Summer is a season for lemonades, beaches, picnics, hiking, and right up there, grilling. Nothing stomps the merriment of setting up your outdoor grill, throwing on a couple of hotdogs, burgers, stakes, and enjoying the weather and company of family and friends. If you have a lovely backyard that’s a haven for guest hosting, then barbecue weekends are a ritual that involves whipping out your stellar grill, heating your yummy meats, and crisp veggies for your guests to enjoy.
If your current grill has rust that has gotten the best of your cooking experience, or the flames from the grill have become uncontrollable, or perhaps your friends and family have doubled, and the standard grill will not cut it anymore, then you’ll need a new grill. You could also be a first-time grill owner and want to know what grill suits you in size, type, and also ease of cleaning. No matter your reasons, this article will guide you on the dimensions of grills and other pertinent information.
Average Grill Sizes
Size is an important factor in determining the appropriate grill. First, figure out the basics. The number of people you plan to cook for will set the tone and also inform the number of burners you’ll want. You can go as low as two or as high as six with the burners.
The average grill size suitable for a small home is between 360-400 square inches, which usually suffices for many households. However, if the number is bigger, then you could opt for the 600 square inches one, meaning more burners and more cooking areas. Some will go as big as 1500 square inches since the number of people frequently cooked for will largely determine the suitable size.
Extra space for removable grill grates is something to also look out for, as a top-shelf will help give you an extra source of heat at medium temperature, perfect for smocked veggies and also when you’re warming food.
Now that we have covered the sizes, next up are the grill types. You have a choice to make from gas, charcoal, and electric grills. Each have their pros and cons, so ultimately the type of functionality you’re aiming at for your grill will determine the type.
Your gas will either be from natural gas connected to your house’s natural gas line or propane gas tanks that are portable and need to be refilled often. This is the most purchased type of grill because it sits comfortably between the electric grill and charcoal grill in terms of functionality and results. You may want to look at more than one burner as it gives you more heat sources with different heat zones that marinate your food to your liking. Similarly, these burners need to be close enough to each other for even cooking, leaving no hot or cold spots.
You could opt for a charcoal grill, also known as a kettle grill that uses charcoal briquettes to heat the meat and food on the grill. This isn’t an easy mechanism to cook with, as the temperature isn’t controlled, thus taking more time to prepare meals in comparison to the gas grill. Also, if the gusts of wind on barbecue day are against you, then the unevenness of the heat will get worse. That being said, the taste of meat made from a charcoal grill is heavenly, with many opting for the smoky flavor that makes the food much tastier.
If you’re living in an apartment or condo that’s most likely against the use of appliances that emit smoke, then you’ll definitely be going for the electric grill. All you need is to plug your grill into a power source and get those burgers going. You’ll save a tone on time and gas as these cook very quickly and offer results in no time. Once you go for these grills, then say goodbye to the smokey, mouthwatering taste associated with food marinated on charcoal and gas grills. This effect simply cannot be replicated, therefore don’t expect burgers or stakes you’ve seen on the food network.
How to Clean Your Grill
The flavorsome meals charcoal grills present are unmatched. However, out of all the three types of grills on the list, this is the hardest to clean. It’s important to clean your grill as soon as it cools from cooking to easily wipe off the residue; otherwise, it gets harder every day. To clean your grill, use a wire brush to scrape off the ash and food residues, and clean the grill grates with soapy water and rinse. For persistent stains and foods, use white vinegar and baking soda, and those will fall right off.
Grilling Components You Should Have
Different grills come not only in different sizes and types but also with different features; therefore, choosing the right accessories that work for your grilling experience is important, and some are listed below.
These are a complete lifesaver. They allow you to keep your cooking equipment, spices, and plates close by. All this makes preparation and cooking much smoother. You may incur an extra charge in price to have this, but it’s worth it.
Your gas grill will either come with an electronic igniter or piezo igniter, or even the traditional matchbox sticks to light. The electronic igniter uses batteries which may potentially run out just as you’re lighting your grill and set you back a couple of minutes to run to the store if you have no spare batteries. A matchbox, while straightforward in operation, may be too manual for your taste. In comes the piezo system. With just a press of a button or turn of a dial, your burners will flare up and then get started. This is the most reliable mechanism, but also these get malfunctioned over time and, if not fixed or replaced, can cause a fire hazard.
The Best Grill Grates
Grill grates come in different sizes and materials, and it’s important to know the appropriate sizes for when you’re replacing grates to fit correctly in the firebox. You have an option of stainless steel, cast iron, and porcelain grill grates to choose from. The stainless kind is pricier and much easier to maintain and clean than the rest. They, however, take a while to heat up and are much more recommended for seafood, veggies -and hotdogs that don’t require a lot of heat to cook.
The cast-iron grates are easily prone to rust, but because they easily and quickly absorb heat, they are perfect for stakes and also give the meat those sear marks that make you salivate.
Porcelain is metal covered with enamel coating. Therefore, once this coating chips, then the rusting kicks in. These have the least quality from the lot, but if bought from legit barbecue retailers, you can get some that are more durable.
Oftentimes, homeowners, while shopping for their grill, look at all the other durability aspects of the grill, forgetting the lid. The lid of a grill keeps bugs and bees away. More than that, it protects the grill top from rain, wind, and dust that may destroy it. Furthermore, this lid can allow you to have even cooking of your food once you shut it when grilling. Therefore choosing a lid with great material to handle the weather and not falter easily will make for a great experience.
Frequently under-looked, a thermometer is one of the secrets to great grilling. There’s nothing more frustrating than standing by the grill for hours, getting flustered by the heat and profusely coughing from the smoke, only to serve up your meat and be told most of it isn’t ready. A fast-reading and accurate thermometer eliminates this worry by placing the thermometer in the middle of your meat, away from the bone, and taking a reading that lets you know whether to turn off the burners, increase the heat, or turn it down a notch.
To Wrap Up
Outdoor cooking is very relaxing and a means of connecting with loved ones. There are pointers you need to grasp to have an excellent grilling affair. It’s important to season your grill before cooking. Once you open it up, brush the grates with a brush to get off any excess dust and pre-heat it with high-heat cooking spray to clear any residue that may have remained from the last cookout. Fire safety should be at the top of your mind by ensuring you have a fire extinguisher close by and the grill is at least 10 feet away from any wall, and no flammable items are close to it.
Prep all your food inside to save on time but also, you may need enough counter space to marinate the beef and chicken. Also, endeavor to carry all the necessary cooking tools like spatulas, thermometer, plates, and paper towels to quicken the process and avoid numerous trips to and from the house kitchen.