Cuisinart GR-300WS Review (Is It Worth Buying?)

Cuisinart GR-300WS griddler elite grill is a great unit with many uses. You can use it to griddle and grill food, and it is highly versatile, allowing you to get creative in the kitchen. It is large enough for when you are entertaining and need to cook for lots of people, and it’s easy to clean, making it an ideal choice for indoor grilling.

Quality

Cuisinart is a well-known brand that has been making high-quality home appliances for many years, and this grill-griddler is no exception

Price

While not the cheapest model on the market, this grill-griddler is highly versatile and includes several useful features, making it great value for money.

Ease of use

The plates are easy to remove or switch round, everything is simple to operate and the unit is quick and easy to clean.

Warranty

The machine comes with a 3-year warranty. However, should any defect arise, the customer is responsible for paying for postage costs.

The Good

  • Versatile with many configurations and grilling/griddling options
  • Large space on the grill for cooking when in open mode
  • Easy to remove plates to change configuration
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    Easy to clean, plates are dishwasher-friendly
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    Dual heat controls to control temperature of each plate separately
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    Timer up to 60 minutes allows you to control how long you cook food

The Bad

  • Size of the unit itself makes it less suitable for smaller homes
  • When open, oil drips from top plate onto the counter rather than into the drip tray
  • Lack of waffle plates.

If you are looking for a versatile home grilling and griddling machine, the Cuisinart GR-300WS Griddler Elite Grill could be a good pick. It has a range of different cooking modes and configurations, and it is easy to clean and maintain when everything is done.

Points to consider

There are now quite a few options available for home grilling and griddling units. If you are thinking of choosing this model, there are a couple of points to bear in mind.

Do you need a big machine that will allow you to cook for a large family or when you are entertaining guests? This model has a large cooking capacity but the size of the unit itself means it might be unsuitable for smaller homes.

Do you just need a simple grill, or do you prefer more flexibility in your cooking? This machine will allow you to create much more than just simple grilled steaks, but if that’s all you need to do, there might be cheaper options to consider.

Do you also need a waffle plate? If so, this might not be the machine for you since it doesn’t include one.

Cuisinart GR-300WS Griddler Elite Grill Review

The Cuisinart GR-300WS Griddler Elite Grill features removable plates that allow you to use it as a full grill, a full griddle or half-and-half.  It also includes a sear function to sear meat at high temperature for up to two minutes, and a top melt function.

The hot plates are heated internally, and the temperature of each can be controlled independently, giving you more control over how the food is cooked. You can also control how far the top plate is positioned above the bottom plate, useful for melting cheese etc.

The controls are simple and intuitive to use, and when you have finished cooking, the plates are easy to remove and wash – they are fully dishwasher-friendly. The grill funnels fat and oil out of the machine and into a drip tray at the back for ease of disposal.

Features and benefits

#1 Six cooking options

The Cuisinart GR300WS offers six different cooking options that are easy to configure. There is a contact grill that’s ideal for cooking meat, a panini press for making toasted sandwiches, a full grill mode, a full griddle mode, and a half-and-half griddle/grill mode. The final mode is the top melt configuration for melting cheese on top of sandwiches or burgers.

#2 Non-stick removable plates

The plates for the different modes are reversible and easy to remove, making changing from one configuration to another simple.

The plates are non-stick, so you shouldn’t have problems with food becoming encrusted onto them. The plates are also dishwasher-friendly, meaning they are easy and painless to clean and maintain.

#3 Dual temperature control

The temperature of the hotplates is controlled independently. This means when it is in an open configuration, one side can be hotter than the other, allowing you to cook different food items at different temperatures. This is especially useful if you are using half-and-half mode.

The plates also feature internal embedded heating elements, which helps heat food evenly and consistently. Temperatures are adjustable to 200-450°F.

#4 Adjustable top cover

The height of the top cover can be adjusted easily to make sure it is either in contact with the food or held above if you want to use the top melt mode. The top cover has six height settings.

#5 Sear function

The unit also includes a sear function, allowing you to heat your food at high temperatures (of up to 500°F) for a short time of up to two minutes. This is useful for example if you want to sear the outside of a steak before cooking the inside more slowly.

#6 Designed for indoor use

This unit is designed specifically for grilling and griddling inside, making it ideal for cooking when the weather outside is not good enough for a barbecue.

#7 Large grill space

When used with the open configuration, the grill offers a large area for cooking. The dimensions are about 10” by 11”, giving a total of about 120 square inches altogether.

