Charcoal vs Gas Grill – Top 5 Pros and Cons Compared

Charcoal vs Gas Grill – Top 5 Pros and Cons Compared

Charcoal vs gas grill, which is better? Follow us as we examine the top five pros and cons in this article!

It’s no secret that the US is a nation that loves its backyard cooking. In fact, 75% of adults here (Source) own a grill, so it clearly is a popular activity. From Fourth of July barbecues to tailgating at a football game, there’s nothing that screams patriotism quite like burning a burger or a steak on your outdoor burner.

You could be one of these adults looking for an upgrade or a member of the 25% who doesn’t own a grill and has realized that you should. Either way, you’ve definitely asked the age-old question: gas or charcoal?

Here, we’re going to help you answer that by comparing the pros and cons of a charcoal vs gas grill. So keep on reading for some insight as to which is best for you!

1. Convenience

A factor to consider in buying anything is convenience. After all, no one likes to be having difficulties with something when they could be off eating and watching the game with friends and family.  That’s why you have to consider whether gas grills or charcoal grills are more convenient first and foremost.

While charcoal grills are usually smaller, gas grills don’t take the same amount of time or energy to start up. Instead of having to feed charcoal into the grate, you can just put the meat on the grill and turn a knob to start heating it up.

Gas grills are also much easier to clean than charcoal ones. You can just wipe them off without having to worry about getting little coal bits out of the grate. So when convenience is considered, a gas grill wins hands-down.

1-0, in favor of gas, but the game’s still just kicking off!

2. Authenticity

When people go to a barbecue, one of the biggest draws (aside from the company, of course) is that smoky meat flavor that you can only get off a grill. Even though a gas grill might be more convenient, don’t feel too set on it yet. That smoky flavor comes from the charcoal you’re grilling your meat over.

When you grill on a charcoal grill, your food picks up the flavor of the burning coals. That’s what gives it that token smoky BBQ flavor you know and love. A gas grill just can’t compete when it comes to authenticity of flavor.

Charcoal’s catching up and the score is 1-1. What comes next!?

3. Speed

You might think that charcoal has it in the bag after reading that, but speed is also a practical factor in choosing a grill. Especially if you’re cooking for a lot of people, you don’t want to be stuck reigniting the flame over… and over… and over… and over.

The bad news is that you’d definitely be stuck doing this with a charcoal grill. A gas grill is much faster. All you have to do it put down more meat when you finish cooking what’s on the grill, maybe occasionally scraping the residue off.

2-1. Gas is in the lead again? What a close game…

4. Size

One of the reasons that gas grills are so fast, though, is because they’re huge. Because of their size, gas grills can be hard to lug around, making it hard to have barbecues in other venues. This means tailgating’s probably out unless you get one of those fancy tiny grills.

Charcoal grills are much smaller. This means that they’re easily portable and can be put in the trunk of a car or carried into someone else’s yard or park. This will definitely be a factor to consider if you want to have pre-game parties, so charcoal definitely has the pro here.

We feel obligated to note, though, that even though gas grills are less portable, charcoal grills will require you to carry around… charcoal. Which can, admittedly, get heavy. Still, charcoal wins this round because it’s easier to make two trips to get a grill and a bag of charcoal than to enlist all your friends to cart a gas grill around.

2-2. We’re still tied! Let’s see where the last inning takes us.

5. Taste

We’ve already talked about how charcoal grills have a more authentic, smoky flavor, so you might just be thinking that they win in the taste category hands-down. You might be thinking, great! Decision made! Charcoal wins 3-2!

Well, you’ll be sad to know that this section is actually… a tie.

See, while charcoal grills give a heavenly smoky flavor to ribs, steak, or chicken, a gas grill will do just as well (Source) at cooking things like burgers, hot dogs, and fish. These things don’t need to be seared too highly and heating them up on a gas grill gives them the right flavor… and saves time.

This means that whether gas or charcoal wins in the flavor category just depends on what you want to cook. If you’re a red meat lover, then yes, charcoal is probably for you. But for backyard burgers or a post-fishing meal? Gas will do the trick.

2.5-2.5. It’s a tie, and there won’t be overtime!

Decide on Charcoal vs Gas Grill

The question of whether a charcoal vs gas grill is better is one that people have been arguing about for decades. That’s because as much as you try to get an objective answer, there just isn’t one.

Charcoal grills and gas grills each have their own pros and cons. We do hope, though, that this article has at least given you an idea of which might be best for you based on what you value in a grill!

Now that you know some of the pros and cons of charcoal and gas, check out our tips on how to make the best ribs on your new grill. Your taste buds won’t regret it.

Have fun!

Smokin’! What You Need To Know When Choosing A Meat Smoker

Smokin’! What You Need To Know When Choosing A Meat Smoker

Whether you’re shopping for your first meat smoker or you want to add to your collection, use these tips to pick out the perfect one for your needs.

Over $1 billion is spent on grills and smokers each year in the U.S. alone. Every year there are more and more to choose from. This can get a little overwhelming. 

It can be hard to figure out what the right kind of meat smoker is for you. For this article, we are going to focus on different aspects of smokers. Once you have finished reading you will have a better idea of what you are looking for. 

What Is Meat Smoking?

Smoking is a form of cooking meats with the use of heat and smoke. It is a slower cooking method than normal cooking or grilling. The temperature at which you cook the meat will be much slower, allowing for the meat to be much more flavorful.

How Much Should I Pay? 

Smokers come in all shapes and sizes and offer different gadgets and features. This means they will come in a variety of price ranges.

Price Range

First, you need to know, can I afford this? Smokers can cost anywhere between $8 – $2,000. Once you know how much you can afford to spend you need to figure out how often you are actually going to use it.

Usage

How often you plan to use your smoker can play a big role in how much you should spend. If you are only going to use it every now and again it wouldn’t be cost effective to buy a more expensive smoker. 

You also need to look at who you are using this smoker for. Are you using it to supply an entire restaurant? Are you putting it in your backyard to feed your family and friends?

If you’re not cooking for a lot of people, you don’t need a large smoker. 

The final factor is the size of the smoker. How much space do you have for the smoker? If you have a small backyard it wouldn’t be practical to buy a smoker that won’t even fit in your backyard.

