If you enjoy grilled food, owning a grill makes your favorite dishes easier to cook. Even when you travel, there is no reason to stop enjoying your grilled hamburgers or hotdogs: just take the grill with you. Portable grills are great for outdoor cooking when camping, having a picnic, or perhaps throwing a beach party.
Portable grills are small and many models can be folded, this making them easier to store. The most popular portable grills are the gas fueled ones. For the electric portable grills you must find an outlet, while charcoal grills may get messy. Gas grills heat up very fast, thus cooking time is reduced. Keep in mind that gas grills allow you to easily adjust the heat, so all the meat gets the proper cooking temperature.
It is important to be aware of how long a gas tank will last you while traveling. Most tanks run off gas after about 20 hours. The higher end gas grill models offer an indirect heating zone in addition to the main one. If you go for a charcoal grill, always make sure the lid is tight enough. Beside the common gas and charcoal grills, you can also encounter electric grills. While available on the market, electric portable grills are inconvenient due to the need to be plugged into a wall socket.
Here are the main features to consider before choosing your portable grill.
Portable grills have less than 300 square inch cooking surface and most folks buy one at around 200 square inch. The larger the grill, the less trunk space left for other needed items. Ensure its handlers or legs can be folded, or removed for a better storage. Larger grills can waste fuel while not getting hot enough. When considering the size of the grill itself, think about the size of the gas tank too. Portable grills were made for traveling, but they can also be used for cooking at home. Search for a lightweight grill, and stay away from heavier models.
The design of the grill will give away key hints about its quality and maintenance. What you want is a grill that you clean fast. The best choice is opting for a grill with smooth lines and curves instead of corners. Also, it is important for the grill to have a drip pan. Ensure the lid closes well and stays closed, but at the same time isn’t difficult to open.
The material employed to make grills should play a big factor in your decision. Cast iron grills are first choice for grill fans, but keep in mind that this type of iron is heavy. In comparison, cast aluminum is a great option when it comes to weight. Steel grills have a thin wall, but the paint covering them alters the food’s taste. The bottom line is that a portable grill should have a solid built, but not be heavy.
Cheap grills will definitely not last for long, but this doesn’t mean an expensive grill is always reliable. The gas tank size influences its price, however you may be more satisfied with your purchase if you go with a larger grill. A large size means enough fuel to cook even when you are away from home. The good news is that gas tanks are cheaper compared to charcoal and easy to find in a number of stores. Check out the BTU number, as this shows how fast the grill will heat up. Faster heating means a faster meal, so search for models that offer at least 8000 BTU.
None of the extra features come for free, but some of them can definitely enhance the cooking experience. Some of the gas grills include a handle for easier carrying, or a warming rack that allows the meat to stay hot. You can even get a tray for side dishes and vegetables. All these features may come in handy when you are away from home, but it is up to you whether you truly need them or not.