That familiar smell of charcoal grills, speed of gas grills, and consistency of pellet grills are equally inviting as ever. When it comes to grills, there are a few things to keep in mind while cooking and entertaining. Charcoal grills are popular because of the flavor, gas grills tend to be favored for speed and frequency, and a choice in pellet fuel garners controlled temperatures.
When considering your gas grill, the method of fuel delivery is split into two options. Gas grills can be fueled using propane in a portable cylinder or natural gas delivered via underground pipes from your home's natural gas supply to a permanently installed grill. When it comes time to refilling your liquid propane cylinder, you can choose to have it refilled or simply take your empty cylinder to an LP exchange center at a nearby store to get a new, filled cylinder. Having two or more LP cylinders helps you avoid the risk of running out of gas in the midst of grilling! When it comes to cleaning and temperature control, gas grills don’t have ash deposits and are easier to clean, in addition to having knobs to regulate the temperature.
There’s no need to worry, as gas grilling is now safer than ever thanks to a mandate from the National Fire Prevention Association that only cylinders with an overfill prevention device (OPD) may be exchanged or refilled. This prevents the cylinder from being filled to more than 80 percent –– creating a potential fire hazard when rising temperatures cause propane gas to expand and unintentionally be released into the air.
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Charcoal grills add a unique taste to any food. Although charcoal grills require a bit more time to achieve the right temperature, everyone loves good conversation around a glowing grill anticipating the meal. Charcoal grills require a bit more attention to temperature control while providing a more intimate grilling experience.
When it comes to lighting the grill, you have the simple choice of regular charcoal briquettes or instant-light variety. The most popular way to light the grill is your standard lighter fluid or instant light charcoal. You can also use a chimney-type lighter or electric lighters. The chimney lighter is the fastest way to get the coals glowing and only requires about two pounds of briquettes, a crumpled newspaper page, and a match.
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Electric grills are designed to produce constant heat and operate without an open flame. These types of grills are ideal for apartment or condo dwellers and require no charcoal or propane.
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Although many people haven’t yet heard of pellet grills, they have become increasingly popular. Small wood pellets, in a variety of “flavors” such as hickory, mesquite, and oak, provide the energy source and infuse the food with flavor. Pellet grills have become attractive because they are both energy efficient and clean burning. Natural wood smoke flavoring pellets are easy to use (no pre-soaking required), all natural, and made from 100 percent of the wood indicated.
Some pellet grills have a dual-fuel unit that can switch over to gas which can reach higher temperatures than pellets. Increasingly, these models include microprocessor-based circuit boards that manage the grill’s entire operation including temperature regulation.
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