You also have to consider how much empty space you have around your smoker, as you don’t want to catch anything on fire. 

What will you be cooking on it? If you are doing smaller pieces of meat you don’t need a smoker that can fit an entire turkey. 

Types Of Fuel For Your Meat Smoker

There are different types of smokers, which means that there are different fuels you can use. The type of fuel you decide to use will have an impact on the flavor of your meats. You can add wood to any variety of smoker (to add extra flavor), but the fuel will still have an impact on the flavor.

Charcoal

This type of smoker is going to give your smoked meats a unique flavor. If you want a bit of a smokier flavor this is a great grill option.

Wood Pellets/Chips

Wood pellets will give you the most authentic wood flavor and the smokiness your meat needs. If you want more of a woody flavor vs. a charcoal flavor, you may want to invest in a wood smoker.

Gas/Propane

Gas smokers will cost a little more than charcoal grills, but they tend to be more efficient and easier to clean. They will have some smokey flavor but not as much as a charcoal smoker.

Electric 

If you don’t have a backyard, this may be a good option for you. An electric smoker can sit on your counter in your kitchen (depending on the size). It doesn’t offer as much flavor as charcoal or gas smokers do, but it is a good alternative if other types of smokers are out of the question.

Temperature Control 

Charcoal smokers will be the hardest to control the cooking temperature with. You need to make sure the coals are maintaining their heat and are not burning out.

If they cool down too much you need to reheat them, which means your temperatures are going to keep changing constantly. These types of smokers need the most maintenance.

Wood smokers use automatic heating, much like an electric smoker. The difference being, you are getting your main heat source from the wood pellets. Keep checking to make sure you don’t need to add more pellets to your smoker. 

A gas smoker is the easiest to use when you want a controlled temperature. The temperature is consistent. You don’t need to keep checking it to see if the temperature has changed.  

Electric smokers offer a variety of features that can allow for consistent heating. While it does offer some temperature control, a lot of it will come down to how much water you have in there. If it gets low on water you will see the heating distribution fluctuate. 

With all methods you can use a water pan for better temperature control.

Extra Features Of Smokers

When looking at all these different kinds of smokers you might be wondering about how convenient they are for you. After all, they could be more tedious to operate than you might expect them to be. It can cause frustration if you have to buy something later on, that you could have had the first time around.

2 in 1

Maybe you only want to use a smoker only every now and then but still plan to grill a lot. In that case, it may be cheaper to buy a smoker that comes with a grill. It will definitely be more affordable than buying a smoker and a grill separately.

Movable Shelves

If you want a smoker that has a lot of shelves, you may want to look into whether they are removable. Maybe one day you want to make a bunch of smaller pieces of meat and the shelves are just fine where they are. If you decide you want to make a bigger piece of meat however (like a whole turkey) you need to make sure you can remove some of them to make room for that big bird.

Water Pans

Water pans help with temperature control so they are good to have, no matter what type of smoker you choose to buy.

Drip Pans

If you don’t want to have drippings all over the bottom of your smoker, a drip pan offers quicker cleanup.

And if you are someone who likes to make sauces from the drippings of your meat, you will definitely need a drip pan.

Ease of Use

Once you know what type of smoker you want, the next thing you need to know is how easy or complicated it will be to use. Can you easily add the charcoal, water and/or wood to your smoker? You don’t want the most basic things related to barbecue smoking be a hassle – getting the meat done perfectly already is work enough.

Next, you want to look at how easy your smoker will be to clean. Can you easily clean all parts of your smoker or are there hard to reach spots that make it difficult to clean? Do they have easily removable parts that make cleaning up more efficient?

The charcoal and wood pellet smokers will require the most cleaning up because you will have a lot of ash residue left over.

It is important to really be clear about what you want and need from a smoker to make the right decisions when you are looking to buy a smoker.

Final Words

Once you know what you expect from your smoker, your next step will be to figure out where you want to buy one. You could go into a store or conveniently browse your options online. The best thing to do is to look at reviews online or ask a professional before you make your final decision.

If you have any questions about meat smokers or other types of grilling, feel free to contact us or read up on the resources we already offer – you will be a grillmaster in no time!

BBQ Grill Accessories – Spotting The Best For You!

BBQ Grill Accessories – Spotting The Best For You!

For those of us who aren’t masters of the grill – where do we turn for advice on BBQ Grill accessories? You have stumbled upon the correct place! Read on for all you ever wanted to know about BBQ accessories!

Barbecuing obviously involves knowledge of the basics. For instance; you require a grill and a fuel source – but what else do you really need? Have you considered where you would buy tongs? What about an apron? Do you even know what a vaporizer bar is, yet?

Don’t worry, we are here to help you through the process and turn you into a BBQ pro!

What BBQ Accessories Will I Need?

There are so many more grilling accessories out there than you think – BBQ is almost a professional sport!

There are accessories for things you never even thought of before: want to keep a Kebab securely together while it cooks? You need a kebab grill holder. Want to season your food without adding salt that needs to be scrubbed up after? You need a Himalayan salt resting board. The list goes on and on…

Because there are so many Grill Accessories available on the market, we have attempted to classify them into the following categories:

  • BBQ Accessories You Cannot Grill Without
  • What BBQ Accessories Make Grilling More Satisfying
  • Luxurious BBQ Accessories

BBQ Accessories You Cannot Grill Without!

In the old days, top of the list here would be tongs – but we like to operate on a safety first basis and that means protecting your hands.

Again; back in the old days this would mean going barehanded or borrowing a pair of oven mitts but nowadays you can be fire safe with just about the coolest ranges of grilling gloves out there.

Gloves

Business Insider recommends the Steven Raichlen Best of Barbecue Extra Long Suede Grill Gloves as their number one choice. While we like the idea of protecting both the hands and forearms – and we also love the soft suede finish – we prefer our gloves to be a little more heat resistant.

To that end we turned to the Grill Heat Aid range and their Extreme Heat Resistant gloves. They are fully insulated, made from Aramid Fiber, silicone lined and come in at a very similar price.

