If you are a fan of the traditional charcoal grill and the flavor it offers to food, there are a wide selection of grills available to offer this. Here were are looking at a few of the best charcoal grills currently on the market.
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What can you cook?
To help decide which is the best charcoal grill, it is worth considering what you plan to cook on it. They start with simple grills which are ideal for barbecuing chops or ribs or a few burgers. At the other end of the scale are massive drum grills which can have 1400 square inches of cooking space if you regular cater for large numbers or cook lots of food at one time. When grilling, it can also be useful to have a meat thermometer handy to make sure the meat is cooked properly.
Another point to bear in mind is the airflow of the grill. To maintain a good temperature, a grill should be closed up with only a vent for air to escape. This allows an even cooking temperature to be maintained, and when the cooking is over, the grill can be closed off, the fire extinguishes and the charcoal is saved for the next use.
One of the most traditional, and popular, styles are the kettle grills. These appliances look like a metal ball on sticks which has the advantage of keeping the heat inside it. You can even master laying a fire at one side of the grill so you can cook some food directly and smoke others. These rounded grills have the flavour of a charcoal grill but some are small enough to stand on a table top. Many of them also have easy clean systems to remove the ash.
If smoking food is something you are particularly keen on, then a ceramic grill may be another option to consider as these are perfect for this use. However, ceramic grills tend to be a great deal more expensive than a metal version.
Why choose charcoal?
Why people pick charcoal over gas is a complex subject. It can be something as simple as in our minds; it is more natural to cook on a fire than just turning a knob or pressing a button. The flames of a charcoal grill are a visual connection to this simple idea.
Another reason is the ability to vastly range the temperature of a charcoal grill. With a gas grill, there will be a top temperature which cannot be exceeded. However with a charcoal grill, temperature is defined by the placement of the charcoal. By placing more charcoal bricks together, a higher temperature can be achieved. You can also vary the cooking temperature across the grill if you want to. With many charcoal grills there is the option to use wood in place of the charcoal, with adds a whole range to the flavour of the food.
Many people have also stated it is easier to take a charcoal grill on vacation as it is easier to transport charcoal (and sometimes safer) than it is gas. However some people will have both a charcoal and a top gas grill and alternate between them.
The main downside of charcoal grills is they can be messier than gas grills and need more monitoring when in use as temperature can vary due. They do need to be restoked periodically to avoid heat loss.
The Weber Performer is a charcoal grill composed of a 22.5 inch porcelain enamel bowl and lid which contains a cooking area of 363 square inches. Ignition comes from an electronic Touch-N-Go gas system while an LCD timer and built in lid thermometer allow temperature to be monitored externally.
The grill is attached to a work table to prepare food which has a wire shelf beneath it made from no-rust aluminium while the lid has nylon handles reinforced with glass.
Total unit size: 28 x 50 x 40 inches
The Weber One Touch is a classic kettle grill made from an 18 ½ inch diameter bowl offering 240 square inches of cooking space. The bowl is made from steel and porcelain enamelled with glass reinforced nylon handles as well as an aluminium ash catcher.
This grill operates with Weber closed lid cooking system so the heat can be controlled inside without having to lift the lid. The damper can even be adjusted to allow food to smoke for hours or sear meat in no time.
Total unit size: 18 x 23 x 35 inches
The Meco Square grill is a convenient, take-anywhere charcoal grill which starts quickly and easily. It has 342 square inches of nickel plated grilling area and an elevated fire grate with three cooking positions to allow different finishes of meat all at once. It has adjustable air vents as well as stay cool knobs to adjust settings.
There are two fold-away side tables which assemble with minimal requirement.
Total unit size: 21 x 24 x 10 inches
Once you have selected your charcoal grill, there is one final decision to be made; lump charcoal or briquettes. Lump charcoal is the natural form, made from hardwood which has been carbonised and broken up. There are no additives to it.
Briquettes, on the other hand, are not as natural and can have additives such as sawdust or even paraffin to help them light and burn.
These are just a glimpse at the range of grills available if charcoal is your favoured cooking method.
Hopefully this will help you select the perfect grill for your needs and enjoy your barbecuing for years to come.