Charcoal barbeque grills are among the most popular types of grills. From charcoal cast iron grills to charcoal grills with rotisseries to portable charcoal grills, the choices are endless when it comes to buying a charcoal barbeque grill.
Charcoal grills can vary in price depending on size, material, shape, portability, features and more. Charcoal grills can be small enough for apartment balconies or large enough to take up the better part of a backyard. You can spend under $100 on a charcoal grill or upwards of $2,000 on a charcoal grill, depending on what you ”re looking for in your cooker.
Basic, inexpensive grills are sufficient for those who will use a charcoal grill infrequently and for the basics, such as hamburgers and hot dogs. Those wishing to cook a wide variety of foods, smoke their meals or use a grill frequently may want to invest in a higher quality charcoal grill model. Higher quality grills generally are more durable, last longer and come equipped with longer and more thorough warranties, which could make the extra initial cost worthwhile.
Those wanting to cook with charcoal grills should also consider the cost of charcoal. Charcoal can cost around $5 or more each time you use your grill, depending on the size of the grill and the amount of cooking you plan to do.
Many charcoal grills come with wheels for easy portability. If you will be moving your grill or taking it to the beach or out camping, make sure your grill can be easily moved.
Advantages of Charcoal Grills
Charcoal barbeque grills have a number of different advantages over gas barbeque grills and other types of grills. Some of the most common cited advantages of charcoal grills include:
- Charcoal barbeque grills add flavor to foods as they cook, bring a more authentic feel to your barbeque and making your foods unique.
- Charcoal barbeque grills are much easier than gas grills to smoke foods on.
- Charcoal grills cook food hotter than other types of barbeque grills.
- Charcoal grills offer the advantage of being able to cook over wood as well as charcoal.
- Charcoal grills offer the fun of using actual fire in your cooking.
This is not to say charcoal grills are without their flaws.
Disadvantages of Charcoal Grills
While charcoal barbeque grills have many advantages, there are also a number of drawbacks to cooking with a charcoal grill. The most common complaints about charcoal grills include:
- Charcoal barbeque grills gradually lose their heat and must be re-stoked and readjusted approximately every hour or so.
- Charcoal grills are messier to cook on and to clean up after cooking.
- Charcoal grills are not as predictable as other types of grills, which means they must be more carefully watched, monitored and adjusted during the cooking process than most other types of grills.
- Charcoal grills require more time and effort to light.
Despite these flaws, many barbeque aficionados swear by charcoal grill cooking and refuse all other grill types.
Extra Features of Charcoal Grills
In addition to wheels for added portability, charcoal barbeque grills can come with a number of added features. The most popular charcoal grill extra features include:
- domed lids for indirect grilling
- extra vents on top and bottom for adjusting airflow
- front-loading options
- hanging racks for barbeque tools and brushes
- hinged grill grates for added wood chips to charcoal
- side tables for extra workspace, which often fold down for conservation of space during non-use and storage.
Raichlen, Steven (n.d.). The Great Debate: Charcoal vs. Gas. Retrieved January 16, 2008, from the AOL Food Web site: http://food.aol.com/grilling/gas-vs-charcoal-whats-better.
Ricches, Derrick (2008). Top 10 Charcoal Grills. Retrieved January 16, 2008, from the About.com Web site: http://bbq.about.com/od/charcoalgrills/tp/aatp062604a.htm.