Grilling is a favorite pastime for many households, and it’s also a common method of commercial cooking. Gas grills are, by far, the most popular, but people often choose charcoal and portable grills. We will cover propane, pellet, and kamado grills here, each of their advantages, and how they differ.
Depending on your needs, the choice can come down to flavor, size, or the availability of fuel sources. With the information provided here, you will more easily find, for example, Weber grills on sale that meet your needs and, if you require a propane refill, you can always depend on one of Brinkmann’s local Long Island stores for this as well.
According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) (yes, there’s an organization that tracks facts on grilling!), seven in ten U.S. adults use a grill or smoker. Many of them have the types of grills described below:
Advantages of a Propane Grill
Gas grills are the most popular. About 64% of grill owners have some type of gas model, and propane grills are found in backyards throughout America. There are many advantages, one of them being that propane is easy to come by, whether you purchase it bottled in canisters or connect your grill to a natural gas line.
The perks of a propane grill include:
- The ability to start up the grill quickly.
- No need to clean up charcoal afterward.
- Propane models are relatively affordable.
- Different grilling surfaces are available.
There’s quite a bit of variability. A low-end model, like the Weber Spirit II, can give you years of use if properly maintained, even if it’s left outside. Many units are built with aluminum so will not rust or corrode very easily. Higher-end models, such as the Weber Genesis series, feature multiple burners, stainless steel casings, and a choice of grilling surfaces, which may consist of porcelain-covered steel bars, stainless steel bars, bent stainless steel sheets, or iron grates. Optional side burners may be available, too; with these, you have room for pots and pans to heat additional foods. Whether you choose to go with a low-end or high-end model, your local Brinkmann’s carries a large selection of Weber grills to fit your needs.
Also, depending on the model, the grill may provide direct or indirect heat from below. The number of burners depends on the size of the grill and its capacity or how much food you want to heat up at one time. People also choose them for the accessories. Side burners, meat-searing surfaces, and even lights and integrated thermometers may be available, among other gadgets.
If you like a short pre-heating time and clean burning, a propane gas grill is the way to go. The overhead is low, once you get started, save for the cost of food. If you shop at a local Brinkmann’s, you get the most out of the propane refill cost, meaning more grilling and less filling. A propane grill can, therefore, be quite economical.
Advantages of a Pellet Grill
How does a pellet grill differ from a gas one? Instead of propane or natural gas, it uses pea-sized wood pellets, which are safe to burn around food. Loaded into the hopper using an auger, they’re then transported to a burn pot. Both the burn pot and thermostat are electronic. The electronics in the grill maintain the temperature to which you set the grill and continuously adjust to keep the system within range.
Although there are limited options for adjusting the cooker once it gets going, a pellet grill offers the benefit of doubling as a smoker and grill. It is a sort of hybrid system. Manufacturers have made advances in recent years, achieving the char and grill marks many outdoor grilling aficionados love. Historically, these grills were not known for their searing or browning ability, especially when it comes to meat.
Pellet grills have become more mainstream over the past few years, although they’ve been on the market for roughly three decades.
Another perk—the grill does not need much attention during the cooking process. Therefore, it’s convenient for cooking food items that take a long time, such as ribs, briskets, and other meats. You can cook up a large roast and keep the grill going without having much to do after the initial setup. Unlike most other grilling systems, this type requires a power source and must stay plugged in during cooking and cool-down.
Wood is often preferred for the flavor it brings. You can use maple, cherry, hickory, and other types of wood; for less smoke and better burning, use aged wood. This type of grilling has become more commonplace in homes and is no longer a method used only in restaurants.
Statistics from the HPBA show the growing interest in wood pellet grills. By 2017, 3% of grill owners had these, but the report indicated that 11% of potential buyers were in the planning stages of purchasing one. If you find yourself in that planning stage, visit your local Brinkmann’s and check out one of their high-quality Traeger Pellet Grills in person.
Advantages of a Kamado Grill
If finding propane near you isn’t as easy as it sounds, kamado grills are fine. A kamado is essentially a more advanced form of charcoal grill. They’re identified by their elongated, egg-like shape, just like the Big Green Egg grills found at your local Brinkmann’s. They’re quite heavy as well, compared to many other types, weighing in at 150 to 500 pounds.
