Guy on the grill: Picking the best barbecue
It's barbecue season! Dads everywhere are ready to grab their tongs and strap on their aprons. Make sure your guy's grilling season goes as planned by matching him with the perfect grill.
If Dad's ready to hit the deck and start grilling this summer, make sure he's got the best grill for his needs.
Choose your fuel
There are several types of grills out there, but the biggest debate is usually between the two most popular kinds: gas and charcoal. Gas grills heat up fast and get the job done simply, while charcoal grills take an extra 10–15 minutes to heat up and need a little extra love to keep going. Charcoal guys will tell you the extra time and effort are worth it to get the smoky taste that only charcoal grills offer, but busy dads who grill throughout the week may appreciate the ease of a gas grill.
Choose the size
We're not sure why, but just about every guy wants a giant grill. Unfortunately for Dad, the world's largest grill is not always necessary. Before you purchase a grill, think about whom Dad will be cooking for. Is it just your family of two or four? If so, a basic grill is probably all you need. A midsize grill will easily cook for about 10 people, and the extra-large grills will feed the whole neighborhood in one round of cooking.
It's also important to take into account how much room you have. Don't buy the extra-large gourmet grill if you're only working with an apartment patio. It might be a good idea to take measurements of the grill you're considering, then come home and mark off the space it'll take up. You may be surprised by how much real estate one of those "smallish" grills can dominate.
Go for quality
It's easy to say the grill with the lowest price wins, but that's not always true — unless you want to be right back here grill shopping next summer. There are a few quality choices that might make the grill a tad pricier but that will probably ensure the grill lasts years and years longer than its cheaper counterparts.
- Material — Stainless steel is stainless steel, right? Wrong! There are different grades of stainless steel, and some are built to last, while others will eventually give out. If you're going with stainless, look for a grill that's made of grade 304, not the cheaper 430. If you're not sure how to tell the difference, keep a magnet in your pocket when you're grill shopping. If the steel is quality grade, the magnet won't stick.
- Grids — The cooking grid on a grill is available in different styles and materials. Your best bet is to go with a porcelain-coated, cast-iron grid. It will wear well, clean easily and retain heat and won't rust. Stainless steel grids are rust resistant as well, but food tends to stick to them.
Don't forget the accessories! Grab a grill cover to protect your new barbecue from the elements. Also get a set of grilling utensils — your regular kitchen utensils won't cut it on these flames!