Kamado Grills: Factors To Consider
AirflowJust like regular charcoal grills, kamado grills rely on airflow to regulate heat. More air moving over the coals lets a fire burn hotter, while limiting the flow keeps coals just lit, for low-and-slow cooking. Look for a model with a tight-fitting lid and solid dampers or vents. Many kamado grills have a gasket on the lid, and even locking latches, to create the tightest seal possible. Some kamado grills also have multiple dampers, which makes it easier to fine-tune the temperature youre shooting for.MaterialWe divide kamado grills into two categories: ceramic and nonceramic. Ceramic grills tend to be heavier, with inch-thick walls all the way around. Nonceramic models are made of metal. They tend to weigh less and to be more maneuverable.
What Type Of Grill Is Best
When buying a new outdoor grill, the two biggest players are gas and charcoal â but electric, kamado and pellet grills are also fair game. When selecting what type of grill to buy, consider how often you’ll be grilling, the amount of space you have for storage, what flavor you prefer and the amount of time and attention you’ll want to spend cooking. Here are the basics on each:
- Dual grill zones
- Need to be near an electrical outlet
What Kind Of Warranty Does It Come With
This is a big deal and something that would impact my purchase decision today. Heres why: Pellet smokers and grills have moving parts, electronic circuit boards, involve high heat, and are likely to be out in the elements. There are several opportunities for things to go wrong. Ive had issues with all of my pellet grills and smokers. Not usually big deals, but things can happen. The flame could go out and the unit might shut off mid way through a long smoke. The firebox could overfill and flame up scorching everything. Grease fires are not uncommon but usually related to keeping your unit clean. The bottom line is, know what your warranty is, what it covers, and how long it lasts.
Pit Boss offers a 5-year warranty on their grills and smokers which is about the best warranty in the business at the time of this post. I strongly recommend checking reviews, looking for comments about customer service, how well manufacturers honor their warranties, availability of parts, and even YouTube videos on how to replace things. No matter who makes your smoker grill, you will probably need to contact customer service at least once during the life of your unit.
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Are Weber Grills The Best Grills
Theres no question that Weber makes very high-quality grills. In this article, Weber makes four different appearancesaccounting for around a third of the listand thats because we independently judged them to be the best in class for each kind of grill. Theyre well-built, include excellent technology and the warranty on some parts can be 10 full years.
That said, there are a number of excellent grill brands to choose from, and we would be confident with models from any of the companies included in this article.
How To Make Korean Bbq
Feeling Fancy How Bout Wood Or A Smoker
If you really love the idea of using a traditional BBQing technique, why not try a wood grill or smoker? These grills are a little harder to find than charcoal or gas grills, but they give food so much flavor that its worth the extra effort. Here are a few things to note about these types of grills.
How Much Should I Spend On A Pellet Smoker Or Grill
Prices for pellet smokers and grills are all over the place and its tough to just look at numbers and say, Yeah, thats a steal! or Way too much. Dont do it! It really depends on what features you want, how important a name might be to you, where its made and how big and pretty you want it to be.
This is what I will say: Dont let $50 or even $100 keep you from getting the pellet grill or smoker you really want! This is a long term investment in great grilling and smoking experiences. You dont want that irritating reminder that you should have gotten that smoker with the neat bull horns or direct flame grilling or whatever you really wanted. Its far better to get that ONE you really like and ENJOY it for years and years.
For me, I started with a Traeger Lil Tex Elite. I dont think they make that model anymore, but it was perfect for me just starting out. Later, I upgraded to a much larger Pit Boss Austin XL. This is a great looking smoker grill with direct flame grilling, and the window in the hopper. The downside is that its bigger than we need most of the time, it doesnt have a shelf .
Later, I got a Pit Boss Series-3 Copperhead Vertical Smoker. Its the perfect size for us and I love the big door for loading and unloading. Vertical is the way to go for low and slow smoking.
Do your own homework, decide on which features are must-haves, and bring it home or have it delivered. Youll be glad you did!
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Put Down The Lighter Fluid
Theres no need to use toxic lighter fluid to ignite charcoal when you can use a chimney starter. Theyre simple: Stuff some old newspaper in the bottom, fill the top with charcoal, and light the paper. At around $10 to $15, theyre also cheap. Plus, your food wont have any off flavors from unburned lighter fluid residue. You can also make one out of an old coffee can by removing both ends, using a church key bottle opener to cut holes around the bottom rim, placing the chimney on top of your grill, and proceeding with the newspaper, charcoal, and ignition.