Pro Tip: If you want to stay safe when handling hot coals some professional grillers recommend a pair of welding gloves as a cheap alternative. We don’t argue with the pro’s here!

Tongs

Tongs are more complex than you would think. Certain models have a decorative finish or a theme to them but we caution about buying these.

When selecting a good set of tongs, ensure that there is no groove down the inside of the metal. A groove running towards your hands will filter grease and hot oil onto your fingers if you are holding them upwards. This can cause burning if you haven’t got your gloves on!

A good set of tongs will have a wooden or plastic grip – professionals favor plastic because wood stores germs more easily. Tongs with a scooped end on one side are particularly useful for turning flat items.

Length is also to be taken into consideration. The closer your hands are to the grill the more likely you are to get burned.

We like this Dragonn Premium set of 2 tongs for both their shape and their grip; but they are lacking a scooped end. The plastic handle is in the right place to protect your hands and they are a good price for a set of two. They are also one of Amazon’s best sellers with solid reviews.

For the purposes of scooping, longevity and durability we love the Grill Beast BBQ Grill Tongs. The downside is that they are a little more expensive and come with a wooden grip which will eventually crack and split.

Pro Tip: Buy your tongs from a catering supplier instead of in the local market. Catering suppliers build their tongs to withstand the wear and tear of a professional kitchen – so they have durability most tongs just don’t have.

Portable Grill Rack

When you have one of these you can potentially change any open flame into a BBQ. All you need to do is flip the rack open, place your food inside, and then flip the rack closed so that both handles are together. Once this is done you can safely flip and grill over even an open campfire.

The Portable grill rack can also be used with home grilling small food items like shrimp, diced chicken breast and thinner meats like stripped minute steak. These items have a tendency to fall through the grill and onto the coals and the grill rack prevents this.

Our favorite portable grilling rack is this Grilling Basket from Mmtong. FDA approved for food use, stainless steel, dishwasher safe, rust proof – and a safe dual plastic grip on the handle to stop your hands burning.

However, if you want the kind of portable grill rack that you can leave over your campfire unattended (or use as an extra shelf for your backyard grill) then check out the Amazon Basics Campfire Grill. It is well made, sturdy steel and easy enough to add to your camping gear to grill on the road.

Pro Tip: A good sharp knife, some tongs and a portable grill set are all you really need to BBQ anywhere you like – as long as you have a flame. An apron is recommended to keep your clothing safe and other tools are useful, but a good griller can turn a campfire into an outdoor feast with the use of only a portable grill.

What BBQ Accessories Make Grilling More Satisfying?

There are a number of available products that you don’t necessarily need for grilling, but that will serve to make the whole meal more pleasant (and make your job easier to boot). We listed some of them below.

Other Tool Sets

For those that want to go pro and start out with a full set of tools, merchants devised the BBQ grilling tool set. These sets include things like fish slices, a set of tongs, the correct meat knives and other assorted goodies.

The best quality and value for money we have seen in grill tools, was the Cuisineart CGS-5014. So far it has solid reviews and is available at a discounted price. It includes 14 tools with shears, two knives and a 13 piece bamboo tool set; as well as your tongs etc.

Cuisineart might not be a big name in BBQ but they are recogniseable in catering as a fairly solid brand. For those that are dedicated to the cause the Alpha Grillers Heavy Duty set is another one that caught our eye. It is highly durable extra thick stainless steel but it is only a four piece set for a similar price.

Meat Thermometer

While there is nothing wrong with a good old fashioned meat thermometer like this Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer – times are changing. The most advanced meat thermometers are now wireless…

That being said there is something reliable and worthy to the Read Meat. It comes with a three year warranty and it has all the settings you need; alongside the added benefits of being battery operated.

However, modern food practice advises that you do not use the same thermometer across different cooked foods as this spreads risk of cross-contamination.

Get some probe wipes to wipe it down between uses or get yourself one of these: the Rhinoco Digital Laser Temperature Gun. This has no probe.

You point it at the meat, a little red laser shoots out and detects the temperature of the meat and you don’t need to touch anything with it. No wipes needed… it’s what the pro’s are using.

Coolers

If you are out barbecuing under the sun in summer then a cooler is a must – particularly on camping trips or if you intend to leave early in the day and eat later.

Not just necessary for beer; a good cooler will keep your meat at a safe temperature until it is ready to consume. Any meat over 5 or 6 degrees may well spoil – so for long trips a cooler is vital.

If you are on the go and camping, then we like the Zuzoro Insulated Lunch Bag for its innovative use of space. You should be able to get a lot of different meat types in there and easily transport them safely.

For those trying to trek lots of food over a long distance, check out this wheeled cooler box: The Igloo Ice Cube Roller Cooler. And for those that just want a good cooler for their backyard, try the Coleman 16 Quart for reliably good value for money.

Aprons

OK, so they might not be the coolest thing in fashion, but they do keep you safe from sparking charcoal and popping wood.

The best aprons are heat resistant while still being safe to be in contact with food. Although safety is a consideration, many use their apron to state their dominance of BBQ. Check out this one by Bang Tidy clothing, for example, or this one by Grilliacs.

If you genuinely want a safe apron then we recommend the Hudson. It is tough, durable, long lasting and water resistant. It has metal pins holding it together, pockets, and everything you need to get your grill on safely – while still looking rugged.

Stock Pots

A good pot set is a necessary tool in any kitchen – even backyard ones. If you want to make sides on your Barbie, then you need to have some good pots.

Pros will tell you to go for non-stick coatings and choose thickened enamel pots or to stick to copper bottomed pans. Don’t waste your time with the lightweight stuff, it won’t last longer that a few uses.

If you want the absolute ultimate in deluxe pots we point to the Vertical Roaster Oven. This device has a rotisserie function built into the pot. So you could be rotisserie cooking a whole chicken while you BBQ other meats.

If you just want something a little more basic but that still gets the job done, then try the Granite Wear for less price.

Luxurious BBQ Accessories

There are some touches that just add the final love to the BBQ experience. They turn it from a happy occasion to a joyous feast. We researched the best of them to give you a few options.

The BBQ Plank

That Himalayan Salt Resting Board we talked about earlier? You can find it here for less than the price of a good set of gloves. It just makes the added touch so special by seasoning any food you put on it.

