Learn More. Tell the world what fires you up by sharing WhyIGrill today. While there are endless reasons to grill, each one is personal. View Recipe.
View All Recipes. View Tip. View All Tips. Igniting the WhyIGrill flame. View Happening. View Story. Are you going to fire up for Dad? View All Happenings. Who is HPBA? It has a built-in thermometer and large dampers to control temperature, and it's the most solidly constructed of all the grills here, by far. Getting the Rambler ready for your first cook takes some work.
It has the most complex assembly of these grills, and you'll need to season the cast-iron grates, but the results are worth it. I barbecued and smoked up some wonderful results with this grill, including some really nice smoked cauliflower I wasn't able to duplicate on the others. The downside to the Rambler is that it's heavy at 49 pounds. If you're just going from car to picnic table, that's not a big deal, but if you've got a decent walk, say down the bluffs to the beach, the Rambler is tough to carry alone.
Cooking over extremely high infrared heat is different than typical grilling. It took me a few failures—none of which I can attribute to the grills—before I got the hang of it. The theory is simple: Heat a ceramic element with flame and then let the radiant heat from the element do the actual cooking.
It's not a crazy-unique concept, but "infrared" certainly makes it sound like science fiction. When you're in a hurry to get dinner on the table, infrared cooking is your friend.
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Hook up a propane tank yes, needed , fire it up, let the heating element get to temp about five minutes , and you have a grill capable of to degree searing. Veggies need 30 seconds a side and have beautiful grill marks.
Thin steaks like flank or skirt take a mere minute or two per side and turn out incredibly juicy and flavorful. The best infrared option I tested was the Char-Broil X Char-Broil calls its infrared TRU Infrared and claims that it eliminates flare-ups, which is almost true. It flares less than I would have expected, and the flares don't last long, but if you get something good and juicy on there—marinated chicken or brats for instance—it'll flare. Like the Weber Q , the X is well built.
It's sturdy yet weighs only 20 pounds, and the lid locks tightly. The downside to the X is that it can get too hot. It's difficult to do anything but sear. Turning it down means the flame, which is tiny to begin with, tends to get blown out by the slightest breeze. This is appears to be a problem with infrared in general, not just the X I had the same problem with the Solaire option mentioned below. Still, despite that flaw, infrared will spoil you.
Want to grill some veggies a few minutes before dinner is supposed to be done? With the X that's no problem. I enjoyed this grill, and its ceramic heating surface works much better than the X's metal surface, but even a slight breeze from the front can blow out the burners, and because the infrared flame is so small to begin with, you might not notice that your flame is gone right away. I liked everything else about the Solaire, but it's a tough sell at this price. The terms grilling and barbecue are often used interchangeably, which is fine, but if you get serious about cooking over flame you'll want to learn the distinction: Grilling usually means cooking directly over high heat, while barbecue typically refers to cooking over indirect heat for longer periods of time.
You grill steak. You barbecue ribs. I used both methods to test, grilling everything from steak to salmon to corn, even kale. This recipe for grilled kale is my go-to for testing how hard it is to clean a grill. It's delicious but incredibly messy. For the charcoal options, I also barbecued ribs and pulled pork. I have not tried brisket, but I believe it would be possible to do a smaller piece on the Weber Jumbo Joe or the Oklahoma Joe's Rambler. The ubiquitous disposable green propane bottle is convenient, but a huge source of pollution.
It's illegal in many jurisdictions to throw them in the trash, though that doesn't stop many people it seems, given how many of these end up in landfills every year. Don't be that person. There are refillable bottles available , which I suggest using if you must have the smaller canister. Cooking outdoors over both stove and grill three meals a day, this tank lasts me about two weeks. It's small and light enough to not be any more difficult to cart around than the four to six 1-pound bottles it replaces.
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Lauren Smiley. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica. Steven Levy. David Nield. Testing Methods The terms grilling and barbecue are often used interchangeably, which is fine, but if you get serious about cooking over flame you'll want to learn the distinction: Grilling usually means cooking directly over high heat, while barbecue typically refers to cooking over indirect heat for longer periods of time. Stop Using Propane Bottles The ubiquitous disposable green propane bottle is convenient, but a huge source of pollution.
Top Ten Tips for Healthy Grilling and Barbecuing
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