The perfect grill for your next cookout will depend on a few factors. First, you need to know how many people are coming over and what type of food they’ll be eating. You also have to decide if you want an electric or gas grill, charcoal or wood-fired grill, natural gas grill or propane tank grill. If it’s just going to be a small group of people who enjoy the same type of food, then a small tabletop high quality charcoal kettle barbecue is best. However, if there are more than 15 people in your party that have different preferences when it comes to foods then an outdoor gas griller from our wide selection would be better suited for your needs. The first step in finding the right size grills starts by considering how many people are going to be using it on average each time they cook outside. If you have a large family, then consider buying an extra-large model so everyone can enjoy their dinner together without having to take turns at flipping burgers and hot dogs on the smaller grill.
If so, it is important to find the right size. The size of your grill will depend on how often you plan on using it and whether or not you have space constraints.
There are four main types of grills- gas, charcoal, electric and pellet; each with their own pros and cons. Gas grills work best in climates where weather patterns change unpredictably during the year because they can burn natural gas or propane which adjusts to the temperature conditions outside. Charcoal works best in dry areas with low humidity due to its ability to maintain heat longer than other fuel sources while also being cost-effective. Electric grills are perfect for apartments because they don’t produce
Your grill is one of the most important investments you will make for your outdoor cooking needs. Whether you are just getting started or looking to upgrade, there are many factors that go into determining what size grill is best for your family. What size grill do i need? This article will help you find the right size grill for your needs and avoid any frustration with investing in a new grill only to find out it is too big or too small.
Grill types and sizes
Each type of cooking method has its own grill. Wood, charcoal and gas grills are common choices. While a few will be portable, most large grills will need to remain stationary at a home or other location, as they require at least a small amount of open space for proper operation. The next decision is the size of the grill. Each size comes with advantages and disadvantages from portability to available cooking space.
What size grill do i need? There are three common sizes for backyard grills: full-size, mid-size and tabletop. A full-sized unit can cook food enough for the average family’s needs – it might have multiple burners that measure about 28 inches in diameter – though can also work well several people barbecuing together. A mid-sized grill will have enough space for a single family or small gathering, with its burners measuring about 18 inches in diameter. The final size is the tabletop unit that has models that are about 12 inches in diameter because they are for personal use.
Portable grills come in one of two forms: gas or charcoal. Gas units are either disposable canisters or hook up to a home’s natural gas line, while charcoal units have all types of configurations, from portable folding options to built-in grills on camping trailers.
A majority of backyard grills use propane, natural gas or charcoal as fuel sources. Each method comes with advantages, from convenience to cost-effectiveness and from safety to flavor-producing benefits.
Charcoal grills provide a smoky taste as they operate slightly differently than gas or electric models. The charcoal is burned over the grate so it adds its own unique flavor as foods cook. However, this can have downsides as well including increased fire risk and having to tend the coals throughout cooking instead of being able to set a time and temperature to stay warm until guests arrive, for instance. There are also charcoal stoves that lay flat on surfaces much like a gas stove top does which allows for more even heating across the surface of the grill because it lies completely level. These types of grills usually need electricity to operate.
Gas grills are typically easier to use and clean while providing a consistent heat source. They require propane or natural gas for fuel, which is controlled by knobs much like the controls for an oven in a home can be used with ease. Families will appreciate how simple they are to light and get cooking with them often rapidly heating up compared to charcoal options. Gas grills may need electricity depending on what type of ignition system they have but it is not required unless the grill has additional accessories such as electronic rotisserie burners that slow roast chicken or turkey for instance. These types of grills usually need electricity to operate some features such as infrared burners requiring it in most cases.
Electric grills provide a simple and clean way to start cooking without needing fuel sources of any type. Their smooth surface creates a large amount of surface space for grilling on them, but they can be difficult to use in windy conditions as the heat source is focused on one zone instead of distributed more evenly across the grate like with charcoal or gas options. These types of grills usually need electricity unless they are battery powered.
each design making some type of sound when used and all three types emitting their own unique sounds as well. Gas grills produce the highest levels because propane or natural gas burn at higher temperatures than charcoal available online through Weber or at hardware stores. This usually isn’t a problem unless grilling during late evening hours when the sound of even the quietest gas grill can disrupt outdoor activities.
Charcoal and electric grills produce less noise because of their reduced use of fuel sources and more efficient burners that don’t require as much power to operate. Charcoal emits a crackling or popping sound while it’s cooking, but this is hardly anything beyond ambient backyard noise for most people. Electric grills operate with very little noise at all in fact they can be nearly silent when using them with family members not noticing.
