Charcoal grills come in almost any size or shape. Sizes range fromsmall portable grills to popular 22-inch (51-cm)-round kettle grillsto even larger rectangular grills. Look for stability, good-qualityconstruction, and adjustable vents and a lid that allow you tocontrol your fire. If you plan to smoke foods, a side fireboxis handy. A standard-sized kettle grill fits the needs of mostgrillers. In any case, a sturdy, high-quality grill will last longestand be most economical over time.
Gas grills range from simple to fully-loaded models with smokeboxes, rotisserie and side burners, and infrared searing sections.Two burners are necessary if you plan to cook with indirect heat,but a three-burner unit will give you more heat control and is thebest choice for many. Don’t get carried away with BTUs; 35,000is fine for most of us. Look at how the heat is dispersed. Angledmetal plates that cover each burner deliver more even heat withfewer flare-ups; stainless steel or powder paint–coated stainlessgrill racks conduct heat well. Infrared technology is moreapparent in gas grills today; they cook slightly differently.
Don’t let the weather or apartment-house rules keep you fromachieving grilled flavor. Grill pans can rescue you; they cover oneor two cooking elements on your range. Cast iron is ideal for agrill pan, as it provides a good sear and with the pre-seasonedmodels, it’s also easy to use.
There is no reason not to take grilling on the road. Many grocerystores stock disposable aluminum grills in their picnic sections,especially during the summer. Small, reusable bucket grills arealso handy, some are even gas powered by small propane tanks.Look for grills whose frames and legs fold easily for transport.
There is a grill for every situation.Sure, we all think of full-sized grillswhen visions of a sizzling steak orsauce-slathered ribs drift throughour minds, but small grills for aquick trip to the beach or a balconyalso yield great smoking flavor.