Outdoor barbecue grilling is among the fastest growing cooking segments as individuals across the country are purchasing outdoor barbecue grills in record numbers. Flavor is the name of the game when selecting the best barbecue grill for outdoor cooking and there are two main types of grills to take under consideration before making the final purchase of the unit that’s right for your needs.

When barbecue grilling is mentioned, most people think of charcoal-grilled barbecues, units in which the flame for cooking is created using charcoal briquettes as the fuel. Charcoal grills have the benefit of a range of heat, from red hot searing to heat gentle enough to roast marshmallows once the charcoal has died down a bit. Charcoal grills are popular because they are portable and easy to store when not in use. Also, the charcoal flame can add flavor to the foods being cooked by adding specialty wood chips such as mesquite to the charcoal prior to grilling. One drawback to charcoal barbecue grills is that it can take as long as 30 minutes for the briquettes to get to the right heat for cooking and an accelerant must usually be used in order to get the charcoal burning in the first place which can take some skill. to perfect. Charcoal grills can present a safety hazard if children or pets are nearby and the charcoal must burn down completely and cool completely prior to the unit being stored for the next use to prevent fire danger.

For those outdoor chefs who like a barbecue grill offering a quick start and a constant steady source of heat, gas grills that use either gas from a liquid propane tank or a connection to the home’s main natural gas line is a popular choice. Gas grills are very easy to use and operate, creating cooking flame with the touch of one button. Most models come with hoods that allow for large foods such as whole chicken to be roasted. A nice safety feature of gas grills is that the flame can be extinguished immediately. The disadvantage for many barbecue enthusiasts, however, is the loss of the traditional flavor that charcoal burning imparts to the foods being grilled. Also the size of gas grills makes them impractical for carrying to picnic sites and most gas grills should be considered permanent fixtures.

To choose the best outdoor barbecue grill for your pleasure, ask yourself where you will be using the grill and how important it is to be able to move it to another location or even carry it with you to a secondary picnic location? How much food will you be preparing on the grill at any given time? Do you see yourself enjoying the ceremony of getting the charcoal lighted and waiting until the heat is just right or are you an impatient person who would prefer to flick a switch and have your grilling flame up and running? For the occasional steak, hot dog or hamburger for a few friends, a charcoal grill may suffice. But if you are planning on doing regular heavy duty backyard entertaining, including whole chickens and even spit-barbecue meats, a gas powered grill with a hood may be a much more suitable barbecue grill choice.

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