Buyers’ guide for charcoal grills on a budget

If the sight of dancing flames giving way to glowing red charcoals, the smoky aroma of the barbecue tickling your nostrils and the satisfying sound of sizzling food as they cook on a gridiron make your mouth water, then grilling is for you!

There’s something so primal about creating and tending a fire in the great outdoors to cook your food. It seems to harken back to when our cavemen ancestors would gather around bonfires to cook the spoils of their hunt. That prehistoric experience is mirrored in backyard barbecues, with people gathering around in a festive atmosphere while most of the action takes place on top of the grill.

Charcoal Grill

Charcoal grills comprise the most popular category of outdoor grills, dominating pop culture images of barbecues from movies to TV ads. While some cooks would cite the time it takes to stoke a fire up to the temperature required for cooking as a disadvantage, expert grillers would argue that the authentic smoky flavor it brings to grilled food as its strongest appeal.

Charcoal Grill

Even if you’re considering to buy a grill on a low budget, you still need to consider other factors to help you choose the right one for your needs, such as:

How many people you plan to grill for.  This will help you choose the size of charcoal grill to buy. A small one (26 inches at the widest point or less) is suitable for grilling for two or for a small family.  Medium-sized grills (between 27 to 33 inches) are perfect for grilling for larger families, while large ones (34 inches or bigger) are appropriate for large clan gatherings or neighborhood cookout parties.

Where you plan to use it. If there is a designated area in your patio or backyard for it, you can choose free-standing grill that can stay in a fixed position.  If you don’t have a fixed spot for it or you plan to bring it along when you travel, you would need one that’s more lightweight and portable.

How to manage temperature. Maintaining the right temperature can spell the difference between a juicy piece of premium steak that will get your tastebuds tingling to one that’s all wasted potential.  Temperature is managed in a charcoal grill by manipulating the fire: features that facilitate stoking the coals, adding fuel or adjusting airflow will make grilling so much easier.

How easy to clean and maintain. Buying a charcoal grill is quite an investment so you would want to have it around and functioning well for a long time.  Proper clean-up becomes really important as wet ash left in your grill can wear the metal away over time and can accumulate to become an unmanageable mess, so be sure to look for features that facilitate easy ash removal. Check on the availability of accessories that will prolong the life of your charcoal grill such as a cover to protect it from the elements. You may even opt for a disposable charcoal grill so you won’t have to worry about cleanup and maintenance!

Buying a charcoal grill may be your first step towards many tasty food adventures so be sure to take the time and the effort to weigh your options and choose carefully.

This post contains affiliate links.

Author: Gel Jose

Manic Pixie Dream Girl Wannabe, Imagineer, Foodie, TV Addict and Lifelong Learner

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