Guidance and Tips for Purchasing Your First Grill

tips for buying your first grill

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Getting a decent grill is part of beginning a new BBQ journey; in fact, finding your first grill is the most difficult aspect of beginning your BBQ and grilling learning.

We have written a complete guide on grills for beginners, but in this article I will explain what you should consider and what you should do prior to making your first purchase.

Grills come in a variety of sizes, fuel types, and colors. There are hundreds of brands  and all claim to be of high quality, causing confusion among consumers. There are also two primary kinds of barbecue and grilling cookware: grills and BBQ smokers.

If you want the flavor of true barbecue and want to cook your meats low and slow, a smoker is a fantastic option, but you can also find pellet grills that can function as both grills and smokers. There are several varieties of smokers, so choose one that matches your cooking style. Our guide to different types of smokers is a wonderful place to begin learning about BBQ smokers.

Set A Budget

But because there are so many varieties of smokers and grills on the market, it is vital to begin your search by establishing a reasonable budget for a grill. To assist with budget planning, ask yourself the following questions: How frequently will you grill?, how many features are you willing to give up? Do you need WiFi grill? Do you need all the latest grilling gadgets and toysIn our experience, you can find very good grills in the price range of $500 to $1,000, with exceptionally good grills costing upwards of $1,000. 

Grills made in the United States typically begin at or above the $1,000 mark, but if you are on a very tight budget, you should consider grills priced between $200 and $500. If you spend $200 or less on a grill, these are often small grills or constructed out of thin metal that will not survive more than a year and a half unless you take excellent care of them by keeping them covered and dry.

Choose a fuel type that you feel comfortable using

Selecting the grill’s fuel type is the next step in purchasing your first grill or smoker. It is essential to realize that different fuels will yield different results and flavors. For example, propane grills are easy to use, yet grills burning gas or propane yield no flavor. 

However, nothing tops propane for its simplicity and ease of use. There are also electric grills. These are more conventional “indoor grills” and are also very easy to use. Electric grills are my least favorite type, as their metal heating plates do a good job at cooking food but yield no flavor. In gas grills, a “smoker box” is used, and the heat from the propane burners chars wood chips or wood pellets, imparting a wood flavor to the food.

Then we have charcoal grills. These are my favorite grills because they give the most control, versatility, and taste. Once temperature control is mastered, a charcoal grill can be used to smoke meats, grill foods, and cook anything else you can imagine. 

Mastering how to control the fire and air flow is the hardest part of using a charcoal grill. Once you have mastered these two aspects of a charcoal grill, you can transform it into anything.

The most popular type of grill are pellet grills.  Simply push a button, and the grill’s digital controller will manage temperature and take care of the rest. If you purchase a good-quality pellet grill, it can reach a high enough temperature to sear steak, but it can also function at low temperatures, maintain steady temperatures, and smoke juicy brisket. 

What makes pellet grills special is that they yield amazing wood-fired flavor if you use high-quality wood pellets. One of the reasons these grills are gaining in popularity is because they are loaded with technology, such as WIFI, mobile applications, and several other cooking aids.

Pick a size

When purchasing your first grill, you must also take into account the size of the grill. These are some questions you ought to ask yourself. How large is your family? Do you frequently host parties? How often will you grill? 

If you’re the sort of person who likes to cook for a group of 10 people, you should consider purchasing a grill with a cooking surface area greater than 700 square inches. Grills in the 500 to 700-square-inch range are considered mid size and great for the average person or family. 

Identify a storage area in your home. You want to ensure that you have adequate room to store your grill away from direct sunlight and  from the elements. 

My personal suggestion

I’ve been cooking on grills, smokers, and over fire for over 20 years, and I can assure you that as you develop and polish your cooking abilities, you’ll desire bigger and better equipment. Because of this, I usually tell people who have never used a grill before to start with a small grill that fits their budget. 

I do not advise you to purchase the greatest pellet smoker in the world and spend thousands of dollars to later find out you are interested in learning how to cook over an open flame or on an offset smoker. 

I do suggest you get a grill that meets your budget and cooking abilities. Learn about fire control, meal preparation, and what cooking method best suits you. Learn how you want to prepare your food, and what tastes you like before beginning to hone in on the grill types and fuel types you desire.

Conclusion

I hope this guide helps you find your first grill. If you are new to the world of barbecuing and grilling, my greatest advice is to get started. This is a terrific pastime and a fun way to spend time with friends and family. Remember, don’t overspend, don’t assume your first grill will be your last, and always use what is comfortable for you.

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