The Best Gas Grill, Charcoal Grill, Smoker, Pellet, and Griddle Reviews
We all love fresh food off the grill. If you love barbecuing, no matter if it's smoking, searing, or Korean and Japanese hibachi-style grill cooking, we cover it all, ad-free! Join us as we explore the latest in pellet grill technology, the different types of charcoal you can use, including lump and briquettes and what's best. Infrared grills, electric smoker technology, and all the weird and wonderful products that can deliver amazing new ways to cook and enjoy BBQ. We talk about propane and natural gas grills, inbuilt grills and beautiful outdoor kitchens.
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Chargrills.com reviews the best BBQ grills, complete with articles, tips, and tricks. Join us as we talk about outdoor grilling, portable grills, tailgating, and summer fun. Nothing compliments a good time like some grilled food, except for maybe beer. We may just talk about beer at some point, too. (Beer butt chicken, anyone?)
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Quick Guides and Tips
[tabby title="Kamado Comparison" open="yes"]
Competitive, Name-brand Alternatives to The Big Green Egg
Be sure to check out our 6500 word expose on the Kamado grill and oven market; in the meantime, here's a quick break down of what you need to know.
- Big Green Egg prices are high because they can only be bought from select dealers
- Major competitors include Char-Griller, Kamado Joe, Vision Grills, Primo, and Pit Boss
- Most come with stands (Big Green Egg "nests") and shelves at no additional price
- Some feature extra internal accessories for additional cooking space or smoking abilities
- Available with free shipping from Amazon, no tax in certain states
- Setup services also available
Kamado Grill Comparison Tool (Drag and Drop)
- Akorn Kamado Kooker Grill and Smoker by Char-GrillerAkorn Kamado Kooker Grill and Smoker by Char-Griller
- Pit Boss K22 KamadoPit Boss K22 Kamado
- Vision Grills Professional C-Series (Bundle)Vision Grills Professional C-Series (Bundle)
Big Green Egg Retail Price List - Not Available Online
Big Green Eggs prices do not include stands (nests), feet, shelves, or any other accessories. The prices are set by the manufacturer.
|Product Picture||Product Name||Price||Cooking Area||Grate Diameter||Weight|
|Big Green Egg XXL||$3,999||660 sq in||29 in||470 lbs|
|Big Green Egg XL||$1,199||452 sq in||24 in||219 lbs|
|Big Green Egg Large||$849||262 sq in||18.25 in||162 lbs|
|Big Green Egg Medium||$659||177 sq in||15 in||113 lbs|
|Big Green Egg Mini Max||$599||133 sq in||13 in||80 lbs|
|Big Green Egg Small||$559||133 sq in||13 in||90 lbs|
|Big Green Egg Mini||$399||79 sq in||10 in||36 lbs|
[tabby title="The Great Flame Wars"]
Every year the debate heats up again, with dozens of new articles on gas versus charcoal grills. In discussing the great flame wars, the argument goes something like: charcoal gives the food a more smokey taste; gas is much more convenient; charcoal doesn't last as long; gas grills are too expensive, and so on. While many people just tune out all the chatter, some folks really want to know which type of grill is better in general as well as for cooking different types of food.
Gas grills began surpassing charcoal grills in sales back in 1994, with gas grills now accounting for about 60 percent of all grill sales. To help you figure it all out, here are some of the reasons why some backyard cooks prefer one type of grill over the other:
Gas vs Charcoal Grills
● Prices starting at under $100.
● Superior for slow cooking.
● Ideal for smoking.
● Temperature range up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit.
● Requires practice.
● Food needs constant attention.
● Takes about 30 minutes to reach cooking temperature.
● Requires regular cleaning and disposal of ash.
● Simple to set and maintain temperature.
● Takes just a few minutes to reach cooking temperature.
● Requires only occasionally cleaning.
● Can be expensive, with good grills costing over $300.
● Better for fast-cooking foods.
● Doesn’t trap smoke well.
● Limited cooking-temperature range of between 225 and 600 degrees Fahrenheit
Basic charcoal grills start under $100; one with all the bells and whistles will of course cost more. However, even the most expensive model will last for years with proper care. Because it has more parts, a gas grill will typically cost at least half again as much as a comparable charcoal grill. Charcoal wins on cost. Click here for a list of the best outdoor grills under 500 dollars.
Everything being equal, the flavor of fast-cooking foods, like burgers, chicken and steaks, cooked over charcoal is indistinguishable from the taste of foods cooked over gas. While one would imagine cooking over a solid fuel source, like charcoal, would produce a more smokey flavor, side-by-side taste test show this isn't the case. However, there is one caveat; using a staring fluid or a self-igniting charcoal will sometimes impart a chemical smell into the food. For this reason, you should use an electric charcoal starter or charcoal chimney when lighting charcoal. Because gas burns clean, with the only by-products of combustion being water vapor and carbon dioxide, there is nothing to impart flavor into food. On the other hand, charcoal produces a host of molecules that can add flavor to slow-cooked foods, like ribs and roasts, making charcoal superior for smoking. Charcoal has an edge on flavor. Be sure to check out our article on the USDA meat rating system for information about levels of meat quality you can buy from the grocery store.
Charcoal grills cook mostly by heat radiation, meaning heat moving through the air, where gas grills cook more through conduction, by the food coming into direct contact with grill bars. Closing the lid on a charcoal grill reduced oxygen flow, effectively suppressing the heat, where leaving the lid open maximizes oxygen flow, and heat. The exact opposite happens with a gas grill, as closing the lid doesn't affect the flame, but does prevent heat from escaping. This can make a huge difference when searing a piece of meat. However, the heat on a gas gill can be adjusted by turning the flame up or down.
