Grill (cooking)

Grill (cooking)

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Grill (cooking)'
Start a new discussion about 'Grill (cooking)'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia

A barbecue grill is a device for cooking food by applying heat directly from below. There are several varieties of such grills, with most falling into one of two categories: gas
Gas
Gas is one of the three classical states of matter . Near absolute zero, a substance exists as a solid. As heat is added to this substance it melts into a liquid at its melting point , boils into a gas at its boiling point, and if heated high enough would enter a plasma state in which the electrons...

-fuel
Fuel
Fuel is any material that stores energy that can later be extracted to perform mechanical work in a controlled manner. Most fuels used by humans undergo combustion, a redox reaction in which a combustible substance releases energy after it ignites and reacts with the oxygen in the air...

ed and charcoal
Charcoal
Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

. There is a great debate over the merits of charcoal or gas for use as the cooking method between barbecue grillers.

Barbecuing is a pervasive tradition in much of the world. Almost all competition grillers use charcoal, most often in large, custom designed brick or steel grills. They can range from a few 55 gallon oil drums sawed lengthwise on their sides to make a lid and grill base, to large, vehicle sized grills made of brick, weighing nearly a ton.

History in the USA


Grilling existed in the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 since pre-colonial times. The Arawak people used a wooden structure to roast meat on, which was called barbacoa
Barbacoa
Barbacoa is a form of cooking meat that originated in the Caribbean with the Taíno people, from which the term "barbecue" derives. In contemporary Mexico it generally refers to meats or a whole sheep slow-cooked over an open fire, or more traditionally, in a hole dug in the ground covered with...

 in Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

. For some time, the word referred to the wooden structure and not the act of grilling, but this word was eventually applied to the pit style cooking techniques used in the Southeastern United States. Originally used to slow cook hogs, different ways of preparing the food lead to regional variations. In time, other food were cooked in a similar fashion, with hamburgers and hot dogs being recent additions.

E.G. Kingsford is the inventor of the modern charcoal briquette. Kingsford was a relative of Henry Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry...

 who saw that Ford's Model T
Ford Model T
The Ford Model T is an automobile that was produced by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company from September 1908 to May 1927...

 production lines were producing a large amount of wood scraps that were just being discarded. Kingsford suggested to Ford that a charcoal manufacturing facility be established next to the assembly line and sell the charcoal, with the Ford name, in Ford dealerships. After Kingsford's death, the company was renamed Kingsford Charcoal Co. in his honor.

George Stephen
George A. Stephen
George A. Stephen, Sr. was an American inventor, entrepreneur, and the founder of Weber-Stephen Products Co., the company best known for the manufacturing of charcoal and gas grills...

 created the hemispherical grill design, jokingly called "Sputnik" by Stephen's neighbors. Stephen, a welder, worked for Weber Brothers Metal Works, a metal fabrication shop primarily concerned with welding steel spheres together to make buoy
Buoy
A buoy is a floating device that can have many different purposes. It can be anchored or allowed to drift. The word, of Old French or Middle Dutch origin, is now most commonly in UK English, although some orthoepists have traditionally prescribed the pronunciation...

s. Stephen was tired of wind blowing ash onto his food when he grilled so he took the lower half of a buoy, welded three steel legs onto it, and fabricated a shallower hemisphere for use as a lid. He took the results home and following some initial success started the Weber-Stephen Products Co.
Weber-Stephen Products Co.
The Weber-Stephen Products Co., founded in 1893, is headquartered in Palatine, Illinois. It is best known as a manufacturer of charcoal and gas grills, grilling accessories and other outdoor room products....



The outdoor gas grill was invented in the 1960s in Little Rock, Arkansas by William G. Wepfer and Melton Lancaster while working for ARKLA, the Arkansas Louisiana Gas Company. Wepfer, a graduate of the U.S.Naval Academy, was Director of Marketing, charged with finding new ways to sell natural gas to ARKLA residential customers, and therefore bought a basic charcoal grill and re-designed it in the Wepfer's garage so that natural gas provided the fuel for the grill.