You may like this: Top 10 Best Electric Grills Consumer Reports
What is the best size grill for my family
What size grill do i need? Based on your usage, there are several types of models to consider.
If you’re looking for the best all-around, gas grills are recommended by many users that have to cook large meals frequently. Their power and ease of use make them great for everything from burgers, steaks and hot dogs to more challenging foods like chicken wings or meaty kebabs made with marinades. Gas grills usually cost more than electric or charcoal models though they come in many different sizes and designs priced accordingly.
Those who need a grill but don’t want to worry about cooking fuel should consider an electric model. Electric grills require no propane, natural gas or charcoal which means there’s no need to purchase expensive fuel sources or worry about them running out in the middle of cooking. They are typically much easier to clean than gas grills, but they take longer to heat up and don’t cook food as quickly so large batches may need to be cooked in several sessions instead of one long one. Electric grills are also usually more expensive than other types available at hardware stores for example.
Charcoal grills can be used for everything that gas grills can do . The main difference is that charcoal models require use propane or natural gas for ignition before starting with charcoal briquettes which provide the heat source. This usually isn’t an issue because briquettes are inexpensive, easy to light and distribute heat very evenly. Charcoal grills can be a bit of a hassle to clean because ash and bits of food remain after cooking, but they usually cost less than electric or gas models.
Hibachi style grills are traditional Japanese-style tabletop charcoal grills and some people prefer them for certain dishes like steak and vegetables (image above). They cook food more quickly thanks to their small size and position directly over the heat source, but these aren’t good choices if you need to do large batches at once or cook many different types of foods. Hibachis also require regular cleaning in order to prevent rust and corrosion, which isn’t difficult with practice.
A family will have a lot of events throughout the year so it is important to have an adequate cooking space. Also, one should consider how much time you really spend cooking on your grill each week or month? If you are grilling during the week for breakfast and lunch, you don’t need a large cooking surface because you won’t be spending too much time at home in the weekday. On summer weekends when you are hosting friends around, then it’s time to take out that 6 burner beast!
Of course, there are some other factors that determine what size grill would suit you best: Do I just barbecue during the weekends? Will I always use my outdoor kitchen to cook for parties with guests? Is living in an apartment limiting my grill size? Do I need to carry my grill around with me when we go camping or boating, or is a large cart not an issue? – These are just some of the questions to ask yourself.
What size grill do i need? We consider the best size for family or large gatherings to be at least 240 inches total cooking surface: 100+ Sq Inch Main Cooking Grids and 120+ inches of Side Burner Surface Area (or Side Burners). These can serve as useful reference points when shopping for your next barbecue grill. You do not need all the bells and whistles if you’ll never use them, but more advanced features may add value to certain types of cooks. Most manufacturers provide such information on their websites so check out the specifications before making any purchases!
Grilling tips for beginners
Grilling is not difficult. But there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your menu, cooking the food, and keeping the grill clean that will maximize everyone’s enjoyment of tonight’s dinner. Before you start shopping or firing up the coals, take a look at our tips for successful grilling.
Don’t have too much of your product on hand. Keep three types of meat available: one high-fat protein which takes well to heat (duck), one lean protein which takes slightly longer to cook but stays juicy inside (salmon) and one bird so it can be cooked through quickly over hot coals without burning outside. Ensure you have all vegetables ready to go on skewers so they are easy to put on and take off the grill.
Have an extra set of hands to help you with recipes that require multiple steps, especially any involving cutting or shaping. This will keep your focus on cooking rather than listening to instructions which is easier said than done. You may also want someone there to handle the hot tray full of food coming out of the oven/from the grill if they are not wearing protective gloves! As well as having another person handy for physically challenging tasks such as flipping food over, moving large pieces of meat from one end of the grill to the other (always use tongs) or stirring coals (which should always be done with a pointed stick never your hands).
Prepare BBQ sauce, fish sauce, dips or dressings before you start cooking. You don’t want to be slaving over the stove when your guests are starving. So set out these sauces/condiments in advance so they are ready to go as soon as the food is cooked. If using live fire (charcoal) ensure it’s hot prior to starting by building a pyramid of coals on one side of the grill with two layers of charcoal and lighter fluid. Let this heat up for about 15 minutes then spread the coals out into an even layer covering all racks on the barbecue covered grate side up. Add extra wood chips to smoking box if desired- these will produce more smoke.
