Monthly Archives: March 2014

BBQ 101: Charcoal Grills

Charcoal grills are the most traditional choice for BBQ. However, the first step in understanding a charcoal grill is understanding its fuel.  Charcoal is a piece of wood that has been burned down to the point that all water and resins have been removed.  At this point, the wood becomes pure fuel. Charcoal has the ability to reach much higher temperatures than wood, with much less smoke.

Advantages to Charcoal Grills

Charcoal adds a rich smoky flavor to meats and vegetables. Like other types of grills, charcoal BBQs add texture and flavor to meat by sealing in the meat’s natural juices, and some people contend that charcoal does this better than gas grills. These grills can be made from stainless steel or porcelain-coated steel, both of which are stylish and easy to clean. Different charcoal grills come with a variety of features like thermometers, adjustable air shutters or charcoal trays that make it easy to add fuel or smoking chips to the grill. Overall, the grills provide just as many interesting features as gas grills, as well as an authentic grilling experience.

The high temperatures reached by charcoal – up to 700 degrees F – makes charcoal the ideal fuel for creating a good char on the outside of a meat while keeping the   inside pink and moist. For that reason, charcoal grills are the number one choice for   steaks, burgers, and other meat such as lamb.  Since charcoal is a radiant heat fuel (which means that instead of warming the air,   heat comes out of the charcoal and is absorbed into an object), charcoal is also the   ideal fuel for long and slow cooking processes. The radiant process also infuses the   delicious smoky flavor that is associated with BBQ into the food.   Charcoal grills are the top choice for BBQ pitmasters and enthusiasts.

However, the nature of the charcoal grill can make it tricky for a beginner. Unlike gas grills, the level of control over temperature is low, and it can take a bit of practice in order to   acquire your desired temperatures.  Another drawback to charcoal grills is the prep and cleaning time.  You must first prepare and light the charcoal and then, once lit, it usually takes a minimum of 20 minutes to heat up to grilling temperatures.

Charcoal grills must also be scrapped  after every cooking and the ashes must be removed on a regular basis.  While it often takes more practice to get it right, most BBQ diehards swear by the cooking process and taste of the charcoal grill.

Different Kinds of Charcoal Grills

One unique type of charcoal BBQs is the built-in barbeque. These grills are usually rectangular in shape and fastened to the ground using bolts. For many patio islands and other outdoor decor, these grills provide a unique and functional centerpiece around which people can add tables and chairs to complete an awesome outdoor entertainment area. Sometimes these grills come with wheels attached to them. Ideal for large outdoor parties catering to many guests, wheeled grills are functional and portable. You can bring them anywhere in your backyard, out to the street for block parties, or to a neighbor’s house to grill there. Wheeled grills sometimes come with folding features that make them even more portable and easy to use for tailgating or other parties.

Charcoal BBQs come in different shapes and sizes as well. The common shapes include rectangles, circles and squares, while the sizes range from very small to about 6 feet squared in area. A few grills are small enough that you can use them on a tabletop for hosting a dinner party or enjoying a romantic evening.

Shop for Grills at the BBQ Depot

The BBQ Depot carries a wide selection of different grill shapes, sizes and brands. You can use our site’s navigational features to narrow down your choices based on brand, size and category as well.  With both small and portable grills and large permanent charcoal BBQ fixtures, there is something for everyone in our collection. On orders above $99, we provide free shipping within the continental United States. Visit our collection to find the grill you need today!


How to Pick the Right Sized Grill

Shopping for a new grill can be very exciting.  Images of family barbeques and summer parties can whet your anticipation.  When choosing a grill, many people focus on the type of grill (charcoal, gas, electric) and all the accessories that come with it.  However, one important factor to keep in mind is the size.  Picking the right size grill will ensure that you are able to do all the different types of grilling that you are imagining on a grill that comfortably fits in your space.

An important thing to remember when considering grill sizes is that grills are measured both by the actual physical size (as in how much space they take up and their square inches of cooking surface. Buying a physically big grill does not necessarily ensure that you are buying a grill with a lot of cooking space.  Make sure that you keep both sizes in mind when picking out the grill for you.

When picking out the perfect grill size, there are two main questions that you need to ask of yourself. The first question you need to ask is, “What is my intended purpose?” Do you want a grill that is perfect for you and your companion? To feed the whole family? Or one that handle hosting large gatherings?  The more people you plan on routinely cooking for, the larger surface space you will require.

However, it is important to remember that meat actually cooks better when placed close together as the different pieces will share the heat. If you regularly barbeque other food items, such as vegetables or side dishes, then you will want a grill with a large enough surface space to handle all your items.  It may also be a good idea to buy a grill that has individual burners or that has different shelves where you can separate the food.

The second question that you need to ask yourself is, “Where will I put my grill?” It is always a good idea to physically measure the space where you plan on putting your grill.  Precise measurements will allow you to know exactly what will fit and what will not.  This will help prevent you getting attached to a grill that will never physically be able to stand in your space. Always make sure that, when you look at actual grills, that you take into consideration the space needed for any accessories.