Gas grills


Gas-fueled grills typically use propane
Propane
Propane is a three-carbon alkane with the molecular formula , normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. A by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, it is commonly used as a fuel for engines, oxy-gas torches, barbecues, portable stoves, and residential central...

 (LP) or natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 (NG) as their fuel source, with gas-flame
Flame
A flame is the visible , gaseous part of a fire. It is caused by a highly exothermic reaction taking place in a thin zone...

 either cooking
Cooking
Cooking is the process of preparing food by use of heat. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions. Cooks themselves also vary widely in skill and training...

 food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

 directly or heating grilling elements which in turn radiate the heat necessary to cook food. Gas grills are available in sizes ranging from small, single steak grills up to large, industrial sized restaurant grills which are able to cook enough meat to feed a hundred or more people. Gas grills are designed for either LP or NG, although it's possible to convert a grill from one gas source to another.

The majority of gas grills follow the cart grill design concept: the grill unit itself is attached to a wheeled frame that holds the fuel tank. The wheeled frame may also support side tables and other features.

A recent trend in gas grills is for the manufacturers to add an infrared
Infrared
Infrared light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light, measured from the nominal edge of visible red light at 0.74 micrometres , and extending conventionally to 300 µm...

 radiant burner to the back of the grill enclosure. This radiant burner provides an even heat across the burner and is intended for use with a horizontal rotisserie
Rotisserie
Rotisserie is a style of roasting where meat is skewered on a spit - a long solid rod used to hold food while it is being cooked over a fire in a fireplace or over a campfire, or roasted in an oven. This method is generally used for cooking large joints of meat or entire animals, such as pigs,...

. A meat item (whole chicken, beef roast, pork loin roast) is placed on a metal skewer that is rotated by an electric motor. Smaller cuts of meat can be grilled in this manner using a round metal basket that slips over the metal skewer.

Another type of gas grill gaining popularity is called a flattop grill
Flattop grill
A flattop grill is a cooking appliance that resembles a griddle but performs differently because the heating element is circular rather than straight . This heating technology creates an extremely hot and even cooking surface, as heat spreads in a radial fashion over the surface...

. According to Hearth and Home magazine, flattop grills "on which food cooks on a griddlelike surface and is not exposed to an open flame at all" is an emerging trend in the outdoor grilling market.

A small metal "smoker box" containing wood chips may be used on a gas grill to give a smoky flavor to the grilled foods. Although, barbecue purists would argue that to get a true smoky flavor (and smoke ring) you have to cook low and slow, indirectly and using wood or charcoal. According to The Gas Grill Review and Ratings Guide, gas grills are difficult to maintain at the low temperatures required (~225-250 °F), especially for extended periods.

Brazilian rodízio


The Brazilian Rodizio
Rodizio
Rodízio and the waiters bring an offering of food to each customer at several times throughout the meal, until the customers signify that they have had enough. In churrascarias, servers come to the table with knives and a skewer, on which are speared various kinds of meat, most commonly local cuts...

 Machine Gas Grill, is a heavy duty spitroast machine for making the popular Brazilian "rodízio". It works with top radiant gas burners which roasts the meat in rotating spits.

Infrared grills


Infrared
Infrared
Infrared light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light, measured from the nominal edge of visible red light at 0.74 micrometres , and extending conventionally to 300 µm...

 grills work by igniting propane
Propane
Propane is a three-carbon alkane with the molecular formula , normally a gas, but compressible to a transportable liquid. A by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, it is commonly used as a fuel for engines, oxy-gas torches, barbecues, portable stoves, and residential central...

 or natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 to superheat a ceramic
Ceramic
A ceramic is an inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by the action of heat and subsequent cooling. Ceramic materials may have a crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or may be amorphous...

 tile, causing it to emit infrared radiation by which the food is cooked. The thermal radiation is generated when heat from the movement of charged particles within atoms is converted to electromagnetic radiation in the infrared heat
Infrared heater
An infrared heater is a body with a higher temperature which transfers energy to a body with a lower temperature through electromagnetic radiation. Depending on the temperature of the emitting body, the wavelength of the infrared radiation ranges from 780 nm to 1 mm. The relationship...

 frequency range. The benefits are that heat is uniformly distributed across the cooking surface and that temperatures reach over 500 °C (900 °F), allowing users to sear items quickly.