Despite popular lore, searing does not seal the juices in meat, but does create a chemical reaction that enhances flavor. Known as the Maillard reaction, searing browns the surface of meats and creates rich, sweet and savory compounds. Searing also creates that satisfying crunchy crust. Most charcoal grills sear meat far better than most gas grills, as charcoal simply produces more direct infrared heat. However, a few gas grills, typically the high-priced models, have specialized sear burners for searing. The two main points to remember about temperature control are:
● Closing the lid on a charcoal grill will lower the heat.
● Closing the lid on a gas grill will raise the heat.
As a result, charcoal and gas score roughly even on temperature control.
Heat-Up and Cool-Down Times
This is where gas grills really shine, as charcoal grills take more time to heat up. Firing up a gas grill is as simple as turning on a gas kitchen range. This convenience is one of the big reason so many people are moving to gas, away from charcoal. Even when using a charcoal chimney, charcoal will take at least 30 minutes until you can cook. Also, once the coals are lit you only have a set amount of time to get the grilling done until the heat is gone, So, be sure your super-secret special sauce is ready before you light the fire. Also, when you are done cooking with gas you just turn the knob and the flames go out, but charcoal has to burn out. Gas wins on heat-up and cool-down times.
Like heat-up and cool-down, cleanup is a breeze with gas. The only thing that requires regular cleaning on a gas grill is the grease tray, that catches the meat drippings. The only other real cleaning on gas grills is the occasional scrubbing of the cooking grates, but this is needed with charcoal grills as well. Charcoal grills leave ash to clean up, and some charcoal grills must be emptied after every use. Gas wins on cleanup.
The final verdict on which is better, gas or charcoal, is up to the cook to decide. In the end, you should pick the type of grill that will give you the most utility and enjoyment. Clearly, there is something ritualistic, perhaps even primal, about taming the flames and cooking a big piece of meat over a live charcoal fire. While gas may never replace charcoal in the hearts of the traditionalists, the convenience of gas grills cannot be denied, especially if you are someone who enjoys grilling often.
[tabby title="Types of Grills"]
There are different types of grills in the market today and the type you go for solely depends on your need and how much you can give out to get one for your home. Other factors you might likely have to consider before you get a particular built-in grill type is the flavor you would prefer for your grilled meals, how fast you want it prepared, and the size of your space.
These are necessary because a built-in grill is more permanent than the other types and you wouldn’t want to start setting up bricks and dismantling them because of an oversight. The different types of grills are:
a. Gas grill
This grill type has taken over the market in recent times mostly because of the ease that comes with using it and how fast it works. The gas grill is easy to ignite and heats up almost immediately, thus making the grilling process fast. It makes use of fuel from propane tank or natural gas and is quite convenient and affordable to use as the fuel burns clean and efficiently than other grill types. The knobs are easy to operate by turning the knob accordingly to ignite.
The versatility of a gas grill is also one of the factors that made it a more common type in most homes as they offer different features such as rotisserie kits and side burners, while some are built with storage drawers where other grilling accessories could be kept.
Though one limitation of the gas grill is that it cannot be used close to other structures and would require a bit of space, other than that, you are good to go with a gas grill, especially with its controlled temperature unit where the temperature can be easily regulated.
Gas grill comes in different forms; the freestanding gas grill with wheels for easy moving around, built-in gas grills which are the more permanent types usually for most outdoor kitchens, the portable gas grills that can be packed while going on a trip or used while on vacation and the infrared gas grill; a more recent type that gives a high heat grilling performance.
b. Charcoal Grill
These are the traditional grill types. They are as old as the grilling process itself, though with some new improvements in the style and build of the grills. The charcoal grill makes use of charcoal or woods as its fuel source and imparts a unique smoky flavor to the grilled meal thus giving you that traditional and natural taste you wouldn’t miss for anything.
Despite the fact that the taste of a charcoal grilled brings you a bit closer to those olden times, making use of a charcoal grill have a downside to it, in that it is quite difficult to start especially on cold or damp days, and might sometimes need to be doused with water when the cooking is done. This is easier if there is somewhere to collect the red coals, but dousing with water each time in the grill could damage the grill.
A charcoal grill is also of different types whether built in or free standing. They are the Kamado charcoal grills: which offers a great insulation and an excellent heat distribution throughout the cooking period.
Charcoal smokers: an indirect cooking method that allows food to be grilled with slow heat since the firebox is located away from the grilling area.
Traditional Charcoal grills: they have the firebox directly under the grilling area, though some types have an adjustable knob that makes it easy to set the firebox to a preferred height or closeness to the grilling area.
c. Electric grill
These types make use of electricity as an alternative to gas and charcoal. They are usually suitable in areas where the use of gas or charcoal is not allowed and converts electricity to a heat source that is capable of grilling food.
The only limitation to the use of electric grill is that it consumes much energy thereby incurring many electric bills with its every use and using an electric grill adds no flavor to the food, unlike the gas and charcoal grill.
Understanding the benefits and features of each type of grill makes it easy to choose the one that will be fit for your outdoor grill.
Grilling tools you must have
Since the grilling process involves lots of heat and plenty food, there is every need to be
prepared with certain grilling tools to ensure safe and hygienic grilling process all
through. Safety is necessary so you wouldn’t end up with a grilled finger as part of your
meal after the whole grilling process. Some important grilling accessories one should
have alongside the grill include:
• Fuel (propane or natural gas for gas grill)
• Long-hand tongs
• Basting brush
• Instant-read thermometer
• Fire extinguisher
• Other grilling tools or accessories that can be made available include grill light
for night grilling, paper towel, garbage can, aluminum foil, grill mitts (usually
thicker and longer than oven mitts), spatulas and so on.