With ideal weather for spending time outside, many of us are taking advantage of cooking and dining outdoors. Outdoor cooking offers addition meal choices and cooking techniques that just aren’t possible indoors. With options from gas or charcoal grills, smokers and more, there are plenty of methods to suit everyone’s tastes. Here’s a quick guide to help you invest in the right outdoor cooking setup that will work for you.
Many homeowners looking for a modern, outdoor kitchen look are opting for gas grills thanks to how quickly they heat up and cool down. With shortened cooking times and easier clean up afterwards, grills work well for busy at home chefs. Easy heat regulation often means better results than indoor cooking, especially with poultry, fish and veggies. Keep in mind that gas grills don’t get as hot as charcoal grills – especially important when searing meats. Gas grills are also more expensive to purchase and maintain.
Charcoal grills may seem old-fashioned these days, but some folks prefer the smoky flavor that can come by cooking with charcoal. These grills are great for finishing slow-cooked meats, and their high temperatures can sear red meats to perfection. While traditional charcoal grills are inexpensive, they create can create an abundance of smoke and can be difficult to clean.
Built-In or Freestanding?
Free-standing grills are a common backyard feature, usually found on a deck or patio. However, you may consider opting for a built-in grill if you cook outside often – many folks grill outside year-round, weather permitting. Providing a sleek, modern look of a true outdoor kitchen, remember that built-in grills are more expensive and stationary – which could be a problem if you ever have a need or desire to redesign your outdoor space.
Smokers are a bit more of a niche cooking appliance, but they are popular with true barbecue aficionados. Their steady, low heat creates delicious melt-in-your-mouth meats with a true smoky flavor. However, you don’t always need a dedicated smoker to achieve these results, especially if you only periodically smoke meats. Instead, investigate what add-ons might be available to turn your gas grill into a smoker.
A great option for pizza-lovers is a dedicated pizza oven. There’s just nothing quite like crispy, delicious pizza cooked in a stone oven. BBQ may not appeal to everyone, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a friend or family member who doesn’t love pizza. With many vegetarian and gourmet pizza recipes easily found online, a backyard pizza oven is a great way to master the art of this favorite.
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