Did you know that choosing one specific type of grill over another may have a profound effect on the flavor of your food? It’s true. Different types of grills, for instance, have different fuel sources that all have a different and unique impact on the flavor of the foods you’re preparing. There are four common types of grills on the market today:
- Gas (natural or propane)
- Wood pellet
Each one has strengths and weaknesses when it comes to use and usefulness. Additionally, they each lend a different flavor to the foods that are prepared upon them. Here’s what you need to know.
Charcoal Grilling for Flavor
While many will argue that there are plenty of potential drawbacks to charcoal grills when it comes to temperature control, creating large messes, and the amount of time it takes for the grills to reach the desired heat, few will argue the full, rich flavor charcoal Weber grills bring to bear.
There’s just something about charcoal that lends amazing flavor to whatever dishes you’re preparing on your grill, including beef, pork, chicken, seafood, and vegetables. It is an excellent choice for all around flavor though there is a bit of a learning curve and you do need to keep watch to avoid overcooking or charring your food.
Natural Gas and Propane Grilling
You will find a lot to love about natural gas when it comes to the ease of use and cleaning up afterward. Many people even like the precise temperature control cooking with a gas grill delivers. When it comes to flavor, though, the gas often lends its own flavor to the food which can be a bit unpleasant.
Additionally, those who choose to cook with propane must keep watch to make sure you have sufficient propane on hand to avoid a mid-grill run for a refill. Something nobody wants to deal with. The good news is that there are techniques you can use to avoid the propane flavor when cooking with gas. They include adjusting your fuel/air mixture and cleaning out the air intakes to ensure proper flow and avoid getting propane onto your food. When there is no propane aftertaste, the food cooked on a natural gas grill should only have the flavors you add. However, it will lack the robust additional flavor that charcoal and wood pellets add to your grilling experience.
Wood Pellet Grilling
Some will argue that this is the best of both worlds. You get the ease and quick grilling of gas with a robust flavor to rival that of charcoal with wood pellet grilling. It’s a win-win for many would-be grillers. Even the die-hard charcoal fans who shun propane and natural gas grills can appreciate food prepared on a wood pellet grill.
You should note, however, that you do not necessarily require a dedicated wood pellet grill in order to enjoy the flavor benefits wood pellet grilling provides. In fact, you can use wood pellets with your charcoal grill to enhance the experience all around. Some grillers prefer wood pellet flavor while others feel that it overpowers the amazing flavors of the foods you prepare on your grill.
Perhaps the least favorite option when it comes to the flavor experience when grilling is the electric grill. However, some communities and living arrangements simply do not accommodate or allow the use of any type of grill that provides an open flame. This leaves grillers to endure the injustice of electric grills.
That doesn’t mean it has to be a completely unpleasant experience or that there aren’t things you can do to enhance the flavors of the foods you prepare. In fact, electric grills allow you the opportunity to grill in more places and even to grill on a porch, balcony, or beneath an awning. In some instances, you can even use electric grills indoors with a venting hood.
As for flavor, you won’t have the benefit of wood pellets or charcoal to help flavor your food, so you’ll rely on herbs, butter, oils, rubs, marinades, and other tools to flavor your foods. All-in-all, while not as desirable for a full “grilling experience,” electric grills can offer a safe option for even beginning grillers to learn about the grilling process.
The way you cook your food matters. This is the case even when working with different types of grills. The good news is that grilling food offers many options to enhance the flavor of food whether you are tailgating, grilling for summer fun, making use of your personal outdoor kitchen, or reducing the burden on your indoor cooling in the summer by taking most of the cooking work outside your home. The more options you have available when it comes to grilling, the more opportunities you have to experiment with great flavors and bold options each type of grill introduces.