Gathering friends for fun and barbecue is a past time as old as man himself. Over the generations the art of preparing grilled and smoked meats has undergone a variety of innovations and none more innovative than the technological improvements to the grill itself.
While there is an ongoing debate among culinary artists and traditionalists, as to which is better, charcoal or gas, the underlying fact is that propane grilling has made grilling faster and cleaner than charcoal grilling. Of course, there is something to be said concerning the use of charcoal but the reality of the debate is that it comes down to personal preference as to which to use. For those that like to get the grilling done fast and clean, propane is the best choice.
Propane over Charcoal
The essential core of the debate concerning gas and charcoal is that charcoal will impart an element of flavor to the cooking food. Naturally, gas does not do this as any residual combustion products are eliminated in the heat. Where gas has the advantage is that it is much faster in both lighting and cooking than charcoal and does not require the type of attention a charcoal fire would. Another main difference between the two is the use of direct flame.
In a gas grill, the flame can be adjusted quickly and efficiently to provide the correct amount of heat and the correct amount of flame. In a charcoal grill, the flame can not be as readily adjusted and therefore there is a better chance of charring than in a gas grill. Also the heat is consistent in a gas grill where there is a heat curve in a charcoal fire usually tops out at the highest amount of coals. Again, this can not easily be adjusted.
There is a lot to be said for both sides but in our modern hustle and bustle lives, getting great tasting grilled food cooked fast and efficiently can really best be accomplished with a propane grill. With that thought in mind, there are five great propane grills in the sub $300 range.
Best Outdoor Tabletop Grill to Buy
Cuisinart has been a household name in appliances for decades and this is one of their entries into the portable grill market. The Cuisinart Model #CGG-200 All-Foods Table Top Grill electric ignition lights quickly and the burners produce 12,000 BTU of heating power.
This grill is excellent for tailgating and patios and is easy to clean. It uses cast iron grates and has folding sides and a temperature gauge. Users love the portability and versatility of this small, compact grill.
Best Gas Grill on the Market
The Char-Broil Model #463722312 Triple Burner Gas Grill has three burners, one for side warming and two for main grilling. The two main burners produce 36,000 BTU and the side burner is 12,000 BTU. It has electric start and each burner is independently controlled for precise cooking. It is easily cleaned and has cast iron grates for great grilling.
While it is not portable like some of the others, this grill is great for home grilling. Users love the easy and quick clean up and the versatility of the side burner. When not in use the side burner has a lid and can be used as a shelf.
Top Rated Gas Grill for Home
Model in the barrel style, this gas grill is a powerhouse with 40,800 BTU on the main burners. The Char-Griller Model #3001 Grillin‘ Pro also has a side burner with 12,000 BTU for extra space or warming. The cast iron grates are porcelain coated for excellent heat distribution and each burner has its own vent and control for precise cooking. This grill has a secondary side shelf for a generous cooking area and the cooking surface is 438 square inches.
This grill also is wheeled for easy mobility. Users love the power and accuracy of the burners and the steel construction of the unit that provides many years of cooking perfection. This grill is great for home grilling and backyard barbecues.
Best Portable LP Gas Grill
Blue Rhino is a recognized name in propane supplies and now has entered the grilling market with his excellent, portable grill. Foldable and with wheels, the Blue Rhino Genuine Portable Gas Grill is a perfect grill for camping, tailgating and backyard grilling. It has two side shelves and has a generous cooking area.
This grill is a true product from Blue Rhino and users love the easy and compact nature for tailgating. For those that want an all purpose, portable grill, this is the perfect choice.
Best Propane Barbecue for the Price
The Dyna-Glo Black & Stainless Double Burner Gas Grill in black steel and stainless steel is a beast of a propane grill. It has a separate storage area for the propane tank and dual individual burners that are electrically ignited. It has 547 square inches of total cooking space and cast iron cooking grates are enameled for excellent heat distribution.
The burners produce 30,000 BTU of heat and the top lid has a piano hinge for precise and accurate closing. Users love the power and robust nature of this propane grilling station and for the backyard barbecue, there are little others that compare.
As with any heat source, it is imperative that all safety procedures are taken. This includes reading and following the operators manual as well as maintaining a safe distance from all flammable materials.
Also, never operate a grill or smoker on an uneven surface. Even a slight uneven surface can result in a grill or smoker tipping over. This can result in fire or serious injury.