Using infra red thermometer. This is especially helpful when grilling meat and poultry to gauge internal temperature and ensure it’s cooked. Set the thermometer to a specific temperature based on your desired doneness (rare, medium or well done). Do not rely on the “touch method” of pressing your finger into the food to determine doneness as this can result in undercooked meat.
Keep raw meats separate from other foods until they are ready to be grilled. It is very important that you keep all meats separated from vegetables and other items while prepping for grilling- even if you plan to serve them together at dinner! This will prevent cross contamination and keep any bacteria present on the meat away from anything else. There should also be separate utensils used for handling raw and cooked foods to prevent contamination and shorter cooking times for the meat.
Pre-cook vegetables that need a longer time on the grill (carrots, potatoes). Soft vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms do not take long to cook on the barbecue so add them last before you put the food on your serving plates. Otherwise, you will be waiting all night while they burn or overcook! Hard vegetables such as onions and butternut squash should initially be placed away from direct heat so they can caramelize slowly with indirect heat until tender yet still firm enough not to fall apart.
Keep your grill clean at all times while using it! There is nothing worse than eating burnt food because someone was too lazy to clean out the barbecue before using it! Grills should be properly cleaned and sanitized at least a half hour before cooking with a wire brush. A moist cloth with a mixture of hot water and baking soda or white vinegar can also be used to wipe down the surfaces between uses.
Keep sauces, marinades and dips away from flames. You don’t want anything flammable near open flame as even finishing sauces such as BBQ sauce will ignite if too close for too long. This can cause hot oil from frying pans or other items to catch fire so keep all food items on the side where they cannot come into contact with burning wood chips or other ignition sources. If you are using charcoal ensure this has burned down enough first before adding food items so there is no chance of flames.
See more: Top 7 Best gas grills under $200 Reviews
Which type of fuel should I use to cook with a gas or charcoal grill
We all know you can grill with any type of fuel, but which one is best? To answer this question we must look at the pros and cons of each.
First let’s define what briquettes are. They are made when sawdust, wood scraps or other organic materials are combined with recycled products like used tires, coal ashes and even plastic to create charcoal. The mixture is then shaped in ovens where they harden to form small logs that burn for a long time without much ash residue accumulating in your grill. It takes about 3 pounds of raw material to make 1 pound of finished briquettes.
Charcoal is probably the most popular choice by grillers throughout America and it’s so easy to prime and use. The smell and the taste that you get from charcoal is unrivaled by any other type of starter fluid. You can even add flavor wood chips on the coals to add a nice smokey taste to your food.
Liquid propane, aka white gas has been the choice for many years because it’s so easy to light and temperature control. Many people love cooking with L.P., but it does have one drawback in colder weather when the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 Celsius); you can’t use it because it will not vaporize easily which makes lighting difficult or impossible.
Electricity is used by some grillers who simply plug their equipment directly into an electrical outlet, no batteries required. Though many people find this type of grill much easier to use, it does have its drawbacks such as the need for a power source and the fumes that escape from the hot electric elements.
Naphtha is another popular choice by grillers in America because it’s so easy to light and also helps you get a nice sear on your food. It has no smoke or odor when ignited and cooks well in all types of conditions and weather. But there is one drawback: if using an aluminum pan under your grate, Naphtha will cause corrosion, which can be dangerous because it releases poisonous gases when burned.
Kerosene liters are great fuel for cooking with gas because they burn cleanly, allowing your grill to reach high temperatures quickly. This is great when you need to get things done in a hurry, even when the weather is less than ideal. Kerosene liters also burn hot and provide great sear marks on your food. However just like Naphtha, it will corrode aluminum pans and grates if placed directly over the flame.
So, we know that charcoal briquettes are the most convenient choice for home grillers who want to grill with gas because all you need to do is open the starter and cook away. But what about taste? Well, there’s something magical about cooking with propane, so our vote goes out to L.P., hands down!
Different ways to cook with a grill – including recipes
Grilling may well be America’s favorite way to cook outdoors, but we’re still limited by the four seasons and the weather each season brings. Fortunately, there are lots of ways we can use our grill year-round thanks to helpful accessories such as panini presses, woks and Dutch ovens.
This article will deal with some basics for starting out and then provide recipes for steaks
People like their steaks done differently … medium rare, medium well, etc. The following is a very generalized way for getting a good steak; however, you need to experiment with your own tastes too. A great indicator of when the steak is done is when the meat changes from being bright red to dark pink. The problem is that if you rely on this as a sure fire way of knowing, you can still end up with a tough steak so it’s best to use the touch method as well.
