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Grills Buying Guide

Choosing from Many BBQ Grills

napoleon stainless steel grills 

Barbecuing is quite possibly the ultimate entertaining experience. As soon as the weather cooperates, families, couples and bachelors around the world invite people over for a BBQ. Then the grills come out.

But whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice, choosing a new grill can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. A gas or electric grill? Propane or natural gas? Is a wood or charcoal grill right for you? Should you get a small portable one or a huge stainless steel grill? A Weber grill or a Napoleon grill?

When shopping for something new, you’ll be tempted to just set your price point to narrow down the choices. When it comes to a charcoal, wood, gas, or electric grill, though, that might not be the best approach. After all, there are many other factors to consider in BBQ grills. Most importantly, you really do get what you pay for – whatever type of grill you buy. Instead, we offer some useful tips for choosing the grill that’s best for you.


Compact and Portable Grills

The size of your outdoor space will help you determine what kind and how big the grill is. If you live in a large metropolitan city, chances are your portable grill will go in a balcony or small patio. Quite possibly, you live in an apartment building or a city that has certain fire codes and won’t allow a wood or charcoal grill. If that is the case, your best bet might be a natural gas or electric grill that won’t take up too much space and can be easily plugged in.


Personal and Family Grills

Are you cooking for just yourself or do you like to host large get-togethers with your extended family or the entire office? Figuring out how much total cooking area you need is crucial in choosing the right grill. If burgers and hot dogs for a couple of people are on the menu, then you can get away with a 75-square-inch grill. Otherwise, you will need something bigger – up to 5 burners or over 800 square inches. You may want to go for a Weber grill or a Napoleon grill to last through the years if you’re starting to look at larger options.


While some cooks have all the time in the world, there are others who want a quick and easy grilling experience. Are you retired or a foodie? Or do you have young children that want food fast? A gas or electric grill can get hot almost immediately and are quite easy to clean post BBQ. A charcoal grill, while it imparts more flavor, needs to be left to heat up over a period of time after lighting. And they also require a long cool down period before you can clean them properly.


Need to Know about BBQ Grills

Choose the finish carefully and ask yourself how important easy cleaning is for your lifestyle. While they cost more, stainless steel BBQ grills weather better than painted grills. Also think about built-in versus cart models. If you’re making a serious investment, will you want to take your grill with you when you move or do you plan to stay in your home a long time?


When it comes to cleaning, some BBQ grills require time scrubbing to keep clean. Choose a grill that has easy access to the ash pan (charcoal grill) or drip tray (gas grill) for a less messy clean up routine.


Lids and fuel choices affect cooking time. If you go with a charcoal grill, remember it takes time to heat the coals, but your food can cook faster if you choose a model with a vented lid. Look for a charcoal grill with an igniter and you can skip matches and lighter fluid.


If prep space and side burners are important, look for a gas or electric grill with a shelf and/or a side burner. You’ll have room for everyone’s custom-prepped buns and a spot to grill veggies or sauté mushrooms and onions, all without stepping away from your main dish.

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