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How to Choose a Grill

by Waverly Wilde

It’s that time of the year again when the weather warms up and the season for grilling begins! But, if you’re looking for a new grill or are just starting your outdoor cooking station, you may be asking, “which grill is right for me?” GOOD QUESTION. There is a lot of information you need to know and digest when it comes to picking out the right grill for you, but luckily we have a team of experts with all the answers! Let’s dive into the different grill types along with the size of your space and cooking style to help identify which grill to buy for your backyard.

Installation Types

First things first, the way you learn how to choose a grill all starts with figuring out which installation type to choose. Well, depending on where you want to place your barbecue will give you the answer as to what installation type you will need. Here is a little bit about each kind:

Free-Standing

The free-standing grill does exactly what it sounds like -- it stands free of cords and can be situated almost anywhere. Live in an apartment? Not a problem! A free-standing grill can be placed on your balcony. Your grill will not need to be plugged in unless it is electric and thus allows many more options for placement. Although, we suggest keeping a couple of feet of room between your grill and your home as it can be a fire hazard when they are in such close proximity.

On another note, these grills tend to be much less expensive than built-in styles making them the popular choice for backyards. But, if you are looking for something a little more custom to your style, you may prefer the look of a built-in grill.

Built-In

When the free-standing grill isn’t giving you what you need, there’s always the option of a built-in BBQ. When you go built-in, you have more options on style and size, making this perfect for those who love customizing their home. This is also ideal for people who grill often and for large groups of people. Having the ability to create your very own outdoor cooking area complete with prep stations, large grilling surfaces, added accessories such as a searing Station and/or rotisserie, and more, really make this setup wanted among avid grillers.

Fuel Types

Once you decide on what sort of installation setup your grill will have, it’s time to think about the next thing: What type of fuel should my grill use? There are basically 3 types of fuel types -- gas, charcoal, and pellet. And how you choose this all comes down to you and your techniques! Take a look at these fuel types to discover which one would be best for your grilling style. 

Gas

If you are looking for quick and simple to describe your grilling outdoors, the gas grill is your best bet. These types of grills tend to heat up the quickest, have the easiest controls when adjusting heat levels while cooking, and also come in the largest variety of options in size and capability. When you go with gas grills, there are two types of gas you can get, and those are natural gas and liquid propane.

  • Natural Gas: If you hate rushing off to the store to get your liquid propane refilled, then natural gas may be the way to go for you. This style ensures you always have gas for grilling since a cable line connects directly from the grill to your home. If you don’t have a natural gas supply running through your home, you will need to consider getting one installed for this option, which can be pricey. Also, natural gas is one of the eco-friendliest fuel sources, and in the event of a leak, the gas will likely float out of your outdoor kitchen because it’s lighter than air.
  • Liquid Propane: As we said above, if your space doesn’t have an exterior gas line, using propane gas is a great solution to that issue. Using propane is simple and allows you more flexibility of placement since you aren’t required to connect to your home.

Charcoal

Do you consider yourself old-fashioned? Many do who enjoy the sweet simplicity of a charcoal grill. These style grills are slower to heat, making this great for those who enjoy long conversations while they cook. It’s a bit harder to control the heat with a charcoal grill since you’re literally playing with only charcoal and fire. But, when your food is all done cooking, it will have been worth it all for that smoky charcoal flavor that you can’t get from cooking on anything else!


Pellet

Of course, if you are all about creating unique flavor profiles, using a pellet grill is the way to go. This is a great option for a mix of charcoal-like flavoring and having a gas grill ease due to its effortless temperature setting and consistent heating. And if you enjoy barbecuing smoky meals, you can’t go wrong with a pellet grill.

Other Considerations

Now that you know a bit more about grills and fuel types, it’s time to take a moment to reflect and figure out how to choose a grill so that you can have the best kind for your outdoor cooking lifestyle. For example, do you normally grill for yourself, small intimate gatherings, or large parties? This question can help you decide what sort of grill type you will need depending on your space size and the number of people you cook for. Also, are you looking for something simple to get the job done, or are you wanting a grill that includes smart and WiFi connected accessories to keep you up to date on the progress of your meal while grilling? 

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Too much info? No worries; our Grand experts are here to help you! Give us a call to ask us any grill questions you may have, and we’ll be happy to guide you to the perfect one for you!

Want to read more? Check out some other great posts and pages dedicated to grills at Grand:

Comprehensive Shop Grills Page

Blog: Grand Expert Top 10 Grill Picks

Blog: Expert Review of Weber's SmokeFire Pellet Grills