Something I hear all the time. What kind of grill should I get?
The kind of grill for you depends a lot on what you want to do with it. If you want to smoke your food, then you don’t want a simple propane or electric grill. The type of grill along with its heat source will provide its own trademark taste in the food it produces.
If you want a fast cooking grill, then you don’t want one that only cooks with charcoal or natural fired materials. I can completely cook a 2 inch T-bone stake in less time than it would take to just get the charcoal started in a charcoal grill. Would it taste the same? Hell no! But you could eat it and it would taste good! (well, if I cooked it, anyway. 🙂
You basically have three choices of heat.
Charcoal or natural combustants.
Propane or Natural Gas.
I know some will say solar, but until I see a solar rig that is as easy to use as the other ones, I’ll just stick to three. Digg? (If you have one, then UPS it to me and I’ll look at it. 🙂
There are basically three types of grills. I’ll address them in order of their complexity. Also, there are grills that combine the different types into one.
But if you keep asking “What kind of grill should I get?” You’ll need to know that each type of grill along with its heat source will provide a unique taste it the food it produces. Many grills can provide more than one type, like you could grill some steaks on a baker or a smoker type grill. But usually grills are purchased based on the type of cooking that is or will be done on a regular basis. Many people own more than one type of grill and use the proper grill for the task. Yes, you can use a big wrench as a hammer. And you can grill a steak on one of those great big smokers too, but by the time you get the fire lit, I could have you a nice juicy rib eye ready and begging to be eaten using the proper type of grill. Would it taste the same? No. Would it be cost effective? No.
I’ll go through the types and then talk about the heat sources with those types.
The first is the standard grill, straight grill, grill top or griller. Most grillers are known for their speedy production of great tasting food. They can be fired with all three types of heat sources and are the cheapest way to get started. Grillers come in all shapes and sizes. You can even make a griller with wire and stones.
The second is the baking grill or baker. A baker does just what it says, bakes. Baking is a process where the food does not come in direct contact with the flames. The baking grill usually has a large box for the food, and another for the fire. Many of them have a firebox can be moved up or down to get the optimal heat.
Number three is “Da Smoker” The Granddaddy of them all. The smoker is almost always fired with charcoal. The fire in a smoker is contained in a separate compartment away from the food. The food never in is direct contact with any of the flames. This is what marks the difference between a smoker and a regular grill. The object of the smoker is to be able to cook food very slow with the minimum of heat, at around 200-250 degrees F. You can do this on a gas grill if you keep the fire very low and only use one burner. But one of the main benefits of a smoker is that you have the whole surface of the grill top to cook the food. Also you can add more coals to the fire without having to lift the lid causing the grill to cool down.
No matter which grill you decide to buy, you simply need to learn the characteristics of your grill in order to produce great tasting meals. Many people have a regular grill and a smoker. If you are just starting out, I suggest getting a gas grill for its ease of operation. If you have many to cook for each time you cook, then maybe get a charcoal grill. Then, after learning and using your grill for a while then purchase a smoker. Before long you will be cooking mouth-watering masterpieces, right there, on your grill.