If you’ve decided it’s time to invest in a grill and you are asking yourself the penultimate question “What Kind of Grill Should I Buy?”, then this buyer’s guide for long term charcoal grill purchases is meant for you.
The first thing we must ask ourselves is “Why go for a long-term charcoal grill?” Is there a short-lasting option to even differentiate between short and long-term purchases? Low-class grills tend to be made from mixture of materials like thin painted metal which tend to lose quite a lot of heat.
They also don’t last more than 2 seasons due to the thinning of the metal, meaning you’d have to make another purchase sooner than later.
This Griller Dude guide aims to help the consumer make an informed decision regarding whether to eveн consider charcoal grills or go for a gas grill instead. What are the pros and cons of both types and what to look out for when choosing a charcoal grill? We’d be answering these and other questions in the text below.
Barbeque vs Grill – What’s the Difference
There’s an important distinction that needs to be made between a barbeque and a grill. Grills use heat from down below to cook the meat, it’s called direct heat and it cooks and burns hotter.
Barbecues have a lid which can be closed to smoke or slow cook large cuts of pork and beef meat. Barbecues use indirect heat by relying on heat convection on the sides of the main cooking body and are generally meant for lower hear cooking.
Grills can also become barbeques and the latter can be used as a grill, however, each type basically specializes in a different style of cooking. There’s not final answer to the question of what to choose - grill vs barbecue, it’s all about application and personal preference.
The Types of Grills and the Different Classes on the Market
There are generally two types of grills – those using charcoals and the ones using gas as a heat source. Charcoal grills can be separated into four different quality classes – basic, consumer, premium and luxury – with each class the price and the quality (and longevity) of the product increase dramatically.
Grills can also be separated based on form-factor – meaning their shape and the way they are transported. There are three types of BBQ grill:
- Portable, small grills (up to 26 inches wide);
- Medium sized grills (up to 33 inches);
- Large sized grills (at least 34 inches wide).
Small sized grills are the best grill type for tailgating and couples due to their portability. They fall into the medium and premium grill quality range and are generally in the mind range in terms of isolation.
The sized grills (up to 33 inches) are suitable for feeding a large size family and provide plenty of space for creating two heating zones. They also fit into the middle to premium quality tier and have higher insulation qualities, meaning less heat loss and more temperature stability.
Then we have the large grills which are mostly situated into the premium to luxury range quality-wise and have the highest insulation qualities, including some extras like options for raising their charcoal beds for supreme temperature control.
Where does our grill fit? The GrillerDude.com Smart Flip Flop Grill falls into the mid to premium range and due to its small size, this grill set up is considered a portable grill with options for great thermal retention, coal manipulation and overall fantastic temperature and heat control.
Picking a Charcoal Grill That Will Last a Long Time
If you are looking for a long-term grill purchase, then you should consider these three main factors when selecting a product:
- What is it made out of (steal, aluminum, cast iron, stainless steel);
- How thin are its walls (matters for insulation and heat stability);
- What heat management options does it have (lowering grate arms, double vents, etc.).
The longevity of a grill is mainly determined by the type of metal it’s made out of – the one which generally reacts best to constant heat expansion (happens when cooking) and contraction (when not cooking), are stainless steel grills.
They are very high in price, often used by professionals and rarely fall below the 36-inch size range. They are not easily moved but rather are often seen as part of an integrated outdoor kitchen.
What’s best time to buy a grill in 2022? It’s either during the summer or fall due to the upcoming holidays. If you’ve already considered our small premium Argentinian style flip grill, then the best time to buy it is now ($200 of your order for great value).
Portable or Cart Grill
When buying a BBQ, you need to also consider its portability – how do you most often use your grill? Do you wish you had more portability options? Portable grills are smaller in size and generally can be two main varieties – on wheels or on legs, both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Cart grills tend to be in the medium size range for grates and can be both gas and charcoal powered, they are great for large families and can last for a long time.
Small and portable grills can be found in all quality ranges – from value to luxury ranges with the medium tier providing the best value-to-quality options altogether.
Then there are types of grills, like our Argentinian style grill, which generally can be both cart and portable. Portable grills have less space, but are fantastic for working on the road or at game parties.
Cart grills can also be transported although they are harder to manage and generally do not allow for so much mobility and flexibility.
Answering the Ultimate Question - Pellet vs Propane Grill
When buying a grill, you need to first consider the fuel. We left this question for last because it’s quite an important one and we’d like to give it more space.
Gas grills have good heat management options as you can instantaneously turn on or off burners to manipulate the heat income, however, they are more expensive and there are little to no portable options.
The advantages of owning a gas grill are:
- Higher insulation on low class grills;
- Temperature control;
- No dealing with coals or ashes;
- Easy to clean.
The disadvantages of owning a gas grill are also present, just like with any product:
- Working with propane or natural gas;
- Low to mid-tier grills can’t get as hot;
- Expensive fuel mixtures bought from specialized stores;
- Have to consider gas canister heat for longer cooks;
- Overall, more dangerous when stored over the winter;
- Can taste the propane in the meat.
On the other spectrum we have the charcoal grills which have their advantages and disadvantages, like:
- Require more fuel to work;
- Have portable options;
- More natural taste to the meat;
- Can choose different fuel types;
- Can add new aromas to the wood with cherry wood;
- Require more skill to operate;
- Get a lot hotter than gas grills;
- Require some maintenance.
Both types of grills have a place in your home – gas grills work great for people who’d like to do things quick, but requires more care to operate safely.
Charcoal grills make food taste better due to the charring and natural burning process of meats and vegetables and are generally more versatile in terms of heat management and heat capacity.
That’s pretty much it - we hope this article was helpful in providing you a clear understanding of the different types of BBQ grills as well as the difference between barbecue vs grill.