First, you need to know that grilling and barbecuing are often used to mean the same thing. That is, cooking in the backyard on a barbecue grill. In really, they are two different cooking styles. Grilling is when you are cooking items over a direct heat source. Barbecuing is cooking with an indirect heat source. You can barbecue on a grill by placing the heat source to one side and the food to the other side and cover with a lid. Smoking ribs, pork butts, turkeys, etc. can be referred to as barbecuing because you are using that indirect heat source to smoke the food. For today, we are just talking about grilling.
If you don't have a grill, you need to get one. There are basically three types of grills you can buy.
|3 Burner Gas Grill|
1. Gas: This can be fueled by natural gas or propane. The most common is one with a propane tank that is removable. For a common size grill the propane tank is usually a 20 pound one. The gas grill is quicker to use but is also more expensive to buy. A gas grill can give you more bells and whistles for more options in your cooking. They include direct and in-direct cooking methods because of the ability to use all or some of the burners as you grill. Some come with side burners for cooking side dishes or heating sauces for the items on the grill. There are plenty more bells and whistles you can get with your gas grill.
2. Electric: This is probably the least used of the three types. They are easy and quick to use. Again, they are more expensive compared to a charcoal grill. I don't have much experience with this type of grill. I do know that it works just as good as the other types, but may mot be as flexible for use.
|Charcoal Kettle Grill|
3. Charcoal: This grill uses charcoal or wood (both in briquettes or chunks) as a hear source. It is the most versatile of the three because it can travel easier for cooking away from home (picnics, camping, etc.). A charcoal grill is also the least expensive grill to buy. It also gives a flavor to your food that the other grill options can't match.
My usual places to shop Kohl's, Food Network, QVC are maybe not the best for this purchase. A few places that would be a good start are Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, local hardware stores and grill specialty stores. You can find grills from a small table top style to the huge outdoor kitchen types. They can run from $20 for that table top one to four figure ($0,000) models that do everything but cross your t's and dot your i's.
Which one you buy/use is up to your lifestyle, income and personal taste preference. I have both gas (propane) and charcoal grills. I use both depending on the situation for that meal. I plan to add a smoker at some point to give me another option on my outdoor cooking.
We'll continue tomorrow with more info on grilling.