Key features that will help elevate your barbecue game
There is never a better time than the present to up your grilling game — and your grilling game starts with the barbecue you are using.
Whether you are buying your first backyard grill or looking to replace or upgrade your current grill, there are a few key elements and features you should be looking for when making your decision. Here are some items you should take into consideration when you are searching online or walking down the barbecue aisle at your local distributor, courtesy of Napoleon:
- Fuel — The first question to ask is what kind of barbecue you want. A classic charcoal grill? Or will you use propane? If your home is equipped with a natural gas connection outside, a natural gas grill is easy and convenient — you never have to worry about the tank running out while you are in the middle of cooking.
- Heat — The whole point of a barbecue is to cook. The hotter the barbecue gets, the better. This is typically measured in BTUs (the short form of British Thermal Unit, the amount of heat required to warm one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit) and the higher the number the better. But there are other factors that can influence how hot your barbecue will get. Air flow has a significant influence on heat; proper ventilation means an even, consistent cooking temperature. Too much and the heat isn’t retained. Not enough and your food may burn.
- Size — Know the space where you are going to put the grill, and how many people you are typically going to be cooking for. If you are a single, a couple without kids or empty nesters, there may not be a need to buy a massive six-burner grill with a two-head cooking system. But if you have a big family and/or you entertain with a big backyard, you want to find a grill with sufficient cooking space.
- Materials — The type of metal used in the barbecue — and its quality — will not only determine the durability of the grill, but will also determine its performance. A cast aluminum firebox will heat quickly and help retain heat. Heavy gauge stainless steel is ideal for burners that will last, and stainless steel hood will help retain heat.
- Features — Today’s barbecues are more than a grill over flame. Infrared side burners bring a new dimension to searing meat and locking in flavours. Back rotisserie burners bathe your food in even heat as it rotates on the spit. Smoker tubes give you the flexibility to add new flavours to your dishes. Lighting makes grilling after dark an easier task. Charcoal trays make your gas gill truly versatile, giving you the option to cook over charcoal — and all the flavours that come with that.
- Assurance — Check the warranty that comes with the grill. What does it cover, or perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t it cover? A lifetime warranty on burners isn’t very helpful if the firebox rusts away to nothing, or the cooking grids crumble into dust. Select Napoleon grills come with an all-new, bumper-to-bumper warranty for 15 years, and limited lifetime warranty on major components.
Check out the June issue of SUAVV for our picks on the Grills that we love.