Your job is easier, it looks fantastic and guests will be super impressed. You can buy one on Amazon courtesy of Zenware.

Smoker Attachments

If you own an electric or a gas furnace BBQ grill then you might want to add something in to get that smoky flavor. We like this Grill Smoker Box by Mountain Grillers. Simply place it in your grill and start cooking. It will give out enough smoke to put the juicy flavor back into your meat.

Flavorings

Some call them Vaporizer Bars, others call them flavorings – whatever you call them, they are used to add taste to your meat.

Flavor enhancers come in all different varieties and often involve you wrapping the food in strips of paper flavored with differing wood scents. We like this range from Uncommon Goods.

Kebab Grill Racks

To secure your food and make kebab’s easier we recommend this from the Outdoor Kitchen Warehouse. It is made from full stainless steel and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Summing it All Up!

There are so many BBQ accessories available today that we haven’t even scratched the surface with this article – although we think we have given you a fair impression of what sorts of things are on offer.

Among other tools you might need you will find basting brushes that are heat resistant, tote bags for cooled items, gauntlets to protect your arms, non-stick rib racks and all sorts of other goodies.

If you want to know more about BBQ then you have come to the right place! Simply browse our range of articles and find out all you need to know – but don’t forget to recommend us to your friends and share this if you think it will help others.

The Top 20 BBQ Grill Trends That Will Change The Way You Grill Forever!

The Top 20 BBQ Grill Trends That Will Change The Way You Grill Forever!

We scoured the internet to find the newest, hottest trends in BBQ and then we brought them together, just for you! Read on for the top trends in BBQ Grilling this season!

Anyone who considers themselves good at BBQ knows that it has fads and fashions just like any other industry… but what are the top BBQ Grill trends? We took a closer look to try and find out!

BBQ Grill trends are how the traditional BBQ managed to evolve into the myriad of options that we have today. Each new trend brings new innovation, and new inventions!

For example: there was a time when people would have laughed at you for cooking with the lid on – but now we know that this action helps cook food more thoroughly. Times change, we learn and the equipment we use is adapted.

BBQ Grill Trend 20: The Dual Fuel Grill

Starting with the more basic of inventions and working our way up; we favor the dual fuel sourced grill as our 20th top BBQ Grill trend.

We don’t just mean combinations of wood and charcoal – we mean the grills that transcend two fuel types that are completely different. This Outdoor BBQ Grill by Backyard Grill runs on both gas and charcoal, so you can add natural smokey flavor to your gas grill, cook with clean gas only or go old-school and cook on the charcoal.

BBQ Grill Trend 19: The Combination Grill and Smoker

There has long since been heated debate in the professional BBQ world as to whether the Smoker or the Grill is a better tool – and now you no longer need to choose between them.

The recent conjunction of the BBQ and the Smoker allows you to either buy a model that combines both in one; or to add a Smoker box to your existing grill, should there be enough space.

A good example of the combined grill and smoker is the Meco Deluxe 2 in 1. It’s neat, tidy, electric and a natural evolution from the dual fuel models mentioned above. If you don’t want to invest in a whole new grill though, try a Smoker box on for size. If it fits it may be the perfect solution.

BBQ Grill Trend 18: Flavor Pellets

Whereas in the old days we needed to rely on sourcing different woods to get different smoky flavors into our meat – now all we need is to purchase a packet of pellets.

These genius little goodies go in the smoke box to add a sense of wonder and uniqueness every time you grill. Known BBQ brand Traeger run a signature collection that are reliable, but you may also enjoy experimenting with some different combinations of flavor.

BBQ Grill Trend 17: The Laser Heat Thermometer

The Laser Heat Thermometer allows you to read the temperature of your meat while it is on the grill and therefor tell you if it is cooked through to the middle.

Knowing the temperature of your steaks can help you accurately cook to rare/medium/well done levels and a probe is a vital tool in any kitchen… the laser temperature gun doesn’t touch your meat – unlike a normal probe which needs to be cleaned between uses.

This makes it more food safe, as well as helping you burn better!

This model by Holdpeak is a good example. It is battery operated, works using infrared technology and gives high accuracy readings.

BBQ Grill Trend 16: Pink/Peach Paper

Although it has been around for a couple of years; this is one trend that is here to stay. Pink or peach butcher paper has always been used for butchers to wrap their wares in for customers to take home. It is a sort of sealing paper made to keep all the juices of the raw meat inside and contamination free.

When we apply this to BBQ the heat resistant paper will only char. Sealed inside your pink paper wrapped meat will be all of the juices that it cooks in – similarly to wrapping meat or fish in foil to save the juices when cooking. The difference is that the paper is non-stick, allowing you to keep all the goodness. Traeger make pink paper and it is known to be one of the best varieties. As always, you can also pick it up at Amazon.

BBQ Grill Trend 15: Heat Resistant Gloves

Let’s talk safety now: oven gloves are not only a bit silly looking but they are also cumbersome and restrictive. That being said – BBQ’s burn you if you don’t take the necessary precautions.

If you want to burn safely and look good while doing it then you need to get in on the heat resistant gloves trend and get yourself some good gloves.

We love the style of this pair by Semboh, which are also Amazon best sellers. However, we also like the Rapicca Griller BBQ Waterproof gloves purely because their long sleeve will keep your forearms protected too.

BBQ Grill Trend 14: The Chimney Lighter

A chimney lighter is an instrument we can use to start our charcoal BBQ’s first time. Anyone who has ever tried to light a fire outdoors knows that it can be a tricky affair – and we love the fast-fire trend!

The Chimney starter is a must for those that own a charcoal-only grill and don’t want to buy firelighters on a constant basis. Check out this one by BBQ Dragon as an example of what shape they are. Most good models come in under $30 too, so there really is no excuse not to get in on this trend.

BBQ Grill Trend 13: Portable Grill Racks

This trend sees a portable grill rack attached to either a) your camping gear, or b) attached to the top of your backyard grill to give you an extra rack. This is a massive space saver no matter how you use it.

When taken on camping trips the portable grill rack props up neatly over any campfire, allowing you to cook your meals no matter where you are. When attached to your own big BBQ it will provide extra cooking space.

