Outdoor Cooking Equipment Selection

Summer is the time to fire up the grill and having awesome barbecue parties. If you already have a grill check and clean the burners, grate and coals. If you need to buy a new one check out these tips to find the outdoor cooking equipment that is right for your needs.

When looking for a new grill, you will soon discover that there are a large number of outdoor cooking equipment models and features available. But don’t be overwhelmed by the seemingly infinite of possibilities and options. Make a note to yourself of the uses you have in mind, the space you have available and the budget you can afford.

The best way to decide on what type of outdoor cooking equipment is right for you is by knowing what you realistically need and researching what is available.

Cost

Barbeque grills for outdoor cooking can vary widely from extremely cheap to very expensive. A lightweight, portable stove for camping is going to be too small for use in your home, and a commercial resort outdoor cooking center grill will be too large for your deck. The price of picking the wrong end of these extreme ranges can be costly.

If you are looking for a functional and cheap grill, then consider a charcoal grill. these do not have the cost of gas burners and controls. Large charcoal grills are available for party-sized groups, but small grills are priced as low as $ 9 to $ 20 at most department and hardware stores. High quality, large charcoal grills can be found for $ 65 to $ 90. These grills require buying bags of charcoal and starter fluid for each use, so keep this in mind for cost and convenience when considering this option.

Propane gas grills are more expensive than charcoal but can still be bought for $ 100 dollars. A smoker grill is more specialized and more expensive than a gas grill at about $ 120. With propane gas grills remember to include the cost of a propane tank and the need to refill or replace them at an unpredictable time. Often a second spare tank is necessary.

Outdoor cooking equipment that uses natural gas grills are at the upper end in terms of cost. The burners, controls, size and mechanical components of this type of grill are more complex and expensive. Natural gas grills are intended for home use and are connected to your residential gas line. These higher end grills start at about $ 300 and can go into the thousands. Consider also the cost of a gas line connection if a new outlet is required in the space you will use.

Some types of outdoor cooking equipment grills allow the use of multiple fuel.

Convenience

The most convenient grill to use is one with natural gas. Natural gas grills hook directly into your home’s natural gas line, eliminating the need to provide another source of fuel. Natural gas grills are also one of the easiest to clean since you do not have to remove the ashes of charcoal or wood.

Next in convenience are propane gas grills, which have similar features of the natural gas grills. They have differently sized burner jets and controls but the big difference is in the supply of fuel. You will need to procure and recharge 20 lb tanks of propane. These are usually found at hardware and big box stores and sometimes at local plumbers. There are some methods to monitor gas tank levels but they tend to be inaccurate and to avoid running out of fuel in the middle of grilling a spare tank is needed.

The least convenient to use are charcoal grills, which require more frequent replenishment of fuel in the way of bags of charcoal or briquettes, and also require emptying of ash between cooking sessions. Getting your coals up to temperature can take longer and be affected by weather, however, once hot then cooking with charcoal can be a lot quicker because of the higher temperature possible.

Some contemporary patio and outdoor cooking equipment are quite large and take up more space to install or store, and more time to clean. Bigger may not be better when it comes to a grill that takes more fuel, longer to heat and longer to clean.

Flavor

Most grill aficionados agree that for best grilled food flavor charcoal and smoker grills are the only choice. The higher temperature possible with charcoal and the smoked flavor of burning wood are considered essential. By changing the type of wood or additional wood chips burned then the resulting flavor is changed and part of your cooking style. Smoker grills offer the advantage of slow and low temperature cooking with individual control of smoked flavor.

Size

When choosing your outdoor cooking equipment keep in mind the number of people you will be serving. A typical household barbeque grill can handle 2 – 4 portions of meat but if you also want to grill a variety of meats and vegetables then there may not be enough grill area to use. Consider also that different areas of a grill are desirable for different rates of cooking.

On the other hand a large grill capable of serving that once-a-year large party barbecue can be a problem to use and store for the rest of the year.

Use common sense about what you will do with your barbecue grill and choose the right size, features and price when you are shopping for new outdoor cooking equipment.

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