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Savvy Tips & Helpful Hints

Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Charcoal Grills

Grilling meat doesn’t only provide a scrumptious meal, it is also an effective means to socialize with friends and family. Owning a charcoal grill can make you quite popular in the neighborhood, too. 

With the wide variety of barbecues and grills available on the market, it’s important that you consider certain features before purchasing one. Knowing exactly what one of these meat grilling appliances is made of, will give you some insight into which one will best suit your needs. 

Here are a few things to consider when buying a charcoal grill:

CHARCOAL OR GAS?

The two main power systems for grills are gas and charcoal. Gas grills are usually much bigger and more powerful. The unit consists of different parts including valves, gas tanks, hoses, burners, ignition systems, and a gas grate.  They are usually much heavier and are more suitable for those who cook a lot of meat at once. 

Regardless of its size and meat capacity, the gas tanks are tricky to use and it can be quite complex. Maintenance for these can be a bit of a headache too. 

In comparison, a charcoal grill is basically a round container that resembles some sort of UFO space ship. Inside is a rack that the meat can be placed on, and then a lid covers the container. 

A charcoal grill is perfect for first-timers. It’s as simple as putting charcoal in the bottom of the container, lighting it, waiting for the coals to heat to the right temperature, and then you can start grilling. Furthermore, they are designed to create more smoke for a delicious smoke infused flavor. 

WHAT ARE CHARCOAL GRILLS USED FOR?

Apart from its obvious function of grilling meat, you can also use it to cook vegetables and even bread in a pan. When you’ve mastered the art of barbecuing, you can try smoking meats to infuse pork and beef with an acquired taste. It’s perfect for those who need a portable unit because it’s attached to a steel wheel stand. Click right here for a top 5 review on some of the best grills on the market. 

3 TYPES 

There are 3 types of charcoal grills, the barrel, the kettle, and the ceramic. Depending on what you want to use it for, you can choose either one of the three types. 

Barrel Grills

These units are specifically designed for smoking large pieces of meat. It’s a huge 55-gallon drum that’s typically made from steel and measures at 36-inches long. 

The bottom half of the unit can hold wood and coal, while the top part is where the meat should be inserted. To allow heat to escape during the smoking process, the lid has a series of air vents and a small chimney. 

Additionally, there is a warming rack attached to the main rack, to keep meats heated. 

Kettle Grills 

A small spherical unit that varies between 22-30 inches. Perfect for cooking a dozen burgers or half a dozen rump steaks. Because of its shape, the unit can withhold heat to ensure food are cooked evenly from all angles. This feature makes cooking vegetables and other dishes, apart from meat, fairly easy. 

This unit is by far the easiest to maintain, especially ones with removable ash trays. 

Ceramic Grills

The most expensive one out of the three types, the ceramic model starts at a steep price tag of $500. The key feature of this model is that the ceramic exterior offers incredible heat control.  High-quality ceramic models can reach high temperatures of 500 F°. Where low-range models only achieve a temperature of 200 F°.

Excellent for users who live in cold wintery areas, the ceramic model will keep you and your meat warm and happy.

They come in a variety of sizes which makes them perfect for those with special requirements. Not only do they sear meat to perfection, but they are also perfect for cooking delicious pizza. Mimicking an originally designed ceramic pizza oven. You can check this link to know more about ceramic grills: http://www.firepit-and-grilling-guru.com/ceramic-grills.html

SPECIAL FEATURES

Look out for the following key features when considering a unit:

Dampers

It’s vital that your unit has at least two dampers. One intake damper and the other an outlet damper. By using these dampers correctly, you will be able to control the oxygen feed into the unit. 

Closing the dampers will help you choke the charcoal fire, to lower the heat inside the unit. Typically, the dampers are kept open in order for gas and smoke to escape. 

While you are shopping around for the perfect grill, make sure that you check whether the dampers can fasten tightly and effectively. 

Lid

The tighter the lid fits, the better for heat control. A good quality grill, will have a lid that seals completely. It’s a vital part to the functionality of the unit, therefore, your lid has to be durable and easy to lift on and off. 

Ash Removal

Don’t forget to clean the barrel after every use. A big volume of ash will be left at the bottom of the barrel after a cook. Getting ash out of a spherical object can be quite tricky and messy. 

Make sure that there’s a well-functioning ash removal tray in place. Preferably one that makes cleaning and maintenance easy. 

Grates

Grates are the surface that you will sear and cook your pieces of meat on. It’s important that they are of high-quality to ensure an even cook and some classy grill marks on your rumps. They can either be made from cast iron, steel, or wire. 

COSTS

It is advised that you consider spending at least a few hundred dollars on a high-quality grill. Some units can be bought for as little as $30, but if you compromise quality for cost, be sure that your food will end up on the floor. 

On the other side of the spectrum you can spend as much as $2000 on a high-quality, extremely durable griller machine. If you don’t take your grilling too serious, then you can invest anything from $200-$400 for a decent, cost-effective unit. 

Considering the above-mentioned features, you’ll be able to purchase the perfect charcoal and wood grill for your next get together.

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