Step 1: Let your steak sit out for about 15 minutes before going outside. This will allow the meat to come closer to room temperature and will ensure even cooking throughout.
Step 2: Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. If you have some fresh herbs, instead of dried, feel free to sprinkle those on as well. Don’t forget that there are many different kinds of salts out there – kosher, coarse sea salt, etc.; each one provides its own unique flavors so try them all if you want to.
Step 3: Preheat the grill on high with the lid down for about 10 minutes. This is generally enough time to bring the center of your steak up to room temperature, but if you’re not sure then just check it often by touching it with your finger or an instant read thermometer. The meat should feel cooler than body temperature before you put it on the grill so that it’s more likely to cook evenly throughout.
Step 4: Put your steak on the hotter part of the grill first and close the lid so that heat can build up around the exterior of the meat. Depending upon how large your steak is, this could take anywhere from 2-5 minutes per side. Flip only once unless you are cooking larger cuts that require more time on the grill.
Step 5: Once you’ve closed the lid, reduce the heat to medium-low and let your steak continue cooking until it reaches your preferred level of doneness. For most steaks I prefer medium rare which is an internal temperature of 135°F (57°C). If you want your meat cooked more than this, just increase the number accordingly – 145° for medium well, etc.
After practicing with different cuts of meat on my own grill, here’s my advice for getting good results for a variety of cuts:
Sirloin steak, flank steak and skirt steak: high heat for two minutes with medium-low being reduced to ~25% afterwards.
Ribeye steaks and pork chops: high heat with the cover on for about four minutes with medium-low being reduced to ~25% afterwards. Burgers: high with the lid on as long as it takes them to get slightly charred on top, then reduce to medium-high or medium if you prefer more even cooking throughout. Chicken breasts: high heat only! Don’t ever fool around with trying to cook these on anything other than hot coals. Boneless/skinless thighs: lower the temperature down just a bit, but keep it high.
Keep in mind that there are several different ways to build a fire, banking coals against one side of the firebox or keeping them spread evenly across it. I use a two-zone fire where the coals are pushed up to one side and I put my meat directly over these for about five minutes before moving it to the other side. The flames created will sear your meat and keep it from sticking while allowing plenty of residual heat to cook through until done.
This is all my own personal method which has worked well for me when cooking on both gas and charcoal grills. Experiment with your own tastes but remember that when using high heat, your meat will need to spend less time on the grill and indirect heat can be used for slower cooking times.
See more: Top 6 Best Flat Top Grills
How to clean your grill after cooking on it – including how often you should be cleaning it, the best way to clean it, and what tools are needed for cleaning a grill
The amount of time and effort needed to clean your grill depends on how much you use it and what type of grill you have. First, we’ll take a look at the different kinds of grills, and then we’ll cover some benefits of cleaning them regularly.
Before we get started with how to clean your grill, let’s first quickly go over why regular grill maintenance is important. The food that comes in contact with your grill can be contaminated if it isn’t cleaned properly after every use! If not taken care of properly, there are some health risks involved with eating food cooked on a dirty grill. Cleaning it will help prevent toxins from spreading into any new dishes that are prepared using the same grilling surface. Secondly, a clean grill will help you create those distinctive sear marks and avoid any cross contamination.
Now, the first step to cleaning your grill is to unplug it and let it cool down before attempting anything else! Then, you’ll need a brush that’s specifically designed for grills. A common household dish brush won’t cut it here as they’re too stiff and don’t have enough flexibility which means they just push the stuck bits of food around but don’t remove them from the cooking surface. You can use either steel or brass brushes with short bristles, but make sure they are long enough to get under the ridges on your cooking grid where most of the gunk tends to accumulate. If you don’t already own a grill brush of this variety, they’re fairly inexpensive and often come in sets. Now that you have your grill brush on hand, let’s get to the cleaning!
For a gas grill
If there is any leftover food debris in or on the cooking grates (which will likely be stuck), remove it using tongs and avoid touching anything with your hands. • Once all of the large pieces are out of the way, spray some nonstick cooking oil onto your grill brush. • Scrub back and forth across the grilling surface until most of the residue has been removed from the grate bars. • Next, take a clean rag or paper towel with a splash of water on it and use this to soak up any remaining grease from the grilling surface. • If you didn’t use a cooking spray before brushing the grates, then soak up some grease from the grill using a rag or paper towel and then scrub as usual with your brush. • The remaining residue should come right off!
