Ah, summertime. Swimming, campfires, hiking, and of course, backyard grilling. And with the pandemic on its last legs, it’s looking more and more like the summer we’ve been needing for two years now has arrived.
But before you can invite over the friends and family, you need to have the best grill for the job. And we’re here to help. There are quite a few types of grills to consider. Below is a list of the types, as well as some pros and cons for each.
Keep in mind, these aren’t in order of best to worst.
If you’re like me, this is what you grew up with. Gas grills have a variety of fuel sources, from natural gas to propane. Clean-up is easy, and you have great control over temperature. That being said, gas grills can get expensive quick, and you are missing out on that smoky flavor other grills can offer.
- Heats up and cools down quickly
- Extremely easy to clean
- Superior temperature control
- Some models have all the extensions such as extra racks, side burners, etc.
- Lacks the “smoky” flavor you may want
- Lower quality grills tend to cook unevenly
- A high end grill can be expensive (up to $4000 or more)
The most basic and traditional of grills. Charcoal grills typically don’t come with a lot of features, and provide that great “smoky” flavor that a lot of people love. Also, they tend to be less expensive than the alternatives. They do require quite a bit of practice to get right, since you have to constantly monitor while cooking, but they can give a more “authentic” backyard grill experience.
- Lots of extra flavor from the charcoal
- Typically cheaper than other types of grills
- Certain models are lightweight and easily portable
- Great for smoking meats
- Takes more time to heat up (minimum of 20 minutes)
- Constant vigilance is needed for even cooking
- Fuel is an expensive, on-going cost
- Fuel amount is the only way to control temperature
- Takes some real practice to get it right
While these are charcoal grills, they differ in key ways. For instance, they retain heat much better due to their egg-shape and ceramic build, meaning juicier meats and less monitoring. Further, these are the best grills for the colder months. However, be warned. Kamado grills are the most expensive type of grills on this list. But if you are ready to invest, they can last you your entire life.
- Can cook for long periods of time without constant attention
- Best for pizza and can also smoke and grill
- Retains more heat than traditional charcoal, meaning less fuel consumption
- Meats won’t lose moisture to air equaling juicier meats
- Can use all year round, super durable, and long-lasting
- Generally the most expensive type of grill
- Weigh a lot, meaning little to no portability
- The cheaper ones aren’t made of ceramic, meaning slightly different performance
- Once it heats up, it won’t cool down easily
- Takes quite a bit of practice to get right
The master grill of flavor. Since pellets come in different flavors, you can really customize how your meats and other grilled food tastes. Not only that, but pellet grills excel in even cooking and being able to set the temperature and move on. Like Kamado grills, however, these range on the more expensive side. Further, fuel is a constant, on-going cost. But if you have the budget, you can’t go wrong with a pellet grill.
- Easy clean up
- Lots of different flavor types depending on the type of pellet chosen
- Highly customizable grilling options
- Other than Kamado, is the best grill for winter grilling
- Can have temperature set and done with like an oven
- Really even cooking
- More expensive grill type
- Fuel can be expensive and is an ongoing cost
- Needs to be plugged in, limiting it’s portability
The most inexpensive and portable grill type. These grills are great for apartments or smaller spaces, and are easy to set up and clean. Not only that, they are sometimes considered the healthiest option, melting fat off of meats. Keep in mind that you won’t get any of the “smoky” flavor you can with other grills, and, due to their smaller size, you won’t be feeding a lot of people at a time. But if you need something cheap and easy to manage, electric grills are great.
- Powered by an outlet
- Great for smaller places such as apartments
- Easy to set up and clean
- On the inexpensive side overall
- Can cook healthier by melting off the fat
- Most don’t have a lot of grilling space
- No “smoky” flavor
- Need an outlet
- Limited to only grilling, so no smoking, baking, or anything else really
And that’s it. Let us know what type of grill you plan on getting for this summer. If you are wanting to grill something you caught yourself, consider registering for our course, How to Catch Fish in Southeast Idaho & Everywhere Else. It starts up on June 15th.