You could probably cook about 6 hamburgers on each side, making this grill/griddler ideal for entertaining when you need to cook food for a large number of people.

#8 Clear LCD display

The blue LCD display is large and clear, making it easy to read and easy to control your cooking. The unit will let you know when it has heated up and ready to cook, and it also indicates when it is plugged in.

#9 Timer

The unit includes a timer function which allows you to set a countdown of up to one hour.

#10 Ridges on grill plates

The plates for grilling have raised ridges which give meat and other food an authentic and attractive grill pattern.

#11 Built-in drip tray

The plate attachments allow fat and oil to drain away efficiently, meaning you will be able to cook healthier, lower fat meats. The fat collects at the back of the unit in a specially designed drip tray that is simple to remove for easy disposal.

What other people are saying about the Cuisinart GR-300WS Griddler Elite Grill

We had a good look online to find out what other people were saying about this product. There are lots of positive reviews on YouTube and you can find more there, we’ll give you just one to let you see how the Cuisinart performs.

Other options

(1.) Hamilton Beach (25360) Electric Smokeless Indoor Grill & Searing Grill with Removable Plates

If you think you don’t need all the extra options and gadgets the Cuisinart has to offer, you might wish to choose a simpler model that will save you a few dollars but will still do the job you need.

This Hamilton Beach grill and searing machine will cook your meat and other food like the Cuisinart but is available at well below half the price.

It features a high heat searing mode and adjustable cooking temperature. The removable plates are non-stick and easy to clean, and it includes an extra-large drip tray. The plates, hood and drip tray are all 100% dishwasher-friendly.

This unit is much smaller than the Cuisinart so if you are looking for a machine that allows you to cook for larger numbers of people, the Cuisinart might be a better choice. This machine also doesn’t have the griddle or top melt functions of the Cuisinart.

If you need versatility that allows you to do more in the kitchen, the Cuisinart would be a wiser pick. However, if you only need a simple machine that allows you to sear and cook steak and other meat perfectly, the Hamilton Beach could be worth considering.

(2.) Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill

If you are looking for even more than the Cuisinart can offer you and you want a high-end grill, you might consider this model from Breville.

It opens out flat into a “BBQ” mode, it offers adjustable temperature settings, including low, panini and sear, and also features six different height settings. There is also an incorporated drip tray to catch any fat and grease that runs off as you cook.

The plates are internally heated and even include sensors that can automatically adjust the temperature when cold food is placed in them. This allows even more precise control and helps ensure that your food is cooked perfectly every time.

The unit features timer controls so you don’t lose track of how long your food has been on the grill, and the plates are non-stick, removable and dishwasher friendly, ensuring that maintaining the machine is as hassle-free as possible.

This machine is sold at a higher price than the Cuisinart. The main extra feature is the heat sensors in the plates, but if you are willing to pay a little more for extra control over the cooking process, this could be a good upgrade pick.

Conclusion

We have enjoyed doing this Cuisinart GR-300WS Griddler Elite Grill review for you. We found the machine to be simple and practical to use, and easy to clean and maintain. We also thought the price was very reasonable.

If you are looking for a versatile grill and griddle machine that you can use for all kinds of cooking, we have no hesitation recommending this unit from Cuisinart.

What is a Grill Brick Made of?

A grill brick is used to clean grill and griddle surfaces. It has the advantages of cleaning better than most cleaning agents. Being non-toxic, a grill brick is preferred by many for its safety health wise. It’ used in homes and commercial establishments to clean cooking surfaces, especially where other abrasives wouldn’t work as well, like where there’s a thick build-up of carbon deposits.

What is a Grill Brick Made of?

Grill bricks are mostly pumice, a naturally occurring lightweight rock. Some are made from compacted sand of fine grains so as to improve the abrasive capability. Grill bricks have the advantage of being harmless, both to the environment and to the person using it to clean. The material that makes it is used in a number of other consumer products as an abrasive, such as in toothpaste.

During use, the material that makes a grill brick breaks down to grit, coming off the brick to produce a paste that further helps to improve its cleaning properties. The grit works to dislodge stuck food particles and carbon from the surface being cleaned. The grit, together with the dislodged dirt, is then rinsed off to reveal a clean surface.

