It's grilling season (let's all take a minute to give thanks for the months of grilled ribs, burgers, and steaks coming our way), and that means it's time to talk barbecues.
Barbecues have come a long way and there are now a ton of styles and varieties for you to choose from. There has been a noticeable shift in the market where buyers are now tending towards mid-to-high end grills, indicative of the fact that people are viewing their barbecue as an investment.
Barbecues can be broken down into two main categories of charcoal and gas (there are portable versions of both available). Gas grills tend to cost more than charcoal grills because they usually offer a wider range of features, cooking options, and burners. That being said, they run off of propane (or are connected to a natural gas line) which is less expensive to purchase than charcoal, and the fuel tends to last longer (or will not need to be replaced at all if connected to a gas line).
Infrared barbecues are one of the sizzling (no pun intended) new items on the grilling market. They use less fuel than traditional barbecues, have a particular aptitude for searing meats, and are credited with cooking food faster and more evenly. Hybrid infrared grills are starting to crop up, with a barbecue having infrared burners on one end and traditional convection burners on the other. This is ideal for you chefs who like to sear your steak while grilling your vegetables. Grates are one of the most important features of a barbecue as this is what the food actually cooks on. Higher quality grates are strongly recommended as lower quality ones will need to be replaced regularly (making them more costly in the long run), and tend to yield less satisfying results in how you grill as well as the cooked food itself. Stainless steel is non-stick and easy to clean (scrub in hot, soapy water, dry, then rub down with vegetable oil).
Porcelain-coated grates tend to hold heat very well, however they can chip then rust, so be sure to avoid hard metal scrapers and tools. Cast iron grills last for decades when properly cared for, keep their temperature the longest and cook food the fastest, but it’s imperative that you properly clean and oil these grates or they will deteriorate quickly.
When it comes to your barbecue, do some research to find out which style suits your needs, and don’t be shy about talking to an in-store associate while shopping. They tend to be very knowledgeable about the different models and accessories and can give you some great information. Make sure that you clean and care for your barbecue as indicated by the manufacturer. Great warranties are the norm nowadays, so as long as you treat your grill right, you’ll have it for a long time. Have fun and be safe when grilling this summer, and if you need someone to test those delicious ribs you just barbecued, I’m always happy to volunteer!
Originally Published by The Chronicle Herald
Alexandra Kelter is a social media specialist with Central Home Improvements. Her column covers many aspects of home improvement, both indoor and outdoor, and will combine trending styles with practical applications all within realistic budgets. Kelter is also passionate about fashion, travel, living by the ocean and her bulldog.