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Your Ultimate Grill Buying Guide: How to Buy Your First Grill

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Did you know that 75% of Americans own an outdoor grill or smoker? If you’re perusing for your first grill, you might be overwhelmed by all the different options. Ideally, this grill would last you a long time, which means you’ll want to have a decent amount of research done.

If you’ve hit a standstill and need some more guidance for choosing the best grill, then you’re in the right place. This grill buying guide is here to make sure you make the best decision so you can stop looking and start grilling.

You have a handful of different options to choose from that can be narrowed down depending on your lifestyle. By the end of this guide, you’ll be one step closer to the grill of your dreams.

Sound good? Let’s get started.

Grill Buying Guide

Grills can vary from tiny picnic sized ones to downright monstrous. Not only do they range in sizes, but they come in all sorts of sizes with all types of features. When purchasing a grill, you need to consider your lifestyle and what can fit easily as part of it.

For example, a large gas grill might not be the best option if your only outdoor space is a small patio. It’d also be a little sad to have a large backyard and buy a tiny grill. If you’re a big foodie, then you already know the type of grill you buy affects the taste.

Types of Grills

The three most popular types of grills are gas, charcoal, and pellet. Each of them has their loyal fanbase, but what works for one person might not work for the other. Let’s look at the differences.

Gas Grills

Gas grills have the convenience and ease that makes them a popular choice for many outdoor enthusiasts and foodies alike. One of the reasons you might prefer a gas grill is that they are better for the environment than a lot of charcoal grills due to their carbon footprint being minimal.

Gas grills also have great temperature control and quick start-up. All it takes is the push of a button to get it going and twisting some knobs to get the heat right. With a charcoal grill, you have to wait for the coals to heat and adjust them yourself if you want a temperature change.

These grills also work great if you want to cook more delicate food items like vegetables or fruit since it doesn’t overpower them with charcoal smoke. With that said, gas grills have their downsides too. For one, they take longer to assemble than a charcoal grill.

You’ll also have to be careful because it can be dangerous if the propane tank has any leaks.

Charcoal Grills

Ask any die-hard barbecue fan and they’ll let you know that charcoal is the best way to grill. It’s the best way to get that smoky flavor that gas grills just can’t match. Charcoal grills also reach a higher temperature than gas grills which helps with any foods that might need some extra heat.

Another advantage to charcoal grills is that they’re more affordable than gas grills. A basic charcoal grill will only set you back around $25 and a more moderately priced one is about $150. Gas grills begin at $150 and can go up to $3,000.

Although mentioned already, some downsides of a charcoal grill are that they take a longer time to start up since you are using coals. You’ll also be spending money on bags of charcoal which can get used up more quickly than a tank of propane.

Charcoal grills are more difficult to clean as well. Gas grills just need a good scrub while charcoal grills need to be emptied and cleaned.

Kamado Grills

Kamado grills are a charcoal grill made of a ceramic shell. They function like wood-fired ovens because the thick sides can absorb a ton of heat. They’re also more efficient with their use of charcoal and provide more even cooking than grills made of plated steel.

The Kamado grill can also be an outdoor oven or smoker. They’re a really wonderful grill option that gives you delicious smoky flavor, cooks evenly, and looks great in any backyard. Something else to note is that you’ll need different types of coals than traditional gas grills.

The downside? They’re on the more expensive side. Some models can be found in the $300 range, but most of them are about $700. Even the special coal costs more than traditional.

Check out the top Kamado grills if this piqued your interest.

Pellet Grills

Pellet grills are less common, but they’re still an option to look into. They’re grills that combine different elements of charcoal smokers, gas grills, and kitchen ovens. They’re fueled by wood pellets and can smoke, grill, and bake all in one.

Pellet grills give you good temperature control, and it ranges from 180 degrees all the way up to 500 degrees. There’s also a unique smoky wood flavor you get, especially when you leave food roasting for hours.

The issue with pellet grills is that they’re very clunky and since they aren’t as widely manufactured, they aren’t as developed as the other type of grills.

Where To Buy Grills

Now that you have an idea of the type of grill that works best for you, you might be wondering where you can start looking for them. Most hardware stores should have an entire selection of grills. There’s also the wonderful world of online shopping, where any type of grill can be delivered right to your door.

Outdoor Cooking Changed Forever

When browsing for a new grill, you’ll want to consider different factors. For one, your lifestyle and preferences are important. If you’re looking for a reliable grill with plenty of control, consider a gas grill. If you want some of that smoky flavor, a charcoal grill is for you. If you’re exploring outside of that, maybe a pellet grill is the right call.

If you’re feeling stuck, revisit this grill buying guide and see what each grill could do for you.

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Sheri Croll

The author Sheri Croll