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Types of Grills

From knob-turners to pit-diggers

There are many alternative methods for getting grilled food cooked and into your mouth. Here are a list of options:

Charcoal Grills and Ovens: Anything that uses Coal, Charcoal, Briquets or lava rocks falls into this category. Here are the ways to get these items burning hot:

  • Gas/Propane/Liquid Petroleum Grills Some of the more commonly used types in patio grilling. Usually there is a tank adjacent to or underneath the actual grilling area. This easy-to-light style of grilling, although not the most affordable, is considered one of the easiest for the less experienced weekend chefs.
  • Electric Grills An 80's fad that didnt catch on, was supposed to add ease and affordability to outdoor living. These grills rival there 90's brother, the electric car great idea, not innovative enough.
  • Charcoal/Wood Burning the least expensive and most space savings form of grilling. Smaller balcony owners can use a table top grill (a small square grill perfect for two, i.e. hibachis) or a kettle-type grill. The kettle grill comes in charcoal burning or propane styles so if you dont want to deal with lighter fluid, matches and newspaper -- go gas. But remember, nothing rivals a wood burning flame.

Log Burning Pits: This is the oldest form of barbequing. Just dig a hole in the ground, cut up some dead trees and start burning. Place a metal grid over the flames and throw the meat and veggies on. (Odds are pretty good if you dont have yard space for a garden, you probably dont have anywhere to dig a pit, either but just in case.)

Prime Log Pits: The best modernized barbequer around. But dont think youre going to grill with this machine and dont think you can buy one for your teensy-weensy balcony. These monsters have a separate area for the burning wood and a large barrel drum where the food cooks.

Popular Valve Pits: A more affordable version of the Prime Log Pit. These are more universally available but still probably a little to large for an average urban balcony. These machines use wood chunks, as opposed to logs and the metal tends to be a bit thinner.

Wood Burning Ovens: This is an even more affordable version of the Prime Log Pit and may just fit on your balcony. This slicker version, uses wood pellets and is therefore smaller but you compromise the smokey flavor by using this model.

Water Smokers: Dont confuse this with grilling or barbequing. This cylindrical machine stands approximately 3 feet high and 2 feet wide so you could conceivably stick one on your balcony. Theyre usually powered by electricity or charcoal and are very good for foods that benefit from light smoking and added moisture i.e., meats that are low in fat, fishes and even cheeses.