A grill brick, when used for cleaning, has the following advantages:

  • Is nonporous and will not absorb carbon or food odors
  • Will not become clogged with grease
  • Wears to a new surface each time it cleans
  • Is all natural and, therefore, not toxic
  • Doesn’t damage the coating that makes griddles non-stick
  • Has mild abrasive properties and so won’t result in scratches
  • It can be used on hot griddles or grills without any problem
  • Doesn’t require any special storage or care

How to Use a Grill brick

Grill bricks are used to clean grills and griddles of leftover grease after cooking oily foods, carbon deposits as a result of overused grill or griddle, rust, paint, lime, and any other kind of stains that need to be removed before the grill or griddle is usable.

You can use a grill brick on its own, or in combination with other mild abrasives. For ease of use, a handle made of aluminum is always attached to the brick by means of removable screws. It makes using it on hot surfaces safer, plus you don’t end up getting your hands dirtied by the paste of grease, carbon, and grit that forms during cleaning. The handle comes already attached, or you can do it yourself.

Steps When Using a Grill Brick

Materials you will need:

  • Griddle brick
  • Cooking oil
  • Vinegar
  • Two pieces of cloth

Directions:

  1. Heat the griddle if not already hot.
  2. Pour some oil on its surface.
  3. Using your griddle brick, scrub the surface of the gently moving the brick in circles until all the stuck food deposits are no more.
  4. Remove all the oil from the surface and allow the griddle to cool.
  5. Pour some vinegar on the griddle and allow it to spread until every part of its surface is covered in vinegar.
  6. Rub the surface with the other of the two pieces of cloth until clean.
  7. Scrape everything off the surface
  8. Dip the other piece of cloth in oil and rub it on the surface until well polished.

Cleaning the Grill

Materials you will need:

  • Grill scraper
  • Grill brick
  • Cooking oil

Directions:

  1. Test your grill to make sure its only warm, not too hot (you can throw water at it to see if a sizzling sound will be produced).
  2. Once sure it’s at the right temperature, scrape, using the grill scraper, the stuck food particles and other deposits off the grill.
  3. Coat the grill with some cooking oil.
  4. Using the grill brick, scrub the grill using a to and fro motion until you fee it’s clean, free of any deposits.
  5. Scrape away and rub off everything before rinsing the grill with water.

When using a grill brick without a handle on a hot surface, always use a towel to hold it, so you don’t end up burning your hands.

A grill brick is made from a material that’s safe and gentle on both your hands and the items being cleaned. It should be used lightly, though; to much pressure will result in unnecessary wear.

Also check this best 36 inch gas range, if you want to cook food at home instead of grilling outside.

What is a Pellet Grill?

Pellet grill is a type of grill that relies on cylindrical hardwood sawdust pellets as fuel for the grilling. The sawdust is sourced from places such as saw mills and lumber yard. It is completely made from natural hardwood and does not contain any unnatural addictive. The wood pellet looks like a long pill and has a diameter of about ¼ inch. The small size of the pellets enable them to burn cleanly without leaving a lot of ashes.

What are the Components of a Pellet Grill?

The induction fan ensures that the smoke from the hardwood pellet is circulated properly in the cook chamber. This ensures that the flavor is distributed evenly on the meat. The auger moves the wood pellets into the fire pot. The auger can move slow for a low temperature cooking or it can move at fast rate for a high temperature cooking. The heat diffuser radiates and disperses the heat evenly on the cooking surface of the grill to ensure that all areas of the meat is cooked well. The drip pan is located above the heat diffuser and it catches the grease that falls from the grill.

The storage hopper is where you store the wood pellet fuels. Filling the storage hopper up to the rim prevents you from having to constantly going back to refill it. The hot rod will glow red and burn up the pellets in smoke while you go to relax and doing other things. The shut down feature will keep the fan running for 5 minutes before turning off the grill. At the end of the grilling, you must open the fire pot and clean out the ashes. Some manufacturers have also recommended that you clean out ashes from the fire pot after grilling for 8 hours or so.

How Does the Pellet Grill Works?

Before you start grilling, you must turn on the pellet grill by plugging it into a standard 110v electrical outlet in the house. When it is turned on, the auger will rotate and deliver the wood pellets into the burn cup. Next, you must set the temperature on the digital controller anywhere in between 175 F to 500 F. Some pellet grills allows you to adjust the temperature by a 5 F increment.

As a rule of thumb, you should leave the unit on for at least 10-15 minutes to preheat it until the desired temperature before laying out the meat on the grill. A chemical called lignin will be released into the smoke when the wood pellets are burned and add a wood fired flavor to the meat that is cooking on the grill. Many pellet grills offer Bluetooth feature that allows you to use a bluetooth device to monitor it. It also comes with a meat probe that allows you to set the cooking time.

