Choosing a BBQ Grill
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Choosing a BBQ Grill

Every summer there people seem to wonder what type of barbecue grill you should buy. In essence there are three basic types of grills- gas, charcoal and electric grills. However, there are other factors which also play a role in what you should buy, such as cost, size, features and what type of fuel you want. Grills can vary in prices from $150 to $5000. For those who are only going to use the grill once, it is better not to get one in the first place. But for those who maintain the great American tradition of barbecue every weekend, one should give some thought before buying any grill.

Available space

If you have a small enclosed space to barbecue, you need to choose your grill carefully. Solid fuels give off a lot of smoke and not only will you be covered in smoke but even your neighbors may complain. Electric grills are a better option in small enclosed spaces. If you are constantly taking your grill to the beach or the park, then you should select one which is portable and easily folds. You do not want to spend 3 hours dismantling the grill and lug it in a truck to the beach and re-install it again. Since both gas and charcoal do occasionally flare up, you will also need to consider where you will grill and have some type of anti fire device nearby. You may never need these anti fire devices but you never know.

Charcoal BBQ grills

Charcoal BBQ grills are the least expensive and available everywhere. However, charcoal does need time to set up and get ready for cooking. So if you are always in a hurry and have no time, charcoal is not for you. Charcoal also creates smoke, can flare up and the coal temperature is difficult to control. After cooking, cleaning up a charcoal BBQ is always a mess. There are some newer charcoal BBQs that come with a foil container and charcoal inside- making disposal easy and less messy. These newer charcoal grills have ready to burn coal and there is no cleaning. However, these are only for a single use and may be ideal for the person who only BBQs once a year.

Gas BBQ grills

Gas BBQ grills are generally more expensive than charcoal grills. The fuel is just as easily available as charcoal. Most gas BBQ work instantly once you light them up; you are ready to cook in a matter of seconds. There is minimal smoke, temperature control is easier but flare ups can occur. Cleaning up after a gas BBQ is a lot easier and less messy. The one thing about gas grills is you always runoff out gas and so an extra tank of propane must be available somewhere in the house. Gas grills are generally much larger and not portable. While many people claim that there is a difference between charcoal versus gas grilled food, but this is not a big deal. Sure, charcoal does create smoke and gets in the meat and adds a certain flavor. However, for the majority of individuals it is impossible to make this distinction because the difference is so insignificant.

Electric BBQ grills

Electric BBQ grills are the simplest to use and readily available. There are cheap and work instantly. There is no extensive set up required and are a great option for those who want minimum hassles and have little time. Electric grills can also be used inside the house and do not create smoke or flare ups. However, because they require electrical power, you may not be able to lug them to the beach.


Today most grills come with a variety of accessories to help prepare and store the food, side burners, rotisseries and warming areas. The latest more expensive ones even come with portable washbasins and refrigerators. It all depends on what you want and how much money you are willing to spend. In all cases, just buy what you want. While some of these features sound great, the truth is that you will never use them.

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Comments (3)

Nice article Henry. I’m wondering whether you know of any good online stores to buy grills. There are no good local stores in my area. Thanks.

Bob -- I usually buy from local shops, but here are a few stores you can try: Sears Amazon Grills

DIY projects: How to create an outdoor room -

[...] Visit a specialty retailer. Think of them as your consultants - they will help you determine what you’ll need to build your outdoor room. Be sure to bring your notes and photos. Once you determine your top-level plan, you’ll get to start researching the products you’ll need. You should compare prices between your local shop and online stores. Northern Tool, Home Depot, and Lowe’s each have good online stores. Here’s a quick guide to choosing a BBQ grill. [...]