Are you unsure of what type of grill would be right for you? There are plenty of options available. From electric, gas, and charcoal, each grill offers many pros and cons to buying one. In this article, we will try to provide you with a direction to finding the perfect grill for you.
Key factors to consider:
- Fuel type
- Extra features
Fuel type #
Narrowing down your preferred fuel type is probably the best place to start. Knowing what kind of grill suits you largely depends on your cooking style and the level of convenience you want from your grill.
What’s your cooking style? Do you prefer to cook over charcoal and don’t mind having to light the charcoal and waiting 30-45 minutes for it to reach the optimal cooking temperature or would you rather turn a knob and start grilling in 5 minutes? If it’s the latter, a gas grill will be the way to go.
In a built-up city like Singapore, gas grills are most suitable and popular for use in apartment balconies due to their convenience and minimal smoke generation (compared to charcoal). But you may ask, doesn’t grilling over charcoal make food taste better?
Flavour-wise food grilled over gas still has a good “grilled” aroma although some say is not as “smokey” as food grilled over charcoal. Gas grills feature flame tamers, also known as heat shields or flavouriser bars, which direct grease and drippings away from the burner tubes to cut down on flare ups tremendously. At the same time, when drippings from food being cooked fall onto the hot metal, grease is vaporised and circulated back up to the food which gives the food the characteristic “grilled” flavour.
Once you’ve decided on your preferred fuel type, the next consideration is the size of grill your space can accommodate as well as the size of cooking surface you want to have. For smaller families and groups, medium-sized charcoal grills and 2 or 3-burner gas grills will usually suffice depending on what you plan to cook. For a better and more efficient BBQ cook, your grill and cooking surface should be large enough to accommodate having 2 different heat zones to ensure that larger or bone-in items cook through without burning the surface. Fattier foods like ribeye steaks if cooked over direct heat may cause flare-ups or fires as the fat renders. A burner with at least 3 burners will allow you to cook meats like fattier meats, whole chickens or racks of ribs evenly with indirect heat. If you’ve a larger household or often cook for larger groups, consider a larger model with 4 to 5 burners to be able to cook meats, vegetables and side dishes simultaneously.
Choose the one that makes the most sense with your needs
This seems like an easy way out of the question. However, it’s absolutely true. Depending on your preference or budget, it makes more sense to choose a certain type of grill over the over. Answering questions such as “How important is it that my food is done quickly?” or “Do I want my food to have more flavor?” can quickly point you towards a certain type of grill.
An electric grill can heat up quickly making it an ideal choice for those looking to cook their food quickly. However, you lose a lot of flavor. For meat enthusiasts, this may be a bad choice. Some electric grills lack the high heat to sear foods to create that flavor many people love. While electric grills can heat up quick, the quality of your food may not be as good as other grills.
- Less smoke
- Adjustable heat control
- Compact and portable
- Constant power, won’t run out of fuel
- Less “charbroiled” flavour
- Need a power outlet close by
- Generally generates less intense heat than charcoal or gas grills
Gas grills are very common as they offer good flavor to the food and can be used fairly quickly. A gas grill usually uses a propane tank which acts as the fuel source. A gas grill may also have other features built in such as side burners. These units offer the best of both worlds when it comes to flavor and quickness giving you a meal that tastes well in little time.
- Easy to use
- Accurate temperature control
- Easy to clean
- Heats quickly
- Can be more expensive
- Needs to be linked to a LPG tank
Although charcoal may take the longest to heat up, it also offers the best flavor. Gas grills may be ready in 10 minutes; charcoal grills usually take up to around 20 to 30 minutes. However, this is worth the wait to many grilling enthusiasts.
- Relatively portable
- Relatively more compact as it doesn’t require a gas tank
- Relatively cheaper than a gas grill
- Need to start a charcoal fire
- Takes longer to heat
- Less accurate temperature control
- Charcoal ash will need to be disposed of
There are many options available when it comes to finding the right grill. Choose the one that makes the most sense for you.