Cooking out is one of the most pleasant experiences of the summertime. Just about everyone loves to go outside when the weather is nice and light a nice hot roaring fire. That smoky flavor that only comes from an open flame makes it a treat for all involved. And of course, there is the social aspect. Cookouts are a great excuse to gather up everyone you know in one place.
The humble backyard barbecue has come a long way from its beginnings. Of course, people cooked exclusively with an open flame for the majority of human history. Gas powered stoves and ovens have only been around since the 1820’s. Electric stoves only became common in the early 20th century.
Your first and most obvious option is to just build a simple campfire. You can take various meats and roast them on sticks, or wrap the food in aluminum foil and place it in the hot embers of the fire. But you don’t want to do that, right? You want an actual grill, or you wouldn’t even be reading this article in the first place.
The main differences between backyard grills mostly come down to size and fuel source. When choosing size, you simply have to think about how many people you want to cook for at one time. Fuel source is an important matter to consider because it will affect the flavor of whatever you cook.
Gas grills are one of the most popular options. These are very convenient because you don’t have to take the trouble to build an actual fire. You just turn on the gas, light a match, and start cooking. These grills usually run on propane, which isn’t particularly expensive. For this reason, it’s not a bad choice for someone who likes to cook out a lot. However, I find that the gas flame gives the food a certain flavor that I don’t like. But it isn’t just me…this article claims to have proven by science that charcoal/wood grilling produces better flavor than gas.
The simple charcoal grill is easily the most popular choice, and there’s really nothing wrong with it. There’s not much I can say about it that isn’t already known, but I would say that when cooking with wood rather than charcoal, these grills do not perform very well. But I can’t really complain about that, since they are designed to be used with charcoal.
The one I really recommend is the Ofyr grill. This one is a little expensive for a grill, but it is the top of the line in terms of quality. It consists of a metal stand and a big metal bowl with a ring-shaped cooking surface on top of it. You simply build a fire in the center with wood or charcoal (preferably wood) and cook on the surface of the metal ring. The whole thing is designed to be left out in the weather all year, and requires very little cleaning. This grill provides much better temperature control than you would normally get from an open flame, because the “ring” on which you cook has a natural temperature gradient. If you want a higher temperature, you just move it a little closer to the fire.
So there you have it…many options from the caveman method all the way up to the most sophisticated modern grill I know of. I hope this article has been helpful and informative.