There are two facts you have to consider when shopping for an outdoor charcoal grill. Fact #1, Size matters. It’s a fact that charcoal barbecues produce great tasting meat and fish, but they can be expensive to fuel and the biggest ones are not necessarily the most convenient for any job. Charcoal is also a bit of a pain to get started, and you have to wait quite a while before you can actually cook on it. The bigger the grill is, the harder it is to get started. You also have to burn a lot more charcoal in a larger grill than you might in just a tabletop hibachi style.
Smaller grills are much more efficient to start and use. The smaller the grill is, the less charcoal you have to use. Still, you don’t want to have a party and spend the whole time while your guests are socializing sitting behind a grill, cooking hot dogs one at a time. Worse yet on a small grill, your cooking time is limited by the amount fuel it can carry. There is nothing worse than having your coals die out right in the middle of roasting a big slab of ribs or a thick steak.
A big barbecue is a great investment if itís something that youíre going to use often. Fact #2, Shape is important too! Some of the smaller bucket or cone-shaped grills are really great. They heat up quickly and concentrate heat to give you a good cooking area. The problem is a lot of times this cooking area can be too small. You need to think about the kind of cooking area you are going to need most often. Are you planning on having the occasional steak, or do you need room to cook hotdogs and hamburgers for the whole soccer team? If you plan on using your grill a lot it is best to pick one with a large surface area. You’ll be able to feed everyone in a pinch.
Size and shape are very important when it comes to buying a charcoal grill. Think about how you’re going to use your grill most, and spend money on a better one in whichever category you pick. You won’t be disappointed with the results!
Outdoor Charcoal Grill Buying Tips
First of all, how much meat are you looking to cook? If you’re just interested in making a few burgers and hot dogs at a time, then you can think about getting a smaller grill, for example, a Hibachi. These grills are very portable, inexpensive, well-made, and they will last a long time. It’s a simple grill and there’s no heat source beyond the charcoals which you must light manually. Just pour on the coals, put some lighter fluid on, and you’re ready to cook.
On the other hand, if you’re going to be making a lot of food, for a big outdoor party, then you’re going to want to look into a larger grill. Weber makes an extensive line of gas grills, which are powered by propane and use an electric starter. These are all great grills, and if you’re looking for a good deal on a good piece of equipment it’s hard to go wrong with them. On the other hand, if you can spend some extra money, Viking makes the top-of-the-line stainless-steel outdoor grills. These things are huge, they’re rock-solid, and they are quite expensive. Be prepared to spend several thousand dollars on one. But they are definitely the best grills out there. You can make dozens of burgers, steaks and hot dogs on one of these, and there are also cabinets and shelves to hold all of your stuff. It’s like an outdoor kitchen. So if you’re really going to be professional about it, get one of those.
The second fact to consider: Do you want a gas grill or just a regular charcoal one that you light with lighter fluid? The first one is somewhat easier to use, but the second is definitely cheaper, and its much more portable, if you’re going camping or tailgating. So take that into consideration. You might be happier with a simpler and cheaper grill if you’re not cooking huge amounts of food.