For a charcoal grill
The process of cleaning a charcoal grill is similar to that of a gas grill but you’ll have to let it cool down even more so you don’t burn yourself on any residual heat from the burning embers! In addition, it’s best to use tongs for removing larger food chunks instead of your hands unless they’re protected with gloves. Once all of the large pieces are out of the way, soak up some grease from the bottom grate bars with an oiled rag or paper towel. Then, use your grill brush to finish the job.
Now that you know how to clean your grill, how often should you be doing this? Once a month is sufficient for most people but it does depend on how frequently you’re using the grill and what’s being cooked on it. For example, if you’re cooking vegetables, fish, chicken breast or beef patties then once every couple of months will suffice because these usually don’t leave much stuck residue. On the other hand, if you’ve grilled ribs or are having burgers with cheese in them – which tend to leave behind bits of food – than cleaning your grill after every time could be beneficial to avoid any possible health risks.
Important features to consider when purchasing a grill
When you set out to purchase a new grill there are some important features you will want to consider. Some of these things may not be necessary for your plans, but if they are – it is best to know about them so that you can make sure your project provides the outcome you’re looking for.
Where your project will take place is probably the first thing you need to consider when deciding which grill to purchase, so let’s start there. How much space do you have? What are the weight limits? Will it stay where it is or will it move around, be stored outdoors for some portion of time, etc.? If moving your unit is part of your plans – you’ll want to make sure that features such as wheels are included, otherwise they quickly become useless after being installed. Perhaps you will require additional accessories or maybe there are things that just look cool.
What will the grill be used for? What types of food require different fuel or may affect how you use your unit? Even though propane is easy and convenient, charcoal briquettes are often the preferred choice for many cooks due to their slightly richer flavor. A little research goes a long way when deciding which type of fuel will work best for you! Also keep in mind that if you plan on cooking fish or poultry that staying away from extra-virgin olive oil would be wise. Vegetable or canola oils tend to produce less smoke and therefore result in better tasting food. Smoking large cuts of meat is also facilitated by the use of a water pan. This allows the meat to cook from both above and below simultaneously – resulting in much more even cooking and moisture retention than you would get otherwise.
Do you prefer direct or indirect heat? If you choose a unit that provides both, can they be used at the same time? Or do you need to switch up the coal bed every time your plan changes? There are many options available for those who enjoy grilling as well as smoking. One important factor is how easy it is to rearrange your coal bed when necessary. There is nothing worse than having everything ready for indirect heat only to find out that your charcoal won’t light!
How big do you want your grill? This may seem obvious but consider what types of foods you will cook most often and how much volume they require before committing yourself to a size. The standard rule of thumb is 1 lb. of raw meat per 1 person served. It definitely helps if your grill can accommodate such quantities, but you can still get by with a smaller grill if it’s just for lunch or an appetizer. If you plan on feeding 50 people at once though – you won’t be getting any food inside until everyone has arrived!
>> What size grill do i need? See more: Top 10 Grilling Tips
Read more: Top 7 Best 5 Burner Gas Grills You Can Buy
Conclusion – What size grill do i need
The answer to the question of what size grill you need, is largely dependent on your living situation. If you are single and live alone, a small portable grill will likely suffice for most grilling needs. However, if you have a family or often host parties with friends, it would be wise to invest in one of the best gas grills above that has more space for cooking larger amounts at once. You should also consider how much time you spend outside during the summer months when deciding which type of grill may work best for your lifestyle.
One of the best things to do when you are looking for a grill is to consider what size will fit your needs. If you have an expansive outdoor space, then it may be wise to get one with more grilling area so that there’s plenty of room for all your guests and family members. However, if you live in a smaller home or apartment complex, then getting something small might work better because it won’t take up as much space on your balcony. Whatever type of setup you prefer, we can help find the perfect match for any situation and budget!
What size grill do i need? You will want to consider how many people, or what type of meat you will be cooking on it when purchasing a new grill. The best way to find out if the size of a particular model is perfect for your needs would be by reading customer reviews and comparing them with our list below. Which one do you think may work best?
Choosing the right size grill can be a difficult decision, but it doesn’t have to be. We recommend one of these grills as your final choice if you want something that will last and give you great results. You should consider how many people are going to use this grill and what types of food they typically cook before making your final purchase so you get exactly what you need at an affordable price point. When all is said and done, we hope our comprehensive list has helped make the process easier for those who may not know where to start when looking for their first or next outdoor cooking appliance because finding the perfect match isn’t always easy! What size grill do i need? Let us know which one was best suited for your needs in the comments below!