Picture your favorite backyard design. You probably see a nice deck and patio with a cozy fire pit, furniture, and pergola. Typically, an outdoor kitchen island with your favorite outdoor cooking appliances shows up in your dream patio design too. One of the most popular outdoor cooking elements is a grill. As you start creating your ideal outdoor kitchen design, consider what type of grill is best for your backyard cooking plans.
This popular option is the go-to for many households. Whether choosing between a stationary or mobile grill using natural gas or liquid propane tank, they offer similar benefits. Gas grills save time due to their quick ignition and quick cook times for the food. Gas grills also provide more control with their adjustable valves, just like gas fire pits.
Grilling, in general, offers a unique and desired taste to the food. It’s also typically a healthier cooking alternative to frying or even baking in the oven. A gas grill may not achieve the most flavorful food compared to other grilling and smoking options. Yet for many home grillers and outdoor cooks, a gas grill with suffice in achieving a properly cooked meal with beautiful sear marks.
Another top grill choice is charcoal. It’s a traditional option, but it’s been around so long for a reason. Charcoal grilling offers a unique, highly sought-after taste in the food. Charcoal grills also tend to offer more mobile choices and smaller sizes for easily transporting or storing. Ceramic grills and kamado style grills use charcoal and offer more heat control and retention for a higher cooking efficiency than other charcoal grilling options. Today’s grillers love kamado grilling for its one-of-a-kind grilling flavors and versatility in cooking methods – grilling, smoking, or baking.
One of the reasons charcoal grilling achieves such delicious flavors is due to time. Charcoal grills take longer than many other grills to warm up to the desired temperature. Then the food usually takes more time to cook with less control over the heat and flames. However, if you don’t mind relaxing outdoors under the pergola as you wait for the food to cook, then this may not be a disadvantage for you.
A bag of charcoal also commonly costs more than using gas or electric types with more upkeep commitment. Ceramic grills also tend to be a more costly investment and heavier in weight. As with most grills, a kamado grill requires a testing and learning phase to achieve grilling success. But with plenty of resources online and assistance from your local grilling gurus, you’ll get the hang of kamado grilling quickly.
For urban dwellers or apartment residents, electric grills tend to meet city or building regulations and rules the most. Electric grills are commonly used as an indoor cooking appliance. They’re perfect for rainy days when outdoor cooking and grilling is too difficult. However there are several types of electric grills built for outdoor use too.
The downside to electric grills is that a plug-in outlet needs to be close by. As you’re designing your outdoor kitchen, ensure you work with a certified electrician on proper planning and wiring. While electric grills can also achieve the desired sear marks, the distinct grill taste is typically lost.
Wood pellet grills are trending in today’s households. They run on electricity and wood pellets. The pellets come in a variety of flavors and can be mixed for a unique smoking flavor. Pellet smokers heat up quickly and offer comparable cooking control to a gas grill, making them favorable for new home grillers. It’s difficult to unevenly cook or over-smoke food with multiple adjustable features. Avid grillers enjoy the option to grill, smoke, roast, and more with their pellet grills – perfect for exploring different outdoor cooking methods.
As pellet grills are newer to the market, they tend to be a higher grilling investment than other traditional options. Plus don’t forget to add on the food-grade wood pellets in your budget. As you start your wood pellet grilling journey, you’ll probably find yourself buying multiple varieties of wood pellet flavors for cooking different foods and searching for your favorite smoky flavor. While the custom smoky flavor is a favorite for grillers, the lack of beloved sear marks is a downside. Wood pellet grilling or smoking also takes some time to perfect. Be patient as you play around with temperatures, smoking, and cooking hacks.
As you’re choosing the right grill for your outdoor kitchen island, consult a local expert near you for more tailored advice and great deals. Happy grilling!