I’ve had an outdoor grill for quite a long time. In fact, I grew up with them. I remember when it was cool to have a kettle grill, and then charcoal grills got a little fancier. Suddenly, propane grills became the rage. Then came the indoor grill rage with the George Foreman grill. But does it hold up to real outdoor cooking?
Think about the range of tools we have. Electric grills that we can use in our kitchen all the way to good old smokers. One of the first things people think of when they hear the term “grill” is a taste that is not just subtly different than anything we can make in the kitchen; it’s significantly different.
Indoor grills can’t give you a smoky or charbroiled flavor. It’s simply not possible because you’re just using electric heating plates to cook the meat. But with an outdoor grill, you have a range of possibilities. In fact, you can even smoke meat on a charcoal or gas grill by turning the heat down and adding some select wood chips. Try that on an indoor grill!
Char broiling is essentially grilling (or broiling) meat over high, direct heat produced by charcoal. Folks, there is no comparison to doing this on a gas grill with porcelain bricks. I’m not saying that’s bad, it’s just different. And those of you who know the difference may have a preference one way or the other.
Personally, I grew up with a father who thought it meant making 4″ think hamburgers, burning the outside to a black crisp and then leaving middle purple. That’s put me off to charcoal grills for a long time and I never really got why people loved charcoal so much. Anyway, you’d smoke yourself right out of your home if you tried to do this with an indoor grill.
We’re all pretty familiar with the term. Gas grills are designed to cook food quickly at high heat. While your typical electric grill can do the same thing, it doesn’t give you the flexibility to cook with some extra smoke or do a lower temp cook with add smoke.
Whether you’re using a charcoal grill or a gas grill, this is a definite differentiator from your basic indoor grill and anyone that’s eaten from both is going to prefer the outdoor cooked food.
Barbeque / Barbecue / BBQ
Whatever you call it, the taste is unmistakable. Some folks confuse BBQ with grilled food and that’s not the case. Barbeque is cooked low and slow. Grills can do it, but smokers are designed to do it much better.
Meat smokers are the king when it comes to doing extremely long cook times. These cookers are generally fired by good lump charcoal; but there are models that are wood-burning, electric, gas, and some that firewood pellets. This is an area of preference and probably depends on what you’re cooking as well.
I’m going to draw a comparison. Imagine a lean chicken breast grilled on a George Foreman grill. You slice into it and taste a pretty dry piece of meat. In contrast, smoke an entire chicken for a few hours with a beer can up its backside. Are you picturing the juicy smoky taste? I am!!!
Here’s the Bottom Line on Outdoor Grills
It’s what this site is about! And there are a ton to choose from. You have to know what you want to do, for how many you want to do it, and what your budget is before buying one an outdoor grill. Everyday people like you have written about their experiences and I urge you to read them so you know what you’re gonna get from whichever gas or charcoal grill catches your fancy.
And when you finally made up your mind and bought a new grill, come back (with pictures) and share your experience with our other visitors. It’ll make you feel good and we’ll all appreciate it.