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Firing Up - What’s the Best Grill for You?

[Do Not Use]DK Publishing logo[Do Not Use]DK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks

What’s the Best Grill for You?

We’ve grilled on a $5,000 super-behemoth gas grill, an oven rack perched on three rocks, and pretty much everything in between. And what we’ve learned is that the most important thing is technique, not equipment. In addition, we know that the particular grill that you choose is largely a matter of personal preference, budget, and available space. Having said all that, though, we have found, over many years, that there are a couple of grill qualities that can make grilling easier and more successful.

First, it is best to get a covered grill. While you can do a fine job grilling on a hibachi, you need that cover for any of the other live-fire cooking techniques, such as smoke-roasting or barbecuing. It’s even more important to get a grill with a generous grilling surface. A couple of years ago I (Chris) got a giant charcoal grill, 4ft (120cm) in diameter, and I’ve become addicted to it. It lets me entertain a crowd without having to cook in stages. It also makes it possible to have a wide range of heat: I can be searing steaks over a hot fire on one side, and slow-cooking tomatoes over a low fire on the other, while still having a space with no coals at all in case I need to move something there to quickly cool down. In other words, it just gives me the most versatility. Of course, you may not have room in your backyard (or your budget) for a grill this giant, but we strongly recommend: When buying a grill, get the largest one you can accommodate. You need a grill grid at least 22in (55cm) across for anything but the simplest, most direct grilling. One other feature that’s worth looking for is a grill rack with a hinged lid so it’s easy to add more charcoal during cooking—particularly useful for smoke-roasting.

What to look for

Space for tools is always handy;

titanic gas grills often feature warming areas, too,

but with a petite charcoal grill, a side table is a must.

Rustic portables have charm, but you’ll find one with a vented lid gives more cooking scope;

for example, a miniature version of the classic kettle grill.

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