If there’s one summer activity we’re excited about, it’s grilling! Grilled meals join the ranks of cool ice cream, picnic fare, and pitcher drinks as one of people’s favorite items to consume during hotter months. If you’ve got a brand-new passion for grilling and have never ventured near an open flame before, we’re here to help.
While this guide is geared towards newbie grillers, there’s plenty of useful information for the pro grill master. We’ve highlighted everything from choosing a grill. And then there’s a compilation of the best grills of 2018 that every grill cook should read.
Should You Opt for Charcoal or Gas?
When you’re shopping for a grill, you have two primary choices: charcoal and gas. Here’s how to decide which one is the right kind for your individual self.
Charcoal – Charcoal is the ideal choice if you possess hands-on experience of starting a fire and you don’t mind waiting for almost half an hour for the coal to be ready.
- Costs less upfront
- Requires grill cleaning and disposing of ashes
- Need to buy charcoal and lighting supplies for each cookout
Gas – If you’re someone who is content with pushing a switch be ready for grilling in 10-15 minutes, choose a gas grill over a charcoal one.
- Easy to control temperature
- Convenient to operate
Drip trays are used to collect the grease and oil that is extracted from the food being grilled. Once the food is grilled, the user can easily remove the trays and get rid of the grease and oil. If the indoor grill is not equipped with the drip tray then its grill might get ruined by the oil and greasiness.
- Costs less upfront
- Less costly to maintain than charcoal grills
Some Essentials You’ll Need
Even though the process of grilling seems straightforward, there are a few additional tools you’ll have to get to ensure the food turns out tender and juicy. For instance, a decent pair of tongs is almost a necessity. Using tongs to flip veggies and meats ensures they retain their juices and makes it easy to handle your grilling items. Another thing you’ll want to get is a grill brush. It’s not necessary to get a fancy one; you can just get a normal one from the local grocery shop. It’s going to play a key role when you’re using sauces and marinades.
We also suggest investing in a pair of skewers. Skewering makes preparing chunks of lamb, vegetables, shrimp and other small items much simpler. You can get the inexpensive ones like bamboo skewers or a variety of higher-end options. To prevent burning, make sure you soak them in water for at least half an hour. Lastly, you’ll require aluminum foil because certain veggies and meats need wrapping. Later, you can invest in a grill basket and discontinue foil use.
If you’re looking for suggestions, check out the list below.
Where to Buy
YHMALL Basting Brush and Pastry Brush-Set Of 2 Silicone Brush with Stainless Steel Handle-12 Inch/7 Inch-Great For BBQ Meat, Grill, Cakes, and Pastries
Grillaholics Skewers, Top Barbecue Grilling Accessories, Grill Delicious Kabobs and Brazilian BBQ on Gas and Charcoal Grills, Reusable Metal Unlike Bamboo, Set of 8 Stainless Steel Shish Kebab Sticks
Weber’s premium tongs come with a no-slip-grip and are long enough to keep users’ hand at a good distance from the flame. The handle is soft-touch and can also be locked for compact storage. The product itself is manufactured of stainless steel and is dishwasher friendly, so it can be cleaned after you’ve flipped those greasy meats.
2. YHMALL Basting Brush and Pastry Brush-Set Of 2 Silicone Brush with Stainless Steel Handle-12 Inch/7 Inch-Great For BBQ Meat,Grill,Cakes and Pastries
These silicone basting brushes are 100% FDA approved and is heat resistant to 446⁰F so the user can spread bastes in a hot pan without worrying about the brush getting burnt. It is also dishwasher friendly and also has a compact stainless-steel loop that allows for convenient hanging.
3. Grillaholics Skewers, Top Barbecue Grilling Accessories, Grill Delicious Kabobs and Brazilian BBQ on Gas and Charcoal Grills, Reusable Metal Unlike Bamboo, Set of 8 Stainless Steel Shish Kebab Sticks
These skewers have a V-shaped design that ensures the meats/veggies stay secure as you rotate them on the grill. Their 16.5-inch length allows plenty of space for meat, veggies, fruits, and more. They’re reusable and economical and don’t require any soaking. Clean-up is simple; they can be placed inside dishwashers for thorough cleaning.
