The 4 basic outdoor grill types are Gas, Charcoal, Electric and Infrared. An “indoor counter top grill” is NOT a Grill! Some punch drunk boxer told Americans to stick their meats directly into a waffle iron and people listened and purchased millions. For us an outdoor grill needs to have an open flame to properly season the food.
So here is our Outdoor Grill Type Comparison
Gas grills: are the most common grill type. They can burn either propane or natural gas. They have become the most popular because they are so easy to use; most come standard with an electric starter and they are virtually maintenance free. With the addition of an inexpensive easy to use smoker box the smoke flavor argument is also out the window. With their ability to maintain a constant temperature and the addition of a side-burner you can cook anything out-doors that you can make with your kitchen stove.
Charcoal grills: are the grills preferred by the grilling purists. The only real benefit to charcoal is the added flavor to anything cooked over it. With the introduction of the charcoal chimney and Electric starter lighting has become simpler and they have done away with the lighter fluid flavor. Compared to gas, cooking over charcoal is like work, but it becomes a labor of love for those who use it.
Electric grills: are similar to gas grills in their ease of use and clean up. They do not have a flame; you might as well cook in your oven inside.
Infrared Grills: These are the latest state of the art grills on the market today. They are typically gas powered and can reach extremely high temperatures. This would make for faster cooking times and make searing a breeze. Infrared is just another word for indirect.
Combination Grills: These are my favorites one side gas and one for charcoal. You can have it all.
There are more and more so called grills appearing on the market today without grates. Even Weber makes one now. They are just heating a flat or ribbed non-stick metal plate. Where I come from this is called a griddle, you can place a griddle on a real grill to cook if you really need to cook that way
About the author: Mike is the owner of 4thegrill.com, a Certified Food Safety Professional and KCBS member.
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