Get ready for your Labor Day barbecuing with a brand new grill!
Charcoal or Gas grill?
Statistically, 81% of all U.S. households own a barbeque grill. Slightly more than half of those are gas grills while about 47% are charcoal. Either will do the job, however the debate about which is best rages on. Some people say that the smoky flavor of charcoal enhances the taste of the food, plus charcoal grills have almost no mechanical parts. Charcoal briquets, lighter fluid and a little patience (while the coals heat up) are just part of the grilling experience. Others say that gas is the only way to go because you can begin cooking within a few minutes of turning on your grill. Ask friends and neighbors about their preference then chose which style fits your lifestyle. Let’s break it down just a little more.
- Charcoal – These grills are traditionally round or oval shaped, and are made of coated steel to prevent rust. Some also come with side trays and wheels so they can easily be moved. The charcoal sits on a grate rack inside of the bowl. The actual cooking grate sits above the charcoal. Lighter fluid is the most common way to start the charcoal grill, however you can also use a “chimney” starter that uses newspaper. Once the fire is lit the coals should be ready in about 15 minutes. Make sure the coals are evenly distributed to achieve even heating throughout the grill surface.
- Gas – Gas grills use either LP (liquid propane) or Natural gas. They are specifically manufactured to use just one of these types of fuel, although some gas grills can be converted. Make sure you specify the fuel type when ordering. Gas grills are generally more expensive than charcoal grills because of the design and use of mechanical parts. The most popular materials are cast aluminum and stainless steel because they keep the flow of hot air inside your grill. This is called convection. You may also hear the term “double walled,” which means that the hood is made of two pieces of steel or aluminum with a small air gap in between. Good stainless steel grills will often be made of heavy gauge #304 stainless steel, which retains heat and will not corrode. Gas grills generally come with a stand or cart and most have wheels. Finally, some gas grills are made to fit into a permanent frame or counter top space, called a built-in. They are popular with outdoor kitchens and patios and have the same cooking performance as grills you see on carts or pedestals.
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