The grill is at the center of every great barbecue. Whether it’s a family reunion or dinner for two, there is nothing better than sizzling hot food from your backyard grill.
Today’s outdoor kitchens are more than just barbecues: they’re outfitted with burners, hoods, grills, pizza ovens and more. Consider upping the ante with an outdoor refrigerator, wine chiller or even a kegerator to make your open-air space work for you.
This guide will explore the latest and greatest outdoor entertaining trends essentials.
- Easy to ignite: start cooking in 10 minutes
- Precise temperature control for even cooking
- Available in many brands/sizes/colors/prices
- Sear stations provide concentrated high heat to lock in juices and flavor
- Smoker box accessory allows for flavored chips for more authentic flavor
- Side burners provide more cooking space so you can cook your entire meal outdoors
- Rich, smoky barbecue flavor only a flame can provide
- Briquettes or lump charcoal are lit with a match and take 15-30 minutes to heat up
- Cooking with charcoal can be messy. Select a grill with a high-capacity ash collection system for easy clean up
- Less expensive, but the cost of charcoal might surpass the cost of gas over time
- Least authentic barbeque flavor
- Easy to start – heats up quickly and evenly using existing electricity
- Powered from a 120-volt or 220-volt power source outlets. 120-volt models are typically smaller and more portable
- Great option for apartments or condos with residential restrictions
- Easy to install
- Pipe is connected to the line where you want the grill permanently located
- Initial cost of grill is higher, but lower fuel costs over time
- Gas is available anytime
- A better option for second story and roof deck installation
A built-in grill is finished only on the top and front and fits in a surrounding base that provides support. Select from models that have a cement or stone island base (usually sold separately), can be built into a custom enclosure, or used on a freestanding grill base cabinet or cart. If you entertain often, this will provide an impressive focal point to your outdoor eating area.
A freestanding grill is the most popular choice due to its ability to transfer from in-box to ready-to-use quickly and easily. It can stand-alone since it has matching paneling on all sides, that give it a complete and finished look from every angle. It is not only convenient to install, many models offer storage that hides the gas tank or gas connection from view.
A portable grill moves easily. It can be freestanding with wheels attached to the legs or a small tabletop model that can be placed on any flat surface. Available in liquid propane, charcoal and electric, it’s easy to take on the go – for tailgating, a picnic in the park or family camping trip.
A post mount grill is built on a singular stand meant to be permanently installed in your patio area. Different from a built-in grill, a post mount grill is fully finished all around, allowing for a beautiful look from any viewpoint. And the real beauty is that it doesn’t require a lot of space on the ground, so it’s sure to fit in almost any sized yard.
Post Mount Grills→
2. Halogen canopy lighting
3. Removable smoker box
4. Infrared rotisserie burner and motor
5. Collapsable side tray or burner
6. Backlit control knobs
7. Storage drawers, shelves, or cabinets
8. Rolling casters and wheels for easy transport
9. Electronic ignition
10. Stainless steel cooking grates
11. Rotisserie rod and forks
Smaller, portable and electric models may have fewer burners but should still have solutions for temperature control and emit even, consistent heat.
A well-made charcoal grill will contain a sturdy, heavy-duty, plated-steel cooking grate and a charcoal grate to place the briquettes on. There should be a lid with air vents as well.
All grills should also have an efficient grease or ash collection system to keep the heat source clear of any clogs and any run-off juices from making a mess of your gorgeous grill. The best systems quickly flash the drippings, eliminating flare-ups and creating flavorful smoke.
In the market for a new grill? Check out top styles and options
Pro Tip: Give it a shake
Quality, sturdy construction in both the grill body and frame are important whether it is made from ceramic, stainless steel or cast iron. An easy way to test construction is with a simple shake. A poorly made grill will wiggle unevenly and may sound loose or flimsy. If a grill isn’t solid on the sales floor, chances are it will fall apart rather quickly on your patio or deck. Not all grills are created equal, but there are several components that are common to nearly all models.
Imagine the convenience of having everything you need at your fingertips without running to your indoor kitchen. If you do, plan to include stainless steel cabinets and drawers for storage space in your outdoor kitchen. There are options available to meet every countertop or space you need. So you can store your grill brush, outdoor dishes, pots, pans and more to make it much easier to cook and serve a delicious meal.