Infrared cooking differs from other forms of grilling, which uses hot air to cook the food. Instead of heating the air, infrared radiation heats the food directly. The benefits of this are a reduction in pre-heat time and less drying of the food. Grilling enthusiasts claim food cooked on an infrared grill tastes similar to food from char-grills. Proponents say that food cooked on infrared grills seems juicier. Also, infrared grills have the advantages of instant ignition, better heat control, and a uniform heat source.

This technology was previously patented, but the patents expired in 2000 and more companies have started offering infrared grills at lower prices.

Charcoal


Charcoal grills use either charcoal briquettes or all-natural lump charcoal as their fuel source. The charcoal, when burned, will transform into embers radiating the heat necessary to cook food.

There is contention among grilling enthusiasts on what type of charcoal is best for grilling. Users of charcoal briquettes emphasize the uniformity in size, burn rate, heat creation, and quality exemplified by briquettes. Users of all-natural lump charcoal emphasize the reasons they prefer it: subtle smoky aromas, high heat production, and lack of binders and fillers often present in briquettes.

There are many different charcoal grill configurations. Some grills are square, round, or rectangular, some have lids while others do not, and some may or may not have a venting system for heat control. The majority of charcoal grills, however, fall into the following categories:

Brazier


The simplest and most inexpensive of charcoal grills, the brazier
Brazier
A brazier is a container for fire, generally taking the form of an upright standing or hanging metal bowl or box. Used for holding burning coal as well as fires, a brazier allows for a source of light, heat, or cooking...

 grill is made of wire and sheet metal and composed of a cooking grid placed over a charcoal pan. Usually the grill is supported by legs attached to the charcoal pan. The brazier grill does not have a lid or venting system. Heat is adjusted by moving the cooking grid up or down over the charcoal pan. Even after George Stephen invented the kettle grill in the early 1950s, the brazier grill remained a dominant charcoal grill type for a number of years. Brazier grills are available at most discount department stores during the summer.

Pellet grill


Pellet grills are fueled by compressed hardwood pellets (sawdust compressed with vegetable oil at approx. 10k psi) that are loaded into a hopper and fed into a fire box at the bottom of the grill via an electric powered auger that is controlled by a thermostat. The pellets are lit by an electric igniter rod that starts the pellets burning and they turn into coals in the firebox once they burn down. Most pellet grills are a barrel shape with a square hopper box at the end or side.

The advantage of a pellet grill is that it can be set on a "smoke" mode where it burns at 100–150 °F (37.8–65.6 C) for slow smoking. It can be set at 180–300 °F (82.2–148.9 C) to slow cook or BBQ meats (like brisket, ribs and hams) or cranked up to a max of 450–500 °F (232.2–260 C) for what would be considered low temperature grilling. It is one of the few "grills" that is actually a great smoker, a fantastic BBQ and a decent grill. Critics argue that a good "grill" should be able to exceed 500 °F (260 °C) to sear the meat.

Most pellet grills burn 1/2 to 1 pound of pellets per hour at 180–250 °F (82.2–121.1 C), depending on the "hardness" of the wood, ambient temperature and how often the lid is opened. Most hoppers hold 10 to 20 pounds of wood pellets. Pellets in a wide variety of woods (hickory, oak, maple, apple, alder, mesquite, grapevine, etc.) can be used or mixed for desired smoke flavoring.

Square charcoal


The square charcoal grill is a hybrid of the brazier and the kettle grill. It has a shallow pan like the brazier and normally a simple method of adjusting the heat, if any. However, it has a lid like a kettle grill and basic adjustable vents. The square charcoal grille is, as expected, priced between the brazier and kettle grill, with the most basic models priced around the same as the most expensive braziers and the most expensive models competing with basic kettle grills. These grills are available at discount stores and have largely displaced most larger braziers. Square charcoal grills almost exclusively have four legs with two wheels on the back so the grill can be tilted back using the handles for the lid to roll the grill. More expensive examples have baskets and shelves mounted on the grill.

