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Part of the BBQ purchasing process is determining
Propane gas grills are extremely popular these days, and like charcoal grills, are available in a wide variety of styles, sizes and price ranges. However, the mere convenience of a gas grill is what really makes this a top-seller, because it is easy to use and easier to clean. Additionally, multiple burners, which are a common feature on most gas grills, also allow the temperature to be controlled quite accurately. This is especially important when several foods are grilled simultaneously and each requires a different temperature setting for proper grilling.
Most types of gas grills feature automatic ignition for every burner, like Weber's top-of-the-line Summit Series models. The similarity between the burners of an outdoor gas grill and an indoor gas range allows the outdoor gas grill to be used in the same manner as a gas range when food is cooked on the grill with pots and pans rather than being placed directly onto the grate of the grilling unit. Depending on the manufacturer and the price of the unit, some gas grills may include warming trays, special smoker boxes to add a wood-smoked flavor to food, attached work surfaces that may be folded down when not in use, and electric rotisserie units for the terrific flavor provided by rotisserie grilling.
Grills that use charcoal are typically seen as the more 'traditional' type of BBQ, and come in a wide range of styles and sizes. The most common consists of a small cast iron container for the charcoal with a grate placed on top, like the One-Touch Charcoal Grill from Weber. Among the more sophisticated designs, the most popular models are kettle grills with large, domed covers. There are vents on the top and the bottom for the regulation of oxygen intake in order to vary the cooking temperature. Some models have built-in ash containers, attached work surfaces, and storage units for utensils. Charcoal grills attached to rolling carts are quite common for ease in maneuverability.
One type of charcoal grill that is becoming very popular is the type that includes a small tank of gas, which is a smaller version of the propane tank used as the primary fuel source for a gas grill. On the charcoal grill, the small propane tank is used as a fuel source to ignite the charcoal. When the charcoal is lit, the gas supply is switched off. This system provides an easy, efficient means for igniting the charcoal.
Portable electric countertop grills, like the Weber Q 140 model, are quite portable and are generally safe to use indoors, as they were designed to be 'smokeless.' They are convenient to use, easy to clean, and inexpensively priced.
Some countertop grills feature a grill rack constructed with a heavy molded nonstick material. An electric heating unit is located directly beneath the grill rack. A drip well is positioned at the front of the unit to collect any melted fat or grease that escapes from food as it cooks. Some countertop grills have a grilling lid that can be closed during cooking to provide two-sided grilling.
Simpler models of countertop grills feature a traditional style, lightweight metal grilling grate that is positioned several inches above an electric heating unit, similar to the distance between the grate and the heat source of an outdoor grill. This type of unit usually does not include a lid to cover the food during grilling and the drip pan, or well, is located below the grilling grate rather than at the front.
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