The second type of portable grill shelf is handheld and features two handles which unfold like a book. The food is placed on one grill rack and the other is then folded closed on top. Both handles then come together in the hand.

These types of portable grill racks can be used in the same way as a freestanding one – but they can also be used to cook vegetables, kebabs, shrimp and any other small food that might potentially slip through the grill otherwise.

BBQ Grill Trend 12: The Master BBQ Toolbox

Only a master goes to the grill equipped with their own toolbox. A BBQ tool set contains all of the items you could need to effectively work that cooking space.

Now we all know the importance of a good set of tongs – but each individual piece of food has its own required tool to properly prepare it, and accumulating those tools has always been important… what’s new about this trend is that amateur BBQ’ers the world over are imitating the competing professionals and getting their own toolboxes – specifically devoted to the grill!

There are two ways of doing it. You can buy a regular toolbox and fill it withgriddle accessories, or you can invest in a BBQ specific model, like this one, by Suck UK.

BBQ Grill Trend 11: The BBQ Grill Light

Sometimes the sun sets while we are still waiting for the coals to cool enough to cook on and we are left cooking by the light of the fire – or by the backyard safety light!

Recent innovations have resulted in some clever companies designing durable, hard wearing and long lasting outside lights suitable for attaching to your grill so that you can see what you are doing.

We like this model by Grill Kindle because it allows both general and task lighting.

BBQ Grill Trend 10: The Rotisserie

Adding a rotisserie function to your grill hasn’t ever really been a possibility until the last few years. It started with the introduction of the rotisserie grill – similar to those used in kebab shops but on a much smaller scale – and has graduated towards the condensed, much smaller rotisserie version that you can add to your own grill.

There are two different options to adding this to your grill. You can invest in a product like this Rib-O-Lator, or you can invest in the rotisserie pot.

Both will cook your food by rotation, but the Rib-O-Lator requires you to buy a rod and motor if you want it motorized, while the pot is already motorized and therefor may present the cheaper option.

BBQ Grill Trend 9: The Vegetable Basket

2019 sees us all moving towards healthier foods. People want all natural, all organic and sometimes even all vegan BBQ food… don’t let them down. The simple addition of a vegetable grilling basket is all it will take to satisfy everyone.

BBQ Grill Trend 8: Grill Matting

Grill mats protect your surfaces, give you a gripped surface that doesn’t see your meat slide off and prevent you from storing cooked or raw meats on cold steel. They are heavy duty, non-stick, reusable – what’s not to like?

BBQ Grill Trend 7: Spare Tire BBQ Rack

One of our favorite new trends is the ability to go grill it up out in the wild – and nothing else exemplifies this quite like the FrontRunner Spare Tire Mounted BBQ Grate. You truly have to see this to believe it, so head to their page and have a peek.

BBQ Grill Trend 6: Himalayan Salt Block

This is such a neat trend and is a definite favorite of ours. The Himalayan salt resting block allows you to season food without having to cart the salt outside with you.

We all know salt shakers are susceptible to picking up grease and dirt outdoors – so this is a very eloquent solution. This trends sees the pros use a salt resting block for their food. You don’t need to season anything – just cook it and rest it on the block.

The best known maker of Himalayan Salt Blocks for your BBQ are Sur La Table; but for a product you can actually afford see this one, from Himalayan Secrets.

BBQ Grill Trend 5: The Motorized Grill Brush

We all know how troublesome it is to get the charring off the grill rack. Make it easier on yourself this coming BBQ season and invest in a motorized grill brush. This invention was a stone’s throw on from the old handheld tool… and it makes you look so much cooler…

We like the Chef Buddy because it is cordless and has an in-built scraper as standard. However, it you are going for cool then the Brookstone might be a better suit…plus it has steam cleaning capabilities!

BBQ Grill Trend 4: Grill Clips

Besides the Portable Grill Rack, Grill Clips are the smaller, more neat and tidy way of keeping your small food secure and stop it from being lost through the rack.

This set from Charcoal Companion are exactly the sort of thing we are talking about. They work like a crocodile clip and securely grip the food so that it doesn’t fall off. Two of these could hold your kebabs in place or each could grip multiple shrimp.

The Grill clip is reasonably new but we predict it is going to take off this year.

BBQ Grill Trends 3: Portable Solar Cooker

Following in the footsteps of our very favorite trend: the belief that BBQ can travel everywhere with you – comes the portable solar cooker. This new piece of kit allows you to cook your food when fire isn’t possible, and when fuel is irretrievable.

We love Sun Ovens International product which does exactly what it says it will… it uses the power of the sun to cook you a meal. As far as fuel consumption goes this is the peak of technology and, although it might not give you the best BBQ taste, it is the very cheapest to run.

This is a trend we expect will gain traction in years to come, especially once they figure out a way to preserve the smokey flavor of BBQ.

BBQ Grill Trend 2: The Propane Gauge

What could be better than knowing when your fuel is about to run out and being able to stock up in advance rather than ruining the party?

While you can buy cheaper models of this such as the DozyAnt model the newest trend sees wireless monitoring and digital displays, like this model, from Tank Utility, which connects through your Smartphone via app.

BBQ Grill Trend 1: Grillbot!

If you thought the motorized grill brush made life easier then meet the advanced model…Grillbot. This little guy is a Roomba for your grill. You set it up, switch it on and it goes to work. You might never need to pick up another scrubbing brush again!

Given that we are living in the middle of a digital revolution we think the Grillbot is going to take off in the coming years.

And that concludes our list of the top 20 BBQ trends so far. Remember and check in with us for next year’s trends!

The Best BBQ Grill Gadgets That Can Improve Your Grillmaster Quality Of Life

The Best BBQ Grill Gadgets That Can Improve Your Grillmaster Quality Of Life

If you’re into grilling then the two most important items to invest your money into are without a doubt a good BBQ grill and good quality meat. However, there are other things you need to think about.

That’s why we’ve compiled the best BBQ grill gadgets that can enhance your barbecue game, make grilling a little bit safer and have you enjoying your time in front of the flames all the more.

While getting yourself outdoors and cooking up a feast may be a lot of fun, there are obviously a few dangers to think about. After all, the last thing you want to do is suffer from burns.