The Negatives Of A Gas Barbecue
This pinpoint precision has its pitfalls, reducing the overall radiant heat . Because they lack the even blanket of heat of a traditional charcoal barbecue, many gas barbecues try to compensate with added tech . However you’ll still struggle with heat retention and find it difficult to build flavourful crusts on larger cuts.
Further, gas burns cooler than charcoal, restricting the efficiency of the heat.
You will be limited when it comes to indirect cooking and/or smoking. Imparting wood smoke will also be slightly more tricky, with soaked wood chips above the flames being your only real option.
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Storing And Transporting Your Bbq
Its easy to just daydream of your grill shining in all its glory out on the patio, but before you buy one youll need to consider how you plan to move and store it away.
Large barbecues are especially heavy and difficult to move, and some of those weve tested have weighed as much as 67kg. If youre happy to buy a cover for your barbecue and leave it out all year, its not so much of an issue, but if you need to store it away in the shed after each use, here are some things to bear in mind:
- How many pairs of hands you need to lift the barbecue, as most barbecues will require at least two people to lift them safely.
- The terrain youll need to travel over while transporting it .
- Space youll need to store it away so you can protect it from the elements, especially during the winter.
Some barbecues have collapsible parts and carry handles that help with transportation. Ourbarbecue reviewstake these elements into account and rate how manoeuvrable each barbecue is over a specially designed obstacle course.
What Kind Of Grill Should You Buy
Spring is right around the corner, and summers just a few months away. You know what that means, right? Its time to bust out the grill, throw some steaks on it and watch them sizzle away as you take in their delicious mouth-watering aroma.
But, lets face it. No true barbecue lover has the patience to wait for summertime to enjoy flame-grilled meat. Thanks to modern technology, you can have it all year round! All you need is the right grill for the job. Besides, its never too early to start shopping for a new one.
With so many different types of grills to choose from, it can get pretty overwhelming when you have no idea what to get. This guide explores the different types of grills youll come across to help make the decision-making process a little easier. Without further ado, lets jump right in.
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Upgrade Grill Pick: Weber Genesis Ii E
*At the time of publishing, the price was $780.
The Weber Genesis II E-310 gas grill is also an exceptional performer, and it offers several clever, life-improving design elements that we love. The grates are about 20 percent bigger, too, but overall the Genesis II takes up barely more area than the Spirit II, so theres no appreciable trade-off between the two if your patio space is tight. Essentially, the decision comes down to how youll use your grill: If you often cook for crowds, the Genesis II is worth the extra couple hundred dollars.
Performance-wise, we found the two Weber models nearly identical, with the Spirit just slightly edging the Genesis II on burger-searing performance. And that gap would probably close with a bit more time to learn the Genesis IIs finer points. In terms of materials, the two are almost twins, offering heavy cast-aluminum fireboxes and porcelain-coated cast-iron grates. The Genesis II, however, features a frame made of welded rails, while the Spirit II is made of folded metal . Theyre both sturdy enough, but the Genesis II is appreciably stiffer and more solid-feeling. And we like that it has casters: Its easier to swivel into a corner for storage than the casterless Spirit.
Moving the tank to the outside also frees up space below the grill, which Weber fills with a generous and sturdy storage shelf. Thats a nice feature you can keep trays, grill tools, or even a small cooler there.
What Features Are Important To You
Here are a list of features that can enhance your grilling and smoking experience. Think about each one and decide for yourself which are most important to you if at all:
- Direct Flame this a unique feature thats only available on relatively few models like the Pit Boss Austin XL. I will tell you that I use it far less than I thought I would, but its still nice to have.
- Big Hopper for long smokes A small hopper will require more frequent refills. Most pellet smoker grills have 20lbs or larger hoppers which are great.
- Folding Shelf These are very nice to have right in front where you open the grill. It makes loading and unloading meat much easier.
- WiFi This can be quite helpful, but its also an easy add-on item if it isnt built in. Heres an example an Amazon.
- Cover Pellet smokers and grills are an investment to me and a cover is cheap protection against the elements or the neighbor kids.
- Color what color or color combos do you like?
- Glass View in Hopper Its nice to see at a glance and at distances what the pellet level is in your hopper without opening the lid all the time.
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Do You Need A Grill Or A Smoker Or A Combo
This is an important first question and let me explain why. Some people already have a grill they like to use. It could be gas, charcoal, backyard fire pit, infrared, whatever. If thats the case, do you really need another grill? Maybe what you really want is a smoker. And if thats the case, I recommend keeping your current grill and getting a vertical smoker.