Shichirin (Hibachi)


The traditional Japanese hibachi
Hibachi
The is a traditional Japanese heating device. It consists of a round, cylindrical or a box-shaped open-topped container, made from or lined with a heatproof material and designed to hold burning charcoal....

 is a heating device and not usually used for cooking. In English, however, "hibachi" often refers to small cooking grills typically made of aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 or cast iron
Cast iron
Cast iron is derived from pig iron, and while it usually refers to gray iron, it also identifies a large group of ferrous alloys which solidify with a eutectic. The color of a fractured surface can be used to identify an alloy. White cast iron is named after its white surface when fractured, due...

, with the latter generally being of higher quality. Owing to their small size, hibachi grills are popular as a form of portable barbecue
Barbecue
Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

. They resemble traditional, Japanese, charcoal-heated cooking utensils called shichirin
Shichirin
]The shichirin is a small charcoal grill.-Description:The shichirin is a lightweight, compact, and easy-to-move cooking stove. Charcoal is chiefly used for the fuel of shichirin. It has had prototypes since ancient times, and it is said that shichirin roughly the same as today's were made in the...

.

Alternatively, "hibachi-style" is often confused in the U.S. as a term for Japanese teppanyaki
Teppanyaki
is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food. The word teppanyaki is derived from teppan , which means iron plate, and yaki , which means grilled, broiled or pan-fried...

 cooking, in which gas-heated hotplates are integrated into tables around which many people (often multiple parties) can sit and eat at once. The chef performs the cooking in front of the diners, typically with theatrical flair—such as lighting a volcano-shaped stack of raw onion hoops on fire.

In its most common form, the hibachi is an inexpensive grill made of either sheet steel or cast iron and composed of a charcoal pan and two small, independent cooking grids. Like the brazier grill, heat is adjusted by moving the cooking grids up and down. Also like the brazier grill, the hibachi does not have a lid. Some hibachi designs have venting systems for heat control. The hibachi is a good grill choice for those who do not have much space for a larger grill, or those who wish to take their grill traveling. Binchō-tan
Bincho-tan
Binchō-tan or white charcoal or binchō-zumi is a traditional charcoal of Japan. It dates to the Edo period, when during the Genroku era, a craftsman named Bitchū-ya Chōzaemon began to produce it in Tanabe, Wakayama. The raw material is oak, specifically ubame oak , now the official tree of...

is most suitable for fuel of shichirin.

Kettle


The kettle
Kettle
A kettle, sometimes called a tea kettle or teakettle, is a small kitchen appliance used for boiling water. Kettles can be heated either by placing on a stove, or by their own electric heating element.- Stovetop kettles :...

 grill is considered the classic American grill design. The original and often-copied Weber
Weber-Stephen Products Co.
The Weber-Stephen Products Co., founded in 1893, is headquartered in Palatine, Illinois. It is best known as a manufacturer of charcoal and gas grills, grilling accessories and other outdoor room products....

 kettle grill was invented in 1951 by George Stephen
George A. Stephen
George A. Stephen, Sr. was an American inventor, entrepreneur, and the founder of Weber-Stephen Products Co., the company best known for the manufacturing of charcoal and gas grills...

. It has remained one of the most commercially successful charcoal grill designs to date. Smaller and more portable versions exist, such as the Weber Smokey Joe. The kettle grill is composed of a lid, cooking grid, charcoal grid, lower chamber, venting system, and legs. Some models include an ash catcher pan and wheels. The lower chamber that holds the charcoal is shaped like a kettle, giving the grill its name. The key to the kettle grills' cooking abilities is its shape. The kettle design distributes heat more evenly. When the lid is placed on the grill, it prevents flare-ups from dripping grease, and allows heat to circulate around the food as it cooks. It also holds in flavor-enhancing smoke produced by the dripping grease or from smoking wood added to the charcoal fire.


