Gas and Charcoal Portable Grill Buyer’s Guide
The great debate between gas and charcoal grills may never be resolved. However, both gas and charcoal grills are great appliances for cooking in the parking lot before your favorite team’s on picnics or a campground. When buying a portable gas or charcoal grill, keep in mind several things that are unique to each type of grill.
Charcoal cooks hotter than gas and provides a smokier taste to grilled foods such as ribs, chicken, burgers, chops and even breads. If you like a smokey flavor to your meats or vegetables, a charcoal grill such as the BBQ Pro 18-inch Foldable Grill, shown at right, may be just the grill for you. It features an 18-inch grilling surface but can be collapsed and packed for easy transport to the stadium parking lot or any other public cookout area.
Gas grills run on propane or natural gas. They are generally considered easier to operate, offering the advantage of push button ignition and quicker heating time than charcoal. Unlike a charcoal grill where coals must be tended while cooking, a gas grill provides steady heat controlled with the turn of a knob. The average gas grill propane tank may provide you with as much as 20 hours of cooking time. Consider the Coleman RoadTrip Grill LXE, shown at left. It features InstaStart push-button ignition and coated cast-iron cook surfaces. It’s also foldable for space-saving travel purposes.
Must-have grill features
The best charcoal grills have a tight-fitting lid and adequate ventilation for proper airflow. A hinged grill grate allows for easy access when adding charcoal or wood chips. The best gas grills have a built-in gas gauge and temperature gauge, as well as a second heating zone for indirect heat cooking. Whether you go with a charcoal or gas grill make sure to buy a sturdy model that comes with a manufacturer’s warranty.