In addition to health and safety, there are many items on the market that can make life easier for you and improve the quality of the meals you’re working hard to perfect.

Even though there are many novelty items out there that don’t really add any value, there are also many awesome gadgets that can make a nice little difference.

Marshmallow Roasting Forks

As you probably know by now, grilling can be a serious business. Given the heat and obvious dangers involved, it’s usually best to keep kids well away when you’re in the heat of the moment and trying to manage a grill full of pork chops, burgers, sausages, or whatever you have going on.

There are other times, however, when it’s actually quite nice to make the barbecue a fun-family zone.

Buy yourself a bag of marshmallow roasting forks and you can get everyone involved, while taking care of desert at the same time. Simply stick a marshmallow (or two) onto the end of the fork, allow it to toast in the heat and enjoy.

Perfect for camping, or even backyard gatherings.

Probe Thermometer

If you’re cooking up burgers, then it’s usually not too hard to gauge whether they’re cooked or not. Seeing how they’re nice and thin you can usually tell when they’re ready to be served, or even cut into one of them for good measure.

But what about the chunkier cuts of meat? What if you’re cooking up a giant slab of brisket, or an entire rack of ribs?

A probe thermometer allows you to insert a probe, deep inside, before getting an accurate reading of temperature. This means you don’t have to use guesswork, or ruin the presentation of your meat by trying to take a peek inside.

Meat Injector

While a thermometer allows you access deep inside a cut of meat, a meat injector will allow you to go one step further. If you’re worried about your meats drying up a little, or want to add a little bit more flavor to the proceedings, then a meat injector is just what you need.

Simply fill the barrel with your desired marinade and inject the cut of meat. It can work wonders for your flavor and taste.

Pizza Stone

Fed up with cooking meat on your BBQ every single day? Chances are that you’ll never get bored of it, but wouldn’t it be nice to mix things up every once in a while? Using the pizza stone is simple. Lay it on top of your grill and put your pizza on top once things have heated up.

What works especially well is that the heat becomes evenly distributed across the whole of the surface, so you shouldn’t have to worry about any heat spots causing you to have to be vigilant and rotate every two minutes.

The pizza stone can also be used for breads, so if you like your buns nice and warm without getting a charcoal effect then this is a great gadget.

Cheese Melting Dome

Sometimes it’s the little touches that make meals extra special. Let’s say you want to eat a delicious cheeseburger. You’ve selected the tastiest grass-fed beef hamburger patties you can get your hands on. You’ve flame-grilled them to perfection, with the perfect balance of char and juiciness.

Next, you lay a slice of cheese on top, hoping for it to melt nicely, attaching itself to the top of the burger, and what do you get? The sides drip down onto the flames, while the top doesn’t melt. Your burger ends up being overcooked and the cheese is a mess.

What you need, therefore, is a cheese melting dome. When it’s time to lay a slice of cheese on top of the patty, simply cover with the cheese melting dome and it will provide a consistent oven-like environment by capturing heat.

The cheese now melts perfectly into the burger and your cheeseburger is enhanced to the fullest.

Heat Resistant Silicone Grip Gloves

While you may have developed the skill of using tongs to move your meat around while avoiding the intense heat, there are often many instances where the use of your hands is way more effective.

That’s why it’s essential to get yourself a good pair of heat resistant gloves. Many times, amateur grillers become timid and half-heartedly attempt to pick up, or move meat that’s on the grill, only to watch it fall between the grates and onto the charcoals. Surely you want to avoid such blunders?

Being too overtly brave, however, will lead to continued burn marks on the fingers and hands. There’s got to be another way, right?

That’s why having a pair of heat resistant silicone gloves on hand is essential. Especially ones that have a good grip where you can get a good handle and control over your food.

BBQ LED Lights

Are you fed up with being restricted on when you can and can’t grill? There’s nothing worse than having to rush, or worse, call off a session on the grill because the day is ending and the dark of night is fast approaching. Well, now you can forget about any barbecue curfew.

BBQ LED lights are the perfect accompaniment to allow you to continue barbecuing after dark.

All you have to do is simply attach them to the grill handle above and let them light up the spectacle below. The best thing about the LED lights is that they are heat resistant! Therefore, it doesn’t matter that heat rises from the grill and they’re right in the firing light of heat.

You want your lighting not to come from the side but directly from above, highlighting the grilling action that’s taking place below, so you can keep a good eye on the state of your food as it cooks.

Smoker Box

Do you want to further enhance the flavor of your grilled meat? Have you always craved the intense smokiness of meat from a smoker?

Now you can get it, without having to fork out for an expensive smoker unit.

A smoker box is essentially a thin stainless steel box that you can fill up with wood chips and place on top of the flames, below the grater. When the box heats up, it lets out an intense, yet consistent flourish of smoke.

While it doesn’t quite give you the same quality of smoking that, say, a pellet grill would get you, it’s a pretty good alternative, at a fraction of the price.

If you’re going to use a smoker box, then it’s recommended to that you avoid pine, treated plywood, or other resinous woods. Stick to proper wood chips. There are so many different variations of wood chips that you can buy, so have fun playing around and experimenting with flavors.

If you don’t know where to begin, then hickory wood chips will give you an intense smoky-bacon flavor that works especially well with ribs, mesquite is great for dark meats and red meats, giving a full-bodied and earthier flavor, while apple is more slightly more suited for poultry and hamand has a sweeter and milder flavor than most other wood chips.

Flat Metal Kabob Skewers

Kabob skewers are an excellent way to cook and serve a wide variety of items in one go. All you have to do is have chunks of your desired meat, along with pieces of fish or vegetables, such as onion, zucchini, tomato, and bell pepper.

The only problem with the standard pole skewers is that they often roll. That’s why it’s usually better to use flat ones.

Another good thing about using metallic skewers on the grill is that the metal heats up and helps to cook the inside of the meat as well.

A kabob skewer can be used get to get some veggies on your plate and as a fun alternative to a standard cookout.

Bear Paws Shredder Claws

Are you a fan of pulled pork, or other shredded meat? If so, Bear Paws shredder claws are ideal, and are an extremely versatile gadget to have around.

