Grilling is incredible and popular across the world. Almost everyone who has tasted grilled meat or steaks or hotdog or any other recipe would be crazy about it no doubt. This is why around 128.5 million households or 60% of the total households in the US own grills (as of 2020). Grilling is simple and faster and can produce delicious grilled recipes instantly.
There are different types of grills like charcoal grills, electric grills, gas grills, pellet grills, etc. available in the market for grilling your favorite grilled dishes. However, gas grills dominate over other grills when it comes to taste, flavor, ease of grilling or gas grilling techniques, and market size and value. As per the National Restaurant Association statistics published by Yahoo Finance, the size of the barbeque grill industry in the US in 2022 was $899 billion and is predicted to reach $6.97 billion by 2030. Out of this, the gas grill industry had the largest share of 55.4% in 2021.
Why Gas Grills are Popular than Other Grills?
All grills including the gas grills have pros and cons. When a charcoal grill can ensure the best flavor compared to other grills, it has many demerits. So, choosing a grill depends upon your personal preference of likes and dislikes. However, broadly, gas grills are better because of several reasons for which they are the first choice for grill lovers. Below are some important reasons why people choose gas grills over other grills.
Gas Grills vs Electric Grills
Gas grills produce better taste and flavor than electric grills. Electric grills generate intense heat and power off. Searing is not possible in an electric grill whereas gas grills can do everything. Besides this, you cannot clean the heating elements of an electric grill easily compared to a gas grill. You will have to unplug and only clean the removable parts. On the other hand, you can easily clean almost all washable parts of a gas grill like removable heating plates, grates, grease trays, etc. with hot water. In addition to these reasons, in other aspects like fuel, size, grilling capacity, types and designs, temperature, and price, gas grills are far better than electric grills.
Gas Grills vs Charcoal Grills
No doubt charcoal grills sear faster but searing is not everything when it comes to grilling or grills. Gas grills are efficient for everything. The most important limitation of a charcoal grill is that it does not cook for long. But gas grills can cook for as long as you want and can retain intense heat to ensure the taste and flavor of your grilled recipes. Another important component is the health concerns both for yourself and for the environment. Beyond debate, gas grills are better in terms of healthy foods, cleanliness, carbon footprint, and environment.
Gas Grills vs Pellet Grills
Pellet grills use wood pellets as fuel and ultimately produce a lot of smoke and generate comparatively lower heat of a maximum of 450 degrees F. On the other hand, gas grills are smokeless and generate maximum heat to cook instantly. So, you may not expect a crispy-skin wing of a searing steak from a pellet grill. This is possible only in a gas grill. Besides this, pellet grills use electricity which adds to extra expenditure along with the cost of pellets. The most important problem with a pellet grill is you cannot use pellet grill everywhere you like as they are normally non-portable and exclusively for outdoor use only. On the other hand, gas grills allow you to use them anywhere conveniently.
10 Gas Grilling Tips to Optimize Your Gas Grilling
If you are already using a gas grill and have the expertise or a lot of experience, then gas grilling tips may not be a necessity for you. Nevertheless, most users who already know how to optimize a gas grill either ignore or neglect it. So, the following things may be a reminder for you ultimately for a better grilling experience and durability of your grill.
1) Clean and Tune-up Regularly
The key to optimizing your gas grill is to clean it regularly preferably after every use. Clean the drip pans, burners, grates, and exterior of the grill and remove caked-on grease to optimize starting and cooking. Many experts say that a smoky buildup over the inside wall is good for adding flavor to the food. However, the food drippings as well as the grease on the grates, burner, and exterior potentially harmful as they attract rodents and insects. As a result, your burner gas ports may clog leading to uneven functioning. You can also service the burner assembly. Check with the owner’s manual for the servicing. Regular cleaning and tune-up can save you the time of cooking and prevent you from getting frustrated.
2) Preheat the Grill and Ensure the Lid Down
Preheat the grill at least for 10 to 15 minutes at a temperature of around 500 degrees F. before every grilling. Preheating will loosen the foods hanging on the grates which you can brush off easily. Preheating also will not allow foods to stick to the grates allowing the grates to get maximum heat to sear. Another important aspect you should not forget is to keep the grill lid down as much as possible. It helps the grates to retain heat and smoke, protects the foods from drying, accelerates the cooking, and limits the oxygen leading to appropriate flaring.
3) Control the Flare-up Instead of Putting Out the Fire
Flaring is one of the important components of grilling and it should be done appropriately. Most people put the fire out when a flare-up occurs instead of controlling the flare-up. The best way to control the flare-up is to keep a portion free or empty where you can move the food when there is a flare-up. You may remove all the foods from the grill and turn off the burners in the case spreading of the fire.
4) Use Lava Rocks
Using lava rocks leads to many advantages. They can hold and reflect heat and increase heat faster. Lava rocks can be used for two years until grease buildup on them. The buildup of grease on the lava rocks will affect the flavor and taste. They may also deteriorate over time due to regular heating and cooling. So, you should replace them with new ones if you find grease buildup or deteriorated lava rocks. Remember, you must never wash the lava rocks with water as they may crack when heating.
5) Low Heat and Slow Cooking to Control Sugar Burning
Almost all love meat or chicken dripping with sauce or rub-coated ribs. Sugar in the sauces or rubs easily burns resulting in the blackening or burning of the foods. So, the best way is to keep the heat low at around 265 degrees F. and cook the food slowly to prevent burning or charring.
6) Control the Gas
Too much gas to cook faster may result in burning. On the other hand, you may have to cook for a much longer time with less gas. The best way is to preheat the grill and cook using a little amount of gas. On the other hand, if you start cooking with a maximum of gas and temperature without preheating you are at risk of sticking the food or burning.
7) Browning or Caramelization
One of the most popular grilling activities is searing which makes the grill or gas grill popular. However, not all grillers seem to be tasting the best searing due to a small and simple mistake. Almost all sear their favorite dish while turning the food repeatedly. Strictly avoid turning the food while searing and wait patiently until it goes through a process called browning or caramelization. This eventually adds flavor and aroma to your searing. However, you can turn the food only once as a general rule.
8) Be with The Grill
Grilling is more exciting when you have invited your friends or your family is around you. Usually, you happen to give time to your friends and family while grilling. Similarly, even when grilling without family and friends, many people go for various things like “checking a game score” or preparing a side dish, etc. Eventually, many people complain that the grill burnt the dishes. So, try to be strictly with the grill as best as you can while grilling. Even if you need to attend to a few friends or family members, you should also pay attention to your grill.
9) Ensure You Have Enough Gas
It truly and practically happens. When some important guests are around you and you are grilling and then you leave to refill the gas tank mid-cooking making all wait for you. This is not only painful but often results in very unusual and unpleasant consequences. So, make sure that you have enough gas or propane before you invite someone or start grilling.
10) Direct Heat and Indirect Heat
Contemporary grills come with advanced mechanisms to BBQ, grill, and smoke i.e. three-in-one device. However, grilling means direct and maximum heat even on flame. But you can also BBQ and smoke that needs indirect heat and prolonged cooking. You can do it by putting off the below burners keep the surrounding burners on.
The above tips may not be typically gas grilling techniques but can serve the best grilling for you and take care of your grill as well. You love your grill because it serves a lot of purposes that are important to you. Therefore, you too need to take care of your grill by cleaning and maintaining it.