What’s important when cooking outside? Whether you’re cooking in a ‘nicely done’ outdoor kitchen or cooking right outside the back door you’ll find that the most important ‘tool’ is your barbecue grill.
The kind of qrill depends on your needs, tastes, and looks. But there’s more to picking a grill than price and looks.
Do you Need a Built-In or Stand-Alone Grill.
So which kind of grill is best for you? A built-in or a stand alone? If you’re building an outdoor kitchen your contractor will probably ask if you want a built-in grill. In this case you’re probably as interested in aesthetics as the functionaly of the piece. Looks will matter if you’re going for a high-end look and feel to your outdoor space.
If you’re creating an outdoor space in the back yard, patio or deck then a stand alone unit might be just right for you.
What Kind of Fuel
Now that you’ve chosen either a built-in or a stand-alone version of a bbq grill, you’ll want to think about what kind of fuel you intend to use for cooking.
There are options. You can get a gas grill, an electric grill, flat top grill, gas and charcoal combinations. There are even infrared and pellet grills and of course wood fired grills.
I personally opt for a wood fired grill but I live in the country and have an ample supply of free wood for fuel. In a preparedness situation a wood fired grill (or charcoal grill) can be lit and ready to cook in no time. The electric and infrared models require electricity to cook as will some gas models with electronic ignitions. Think about how you want to be able to use the grill. This will help you determine the kind of fuel you want to utilize.
Other Types of Grills
Cooking outside on a grill doesn’t have to be costly. You can use a grate over an open fire (assuming that you live where open fires are an option and there isn’t a burn ban).
Smokers are an option as well. Some bbq grills even come with smokers.
Too Big? Too Costly?
In the real world, most of us have to take cost into consideration. So while that fancy dancy grill might be on our dream list the cost will often times dissuade us. We don’t all need a top of the line grill/smoker/cooker. You might be happy with a little kettle type grill, or a hibachi.
Size matters too. If you have a small deck or patio you don’t want to take up a huge amount of room. You’ll want to be able to place the cooker away from the wall of the house and still have room to move around.
You also probably don’t need a grill big enough to feed an army! Think about how many burgers you’ll be cooking at once. That’s really all the room you need.
When there were kiddos at home… and we had big bbq parties we had this huge grill made out of an old cast iron tank. That thing was enormous. You really could feed an army with that thing! Nowadays we use a smaller wood-fired grill with a side smoker and it’s plenty big enough.
So when buying a barbecue for your outdoor space, go ahead and dream but choose wisely taking cost, size and fuel use into consideration. Your new grill should provide you years of tasty service.