The Grillholics Barbecue Gloves are heat resistant and provide safety for up to 932°F. They’re made from 10% aramid 1313kevlar and features a silicone pattern that offers non-slip grip for handling hot items indoors and outdoors. The additional heat resistance makes them perfect for shifting logs in your backyard, as well as removing hot food from the grill.
The package includes four grill foil bags that are 10-inch x 15.5 inches in size. They offer a moist heat environment (till 45 degrees) that enables the user to lock in flavors, even at high temperatures. The versatile foil keeps grilled food and leftovers fresh and is also useful for making packets for the grill and lining pans.
Pick Something to Grill
Before you’ve lit up the fire, the first step is to choose what to grill. Hot dogs, tender lion steaks, and burgers are the most popular choices for grillers. All thicker beef-based items should be grilled at a high temperature. You can lower the heat slightly if you’re grilling hot dogs or thin cuts of meat. We won’t try to cover all the ins and outs of grilling here but just know the grilling process requires typically less than 10 to 20 minutes’ total, so make sure you’re well organized and avoid distractions or you can end up over-grilling your meat.
If you’re using a gas grill, you can also easily grill vegetables like zucchini and asparagus right next to your meats and adjust the grill temperature. Just ensure the burner heat is set to medium and be proactive in quickly removing the veggies as they are easy to overcook.
Start the Fire
Lighting the fire is your next step. It’s one of the basic steps of outdoor barbequing yet believe it or not it can be a bit confusing on how to get started. Here’s are some tips for charcoal and gas grills:
- If you’re using a charcoal grill, open each air vent and remove the lid. Pile charcoal briquettes (30-50) in a pyramid-shaped formation. Put crumbled paper or fire starters (nontoxic) on the briquettes and light it up. Arrange the briquettes in a single layer for even cooking once they’re covered with white-gray ash – typically about 20-40 minutes.</li>
- In case of a gas grill, take the lid off or pull it up and ensure that all knobs that control the burner are switched off. If you have a propane tank, make sure it’s not about out of gas by checking the pressure. Start the grill according to the instructions of the manufacturer (either with a match or a built inn igniter) and turn on just a single burner for ignition. Once the fire lights up, you can switch on other burners. Put the lid back on again and preheat the burners at a high until maximum heat is reached, which is typically between 500 to 550 Fahrenheit. The process can take 15-20 minutes but may happen quicker depending on your grill. /
Don’t Forget to Clean
It goes without saying that cleaning your grill after all the barbequing is essential to its maintenance. Not only will it prevent the buildup of smoke and soot (which can alter the taste of whatever you grill next), but also help your charcoal/gas grill last longer and perform at its best.
The tips below are the type of cleaning you will want to do every so often depending on how frequently you grill as it will take some time to fully clean your grill. In between different cooking, sessions make sure you at least clean your grill thoroughly.
To clean a charcoal grill:
Purchase cleaning essentials. You’ll need a grill brush, paper towels or cleaning rags, soap, water, putty knife, and gloves for gas grill cleaning.
- Switch off the gas supply or see if you can detach the tank of gas from the grill. Then, pull out the grates and clean them thoroughly with the grill brush.
- Take out anything that is covering the grill’s burners and clean it. These could include ceramic briquettes, lava stones that drape the burners, or metal heat V-shaped tents.
- The burner tubes should be brushed lightly to ensure all gas ports are open and functioning.
- Debris should be wiped or brushed out from the grill’s bottom, while the putty knife should be used to peel grease if it’s present on the grill’s base or lid.
- Use water and soap to clean the grease collection tray and replace pans with new ones if needed. Also, use soap and water to wipe out the external part of the grill.,?
- Put the grill back together when you’re done.
Top Grill Cleaning Products
- Start cleaning the charcoal grate along with the grill grate (remove the grill grate if there’s a way to do so). Use a grill brush or another coarse brush to perform a thorough cleaning.
