Choosing a gas grill is something that seems trivial, but apparently not easy to do. With so many choices on the market, it will certainly make you immediately become confused. In addition there are so many factors that must be taken into account.
First of all we have to choose the type of grill according to the power source, whether using gas, pellets, charchoal, or electricity. Personally, we chose to use a gas grill. Why? We will explain as follows.
What are the advantages of Gas Grill Compared to Charcoal and Electric Grill?
1. Gas grill has better temperature control.
The better the temperature control is, the better the result will be. Gas burners have excellent temperature control, in this case allowing ideal high temperatures for grilling and ideal low temperatures for indirect cooking. The burner is covered with a shield to protect it from fat droplets so that no flare ups occur and make the desired temperature more stable and consistent.
2. Easier to use than charcoal or pellet grills.
With the electronic ignition feature that provides a fast and safe way to make the grill start. Just by pressing the button, the gas grill will safely ignite quickly.
3. The ease of cleaning.
It is also one of the advantages of a gas grill that must be considered. You simply run the grill on high heat for 1 or 1.5 hours with the lid closed. The grill will burn leftover food to ashes. Then you can easily brush and scrape the rest of the trash.
4. It has many feature options
Gas grill also has many feature options that can be adjusted to your needs and desires. There is a rotisserie feature, for those of you who like to roast whole chicken. There are side burners that can help you bake bread, and can keep food warm while the main burner cooks the main meal.
On the other hand the charcoal grill, more messy, more troublesome at start-up and when operating will release harmful compounds in the air such as carbon monoxide.
According to the latest research, gas grill only emits 5.6 pounds of carbon monoxide per hour, on the other hand the charcoal grill can produce up to almost double than that. Meanwhile, if you use an electric grill, it turns out can produce approximately 15 pounds of carbon monoxide per hour.
What to Consider Before Buying Gas Grill?
There are several important things to consider before deciding to buy a gas grill: price, brand of gas grill, type of fuel, gas grill material, size of the gas grill, features, durability, warranty.
Gas grill prices range from 100 $ up to thousands of dollars. Of course you will get what you pay for. The larger the size of the gas grill, the more features you want, the price will also be more expensive. Therefore, set a budget before you shop.
If you are observant, you can actually buy a quality gas grill for no more than $ 300. Although there are hundreds of more expensive gas grills, it will all depend on your needs.
2. Which type of fuel is better – Propane or Natural Gas?
You have to choose from the beginning whether you want to buy natural gas or propane grill. It could be later on that you want to convert from natural gas to propane or vice versa. But this is not easy and expensive. For this you will need professional help. Therefore you should decide your needs from the beginning.
For your information, either liquid propane or natural gas, each has advantages and disadvantages.
If you choose to use a gas grill with natural gas, then you must install the natural gas installation at the right location. Meanwhile, if you choose to use a propane gas grill, then you should maintain a propane tank regularly.
The advantage of using natural gas:
- Because most homes already have a consistent supply of natural gas for cooking, it is certainly not difficult to immediately install a natural gas connection to the grill.
- • You don’t need to bother refilling a propane tank.
- • In the long term use will be more efficient than propane use.
The disadvantages of using natural gas:
• If you don’t have a natural gas supply in your home, then you need to find a professional to install the right natural gas installation. Installing a new natural gas installation will also cost you quite a lot of money.
• Additionally you cannot use natural gas grill in all places you want. Natural gas grills can only be used in places where there is already a natural gas installation.
The advantage of using propane:
• You can use a propane gas grill wherever you want. Even for camping, RVing or boating.
• The heat produced by propane is stronger than natural gas.
• Propane is easy to find and easy to buy because many stores provide it.
• This type of gas grills are the most environmentally friendly type of grill compared to other types of grills.
• If you don’t have a natural gas installation, buying a propane tank will be much cheaper and more efficient than installing a new natural gas installation.
The disadvantages of using propane:
- For long-term use, propane will cost more than natural gas.
- Troublesome because you have to exchange the gas tank periodically when the gas runs out.
The next thing to consider is size. The size can be classified by the number of burners or the dimensions of the grill and the size of the main cooking surface.
We tend to use the size of the main cooking surface as a way to calculate cooking needs. The trick is that every 100 square inches of the main cooking surface, can cook for the needs of 1 person. Then you need to consider your needs, whether you will cook for yourself or you want to grill food for your friends and family.
