If you had to bottle the smell of summer, the sizzling aromas of a barbecue wafting over from your neighbour’s fence would surely fit the bill.
Keen to get in on the action? The first thing to do is consider which type of BBQ is going to be right for you.
Naturally, achieving evenly charred burgers that are bursting with flavour is likely top of your agenda. Not to mention those utterly satisfying grill marks you can only properly get with a BBQ.
As a leading supplier of luxury grill products in the UK, we’ve put together the following guide to explain each BBQ type in detail. Spatulas at the ready…
Different Types Of Grills And Their Benefits
Similar to what you can put on a grill varies dramatically – so too does the grill itself. Aspects to consider are ease of use, the level of cleaning involved and of course, that all-important taste preference.
Each of these aspects come down to the fuel type you purchase, which most commonly includes charcoal, gas, propane and wood, along with smoker grills that can accept various types of fuels.
Here is an overview of each of these fuel types along with its benefits:
Often dubbed ‘the BBQ king’, charcoal grills deliver that mouthwatering authentic taste we all know and love.
Most people’s first experience with a charcoal BBQ is the aluminium tray disposal types used for the likes of caravanning or alfresco dining on the beach. But with a purpose-built charcoal grill, you can enjoy all of the taste benefits as many times as the British weather permits.
It does take a little practice to get both the lighting and cooking times right with charcoal. The heat can be pretty intense due to it being such an efficient fuel type. So you do need to use some common sense as to which items you place on the grill first, gradually following up with items that will cook through faster.
Charcoal grills can be trickier to clean, though, with the right tools, including a decent cleaning brush, you can remove any remnants in no time. Plus, you can always have your charcoal BBQ professionally cleaned if you’re not too keen on the maintenance.
All in all, charcoal makes a solid choice for any keen griller. Its popularity will never wane, and with such delicious results, it’s easy to see why!
Charcoal Grill Pros
- Achieves the classic smoky BBQ taste
- Cheaper than gas BBQs
- Easier to build and move
- Higher heat temperatures
- Charcoal chimneys can enhance the cooking experience
Best suited for: Those who crave that classic smoky BBQ flavour, who will tend lovingly to their steaks and don’t mind a bit of a clean up afterwards.
Recommended charcoal grill model: VULX Magma Circular – Plancha and Grill Table (wood/charcoal or gas compatible)
As Jim Carrey in The Mask would say… It’s smokin! We are, of course, talking about smoker grills here.
Smoker grills work by slow cooking food over long periods. This makes them perfect for cooking thicker cuts of meat evenly, which may be a struggle with the intense heat of charcoal.
They are clever contraptions since getting a smoky taste is difficult to achieve through regular cooking methods. The only other option is to buy smoked meat off the shelf, such as bacon, brisket, pork or even salmon. But where is the fun in that?!
With a smoker grill, you can control just how much flavour and seasoning each item gets, making it way more satisfying. Another pro is that smoker grills can be purchased for practically any fuel type. Though, their more complex construction does mean smoker grills tend to be on the pricier side versus charcoal or gas-fired BBQs.
Smoker Grills Pros
- Gives a smoky taste to food
- Works with various fuel types
- Best for large cuts of meat
- Elegant design makes it a focal point of your garden
Best suited for: Grillers who have time as well as food to burn, as well as those who prefer a smoky rather than a chargrilled taste to their food.
Gas And Propane Grills
As a sturdy and reliable option, grills fueled by gas or propane are one of the most popular BBQ types.
If you find yourself uttering ‘crumbs!’ (or stronger terms) not in relation to the buns your food will be placed in, but the fact you’ve burnt said food, then gas grills are ideal. That’s because their surface heats evenly across, meaning you won’t get cold or hot spots on the grill plates. After all, nobody likes a sausage that’s cremated on the outside and pink on the inside!
One hesitation some grillers have with gas or propane fired grills is that they lose out on flavour. But this just isn’t the case anymore, since you can find models that incorporate lava rocks or flavouriser bars, giving you the best of both worlds.
Another benefit is that gas grills are considered healthier than other grill types. Though, one obvious point to note is that you’ll need to keep your supply of gas or propane bottles topped up and arrange for safe disposal of the empty tanks.
Gas And Propane Grills Pros
- Heats up quickly
- Heat distribution is more consistent
- Ability to adjust heat intensity with a dial
- Cleaning is straightforward
- Lava rocks or flavouriser bars can recreate the charcoal taste
- Gas is considered the healthiest fuel type for grills
Best suited for: Heavy usage requirements, including entertaining, where you’ll be cooking a wide variety of items for your guests.
Recommended gas grill model: VULX Magma Circular – Plancha and Grill Table (wood/charcoal or gas compatible)
Wood grills are also known as pellet grills due to wood used to fuel them being shaped into small pellets. As somewhat of a leftfield option, wood grills don’t get as much attention as charcoal or gas-fired grills. But with the impressive results they can create on practically any meat or vegetable type, they are well worth considering.
The control over temperature is perhaps the most significant advance with wood grills. Some models even allow you to connect a temperature probe into the grill so that when you place the probe into the meat, it will give you a reading. Given the importance of cooking through meat thoroughly, this is a highly nifty feature, in addition to being able to turn up or down the heat dial.
Wood Grill Pros
- Easy to use
- Fires up quickly
- Intuitive temperature settings
- Recreates that delicious wood-fired taste
- Wood pellets can be flavoured to enhance the taste
Best suited for: Cooking enthusiasts who want to master their craft and experiment with a wide range of food types and grilling methods.
Which Type Of Grill Is Better?
Each type of grill, including charcoal, gas, wood or a smoker grill, has its pros and cons. It really depends on whether you crave that smoky taste with something such as charcoal and are also willing to put effort into learning how to cook everything through evenly.
If it’s the ease of use you are after, then a gas-fired grill tick all the boxes. Grills can sometimes feel intimidating, but this is totally unnecessary because it just takes careful observation to get it right. Gas is by far the easiest grill type for grillers of all abilities.
If you want something a little more bespoke, then a smoker or wood grill offers the chance to experiment with different cooking methods. These grill types typically are on the pricier side of things but will be a real talking point for your guests.
What Kind Of Grills Do Restaurants Use?
The most common grill type used by restaurants is the salamander grill. Typically salamander grills are made from stainless steel and consist of a single tray to place food on. The heat is powered by electricity and is controlled via a temperature dial on the side.
Salamander grills are pretty versatile for the hospitality industry, as they can be used to cook items on a standalone basis within smaller cafes, coffee shops and restaurants. Or, they can be used in busy kitchens above the main grills to keep food warm and ensure different items of a dish are ready at the same time.
However, if you’re a restaurant owner looking for a ‘hands-on’ kind of grill, our range allows your customers to get up close and personal to the cooking. Our range of grills allows your customers to grill their food to their taste while making them everlasting memories with their friends and family.
Buy Grills Online
When it comes to popular types of BBQs, we hope our guide has given you food for thought. But just like choosing which sauce to adorn your freshly grilled burger, if you still need a little help deciding which option is right for you, we’re here to help!
Caleo Lifestyle is based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, delivering across the UK. Give us a call on 0114 322 1592. Or drop us an email, and our friendly team will be in touch.
Alternatively, if you are on the hunt for a bespoke barbecue experience, then be sure to check out our full range of luxury grills and accessories in our online shop. We stock a wide range of gas, wood and charcoal-fired grills.