Kamado grills burn extremely hot. That makes them very effective at cooking. Users often integrate a heat deflector, which allows for oven-like cooking. Covering the hot charcoals, it transfers heat from below to the food from every direction, rather than having hot spots. You can, therefore, effectively bake pizza, cheesecake, or anything else with consistent results.
The heat source is hardwood lump charcoal. Compared to traditional charcoal briquettes, these produce less ash and, according to some grilling and barbecue buffs, add more flavor during cooking. Plus, only small adjustments need to be made to significantly alter the temperature. Air flow is regulated through the top and bottom.
You don’t need to remove the lid or dome completely. The thickness and weight of the unit make this difficult, but the top components are secured by spring-loaded hinges connected to the base. A very solid design adds to the grill’s sturdiness despite its heavy weight and bulk.
Main Differences Between Popular Grill Types
There are many ways to grill. Charcoal grills remain very popular, as they are affordable, readily available, and well-known for preparing tasty foods. They’re time-efficient, but a gas grill is also notorious for its fast setup and cooking time (and, at Brinkmann’s, you get 30% more with each refill, so the propane refill cost and value add to the benefits). Additionally, temperature is stabilized and managed using air intakes and exhaust—a process not that different from the adjustments on kettle and kamado grills.
Kamado grills, however, are very heavy. They’re good for flavor—an area where gas grills fall behind. The cooking space of a gas/propane grill is typically relatively small, limiting the smoke flavor that charcoal grills are known for. Gas cooking is generally quick, and it is easy to control the temperature. Less clean-up is another convenience, and there are different fueling options to consider as well. Depending on the unit, you may require a natural gas portable tank, liquid propane, or liquefied petroleum gas.
If you have an electricity source nearby, a pellet grill can be used, and you can take advantage of its suitability for long roasts. Propane grills, of course, don’t require electricity. The type of grill you buy depends on your preferred cooking style and the available space and amenities.
Here are some considerations to think about when you are shopping around:
- Availability of an electrical outlet or extension cord.
- The number of people you plan to feed.
- The space and support available for the grill’s weight and size.
- Whether you enjoy slow cooking or fast, spontaneous meals.
- Whether you prefer a clean, fast grill or a trademark smoky flavor.
You may also want to consider the basic grill types, including Brinkmann’s Weber charcoal grills on sale, but there are others to look into. The choice depends on your preferred cooking quality and available space.
The basic types of grills include:
- Open grills: These can burn wood, charcoal, or propane, and they are used for high-heat direct grilling if you’re into cooking steaks, fish, vegetables, and other tender foods that cook quickly.
- Covered grills: Perfect if you prefer indirect grilling and smoking, they include gas grills and are better suited for thick steaks and fattier cuts of meat, including pork, veal chops, whole chicken, and baby back ribs.
- Vessel grills: Radiant heat is the primary source; foods are often cooked and roasted on the ceramic walls or on a vertical component inside the firebox, which is great for chicken, fish steaks, peppers, goat/lamb legs, kebabs, and flatbread.
More sophisticated styles of grills include smokers, which use one of the oldest methods of cooking. Using indirect grilling, they cook at low to moderate temperatures. You may also find open pit/campfire-style grills, in which meat is roasted on a stake over a fire. Using this method, you can cook a whole pig, lamb, or goat, or an entire rack of ribs. Rotisseries are also grills, but they use motion to even out cooking, melt fat, and baste meat. These provide a trademark browning of the outside of meats.
At home, however, you’re more likely to encounter propane, kamado, and pellet grills. You may find these closer than you think if you live on Long Island. Brinkmann’s Hardware sells numerous types, in addition to many other home products.
About Brinkmann’s Hardware
Brinkmann’s offers several advantages for grill owners. A best price guarantee and free same-day delivery aren’t the only benefits. We also offer free assembly and a free 20-pound propane refill. You’ll find Weber grills on sale, and this is an advantage because the brand is known for its quality, versatility, and low prices for over 50 years. Brinkmann’s Hardware stocks the top models on the market, with anywhere from 26,000 BTUs to as many as 72,000 BTUs of cooking power.
In need of a propane refill? Find a refill station at a Brinkmann’s location near you, where we fill propane tanks to maximum capacity. We also use licensed and certified technicians to fill the tanks, so your safety is maximized. To receive propane and shop for Weber charcoal grills on sale, visit any one of our locations in Sayville, Blue Point, Holbrook, and Miller Place.