Clutch them in your fist and they essentially act as clawed extensions of your hands. If you have a hunk of pork and you want to turn it into a nice quantity of pulled pork then the use of your Bear Paws will have you ripping it to shreds in no time at all.

They’re not only useful for pulled pork. You can use them on all different types of meat, including brisket and turkey.

Customizable BBQ Meat Branding Iron

There are some gadgets that fall under the category of health and safety and others that make your grilling process more efficient or make your meat taste better.

Then, there are other items that you might consider buying purely for the fun of it. A meat branding iron is one of those items.

If you’re skeptical, then simply ask yourself ‘how awesome am I going to look when I serve up a piece of meat that literally has my name on it?’

The idea is simple: you choose what you want to say. For example, you could tell them who cooked it with a phrase like ‘Grilled By Tom’ or something catchy like ‘Enjoy my meat.’

Get the appropriate letters and attach them to the end of the branding iron. Place the letter-end over the flames or in an area of intense heat and leave for twenty seconds or so to become super-hot. Then, promptly thrust the letters into the cut of meat that’s cooking. What you’re left with is your charred name or slogan left into the meat.

Again, not an essential gadget, but a lot of fun to have in your BBQ tool kit.

Don’t Forget The Basics

Of course, while it may be nice to equip yourself with a vast array of elaborate gadgets that add new dimensions to your grilling and make barbecuing even more fun, don’t forget about the basics.

Ensure you have a good set of basic tools that include some tongs, a spatula, fork, and brush to apply additional marinade and baste your food while it’s cooking.

Another thing that you should never overlook is cleaning. By making sure you stay on top of things and clean your grill after each and every use, you’re going to ensure it lasts a lot longer and your food doesn’t succumb to any of the foul tasting elements that are caused by charcoal, oil, and grease that easily accumulates if you let it.

A wire brush and scraper that are appropriate for the grill material you have, to ensure it gets maximum cleaning without being damaged are a must.

Finally, a weather resistant cover is needed to guard your grill from the outside elements when it’s not in use. Always cover it up to avoid the wind, rain, and condensation in the air that can cause rusting. A good quality cover can be far more important than any gadget you may buy.

That being said, any gadget that’s going to enhance your grilling and make your cookouts more enjoyable is probably well worth the investment.

After all, grilling is supposed to be an enjoyable activity. It gets you outside and enjoying the outdoor elements so make sure you’re always having fun.

If You Are Buying A BBQ Grill Then Read This Guide To Make The Right Choice And Find Your Perfect Grill!

If You Are Buying A BBQ Grill Then Read This Guide To Make The Right Choice And Find Your Perfect Grill!

If you have the desire to fire but don’t know what equipment to burn on – have no fear. This article contains all you need to know to get you on the go – and barbecuing till your heart is content.

Shopping for a BBQ Grill is confusing when you don’t know anything about BBQ. This is because there are so many choices in fuel source, in construction shape, type and material, in color, size, price – so you are forgiven if you get a little lost along the way.

We are going to attempt to straighten out the mess for you by starting at the beginning and talking you through it. Read this guide before you go shopping to find your perfect BBQ grill.

Shopping For A BBQ Grill: Where Do I Start?

  1. Decide where and what you want your grill for
  2. Backyard use: get a sturdy, solid (preferably cast in stainless steel) model
  3. Camping use: get a portable model – these are mostly charcoal fueled
  4. Indoor use: get an electrical model

First things first: decide where and what you want your grill for. If you want a model designed for backyard use then it needs to be sturdy, solid, preferably cast in stainless steel and built to last in all seasons. You may also wish to consider buying a cover for a model such as this so that it is weatherproofed all year round.

If you are interested in BBQ wherever you go then you want a portable model. Some of these are drum shaped and depend on charcoal; some are compact, small, and electrically powered. If you are camping you can buy a portable grill rack to turn any campfire into a BBQ without needing any other equipment. This is the cheapest option by far, but remember it depends on a fire to work.

Those that want an indoor model might benefit from an electrical model. Both electrical and gas fueled BBQ’s have the same issue – they do not taste of smokey BBQ flavor. The electric variants suffer the worst for this.

For home models you have a range starting as small as the George Foreman models and ranging as big as indoor smokers. The main difference between a gas grill and an electric grill is that gas grills should be used outdoors for fairly obvious reasons.

Smokers themselves are a little different. They use a combination of dry heat and smoke to induce flavor into meats and cook it slowly over time. Once smoked the meat will be preserved and cured, as well as tender and delicious.

You can also get cold smokers but you should be wary of buying these for home use since they do not cook the meat and therefore don’t necessarily make it safe for consumption without engaging in a second cooking process.

BBQ Grill Shopping Phase 2: Fuel Source Types

So if you can’t narrow down exactly what you want based on location (i.e. you know you want a backyard BBQ Grill but still don’t know what type) let’s try narrowing things down via fuel source:

  1. Charcoal
  2. Wood Burning
  3. Gas Burning
  4. Electric

Charcoal BBQ Grills

One of the most common types of fuel for your grill will be charcoal (Wikipedia). Charcoal grills do not need anything other than firelighters and a match to ignite – but you can buy fire-starting kits online if you struggle. Check out this one by Weber, for example.

Charcoal Pros:

  • Gives the authentic smokey BBQ taste.
  • Sears then Caramelizes the meat.
  • Very cheap to buy.
  • Burns longer than wood.

Charcoal Cons:

  • More Carcinogenic than other cooking types (Men’s Health).
  • Sometimes you run out of charcoal…
  • You need to wait until the coals are white hot to cook.
  • Tricky to ignite.

Wood Burning BBQ Grills

Wood burning stoves are often found in DIY BBQ’s (Grilling Companion; we don’t recommend trying this at home). The best thing about wood is that it is found in abundance if you live near a forest. If not, it is still reasonably cheap to buy.

That being said; a wood fired BBQ grill will vary in price as some sought after wood types add flavor to the meat. Cedar is a preferred wood, for example. Although wood is free/cheap to buy in basic form it also burns very quickly and spits at you. It also smokes excessively if your grill gets damp.