- Use aluminum foil to remove any remaining debris or gunk; it makes for a great scrubber.
- Also, pay attention to the lid and the grill’s bottom. Wipe or brush any debris out into a plastic or paper bag to throw out when you’re done. If your grill is equipped with an ash catcher, ensure you’re emptying it. Then, use a putty knife to scrape grease and carbon flakes off.
- Once you’re done, put the parts back together.
Top Grill Cleaning Products
Some items are purposely designed to make cleaning gas and charcoal grills easier. Here’s are a few items to consider:
Where to Buy
Best BBQ Grill Brush ( HIGHEST QUALITY STAINLESS STEEL ) 18″ Barbecue Cleaning Brush w/ Wire Bristles & Soft Comfortable Handle – Perfect Cleaner & Scraper for Grill Cooking Grates
This is one grill cleaning item you definitely want to check out. It can be used on charcoal, infrared and gas grills. It uses the power of steam clean your grill grates. It has two brushes one for steam cleaning and one for more intense scrubbing. With this brush you can use the power of the heat of your own grill to quickly and efficiently clean it.
This grill and over rack cleaner is useful for cleaning the grill grates – whether enamel or stainless steel – or a new barbeque grill grate. The function is easy: Once the racks are bagged, you have to pour the solution inside, wait for a little while, and rinse. Hence, it doesn’t require the user to switch on the grill or oven to eliminate dirt, saving energy in the process.
When grates are taken out, the best way to eliminate debris that has been accommodated by the grill’s bottom along with loose particles of food is to use a handheld blower. The Milwaukee 2728-28 is a good option as it 450 CFM air volume and 100 MPH air speed allow it to suck up any greasy bits with ease.
4. Best BBQ Grill Brush ( HIGHEST QUALITY STAINLESS STEEL ) 18″ Barbecue Cleaning Brush w/ Wire Bristles & Soft Comfortable Handle – Perfect Cleaner & Scraper for Grill Cooking Grates
Once the panels and grills have soaked, a long-handled grill brush is needed to have enough leverage to reach the stubborn stuck on gunk. The Best BBQ Grill Brush is made for the same purpose. It features stainless steel bristles and three brushes that enable users to clean the menacing areas 5x faster than traditional scrubs. Also, the brushes’ 10-inch durable handle provides extra torque while offering safe distance.
This stain remover contains two non-abrasive pads that help in wiping out stubborn stains from a user’s grill. It works exceptionally well on stains resulting from carbonization; grease spatter and varnishing. You can use both the pad and the cleaner safely on porcelain enamel and painted steel.
Wrapping It Up
Aside from firing up the grill, you need to know when the food is “cooked” completely, and that’s where many grillers get stuck. Luckily, there are some items that can assist you in finding out when the food is done.
Where to Buy
Victagen Remote Wireless Digital Kitchen Food Meat Thermometer Instant Read Super Fast Read Thermometer with Large LCD and Timer Alarm For BBQ Oven Grill Smoker and Outdoor
1. Victagen Remote Wireless Digital Kitchen Food Meat Thermometer Instant Read Super Fast Read Thermometer with Large LCD and Timer Alarm For BBQ Oven Grill Smoker and Outdoor
The Victagen thermometer is wireless, and its sturdy LCD picks up meats’ temperature even if it is 70 feet far from the probe. Users have to place the probe in the meat, and they’ll get notified when the meat is ready. Also, users get a timeout alarm function and meat taste levels and types selection function integrated into the tool.
This grill light could be the difference between flame kissed and entirely torched hot-dogs. The clip-on, weather resistant grill light comes with a pivoting design and an adjustable clamp (made of aluminum) that attaches to most grills, and automatically turns off when six minutes have passed. The light allows you to see what’s ready and what requires additional time.
This is an app-connected thermometer that features single capacity probe, Bluetooth connectivity, and a smart LED that monitors food completion from start to finish. The meat probe is heat resistant to 716 degrees F and enables you to set a target temperate for the grill. Also, users get to install the iGrill app on their iOS and Android devices to keep tabs on food doneness.