The kettle design allows the griller to configure the grill for indirect cooking (or barbecuing) as well. For indirect cooking, charcoal is piled on one or both sides of the lower chamber and a water pan is placed in the empty space to one side or between the charcoal. Food is then placed over the water pan for cooking. The venting system consists of one or more vents in the bottom of the lower chamber and one or more vents in the top of the lid. Normally, the lower vent(s) are to be left open until cooking is complete, and the vent(s) in the lid are adjusted to control airflow. Restricted airflow means lower cooking temperature and slower burning of charcoal.

Cart


The charcoal cart grill is quite similar in appearance to a typical gas grill. The cart grill is usually rectangular in design, has a hinged lid, cooking grid, charcoal grid, and is mounted to a cart with wheels and side tables. Most cart grills have a way to adjust heat, either through moving the cooking surface up, the charcoal pan down, through venting, or a combination of the three. Cart grills often have an ash collection drawer for easy removal of ashes while cooking. Their rectangular design makes them usable for indirect cooking as well. Charcoal cart grills, with all their features, can make charcoal grilling nearly as convenient as gas grilling. Cart grills can also be quite expensive.

Barrel


In its most primitive form, the barrel grill is nothing more than a 55 gallons (208.2 l) steel barrel sliced in half lengthwise. Hinges are attached so the top half forms the lid and the bottom half forms the charcoal chamber. Vents are cut into the top and bottom for airflow control. A chimney is normally attached to the lid. Charcoal grids and cooking grids are installed in the bottom half of the grill, and legs are attached. Like kettle grills, barrel grills work well for grilling as well as true barbecuing. For barbecuing, lit charcoal is piled at one end of the barrel and food to be cooked is placed at the other. With the lid closed, heat can then be controlled with vents. Fancier designs available at stores may have other features, but the same basic design does not change.

Ceramic cooker


The ceramic cooker design has been around for roughly 3,000 years. The shichirin
Shichirin
]The shichirin is a small charcoal grill.-Description:The shichirin is a lightweight, compact, and easy-to-move cooking stove. Charcoal is chiefly used for the fuel of shichirin. It has had prototypes since ancient times, and it is said that shichirin roughly the same as today's were made in the...

, a Japanese grill traditionally of ceramic construction, has existed in its current form since the Edo period
Edo period
The , or , is a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868. The political entity of this period was the Tokugawa shogunate....

 however more recent designs have been influenced by the mushikamado now more commonly referred to as a kamado
Kamado
A kamado is a traditional Japanese wood or charcoal fired earthen vessel used as a stove or oven. Modern versions of the cooker are produced and sold internationally. They are often marketed as barbecues for outdoor use.-History:...

. Recently, the kamado ceramic cooker design has been made popular by the Grill Dome, Komodo Kamado, The Big Green Egg
The Big Green Egg
The Big Green Egg is the brand name of a kamado-style ceramic charcoal cooker.-History:The Big Green Egg is commonly referred to as a kamado barbecue because of the origins of the basic design that lie in southern Japan....

, and Primo. The ceramic cooker is more versatile than the kettle grill but the ceramic chamber retains heat and moisture more efficiently. Ceramic cookers are equally adept at grilling, smoking, and barbecuing foods.

Tandoor oven



A tandoor
Tandoor
A tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven used in cooking and baking. The tandoor is used for cooking in Azerbaijan, India, Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central Asia, as well as Burma and Bangladesh.The heat for a tandoor was...

 is used for cooking certain types of Irani, Indian and Pakistani food, such as tandoori chicken. It is also known as a tonir in Armenian which is a widely used method of cooking barbecue. In Georgia it is called a tone and is used for cooking kebabs. In a tandoor, the wood fire is kept in the bottom of the oven and the food to be cooked is put on long skewers and inserted into the oven from an opening on the top so the meat items are above the coals of the fire. This method of cooking involves both grilling and oven cooking as the meat item to be cooked sees both high direct infrared heat and the heat of the air in the oven. Tandoor ovens often operate at temperatures above 500 °F (260 °C) and cook the meat items very quickly.

