In order to perfect the culinary art of grilling meats and food on grates suspended over either burners or charcoal takes a well made, robust grill. There are many grills on the market but few have the heat retention and proper heat distribution to perfect the practice of cooking outdoors. The right grill can get the food done quickly and clean up nicely so the chef can spend more time enjoying the creations than in the process of creating the delicious results.
Charcoal and Propane
There are two basic outdoor grills, while electric grills exist for outdoor use, they don’t quite produce the delicious and tasty grilled foods the same as propane and charcoal. The main advantage of charcoal is the interesting fact that the combustion process is not one hundred percent efficient. Particulates left over from the combustion process adheres to the food producing the characteristic smoky flavor.
The disadvantage to this is if one is using charcoal briquettes. Briquettes have chemical additives that allow the charcoal to maintain the briquette shape. These also do not burn with one hundred percent efficiency and therefore can leave traces of chemicals on the food. This can be avoided by using all natural lump charcoal instead of briquettes. This is opposed to propane the does burn clean, meaning there are no particulates to deposit on the food. It also lights faster and does not require any warm up time.
To provide the smokey flavor, additives has to be used in either direct contact with the meat or by using accessories that occupy the combustion chamber. This disadvantage can be offset by the use of infrared gas cooking that sears in the juices in the meat leading to better tasting grilled meats. Here are five grills that have been rated the best outdoor grills for a variety of uses.
Best Infrared Electric Grill
As previously mentioned, electric grills aren’t usually up to the outdoor experience but this one is different. The Char-Broil Model #12601578 Electric Grill uses true infrared cooking to produce juicy and delicious grilled meats. It is specifically designed for small apartments and bistro style dwellings where space is at a premium and the grills are tightly regulated.
It has 306 square inches of cooking space, the heat is regulated via a forward dial and it is compact and easy to maneuver. Those looking for a grill for tight spaces should give this electric grill a try.
Best Outdoor Tabletop Grill
Another small, compact grill, this one is tailor made for tailgating and camping but can be used anywhere. The grill – Lodge Model #L410 Sportsman’s Grill is cast iron and comes preseasoned for fast use. The grates are cast iron and the grill uses charcoal as a fuel source. It has a draft door for regulating heat and the grates are height adjustable.
Overall a perfect compact grill for those on the move. For parties, tailgating or camping, this grill is strong, robust and great for delicious food.
Best Charcoal Grill for the Money
The Char-Griller Model # 2828 Barrel Grill is a traditional style barrel grill with easy, not hot, handles. It has a side shelf for plenty of space and the main cooking area is 580 square inches and more on the warming rack. This grill uses charcoal as a fuel and the cart is easy to maneuver with the dual wheels.
The grates are porcelain coated steel for excellent heat distribution and the lower deck has plenty of space on the wire rack. This grill also has utensil hooks and a condiment rack on the front for easy reach. This is a great grill for any outdoor grilling experience.
Best Gas Grill for the Price
This gas grill – Char-Broil TRU Infrared Model # 480 Grill has three main burners producing over 30,000 BTU of heat and a side/sear burner with an additional 10,000 BTU. The top deck is stainless steel for heat retention and easy cleanup and the grates are porcelain coated steel for excellent heat distribution.
It has 480 square inches of main cooking space and the entire unit is fast lighting thanks to electric ignition. Each burner is independently controlled and the cart has four casters for mobility. This is a great grilling station for home use.
Best Propane Gas Grill on the Market
Weber is the leading manufacturer of grills and grilling accessories. This dual burner propane grilling station – Weber Model #46110001 Grill is great for small or medium homes. The two burners produce 26,500 BTU of heat for excellent grilling. The grates are porcelain coated, cast iron for premium heat distribution and the burners are independently controlled and ignited electronically.
The cart is fully enclosed with two cabinet style doors and the whole unit is on lockable casters. This is an excellent grilling station for the small to medium home and will provide years of great grilled food.
All grills, propane or charcoal fired produce a significant amount of heat, therefore it is imperative that no flammable materials be allowed within 5 feet of a hot or cooling grill. Never operate a grill on an uneven surface as tipping could result. Be sure to read and follow all safety guidelines outlined in the owner’s manual.
For the best results and for the longevity of the grill, be sure to follow all recommended cleaning instructions. Also, consider covering a grill when not in use to protect it from the elements.