It’s supposed to be a beautiful weekend. You and your friends are looking forward to a fun day of outdoor activities, cooking out, and lounging by the pool.
While browsing your options, you quickly discover that this may not be quite as simple as you thought. There are many types of grills, most of which can be classified under two main categories; charcoal grills and gas grills. The options can become overwhelming. Before you make a decision, be sure you know what is involved in using each of these choices. Everyone grills differently, and what’s right for someone else might not always be right for you.
The four main types of charcoal grills are small tabletop grills, braziers (grills without lids), rectangular grills with hinged covers, and kettle style grills.
The advantage: Using charcoal produces a better taste. These grills also tend to be a lot more compact and easier to store.
The disadvantage: Charcoal tends to be a bit messier and harder to clean than other methods. You will have to know how to stack your charcoal briquettes and light them safely.
How to: The amount of briquettes you should use will depend on how large your grill is, how much food you are cooking, weather, and cooking time. There are several methods for lighting your grill. One method you can use is to stack your briquettes into the shape of a pyramid. Soak them with lighter fluid, never gas, allowing the fluid to soak in before lighting the grill. After your charcoal has burned for a couple of minutes, carefully spread it out into one even layer.
There are essentially three types of gas grills. These include infrared grills, indoor grills, and outdoor gas grills.
The advantage: Gas grill enthusiasts rave that these contraptions are super easy to light and generally have a bigger surface for cooking.
The disadvantage: For propane gas grills, you have to have a large supply of propane at all times. Replacing propane tanks can be a big expense and a major pain. For natural gas grills, you have to have an entire gas pipe system installed into your house, ready to plug into the gas burner valve.
How to: These grills come with lava rocks. Always be sure that they are clean and in place. Place your propane tank according to manufacturer directions. Now you’re ready to light your grill. Make sure that the control valve is open as well as the grill lid. Turn the gas flow control to full and press the light switch.
Get to Grilling:
Now that you have chosen the perfect grill and learned how to use it, you just need to pick your food. For an easy meal you may want to go the traditional hamburger and hot dog route. For this, you will not need a whole lot of time. If you have a lot of time on your hands and don’t mind spending some extra bucks, you may want to go a bit bigger. Barbeque chicken, Steak, Ribs, Pork, Shish kabobs, Shrimp, and Veggies are just some of the things you can try.
Always clean your grill right after use. It doesn’t matter what kind of grill you are using. Cleaning your grill will keep your grill in good shape and your food tasting fresh.
To keep your friends coming back for more, be sure to mix it up a bit every time. Try different methods of seasoning along with different sides, drinks, and desserts. For a meal that is over the top, try soaking your meat in beer and spices overnight and grilling on low for a longer period of time. Always be sure to have plenty of activities for your guests. Be sure you keep unwelcome guests (gnats and mosquitoes) at bay with a good repellant and have a good supply of sunscreen. Most importantly, have fun.