can you be able to get that perfect grill without spending a fortune? Let’s take a look at what you can get on the modern grill and you can decide what you want and how much you want to spend.
How to Select the Best Grill for the perfect BBQ
Get the Grill You Want With the Features You Need
Type of Grill
The first thing you must do is to decide whether you need a gas grill or a charcoal grill. If you haven’t made up your mind yet, I suggest you to read our guide on Gas Vs Charcoal grills.
Since gas grills are more popular I would guess that you decided to go for gas grill. Next you are going to get confused between the type gas grill. Again we are here to help. Take a look at the Propane Vs Natural Gas Grill guide to select the right grill for you.
The Modern Grill Has Modern Features
When it comes to the modern grill, you want to look for five essential modern features that will make your grill become more used than your kitchen stove. Why? Because when you purchase a grill that contains some form of these modern features, you are making an investment that is going to be low maintenance, will last for quite some time, and increase the overall reliability of your grill.
Forget those little push buttons or those knobs you’ve got to turn – they break so easily and are so unreliable. Make sure your new grill has an electric igniter. It’s not only more reliable, but you’re less likely to be peering in to see why it’s not starting only to get your eyebrows singed. But even electric starters aren’t 100% reliable – you need a grill that has protected flame lighting points so you don’t find yourself trying to avoid flames leaping toward your face.
Cast Iron Grates Vs Stainless Steel Grates
A lot of people like stainless steel grates because they are low maintenance and easy to clean. If that’s what you want, then get that grill. For me, I want a cast iron grate. Nothing gives you an awesome sear like cast iron… period. Why people tend to avoid it though is because of the cleaning and seasoning you have to do. Just like cast iron skillets, you need have to coat them with cooking oil, otherwise they’ll rust.
If you don’t like cast iron, then you have to go with the stainless steel. Otherwise you are going to find that your grates just aren’t going to be durable, either to standing up to weather or standing up to heavy usage.
Burners With a Long Warranty
When you invest in a grill, you want something that’s going to last. That means you need to have a strong burner that’s going to give you a lot of time before it goes out. Here’s where I like stainless steel over cast iron – all those drippings can make it tough to clean and season cast iron burners. A longer warranty indicates a better faith in the product produced – if it comes with a one year warranty against defects, you can be guaranteed that the burner will last 1 year and 1 month. A burner with a ten year warranty? That will be your new best friend.
Nothing tastes better than something that has been slow roasted [in my humble opinion, anyway], and nothing makes slow roasting your favorite foods easier than a rotisserie. It doesn’t take much to have a long, metal rod be able to go across your cooking surface on the grill, and unless you want to be hand cranking that sucker for 14 hours, an electrically or battery power source is great to have.
This might seem silly, but one of the ways people save money is by getting a do-it-yourself kit where they put together the grill with nuts and bolts. Forget that – go after fabricated parts. These will last you a long time and withstand a lot of punishment. Besides… the foundation of a grill is an indication of how the grill itself is made. If you have cheap parts to put together in order to use your grill, you’re going to have cheap parts in your grill as well. So make the decision to make the investment in quality parts – trust me, it’s worth it.
Once you have decided on the features you need for the new gas grill, it is time for you to check the specifications like size, weight, design etc. Some of these factors purely depend on individual preferences. However there are few things everyone should look for when buying a gas grill.
The size of the grill is also critically important. One of the overlooked aspects of a grill is the actual size of the grilling area. Many people simply purchase a grill based on looks or even just price. However, having a premium cooking service is what you really want in a grill. That means you need to have the right amount of surface combined with the right amount of British Thermal Units [BTUs]. BTUs are an indicator of the amount of heat that your grill can generate per hour. A general rule of thumb when you are out shopping is that for every square inch of cooking space on the grill you are considering to purchase, you need to have 100 BTUs available. If the grill comes under that, you’re going to have longer and more inconsistent cooking times.
Just be aware – one of the tricks that some manufacturers like to use is to include the warming rack as part of the actual cooking space. If the warming area is huge and the cooking area not so much, but the grill is marketed as having a massive grilling or cooking area, then that would be a model from which you might want to stay far away.
How many times have you seen an outdoor grill with a full on, built around cabinet and thought “Dang. Wish I had one of those.” Guess what? You don’t need it. That stuff is all fluff. However, the cart or stand that your grill is mounted to is important in regards to the portability of your grill. If you are going to use the grill a lot for parties and put it away afterwards, you’re going to want to purchase a cart or stand with casters. That’s because they are easy to move in any direction, giving you easy portability. If you’re going to pretty much keep your grill parked in the same location on your patio, then save a couple bucks and just go with wheels. That will allow you to move your grill if you need to, but you don’t have to pay for the investment in casters.
Should I Be Worried About Price?
You know what you can spend on a grill. I’m not going to tell you that you need a top of the line grill in order to cook the best food in the world because you don’t. I used to grill awesome steaks on a $15 little itty bitty thing in college because that’s what I could afford. It’s about who is using the grill, not the grill itself. That means a base model grill will cook food just as well as one that has every gadget imaginable. That being said, you can do more when you have more, such as slow roast a whole chicken or cook an entire rack of ribs at once.
There is a grill out there that can meet every budget and bring out the inner griller in you – so check out your budget, then go out and search for these options and accessories that best meet what you want in a grill so that you can get the best grill at the best price for your grilling needs.