Looking For A Barbecue For Your Yard or Patio?
Barbecue ChoicesWhatever your barbecuing need, there should be a grill just right for you. From small, portable grills which are great for picnics in the park, camping, or a trip to the beach, to the largest gas barbecue grills, you're bound to find what you're looking for with a little shopping around. Here's a few choices from each of the basic barbecue grill categories.
- Portable Grills
If you're looking for a small, portable model that packs up easily for a trip to the beach, camping, or your local park for a picnic, Weber's Smokey Joe Gold grill sells for $35-$50 and is a smaller version of Weber's Kettle Grill. It's a charcoal grill, has a 14-inch diameter cooking area and can cook up to 6 burgers at one time. This one features a locking lid, which can also be used as a wind barrier if locked to the side of the grill itself. It should last a long time, too, giving you more value for your money.
Weber also makes a portable propane grill, the Q220 566001 grill. Selling price is right around $200, It features stainless steel burners, aluminum cast body and one-touch burners. If you do a lot of camping, this one could be for you.
The Grill-4-All portable grill gets high marks for good heat output and large cooking area, longevity, and other features. You can get it in charcoal, propane or gas, and a conversion unit that will change from one fuel type to another.
- Charcoal Grills
The Old Smokey charcoal grill has been around about 75 years. Their grills come in three sizes: Small-great for 2-3 people or as a portable grill; Medium, which easily accomodates cooking for 4-6 people; or the Jumbo size, which can handle large crowds. Rated as the best charcoal grill for under $50.
Weber's 22 1/2 inch One-Touch Silver is the grill that started Weber on it's road to success. This version sells for $85 to $120, and can do most everything you'd want a barbecue grill to do, including smoking. Has excellent cooking abilities, easy ash removal and cleanup, and versatility in grilling.
The Weber Performer combines gas and charcoal grilling, although the actual cooking itself is done with charcoal. This unit uses a propane tank to start the charcoal for you. Once the charcoal is lit and burning (about 10 minutes), you can turn off the propane. This unit sells for around $300.
- Gas Grills
When we say "gas grills," we mean propane powered grills as well as natural gas ones that hook up to your gas line at home. Be prepared to spend anywhere from $500 on up to $4,000 or more, depending on the model. We'll separate these choices by price: Over less than $500 and more than $500.
Weber Spirit E-310 Sells for around $400, this grill is solidly built, grills well, and is built to last. It's one downside is that there are no accessories, but if you're looking for basic grilling, this one should be considered. This model does feature three burners.
Broil King Signet 70 gas grill comes with a rotisserie system and three burners, and sells for right around $400.
Fiesta Optima is rated the best grill on the market for its value ($200-300). It has a 40,000BTU rating and can sear a steak or do indirect grilling at low temperatures. While construction isn't as good as the higher priced models, it's still good for the money.
$500 and up
Weber has an entry in nearly every class and price range of barbecue grills, and this range is no exception. In fact, they offer several models to choose from. They're a well-known company and make good quality products. The Weber Genesis 320 sells for about $750, is available in both propane or natural gas fuel systems, has 3 burners and a grilling area of 507 inches. Weber's Summit S-420 sells for more--about $1,200, but is quite possibly the best of the bunch. Their grills will last you at least 10 years.
If you want to go really crazy and have the money, you can spend upwards of $4,000 and more on even fancier, larger grills. Some choices we found in our research include the Kalamazoo Steadfast/Dual Fuel which burns most anything you have, along with gas, and is priced around $6,000. Should last not just years, but decades. The Fire Magic Regal sells for around $6,300, has a 660 sq. inch grilling area plus additional burners and many extra accessories.
SourcesOnline sources that we consulted were the About.com web site on barbecues and The Barbecue Store. Additionally, Home Depot, Lowe's, Target and Walmart also had sites related to barbecue grills and accessories. The latter group should have a store near you if you want to check these out in person.
You'll also need some accessories to go along with your barbecue grill, to make your grilling experience more pleasurable and less dangerous. Tools such as tongs and spatulas should be sturdier than what you use in the kitchen, since they'll be used over higher temperatures and direct flame, in some cases. True barbecue tools will also have longer handles than what you use in the kitchen. The Barbecue Store has a complete line of all the tools you'll need for barbecuing.
Additionally, there are other tools and accessories that will be handy for the barbecueing family. You might want to invest in an apron, either for yourself or as a gift for the barbecuer in your family. Other accessories you might find useful include basting brushes, charcoal starters, cutlery and knives, a grill cover to keep your grill in good condition when not in use, food tents to cover your food and keep dirt and bugs out; grilling baskets for small or less-stable food items like fish, which can fall through the grill very easily; kabobs; tents and canopies; and more. A quick look at the Barbecue Store's web site will give you an endless list of accessories to consider.
Barbecuing isn't complete without some good barbecue recipes. You can slap some burgers or chicken on the grill and keep them from burning and have a decent meal, but if you really want to fully enjoy barbecuing, you should look into some specialty recipes for your barbecue. Basic cookbooks such as the Better Homes and Garden or Betty Crocker books should have sections on barbecuing and/or grilling. You can also locate cookbooks dedicated strictly to barbecuing, or there are some online sites with good recipes, too. About.com has several sections on barbecue recipes. Grilling-Recipes.com has recipes for beef, chicken, seafood and more. Recipe America has a large section of barbecue recipes too.
If you're new to barbecuing, we hope you have found this article helpful. As always, there is more information than we can hope to give you, but we hope we've started you out on the right road to enjoying your barbecue grill.