Food

Barbecues and grills: Our best buying tips

Author: Canadian Living

Food

Barbecues and grills: Our best buying tips

The snow has finally melted off your back patio and the smell of barbecued burgers is in the air. It's time to break out the deck furniture and get your friends over for a barbecue. To make your summer barbecues the best they can be, you need to invest in a great grill that is guaranteed to last. Here's our barbecue-buying guide to help you narrow your search and find the grill of your dreams. 

1. The right size
The amount of delectable edibles you'll be placing on your grill will be the determining factor in what size of barbecue you need. Do you only use your barbecue to grill yourself a nice steak or veggie kabob once in a while? If so, you will probably be satisfied with a smaller, 2-burner size grill. If you cook every part of your meal on the barbecue (which you can do, by the way) for your giant extended family every Sunday until the first snowfall, it's a safer bet to opt for a bigger grill with 4-6 burners. If you're somewhere in between, err on the side of caution and invest in something a little bigger. It's great to have the liberty to entertain a larger group on a whim.

2. Take a look on the inside
What's inside your barbecue is just as important as what's going to cook on it. Don't shy away from examining the hardware because that's what's responsible for making your food taste great. Be sure to inquire about the burner system, vaporizer, cooking grids and oven design.

• The burner system should fill the whole bottom of the oven in order to eliminate hot spots. Look for a barbecue with a heavy-duty stainless steel burner for durability.

• The vapourizer is what creates that unique flavour. Drippings fall onto the surface and are vapourized. Look for a vapourizer with "V" shaped ridges without flat spots where juices can pool and burn.

• Look for cast iron cooking grids as they hold the heat and provide great searing power.

• Find a barbecue with a deep oven design. It will distribute the heat evenly and give you room to cook large items like turkeys and roasts. Look for a cast aluminum oven – they're durable and rust-free.

3. Bells and whistles
To optimize your grilling, you're going to have to invest in a few key barbecue accessories.
• Flipper or spatula is necessary to flip your burgers
• Durable pair of tongs to ensure your tofu kabobs are grilled to perfection
• Cedar plank to give your salmon steaks an irresistible flavour
• Grilling basket is another must-have so you can grill a medley of vegetables
• Set of metal skewers for your kabobs
• And, to give your grids a quick brush down while they are still hot (food residue will come off easier when grids are still hot) you will need to invest in a stainless steel or brass barbecue brush.

Happy grilling!

Great barbecue recipes:
Barbecue Chops
Barbecue Chicken Sandwich
Veggie Burgers
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Barbecues and grills: Our best buying tips

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