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Grills Buying Guide
Grills & Grilling FAQ Guide
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying a Grill
The art of grilling has come a long way over the last few decades as technology has produced more variation in grill size, fuel, source, and esthetic style. If you’re purchasing your first grill – or your first grill in a long time – we know you’ve probably got some questions before you make your choice.
What kind of fuel produces the best flavor?
Many veteran grillers will tell you that charcoal grills produce the best flavor, hands down, and that all other grills are second best. Given that many home cooks using gas grills, infrared grills, and other contemporary products are also using liquid smoke to supplement their recipes and recapture the ‘smoky’ flavor of charcoal, it is a fair argument. However, keep in mind that factors like cleanliness, environmental impact, portability, and other considerations may be high priorities for you as well. If you can still produce great flavor on any kind of grill, it’s difficult to really choose a fuel for flavor alone. In the end, we recommend that you choose the grill that’s right for you overall, not just for one factor.
Which grills are most environmentally-friendly?
Electric grills tend to be the best for environmental impact. They give off no fumes and produce no waste. However, the main challenge with an electric grill is the convenience of your power source. You will need to be near a power outlet to run your grill, which does restrict portability.
How do economical grills stack up against high-end grills?
Portable grills and smaller cart or pedestal models tend to be the most economical, although this is not necessarily a rule. Urban apartment dwellers looking for a small, but high-end grill will still find products on the market to meet their needs. However, if you are looking for an economical camping meal solution or a model that can travel to the park, consider fuel transportation and use when you’re factoring in convenience. Generally, you’ll find that the more affordable the grill, the less complex it is in form and function. If a simple bowl and grate charcoal grill will meet your needs, you may opt for an affordable model and still be happy. If you’re looking for a gas grill with an infrared burner, you may be disappointed if you’re shopping with a small budget.
If I want a smoker, should I purchase a separate grill?
Whether or not you need a dedicated smoker – or simply a grill capable of smoking – will depend on how much smoking you’re likely to do. If it’s a serious hobby and you’re regularly feeding large groups, you may find a smoker worthwhile. Many grillers who purchase a separate smoker grill do so because they want a portable grill for RV trips or camping situations where they’ll be doing a lot of laid-back slow-roasted meals.
Which portable grill should I choose if I’ll be using it at home too?
Choosing a portable grill for full-time use does bear a bit more consideration than a model you’ll only take camping a few times per year. You’ll need more durability, and possibly a few more features. Your fuel choice should be assessed for both convenience and flavor. Some grillers find charcoal better for portability, but some prefer smaller portable propane tanks. We recommend looking for a portable grill that uses the fuel you most prefer for flavor and lifestyle at home, then finding the most user-friendly way to take that fuel on the road.