Remember, grilling is more art than science, and you’ll be dealing with varying preparation times based on several factors, including the fire’s temperature, the thickness of food, the type of grill you’re using, and even the wind. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll realize that it’s easy to up the ante when you’re near a grill.
Best Gas & Charcoal Grill Option for 2018
Don’t have a grill but want a few suggestions to get started? Here are some of the best options for both gas and charcoal as well as the high and low end.
Where to Buy
A best seller and a high-end choice, the Spirit E-310 LP by Weber offer 424 sq. inch of cooking area and an additional 105 sq. inch space for warmth. It features 3 stainless steel burners (32,000 BTU-per-hour put out), crossover ignition systems, and cooking grates (cast-iron), porcelain-enameled. Also, buyers get the robust flavorizer bar system, which was originally designed by Weber to catch drippings that sizzle and smoke, which is essential to adding flavor to the food being cooked. Lastly, a fuel gauge lets users know where they stand with fuel at any point in time.
This is a lighter, 2-burner gas grill that is capable of delivering 20,000 BTU heat across a cooking surface that expands to 280 sq. Meters. It’s 14-inch wide and 20-inch deep and has grates which are porcelain-coated, so it allows for easy cleaning as well as prevents food from sticking. Two in-line burners (made of stainless steel) deliver durable cooking performance. Additionally, buyers get a Piezo ignition system that quick startups, and two side shelves (made of metal) for increased preparation and storage space. The Classic 280 comes with two wheels for convenient portability, and two fixed legs for securing it in place.
Nothing comes close to the taste of food that’s prepared using a charcoal grill. Dyna-Glo’s version begins with a cast iron, porcelain-enameled grates that allow for maximum heat searing and transfer around the 816 sq. inch of cooking area. A removable firebox divider allows for dual zone grilling based on what is being prepared. Charcoal trays can be separately adjusted once the partition has been made. There’s also a stainless-steel bottle opener that enables users to operate the grill without reaching for the utensil drawer. Juicy burgers, perfectly cooked chicken and succulent veggies are at your fingertips with this grill. As a bonus, the manufacturer includes an ample-capacity, removable pan for collecting grease and ash for convenient disposal.
This high-end grill offers 22-inch diameter bowl (porcelain-enameled) and a 363 sq. inch of cooking area. Users also get a Touch-N-Go ignition system that requires a button push to ignite charcoal briquettes. Quite handy is a countdown cook timer LCD; it attaches to the grill and can be removed at will. Also, the grill features a One-Touch cleaning system, Gourmet BBQ System cooking grates (a 2-part grate that can be used in alliance with cookware collection of Weber Gourmet BBQ System), and even a CharBin storage container that secures charcoal from external elements. Also included is an aluminum vent, a nylon handle (glass-reinforced) and a wired bottom shelf.
This barrel-style grill comes with 225 sq. Inches of cooking space and a slide out drawer that allows for easy charcoal loading and ash removal once the user is done the grilling. Its side shelf is big enough for prep, and users also get integrated tool hooks that they can use to keep essential utensils on hand. Also, the Char-Broil American 18-inch grill has two 8-inch wheels for easy portability, a grill cart (constructed with big side braces for stability), and a tube handle that keeps the user’s hand from the heat.
The convertible grill lets you select between charcoal or gas grilling without requiring a second unit. Offers a decent spark when pushed, ensuring the burners light up properly. Users can even use gas burners to ignite charcoal without requiring a lighter fluid. 180 sq. in. secondary area keeps the food warm. The grill also features two 7-inch wheels that allow it to be rolled and tilted for easy storage and mobility. Additionally, porcelain-coated iron cooking grates provide long-lasting durability and easy cleaning.
Following this guide should take your grill game to a level that impresses friends, family, and neighbors and importantly help you make some great meals. And remember, just about anything you’ve been preparing in your oven can be cooked in your backyard grill!