Portable charcoal


The portable charcoal grill normally falls into either the brazier or kettle grill category. Some are rectangular in shape. A portable charcoal grill is usually quite compact and has features that make it easier to transport, making it a popular grill for tailgating. Often the legs fold up and lock into place so the grill will fit into a car trunk more easily. Most portable charcoal grills have venting, legs, and lids, though some models do not have lids (making them, technically, braziers.) There are also grill designed without venting to prevent ash fallout for use in locations which ash may damage ground surfaces. Some portable grills are designed to replicate the function of a larger more traditional grill/brazier and may include spit roasting as well as a hood and additional grill areas under the hood area.

Hybrids


A hybrid grill is a grill used for outdoor cooking with charcoal and natural gas or liquid propane and can cook in the same manner as a traditional outdoor gas grill. The manufacturers claim that it combines the convenience of an outdoor gas grill with the flavor and cooking techniques of a charcoal and wood grill.

In addition to providing the cooking heat, the gas burners in a hybrid grill can be used to quickly start a charcoal/wood fire or to extend the length of a charcoal/wood cooking session.

Parts


Many gas grill
Grill (cooking)
A barbecue grill is a device for cooking food by applying heat directly from below. There are several varieties of such grills, with most falling into one of two categories: gas-fueled and charcoal. There is a great debate over the merits of charcoal or gas for use as the cooking method between...

 components can be replaced with new parts, adding to the useful life of the grill. Though charcoal grills can sometimes require new cooking grids and charcoal grates, gas grills are much more complex, and require additional components such as burners, valves, and heat shields.

Burners



A gas grill burner is the central source of heat for cooking food. Gas grill burners are typically constructed of:
  • stainless steel
  • aluminized steel
  • cast iron (occasionally porcelain-coated)


Burners are hollow with gas inlet holes and outlet 'ports'. For each inlet is a separate control on the control panel of the grill. The most common type of gas grill burners are called 'H' burners and resemble the capital letter 'H' turned on its side. Another popular shape is oval. There are also 'Figure 8', 'Bowtie' and 'Bar' burners. Other grills have a separate burner for each control. These burners can be referred to as 'Pipe', 'Tube', or 'Rail' burners. They are mostly straight since they are only required to heat one portion of the grill.

Gas is mixed with air in venturi tubes or simply 'venturis'. Venturis can be permanently attached to the burner or removable. At the other end of the venturi is the gas valve, which is connected to the control knob on the front of the grill.

A metal screen covers the fresh air intake of each venturi to keep spiders from clogging the tube with their nests.

Cooking grid


Cooking grids, also known as cooking grates, are the surface on which the food is cooked in a grill. They are typically made of:
  • Stainless steel (Usually the most expensive and longest-lasting option, may carry a lifetime warranty)
  • Porcelain-coated cast iron (The next best option after stainless, usually thick and good for searing meat)
  • Porcelain-coated steel (Will typically last as long as porcelain-coated cast iron, but not as good for searing)
  • Cast iron (More commonly used for charcoal grills, cast iron must be constantly covered with oil to protect it from rusting)
  • Chrome-plated steel (Usually the least expensive and shortest-lasting material)


Cooking grids used over gas or charcoal barbecues will allow fat and oil to drop between the grill bars, which will cause flare up where flames can burn and blacken food long before it is safely cooked.

To reduce the occurrence of flare up, some barbecues may be fitted with plates, baffles or other means to intercept the dripping flammable fluids.

Most high end barbecue grills use stainless steel grates, but there is a health benefit to using bare cast iron grids. When cast iron is used to cook food containing high level of acidity, such as lentils, tomatoes, lemonade sauces, or marinades with strong vinegar content, there is increased iron dietary intake.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, iron and iron deficiency is a particularly important issue for pregnant women and young children.

The longer and hotter the grilling temperature, the more iron is infused into the food. This process can only take place with plain cast iron grids - without any form of porcelain or other types of coating. The downside to bare cast iron is that it sticks to the food and can be hard to clean.