In addition to the size of the gas grill, the size of your backyard must also be considered. You should consider whether the size of your gas grill is proportional to the size of your backyard.
You do not want a small backyard dominated by a gas grill that is too big, right? Your backyard will be too crowded and your guests have difficulty moving.
If you don’t have a large backyard, then you can choose a portable, small gas grill.
The main cooking surface of a small portable grill is around 200 square inches, but for your family you will need a grill with a main cooking surface area of 300 to 400 square inches, even more so if you have a large family.
Also, keep in mind where you will store your grill after you use it. Do not buy a large size gas grill if you only have space or a small house.
4. Good design and solid construction
Design is not just a matter of color or aesthetics, but a good design will also determine an even distribution of heat, no flare ups, and stable and consistent temperatures.
Good design will also take into account the need for wheels for ease when moving the gas grill, the need for storage of cooking utensils and propane tanks.
Buying a gas grill is a long-term investment, so choosing a gas grill with a sturdy construction is a must.
It is best to choose a grill that has a pre-assembly and gas grill with a welded joint that is usually stronger than nuts and bolts. You can also test it by pushing the grill that has been assembled to test the stability. The more stable the better.
5. Material and Durability
Material is certainly one of the main factors if you want your gas grill to last a long time. Quality materials will help reduce the possibility of rusting and also problems in the coming years.
High-grade stainless steel and cast aluminum are the most sturdy and durable materials. Coupled with cooking grates made of high-grade steel with a layer of porcelain enamel. This material also helps even heat distribution thereby ensuring a consistent cooking temperature.
There are three types of cooking grates that you can choose and consider: aluminum, cast iron, and stainless steel. Each type offers advantages and disadvantages of each.
Aluminum coated grates are a cost-effective material. Aluminum material is a great conductor of heat, lightweight and rust resistant. The drawback, aluminum, is a material that is less durable than cast iron or stainless steel because it tends to be more brittle and can be warped, and can lose its enamel over time.
Although the heat conductivity of cast iron is less than that of aluminum, it can retain heat better than other types of material so that it can provide a more consistent temperature on the surface of the grill. The drawback, cast iron can crack due to high heat shock due to use over time
The last is a gas grill with stainless steel material. Stainless steel is the most durable compared to other cooking grates. This is the easiest material to clean, rustproof and non-corrosive. The drawback, stainless steel does not have high aluminum conductivity, nor does it maintain temperature such as cast iron. Over time, it may change color.
Even though your grill is made from high quality material, there is still a possibility that your gas grill will become rusty if you don’t take care of it properly.
One of the most important factors regarding durability is the maintenance of your gas grill. If you want your grill to be durable and resistant to all weather, it must be kept clean and when not in use it must remain covered.
Investing in an upscale gas grill will indeed provide a longer warranty so replacing damaged parts for free. Meanwhile, middle and low grade gas grill usually offers a shorter warranty. But investing in a high-class gas grill will certainly require far more budget than a middle or low-grade gas grill.
6. Considering BTU Ratings
How to understand BTU ratings for gas grills? Generally when choosing a gas customer, people will look for the highest BTU rating. But that is not the right thing to do.
In order to choose correctly, we must first understand the meaning of the BTU rating.
BTU is an abbreviation of British Thermal Units. Besides being used to measure grill heating, the BTU rating also measures how much fuel is burned. If you pay close attention, you can determine how powerful the gas grill is with the right BTU rating.
It should also be noted that manufacturers always mention the potential BTU from the total number of burners from the gas grill, rather than from each burner. The wider the cooking space, the greater the BTU.
But you should know that the correct way to calculate power is in units of BTU per square inch of cooking space. You get this by dividing the total BTU from the burner divided by the square inch area of the cooking space.
Besides the construction and gas grill material will also affect its performance. Although the gas grill has a high BTU rating, but if it has poor construction and material, the gas grill will lack the stamina to heat the grates. Because a gas grill will throw most of its heat into the air instead of using it for cooking.
7. Other Additional Features
In addition to making choices based on price or recommendations, choosing a grill that suits your needs and style will help you decide what features are needed and suit you.
Do you want to have flavorizer bars? Or do you want a burner or side burner, smoker box, rotisserie burner, lid thermometer, or one of a dozen features that can be added to your grill.
Consider the features that you want because of course all of these additions will also require additional costs.