The best grill is one that fits the needs of your guests and yourself.
Let flavor and ease- of-use guide you when choosing between four fuel sources for grills and smokers: Charcoal, gas, electric or wood pellets.
While propane and natural gas bring a grill quickly up to heat, they don’t imbue food with a smoky flavor like charcoal, which takes more time to come up to temperature.
You’re going to taste the difference between charcoal and gas. Some people think if you’re using gas, you’re not barbecuing. You are definitely going to taste the difference with pellets.
Pellet smokers and grills offer versatility, doing everything that charcoal and gas grills do, while adding smoky flavor and taking five minutes to heat before they’re ready for duty.
Wood pellets give home cooks a chance to experiment, pairing meats and vegetables with wine or beer.
That’s the big thing with smokers. You can pick different flavors of wood pellets. Flavors include mesquite, cherry, pecan, apple, oak, maple and alder.
Designed separately, incorporated in a grill, or as an accessory, smokers are used for enhancing the taste of food, cooking or a combination of both.
Hamburgers placed in a smoker for a half an hour, then grilled are quite flavorful.
Pellet Grills are unique in that they aren’t limited to grilling; it can be used for roasting, braising and searing meat. It’s an oven too, making tasty macaroni and cheese, potatoes, cookies and pies.
With so many options, the size of the grill is the only restriction on what’s cooked.
Pellet Grills come in small, medium and large sizes, ranging from table-top models suitable for small patios, tail gate cooking or camping that serve two to four people, to those big enough to roast a pig, or large enough to feed a crowd.
For cooking a chicken, look for a grill with a built-in rotisserie or one with enough room to be adapted with a kit. A turkey requires lots of headspace, so make sure the grill is deep enough to accommodate its bulk.
A dome shape has sufficient space for a rotisserie, while poultry of all sizes will fit in a most pellet grills, either on the grate or in a pan.
For the tech-savvy consumer who prefers not to hover over the grill, many models come with smart phone technology, Wi-Fi enabled thermometer swill notify you when the steaks are ready.
Expect sturdier construction with higher-priced grills; Green Mountain pellet grills have heavier legs, sturdier frame and two rather than four wheels made of rubber.
Grills with a stainless steel structure and grates last longer than those made from cast aluminum or enamel-bonded steel. Cast iron grates hold up well.
Keeping it clean
By properly caring for your grill, it should last 10 years or more. The key is regular cleaning.
Each time before cooking, bring the grill up to heat and clean the grate with a steel brush and scraper to loosen cooked on food.
In Massachusetts, grilling is done year-round, so deep clean the inside and outside of the grill several times a year. By cleaning and protecting your grill, it will be ready for operation whenever the mood strikes.
For more information, contact West Sport in Sudubury where you can get up to $100 off Green Mountain Pellet Grills.