Rock grate


Rock grates are placed directly above the burner and are designed to hold lava rock or ceramic briquettes. These materials serve a dual purpose - they protect the burner from drippings which can accelerate the deterioration of the burner, and they disperse the heat from the burner more evenly throughout the grill.

Heat shield


Heat shields are also known as burner shields, heat plates, heat tents, radiation shields, or heat angles. They serve the same purpose as a rock grate and rock, protecting the burner from corrosive meat drippings and dispersing heat. They are more common in newer grills. Heat shields are lighter, easier to replace and harbor less bacteria than rocks.

Like lava rock or ceramic briquettes, heat shields also vaporize the meat drippings and 'infuse' the meat with more flavor.

Valves


Valves can wear out or become rusted and too difficult to operate, thus requiring replacement. A valve is unlike a burner in that a replacement usually must match exactly to the original in order to fit properly. Therefore, many grills are disposed of when
valves fail, due to a lack of available replacements.

If a valve seems to be moving properly, but no gas is getting to the burner, the most common cause for this is debris in the venturi. This impediment can be cleared by using a long flexible object.

Indoor grills


While live-fire cooking is difficult
Carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide , also called carbonous oxide, is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly lighter than air. It is highly toxic to humans and animals in higher quantities, although it is also produced in normal animal metabolism in low quantities, and is thought to have some normal...

 indoors without heavy-duty ventilation, it is possible to simulate some of the effects of a live-fire grill with indoor equipment. The simplest design is known as a grill pan
Frying pan
A frying pan, frypan, or skillet is a flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods. It is typically in diameter with relatively low sides that flare outwards, a long handle, and no lid. Larger pans may have a small grab handle opposite the main handle...

, which is a type of heavy frying pan with raised grill lines to hold the food off the floor of the pan and allow drippings to run off. Otherwise, a simple frying pan would do a reasonable job of grilling.

See also


  • Barbecue
    Barbecue
    Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

  • Barbecue cover
  • Brustolina
    Brustolina
    A brustolina is a grill which fits over a gas burner on a hob. It comprises a square sheet of metal with holes punched in it and a square grid over the top . Heat is applied from below and is evenly distributed by the base, deflected upward to the grid...

  • Charcoal
    Charcoal
    Charcoal is the dark grey residue consisting of carbon, and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen...

  • Churrasco
    Churrasco
    Churrasco is a Portuguese and Spanish term referring to beef or grilled meat more generally, differing across Latin America and Europe, but a prominent feature in the cuisines of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and other Latin American countries...

  • Grilling
    Grilling
    Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below.Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat quickly and meat that has already been cut into slices...

  • Hibachi
    Hibachi
    The is a traditional Japanese heating device. It consists of a round, cylindrical or a box-shaped open-topped container, made from or lined with a heatproof material and designed to hold burning charcoal....

  • Piezo ignition
    Piezo ignition
    Piezo ignition is a type of ignition that is used in portable camping stoves, gas grills and some lighters, and potato guns. It consists of a small, spring-loaded hammer which, when a button is pressed, hits a crystal of PZT or quartz crystal. Quartz is piezoelectric, which means that it creates a...

  • Rotisserie
    Rotisserie
    Rotisserie is a style of roasting where meat is skewered on a spit - a long solid rod used to hold food while it is being cooked over a fire in a fireplace or over a campfire, or roasted in an oven. This method is generally used for cooking large joints of meat or entire animals, such as pigs,...

  • Schwenker
    Schwenker
    The term Schwenker is a local term from the German state of Saarland and is used in three ways, all relating to the same grilled meat:# Schwenker or Schwenkbraten is a marinated pork neck steak which originates from the Saarland and is grilled on a Schwenker ...

  • Shichirin
    Shichirin
    ]The shichirin is a small charcoal grill.-Description:The shichirin is a lightweight, compact, and easy-to-move cooking stove. Charcoal is chiefly used for the fuel of shichirin. It has had prototypes since ancient times, and it is said that shichirin roughly the same as today's were made in the...