If you like having barbeques and cookouts on a pleasant Sunday afternoon, or you own a restaurant that specializes in outdoor cooking, you have a lot of choices in equipment and even more options to consider in each.
Depending on the type of cooking you want to do, you can choose from the many options given below:
Setup on covered decks or patios, and you can steam, fry, or boil large quantities of food items. You can use cast iron cooking utensils and large stock pots to cook meat, fry a whole turkey, steam a large number of vegetables, make a large pot of stew, brew beer, or just simply heat a large bowl of water. Look for higher patio stoves with a higher British thermal unit (BTU), but read the specifications. A higher BTU does not always mean faster or better cooking. If you will be using heavy cooking utensils, choose a shorter, square stove for stability.
If you specialize in smoked items, invest in a large smoker. This equipment gives you fine control over smoking, letting you adjust temperature and humidity levels and other settings. Large smokers let you hang meat or fish inside on hooks. Outdoor Fryers: These are larger versions of kitchen fryers. They can have multiple fry tanks and can come with multiple baskets for each tank. This lets you fry multiple batches of similar items in each tank.
If you are looking for an outdoor grill, consider your cooking style and how often you will be using it. If you only intend to use the grill in favorable weather, buy a portable grill that you can disassemble and store away during winter. If you want to use the grill throughout the year, consider a built-in grill that can be installed on your covered deck or patio.
Most grills are now made of stainless steel, but some use other metals like Aluminum or porcelain coated steel or cast iron. Aluminum is rustproof, making it suitable for use in coastal regions. Porcelain coated metal is only good as long as the coating lasts. Once it wears off, the steel or cast iron underneath is exposed to the atmosphere and may soon begin to rust. Look for 304-grade stainless steel construction as it is commercial quality as well as highly rust resistant and long lasting. Grade 443 is a new rating, but this is less expensive and of similar quality to that of 304-grade stainless steel. The 443-grade stainless steel body grill is more than adequate for home use.
The burner is the heart of the grill, pay attention to the BTUs, which is used to measure the heating capacity. The heating style might be standard or infrared. In infrared burners, the heat generated is much higher compared to standard burners. It may be best suited for cooking steaks, but will not work so well for slow cooking needs.
The material used in burners may be the old style cast iron. It is sturdy and can retain a lot of heat, but is prone to corrosion. Stainless steel tube burners are made of good-quality stainless steel that has been cast into tubes. Cast stainless steel is also high-quality stainless steel, flatter in construction, and welded together to form a solid piece of a metal burner. Brass burners are completely rust proof and can spread heat evenly.
Flame tamers form a barrier between the burners and the grid. They protect the burner from potential damage that is caused by food drippings from the cooking grid. They can also give the food a smoked effect by catching the drippings and burning them into smoke. These barriers can be ceramic or metal prices. Ceramic tamers absorb grease and create a smoked effect, but they are harder to clean. Stainless steel tamers are tough and longer-lasting and can be cleaned easily. Stainless steel flame tamers can come in two types according to size: burner width or full width. Burner width tamers are angled metal pieces that go over each burner. Full-size tamers cover the whole grill surface, and they may be perforated or solid pieces. They provide better protection for the burners and also ensure uniform heat distribution.
This is where you do all the cooking, of course. Choose a high-quality material that is not prone to binding with the food items placed on them. You don’t need to buy a non-stick grid, but do some research to find out if the particular grid is prone to excessive sticking. Grids can be made of materials like porcelain coated metal, iron, or stainless steel. Porcelain coated grids may not be of the best quality, but they have one advantage, they are non-stick grids. If the coating wears off, the metal underneath can start to rust. Cast iron grids are heavy-duty grids that retain heat. They also leave nice grid marks on the food. Stainless steel rod grids are high-quality low-maintenance grids. Choose thicker grids for better cooking.
Most modern grills use propane or natural gas as fuel, but you can also buy charcoal or wood chips to burn grills. Charcoal grills may come with fewer options than gas grills, but they can generate more heat, they are ideal for adding a smokey effect on food, and help add rich flavors that make the food tastier.
The choices in grills and outdoor cooking gadgets are wide, so pick the apparatus according to your need. Look at reviews and ratings for various equipment before choosing a brand or model. Take a look at the warranties and the accessories provided as well.