Wood Pros:

  • Free or cheap unless you buy treated or specialized woods.
  • Sustainable source, particularly if you are gathering it yourself.
  • Fantastic smokey flavor.
  • Easier to relight coals that have burned to charcoal.

Wood Cons:

  • Burns fast most of the time.
  • Smokes a lot if it gets wet, also difficult to light when damp.
  • You need to cook over hot embers, so wait till it burns down.
  • Can burn the outside of meat without thoroughly cooking the inside.

Gas Burning BBQ Grills

Gas burning BBQ grills depend on (you guessed it!) gas to work. There are two types: Propane or Methane (also called ‘natural’ gas).

In actuality propane is made in the treatment of methane to turn it into butane. So although many people choose methane as a preferred ‘environmentally conscious’ option they are only really cutting out the refining process.

Gas grills need to be used outdoors unless specifically otherwise stated by the manufacturers. Portable gas grills are absolutely not to be used inside your tent… you may poison yourself.

Gas Pros:

  • Reasonably cheap to buy canisters of gas.
  • Can choose between natural and standard.
  • No mess, nothing to clear up other than the grill rack.
  • Easy to ignite and generally durable.

Gas Cons:

  • First purchase of gas drum can be pricey, afterwards refills will not be costly.
  • Lacking in smokey taste.
  • Fumes are dangerous if it is incorrectly stored or used.
  • If you are hooked up to a standing propane tank and it runs out mid BBQ you have to call off the whole thing. With portable models you can just add another canister.

Electric BBQ Grills

If you choose electric it may be because you want to have a BBQ grill indoors. While this is just fine, a small electrically heated grill with a BBQ style plate in it is widely disputed in the professional world as real BBQ.

That being said the more you spend the more authentic BBQ taste you can save. Electric models can contain smoker boxes which you can fill with flavored pellets, wood chips or charcoal to add your own smoke. Most of these models are sort of metal-closet shaped and are known as vertical grills.

Pros of Electric BBQ grills:

  • Neat, often compact, can be stowed when not in use.
  • BBQ flavor can be achieved if you spend more on an elaborate model or smoker box.
  • Outdoor models are available.
  • Cheap to run – possibly the cheapest of all in terms of energy consumption.

Cons of Electric BBQ Grills:

  • No BBQ taste unless you specifically add it.
  • Must be near a power socket (ergo not good for camping).
  • Often require you to spend money on additional items such as wood chips or pellets.
  • Can be expensive for big models initially (Grill2Day).

BBQ Grill Shopping Phase 3: A Few Recommendations

We looked at a range of the best sellers and most highly recommended via customer review and sorted them into categories of which purpose they are best suited to. Hopefully this will help you get a feel for the type of products you should look at, depending on what you want to use the grill for.

Best Outdoor BBQ Grill: The Char-Broil Kamander

This nifty little number gets the top spot because it is a combined smoker and grill, giving you the best of both worlds. It is a charcoal stove with a cast iron cooking surface and tubular steel supports. It comes on wheels for ease of movement, is insulated to help you burn less furl and features a locking lid, a heat gauge and 2 shelves. An all round good model.

Best Indoor BBQ Grill: Top Grill BBQ Griddle Indoor Smokeless BBQ

This electric grill allows you to bring the BBQ indoors if you ever get rained off! This model has an extended surface area and a ribbed grill atop a separate heater, all set in cast aluminum that wont rust. If you want a dinner party style BBQ with the food in the center that everyone can help themselves to then this is the model for you… sort of like BBQ Tapas!

Best Charcoal and Wood Grill: The Weber Performer Premium

This charcoal grill has a porcelain enameled lid and a 363 square inch cooking area. It has a removable LCD timer, swivel locking, a storage compartment and a one-touch cleaning system with a removable ash pan. This is the copper colored model, but it also comes in black and other colors if you are willing to pay a little more. Weber are one of the biggest names in BBQ so they know how to build a model that lasts.

Best Gas Grill: The Char-Broil Performance 300 Liquid Propane Gas Grill

This is a two burner grill, allowing you to keep one end cool for storage or to use the lid to turn it into a convection oven. It comes with 300 square inches of cooking space, its own storage cabinet, a stainless steel lid and a mounted temperature gauge.

It sports electronic ignition sits on wheels, allowing you to move it easily and then lock it into position. It also has a swing-away rack with porcelain coated cast iron grates – the same material used in the cooking surface.

Best Electric Grill: The Masterbuilt Meg 3355

Masterbuilt are a reasonably big name in the professional BBQ world and their goods are often time-tested and durable. This particular model can be both an outdoor or indoor grill and we love it for the value for money you get. It comes with a digital controller, both handles and wheels to make movement easier, heats quickly, cooks evenly and is made from stamped porcelain coated steel around the cooking surface.

Best Smoker: The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

Weber run a whole range around their Smokey Mountain smoker. This porcelain enameled instrument won’t rust or peel and has two cooking grates for loads of room. A temperature grommet monitors head and the dampers are fully adjustable for access to supreme smoky goodness.

As well as the smoker, you also get a cover to keep the rain off, a limited warranty and a lid thermometer thrown in for good measure. As well as all this, you have Weber’s customer service to rely on, so although it might run pricey it is always a good deal.

Best Camping BBQ: The Char-Broil Grill2Go

This is a really handy model with loads of built in reinforcement and safety measures. It locks which is very important when dealing with gas and portable BBQ’s, has a temperature gauge and comes with a cast aluminum firebox and lid – making it highly durable. It has a high impact frame with both legs and handles and features as much as 200 square inches of cooking space.

BBQ Grill Shopping Phase 4: Go Shop!

At this point you should be able to make an informed decision before you charge in head first and spend a load of cash! As a general guide try to go for a model with a warranty, as much storage and cooking space as you can afford and that meets your needs.

We also recommend that you invest in a cover if your model does not already have one included in the price. A cover will keep your BBQ Grill safely protected when not in use.

Now that we have enlightened you as to where to start, getting on the road to BBQ success should be a fairly easy task. We hope we helped at least a little – and also that any BBQ beginner’s bookmark our page and return for any BBQ advice they may need in the future.

Want to know what the best way to burn is? Follow our page and we will fill you in!