How to Choose the Right Grill for Your Outdoor Kitchen

Summer is here, and what better time to kick back in your backyard with good food and old friends? If you have the space, adding an outdoor kitchen saves you from running back and forth to your house while creating a fun outdoor environment to entertain guests.

Below are some tips to choose the right grilling appliances for your outdoor kitchen, part of our new Summer appliance series.

Grills

The grill is the centerpiece of outdoor cooking and can be placed anywhere outdoor your home. Depending on the features you?re looking for, simple kettle grills can run as cheap as $100 while high-end gas grills can cost thousands of dollars. There are plenty of choices, so look at which type and what size will work best for your home.

How much space do you have?Grills with side burner can take up a lot of room, so measure your available space to ensure your choice of grill can fit.

How often will you be grilling? If you grill a lot, a charcoal grill may not be the best choice as they take a much longer time than gas or electric grills to heat. However, if you will only be using on weekends and are looking for a more cost-efficient method, charcoal may be the right choice.

What will you be grilling?Whether you will be grilling single food items or entire meals will determine how large of a grill you will need. Steaks and vegetables can be cooked in a relatively small space, but if you?re grilling larger items for a larger group of people, don?t let your cooking be limited by your grill?s size.

Grill Types

Charcoal Grills?

Charcoal grills come in a wide-range of models, from portable to grill/smoker combinations. The cooking flavor is more intense than gas models; however, cooking will take time as it typically takes 15 to 30 minutes for the grill to heat.

Natural Gas Grills / Propane Grills

While upfront gas grills are typically more expensive, per use cost is significantly less than charcoal. Additionally, grills will preheat in a few minutes with either a push-button, rotary or electronic lighter. While the flavor is milder than charcoal, you have better temperature control. Propane tanks typically hold 20 pounds of fuel that last for around 9 hours. Natural gas grills require a direct gas hookup.

Electric Grills

If you live in an area where charcoal or gas is not available, an electric grill is a great option for grilling. It can be used anywhere near an electrical outlet. These models are typically best suited for apartments.

Cooking Grids

There are different styles of cooking grids for your grill, but cast-iron is the best for heat retention and cleaning. Stainless steels grids are rust-resistant; however, food typically sticks. Porcelain-coated does not stick; however, the coating can chip if not properly cared for.

And don?t forget about the?grill accessories!

While you only really need a brush, tong, spatula and fork to grill, there are plenty of accessories that are great to have:

Cooking Baskets Skewers will help cook smaller food items faster.

A rotisserie can fit on many models and will add greater flexibility to what you?ll be able to cook.

A good grill pad will help keep grease from staining your prep surfaces and patio.
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