Roasters come in all shapes, sizes, and with different fuel sources. Here we tell you how to choose one.
Summer is here, which means it’s time to dust your grill (or maybe you should consider giving it a deep cleaning) and barbecue. Or perhaps it’s time to buy a new grill. The problem is that the landscape is constantly changing, and the great debate about which type of grill is best has only become more complicated with the arrival of more options. It is no longer just coal versus gas.
If you have a little knowledge about grills or on the market looking for how to replace your worn out grill with a shiny new one, here are the five main types of grills from which you can choose.
Coal – Charcoal Grills
It is a classic and favorite among purists, the charcoal grill often advertised as the only and most authentic way to cook grilled food. Although they come in all shapes and sizes, all grills use charcoal briquettes (sometimes mixed with wood chips) or bulk coal as a fuel source, which produces a distinct, strong, and smoky taste.
Cooking on coal is also a naturally slower way of roasting food that also requires practice. Controlling the internal temperature of the grill is more complicated and less precise. Moreover, getting the charcoal grill to reach the temperatures needed for cooking can take more than 20 minutes. Cleaning is also a bit more tedious. Still, the taste makes all the extra effort worthwhile.
Charcoal grills are usually quite affordable, starting at the cheapest of US 30$ and can rise to 300$. They also come in a variety of different styles:
– The bracero grill is an open-style grill that often seen in the parks.
– The grills boilers are the classic form that held on a tripod (generally with two wheels) and a lid. They often only have a respirator to control the internal temperature.
– A barrel grill has the shape of a barrel. The first versions made of a 55-gallon barrel flipped out and cut in half. If you add a handle, a hinge, a lower rack to hold the coal, a top rack for cooking, and a pair of legs, you will also have a barrel grill. Of course, you can now buy prefabricated barrel grills.
– The roasters cart is the style you’ll usually see exposed outside a hardware store these days, but only some of them are coal. Most of these cart type grills are gas.
– The roasters Kamado based on a Japanese rice cooker called Mushikamado. They have a similar shape to boiler grills, but it is generally a deeper container and made of ceramic rather than metal. This model insulates the heat and creates a more uniform cooking temperature and burns coal more efficiently. They are also large, heavy, and quite expensive steakhouses, with an initial price that can start at around 500$.
– The portable grills tend to be smaller and shorter, roasters boiler that efficiently packed for a picnic or a weekend in the woods versions.
Gas – Gas Grills
The other most common grill style is gas. They usually come in a car-style model or permanently incorporated into an outdoor kitchen area with the number of burners.
Now there is a new debate: using natural gas or liquid propane. Natural gas burns more cleanly; it is cheaper to use (between half and one-sixth of the price). Besides, it is not over, and you do not need to change the tanks in the middle of cooking. On the other hand, you should also know that with natural gas, your grill becomes a permanent installation. You will not be able to move it at will.
Liquid propane even more used and adds the convenience of portability. But you will also have to plan or make some rough estimates to guess how much cooking time you have left in your current tank. Fortunately, if you have a gas link connection in your home, you may buy a conversion kit for your existing grill or so you can enjoy both types of fuel.
The benefit of gas roasters is their ease of use and precision. It doesn’t take 20 minutes to light a gas grill; you turn on the gas, press the lighter, and wait for it to reach the desired internal temperature. And if you think the grill is cooking at a very low or high temperature, you adjust the knobs. Also, cleaning and maintenance are much easier in gas roasters, since there are no ashes to throw. Still, you will lose that smoky taste (unless you get a smoker box).
While there are countless models to choose with a handful of ingenious functionalities (such as side burners or grills), the primary decision you will have to make when buying a gas grill is how many burners you will need. Gas grills generally start at around 90$ with two burners but can go up to 1,000$ or more for broilers with four to six burners.
Electric – Electric Grills
Electric grills or broilers are generally much more compact and used both indoors and outdoors. As for George Foreman’s steakhouses, there are dozens of different styles and design elements – countertop, pedestal, kettle, open face, car, etc. One of the newest electric grill options available is a flat iron without a lid.
Electric grills are the best alternative to get started in this world – you have to connect them to a nearby outlet and turn the control knob. However, as you can imagine, you can only move the grill as far as its power cord lets you go. If you don’t have an outlet on hand in your backyard, you’ll have to relocate the grill or use an extension cord to bring power to the grill.
Electric grills are often excellent alternatives for those who live in apartments and cannot cook (or even store) a gas or coal grill on their balcony.
Like gas roasters, they lack the smoky flavor of cooking with coal, but they are an affordable and convenient option for cooking over time. Electric grills start at around 50$ and can cost more than 600$ for higher-end models.
Pellets – Pellet Grills
Roasters pellets have existed for more than three decades, but have resurfaced in recent years. They can work as a grill or as a smoker.
With a pellet grill, there is a hopper on its side that will allow you to fill it with food-grade wood pellets. Then, to turn it on, turn on the switch and set the temperature you want. An auger connects the hopper to a pot located under the cooking grate. As it rotates, moves the granules or pellets toward the pot.
The grill has what called a ‘hot rod’ inside that will light the pellets while they fall into the pot. The pellets wood burning and a touch of smoke, which gives the wood flavor prevail. You can cook over high heat, which is comparable to most of the grills on the market, or you can cook at low temperatures, which is the perfect midpoint.
Since it has a computer that controls the fan to feed the fire and the speed at which the wood pellets added to the burning pot, you should be near an outlet to use the pellet grill. Like a charcoal grill, there will be ashes to clean after each use.
Roasters pellets usually only come in the form of a barrel or style of the car though there are some exceptions to the rule. The price can vary from around 350$ to 1,300$.
Infrared – Infrared grills
Infrared broilers resemble any other car-style gas grill. They usually work with natural gas or liquid propane, but they can also be electric. The difference is in how they cook.
Instead of using radiant heat by heating the air inside the grill, they use an electric or gas element to heat a solid surface, such as ceramics, that emits infrared waves to heat food. What you get is a grill that heats up and is ready to use in just a few minutes and cooks evenly without sprouts.
It is worth mentioning that infrared broilers are fast. They can often reach temperatures up to 370˚C.
The real disadvantage of the infrared grill is the price. While these grills priced for the simplest of approximately 800$, the vast majority will cost you 1,500$ or more. More infrared options are starting to reach the market, such as the Philips Avance smokeless indoor grill.
Choosing the right type of grill
Ultimately, with so many options on the market, there is no single answer to all requirements. Choosing the grill for your needs will depend on what you are cooking, the convenience you are looking for, your budget, and even where you live.
If you have a very tight budget, the infrared grill completely discarded. The charcoal grill is more expensive to use over time since briquettes replaced with each use. Electric or gas are the best options for this budget in the long term. They are also the ones that generate fewer problems and the least amount of cleaning.
If we think about flavor, charcoal and pellet roasters are generally the best alternatives, but they will require more maintenance and cost more to operate. Also, you will need more time for your grill to get hot enough to start cooking. With a pellet grill, you are getting a two-in-one option for a grill and a smoker.
No matter which grill you choose, it is always a great excuse to accompany it with six beers, a large cut of meat, and invite a group of friends to experience your grill.