If you want a grill or want a better grill then what you have, then a pellet smoker grill is a great way to go. Youll get convenient dry wood heat with unique flavoring specific to whatever wood you choose like hickory, pecan, mesquite, apple, etc. Plus youll have the option to smoke meat as well as grill.
When To Replace Your Grill
Most brands will offer two kinds of warranty: one will cover labor, which typically lasts for up to two years, and a secondary warranty for parts, which will usually last much longer. This coverage can last for the lifetime of the grill, and will cover all of the essential parts, such as the burner, cooking grids and the housing. Your grills lifespan will also depend on how well you take care of it.
First of all, you should keep it clean, which means covering it when its not in use and sheltering it from the elements. If you opt for a grill which is made of durable materials, such as cast iron or stainless steel, these can last for as long as 20 years. We dont recommend buying an extended warranty because these tend to cost more than any potential repairs during the grills lifetime.
If any repair costs are half the value of a new grill, we suggest buying a replacement. Similarly, if you notice any rust or cracks in the firebox, youre better off investing in a new grill. If cracks appear in the gas hose and regulator, then youve got a potential gas leak on your hands, so you should at least replace those parts before using your grill again.
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Size And Cooking Capacity
Weber grills come in a variety of different sizes and the size of the grate will determine how much food you can cook at any given time. When purchasing a Weber grill, youll want to determine how many people you want to feed and what type of food youll be cooking most often.
If youre feeding a small group, you can get away with a smaller grill. But if youre often feeding a large family or cooking large items such as ribeyes or rib racks, youre better off with a larger grill. When choosing your grill, pay attention to the size of the total cooking area, which is typically measured in square inches.
Webers portable grills are generally about 150-250 square inches, which will feed one or two people. Webers electric grills range from 180 to 280 square inches, which will feed one or two people as well.
Weber charcoal and gas grills tend to be larger and can feed more people at once. A Weber charcoal grill can range in size from 250 to 1100 square inches, comfortably feeding anywhere from two to upwards of five. And a Weber gas grill will be anywhere from 500 to 1,000 square inches with the ability to feed large groups and families.
What’s The Difference Between Gas And Charcoal Grills
It seems like most people start out with a charcoal grill, but many eventually make the switch to gas. Both have a lot of pros and cons, though, and which one you get often comes down to your needs and grilling style. Charcoal grills are generally cheaperhence theyre good starter modelsand theyre often more portable.
Thats because charcoal grills are far simpler than gas alternatives you need a bed for the charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid to help get them started. Gas grills, in contrast, need a fuel source like a tank of propane as well as fuel lines, valves and burners to deliver a carefully-controlled flame to the grilling surface. And most gas grills also include a starter mechanism to light the gas.
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Weber Q 1200 Gas Grill
Best portable grill
Reasons to avoid
If you want to grill away from home, the Weber Q 1200 Gas Grill is the best portable grill. You can depend on it for the same great cooking results you get from all Weber grills. Rather than a big tank of LP gas, it uses 14- or 16-ounce propane cylinders, which last about a couple of hours. Most likely youll be taking it to a park or beach, and using it for quick-cooking items like steaks or chicken breasts but not for smoking a turkey or a shoulder of pork, so a single cylinder should do per outing.
It has side tables that are just as handy on the road as when youre grilling in the backyard, but they fold up for travel so the grill is easy to transport. Other conveniences include a lid thermometer and an easy to remove and clean drip pan.
Royal Gourmet Cd1824e 23
Best barrel charcoal grill
Reasons to avoid
If you want to do more than sling hot dogs and burgers on your charcoal grill, the Royal Gourmet is ideal. It has a crank that lets you raise and lower the charcoal pan to help control the heat. When you want to quickly grill brats, move the coals right below them. To slowly smoke a side of salmon without flare-ups, lower them.
Theres even a door underneath the grates that makes it easy to keep adding charcoal as the hungry crowd thickens. Plus youll find you need a lot of charcoal to keep the Royal Gourmet burning, so make sure you stock up before the party starts.
Unlike on a kettle-style grill, this model has side tables to hold your tongs and trays and platters. Youll also find a thermometer in the lid to give you a rough idea as to how hot it is under the grill, a warming rack thats helpful for heating buns, and an easy to remove ash tray. Below the grill theres a bottom shelf to keep extra charcoal or a roll of paper towels.
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