Buying Guide: Barbecue
Find a wide variety of portable charcoal bbq grills in Aosom.com
The right BBQ grill is not a purchase to be taken lightly. Finding the right barbecue for you starts with asking the right questions. Some ones we think you should be asking include: What kind of barbecue should I buy? What kind of BBQ is best for steaks? Does charcoal taste better than gas? Can I smoke foods in a regular BBQ? What is the best grill for the money?
In this look at the barbeque, we will try to answer some of these questions and try to get you asking some for yourself. We aim to point you in the direction that leads to delicious smells in your backyard, or wherever it is you do your grilling. Our Outsunny barbecues come in a variety of great grill models of various sizes and types. Many of the models are cheap, and affordable grills of the best value.
- What do you want to grill?
- What kind of fuel should my BBQ use?
- To lid or not to lid?
- What size of BBQ do you need?
- Can you use a regular BBQ to smoke meats and fish?
- How to get the thing started?
- What kind of materials do you want your barbecue made from?
- Get grilling!
Think about what it is you want to cook on your BBQ; let this answer help start guide your decision making process. Most people end up considering between a charcoal and gas model, but there are also wood pellet and electric grills as well. Depending on what you want to cook, the right grill for you, will be different. Steaks and ribs cook very differently and require different approaches, for example. One fast, one slow.
Gas is a great way to get your grill hot, fast! It also boasts easy clean up without the waste that charcoal briquettes and ash can leave behind. Depending on the model, gas may not get your grilling area hot enough to sear steaks at maximum temperatures (around 600-700 degrees) – though gas grills are a great way to regulate temperature and cook vegetables, fish and chicken. If you are choosing a gas grill, the more burners you have the more control you will have over the temperature. If you have two burners you will have two different zones where you can cook some foods faster and some slower. Same with four-burner grills – you can arrange your food depending on the desired cook time - disperse your meats, veggies and other grill-ables according to how long you want to cook them.
Charcoal: takes a bit longer and more planning to activate, but these types of grills are usually less expensive and are easier to get extra hot. Does charcoal give better flavor? Despite some controversy, the answer is yes, but… most people cannot tell the difference. What is important to know is that it is much easier to use charcoal to get grilling temperatures much higher than gas. Foods such as steaks do well when seared in high eat – letting the flame crusted goodness impart maximum flavor to the eater. If you want more control select a model that has the ability to raise or lower the grate. This lets you get the temperature extra hot or extends viable grilling time as you can lower the grate as the coals cool.
If red meat is your game, then high heat is your friend. Charcoal grills are great for getting a high-heat sear. Most gas grills have a hard of time getting hot unless they a system of glass or ceramic plate reflectors, sometimes call called “infrared burners” that help get the temperature up to a searing range. If you want gas and cook a lot of steaks, you might consider skipping the charcoal grill getting a one with a high heat feature.
Lids provide more temperature control and allows you to cook your food - not just through conduction, but also through convection by raising the temperature inside the lid. Grills without a lid are convenient and can be great for grilling up dogs for the whole team but might not be best fit for a whole roast or a chicken, or any type of food that benefits from a slower cook. For any serious cooking, we recommend that you buy a thermometer for your grill to aide you with regulating the temperature inside. Do you want to fit a whole Turkey or a roast? If so, make sure the unit has a high lid so you know that it is going to fit.
Start by asking, how many people am I cooking for? What kinds of food do I want to make on my grill, and how much room will that take?
Some BBQs have a hanging rack that sits inside the ceiling of the lid – these can be a great feature to keep food warm or to cook food slowly – but they should not be counted as grilling real estate.
The answer is yes, but it requires some motivation, BBQ acuity, and the right tools. If the unit has a tight lid, and you have a way to control the air flow, then you can make your barbecue into a smoker. To make things easier, you can buy a “smoker inserts” that can fit inside your grill and help you regulate the smoking process.
A spark is required to start combustion in a gas grill and get it going. This usually uses an igniter - most use electricity to get that spark. If you go with a gas grill, it is good to have a backup hole where you can use a long match or lighter to start your burner, just incase you are between batteries or your sparking mechanism is not working.
Stainless steel and aluminum are rust avoidant. Do you need a cart style with wheels? If you plan on moving your grill around it might be a good option to consider, especially for bigger units.
If you still have questions about one of our awesome grills on Aosom.com and have questions, please reach out to us! We would love to help you.We recommend checking out our blog Ultimate Grilling Guide for Summer Cookouts and Backyard BBQs for more information, tips and tricks. Happy grilling!