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Which type of BBQ grill should you choose? Gas grill, Charcoal, Pellet or Electric?

It’s that time of year again when the weather is heating up and the days are getting longer. With weather like this, it’s the perfect time to have family and friends come over and spend some time on the patio enjoying a delicious meal fresh of the grill. Cookouts and social events in the summertime rely on the power of the grill because nothing says “summer” like a grilled cheeseburger and shish-kabobs. For those looking for a new grill, there are many options that you can choose from. Four of the most popular types of grills are gas, charcoal, pellet and electric. Here’s what you need to know about each type of grill before buying a new one.

 

Gas

Perhaps the most popular grill on the market, the gas grill is a staple in many backyards. Most gas grills run on either bottled propane or natural gas that can be purchased from a utility provider. One of the best features of a gas grill is how fast it can heat up. The gas grill is perfect for those who do not want to deal with handling charcoal or wood and just want to get cooking. Gas grills also heat evenly which is a big advantage over charcoal grills which can heat unevenly if you’re a novice griller.

 

Gas grills are often more expensive to buy, but it’s cheaper to cook with a gas grill than a charcoal grill. While some gas grills come with a small smoker, you will only get a hint of smoke; however, gas grills produce a rich flavor especially compared to cheaper options like electric grills.

 

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time getting the temperature just right and you want to start grilling fast, then a gas grill will be perfect for you. Some of the most popular brands for gas grills include Fire Magic, Twin Eagles, MHP, and Broilmaster.

 

Charcoal

If you are a Backyard BBQ purist then a charcoal grill might be a good fit for you. Gas grills are the most popular in backyards, but charcoal grills are also iconic. To many people, a charcoal grill has a unique taste and texture. One of the biggest setbacks of Charcoal grill is that it takes a significantly longer time to heat up when compared to a gas grill.

Charcoal grills come in all shapes and sizes, but one of the most popular brands is Big Green Egg. Big Green Eggs are a unique kind of charcoal grill called a vessel grill that uses the radiant heat from the side of the grill walls to cook the food. Vessel grills are much better smokers than other charcoal grills.

 

 

Pellet

Pellet grills are the new kids on the block in comparison to gas grills and charcoal grills. Pellet grills became popular on the West Coast and have spread over to the Midwest and East Coast. The wonderful things about pellet grills are that it is a nice mixture of charcoal and gas grills. Pellet grills use compressed wood pellets which provide heat and smoke. Pellet grills also have a built in computer that reads the temperature from the grill body and adjusts the temperature as desired by the grill master.

 

A pellet grill can provide a nice balance between a gas and electric grill, but its biggest downfall is that it needs to either be plugged in or run off of a battery at all times. If you are looking for something off the beaten path, then a pellet grill will be perfect for you. The most popular brands of pellet grills are Memphis Wood Fire and Louisiana Grills.

 

 

Electric

An electric grill is an option for city-dwellers living in apartments with grill restrictions. Electric grills are convenient because they are typically small, portable and easy-to-use. Unfortunately, the taste of the food cooked on an electric grill leaves a lot to be desired. The smoky flavor is almost entirely lost when cooking with an electric grill and overall the food will be drier and less succulent when using an electric grill. For true BBQ grill diehards, an electric grill is not a real option, but it’s worth mentioning for those that are prevented from using other grills because of building regulations. The most popular brand of electric grills is the George Foreman Grill.

 

 

As you can see each of the 4 grills we talked about has its pros and its cons. Come in and speak with one of our grill masters and let us help you find the best one for you. Aspen Fireplace & Patio is here to help you with all of your grilling needs to make your summer BBQ a hit!

Gas vs. Charcoal Grills: A Definitive Guide

Gas vs. Charcoal Grills

 

It’s getting to be that time of the year again, warm summer nights, evenings spent on the patio and dinners charred to perfection on the grill. Cookouts and social events in the summertime rely on the power of the grill, because nothing says “summer” like a grilled cheeseburger and shish-kabobs fresh off the BBQ. But, with that said, there’s an everlasting debate about the best type of grill for cooking: charcoal grills or gas grills. There is nothing that officially says one is better than the other, and it usually comes down to personal taste. Here are some tips about each type to decide whether a charcoal or gas grill is better for your cooking needs.

 

Round 1: Searing

Searing is one of the most common forms of grilling, where the meat browns evenly on both sides, offering a tasty crunchy texture to the outside of the meat. The best searing results can be achieved on a charcoal grill. More direct infrared heat is produced with charcoal grills, allowing for a more even sear across the meat without grill lines. Some gas grills offer infrared grilling options, but they come with a heavy price tag. Winner: Charcoal.

 

Round 2: Temperature Control

What many people don’t realize is that grilling doesn’t need to be used with extremely high heat. Some gas grills can reach up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, or higher, and charcoal can reach up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the optimal grilling temperature for meat is between 225-325 degrees Fahrenheit. Gas grills are much more efficient with temperature control than charcoal grills because they often have gauges or thermometers that track the temperature. It is much harder to regulate a steady temperature on a charcoal grill. Winner: Gas.

 

Round 3: Flavor

Smoke is another major difference between gas and charcoal grills. Charcoal produces more smoke than gas, and smoke can alter the flavor of whatever is being cooked, so that also comes down to a personal preference. Unlike smoke, gas produces no flavor, so the organic flavor of the food is kept when cooking on a gas grill. For foods like slow cooked ribs, beef brisket or pulled pork, charcoal grills are usually more desirable so that the smoke flavor infuses into the meat, giving it a unique flavor. Winner: You.

 

If you are looking for the easiest, most reliable grilling experience, we recommend going with gas. If you are looking for something that will infuse the “BBQ” flavor into what’s cooking, we recommend charcoal. Whichever experience tops your list, Aspen Fireplace & Patio is here to help you with all of your grilling needs to make your summer BBQ a hit!