Hungry for a good hamburger? Think it’s time you got yourself an outdoor grill, or replaced the one you have rusting on the patio?

We know: Fast Facts About Barbecue Grills

Before you rush out the door to buy a barbecue grill for that next family get-together, take a minute to decide which kind you really want. The kind of grill you choose will not only affect the taste of your food, but determine how and where you fire that puppy up.

There are basically three types of barbecue grills, determined by what fuels the fire or produces the heat.

Traditional Charcoal Grills

These grills are generally the cheapest to buy and the most hassle to light. You do best if you also buy a starter gadget, such as a charcoal chimney, or the ‘ready to light’ charcoal. Many apartments and condo buildings now prohibit charcoal grills, because the flame can be hard to control, increasing the change of fire. And, charcoal grills require that you monitor the hot coals until the fire is out. They’re also a pain to clean. But, they give your food that traditional charcoal flavor, which can be hard to beat.

Gas Grills

Gas grills range in size and price - from the little propane grills with attachable gas canisters, to the high end grills that require a large propane canister or a gas line hook up. These grills are generally easier to light than charcoal, although the smaller, cheaper grills can be a little difficult to light and those made of a thin quality metal tend to disintegrate from the heat after a while.

Gas flames are easier to control than charcoal, so meat tends to brown evenly. But you might miss that charcoal flavor.

Some apartment and condo buildings prohibit the use of gas grills on patios because of the new fire insurance requirements, even though the patio may be equipped with a gas outlet. So check with your building owner or manager before buying an expensive gas grill.

Electric Grills

Electric grills tend to be more expensive than charcoal, but less expensive than the high end gas grills. Like electric stoves, they’re easy to light and the temperature is easier to control. But they take more time to warm up and cool down than gas. They allow you to cook with a greater variety of pans, including nonstick, but your food will lack that smoky taste you get from charcoal. Because there’s no flame, an electric grill is safer in small places or where there are patio overhangs.

No Matter What Kind of Grill You Buy --- Look for one that’s sturdy, easy to assemble, easy to clean and has a mechanism for catching and collecting grease.

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