Whether you are buying your first grill or replacing your old one, it helps to do some research before this important purchase. Grills can be expensive, and it’s difficult to judge their performance from the looks and features alone. The type of fuel used to power your grill makes a big impact on the taste and flavor of the food you cook on it. In our Maryland grill store, we sell a variety of grills and will be happy to give you a brief overview of the differences.
Gas-powered grills can use either propane or natural gas and are easily converted between the two fuel sources. A propane grill has a propane cylinder that has to be refilled as the gas runs out. A natural gas grill is typically hooked up to your home’s natural gas line directly, so there is no need to refill the cylinder. Both types of grills can be made of aluminum or stainless steel, and may have one or more burners. Gas grills can be fired up fast and are easy to maintain. However, if you are looking for that deep smokey flavor, you won’t get much of it with gas.
Charcoal grills come in different shapes and sizes, but the most common are round kettle grills and horizontal barrel grills. As the name suggests, charcoal grills run on charcoal, which has to be prepared, hand-lighted and warmed up before you can cook. This is not exactly a 5-minute process, and cleanup and disposal of charcoal can be cumbersome. However, meat cooked on a charcoal grill will have a wonderful smokey flavor you expect from a grill-cooked meal.
Electric grills aren’t very popular for outdoor use. They are typically the last resort for people who can’t have an open-fire type of grill due to local regulations. Electric grills will cook food that looks the part, but doesn’t taste nearly as good as a meal cooked on gas or charcoal.
Some grills can feature several fuel sources. For example, a propane grill can have a charcoal tray or electric side burners. Dual-fuel grills are versatile and are great for people with varying grilling needs. Today you may need to quickly throw chicken kabobs on your gas grill to make a dinner. Tomorrow you might have time to fire up the charcoal compartment and smoke some briskets. With a dual-fuel grill you don’t have to compromise.
All of the above grills can also be stand-alone appliances or grills designed to be built into an outdoor kitchen counter. The built-in grills typically consist of just the stove top without the legs, wheels and other elements of a stand-alone grill. They can be easily inserted in an outdoor counter or an island much like an indoor stove top.
Want to learn more about about grills or see them in action? Stop by our Ellicott City Grill showroom on May 16-17 for a cookout and a chance to win one of our grills.