Various sizes of pellet grills are available from household to commercial size units. The more complicated the functions, the more expensive it is. The commercial size unit offers more spaces to grill meat as large as a whole hog for a crowd of people. Some of the leading brand names are Traeger, Yoder Smokers and Memphis Wood Fire Grills.

Wood Pellets Flavors

The wood pellets that fuel the grilling is available in many different types of flavors including cherry, alder, apple, maple, bourbon and hickory. You can mix the pellets add more than one flavor to the meat. For most people, a 20 pound bag of pellets is enough for the grilling. On average, the grill will consume about 2 pounds of pellets every hour.

However, the actual consumption of the pellets will depend on other factors such as temperature. Higher temperature setting will consume the pellets at a faster rate while lower temperature will consume the pellets at a slower rate. If you are grilling outdoor and there happens to be a lot of wind, you will need to use more pellets to provide the fuel.

Conclusion

Pellet grill is suitable for people who don’t want to have to stand in front of the grill for hours to maintain it a the perfect temperature. The automated feed feature allows the meat to be grilled for hours while you go away and do your chores.

Steps for preparing chicken to cook on a grill

People have been cooking chicken in their ovens, searing chicken breasts, chopping up fillets and using them in salads or stir fries… but it’s not very often that you hear about someone grilling a whole chicken. That’s not to suggest that it’s impossible, though – in fact, grilling a chicken doesn’t really require much more preparation than it would preparing it for cooking in the oven.

 

Grilling a chicken allows for a different experience, not just in the cooking process, but also in the end result. The flavours will be well-contained, the inside will be extra juice and the skin as golden-brown and crispy as you could ever want it to be.

 

Preparing a chicken for the grill

First, you’ve got to get your chicken. Choose one that, obviously, fits in your grill. Since cooking times are determined by the weight of the chicken and the end temperature, it doesn’t really matter how big it is as long as you can fit it on your grill.

 

Refrigerate your chicken as soon as its home, putting it on a plate at the bottom shelf so no raw chicken juices drip onto anything else. Wash anything that comes into contact with the chicken thoroughly.

 

If your chicken is frozen, buy it ahead of time because you’re going to want to thaw it in the refrigerator. You can also thaw it in the microwave if you’re in a rush and planning to cook it as soon as it’s done thawing.

 

Once all that’s in order, your first step is to marinate the chicken properly for use on a grill.

 

  • Make sure that you marinate the chicken in the fridge. When dealing with chicken, you generally want to minimize the amount of exposure to room temperature.
  • Remember that marinades high in sugar will burn easier than those that aren’t. Since we’ll be cooking the chicken at a fairly high temperature, it’s important to keep this in mind.
  • Make sure you separate any marinade that you want to use for a sauce aside before putting any raw meat in it.
  • Throw out any marinade that you didn’t use so nobody else accidentally ingests raw chicken.

 

Now, get ready to grease your grill. This is an important process for cooking anything. Honestly, you probably won’t need to grease it too much if you’re cooking the chicken with its skin on, since it’ll turn easily. However, if you’ve marinated it or haven’t oiled it, you’ll have a much higher chance of iti sticking.

 

Regardless, you should grease your grill before you cook anything on it. Spray it with nonstick spray or soak a rag or brush with oil and make sure you get all over and underneath the grates.

 

Now, fire up the beast. You’ll want to sear your chicken on a hot grill, because this helps to keep the juices sealed inside, which makes for a much better experienced.   Cooking at a high temperature also makes it easier to turn the chicken because seared meat lifts much easier off the grill. Remember to keep the sugar content of your marinade in mind for the step.

 

  • Skinless and boneless breasts usually cook quite well on a very hot grill, and often develop that criss-crossed seared pattern.
  • Longer cuts like chicken with the bone still in, or whole chicken, should be cooked at a bit lower of a temperature and not basted until the chicken’s nearing completion.

 

Make sure to keep the lid of your grill closed while you’re cooking chicken. This better simulates the environment of an oven, while also making it easier for the temperature under the hood to be distributed evenly. This allows you to better ensure that your chicken will cook at the same time, and that it won’t burn.

 

  • Keeping the lid shut also lowers the chance of flare-ups, which is always a concern for people cooking on grills – especially when cooking meat, which contains oils that are highly flammable. This works by restricting oxygen flow.

 

Remember to be patient when grilling chicken. It’s not uncommon to feel feisty and want to move the chicken around or flip it every two minutes in hopes that you’ll speed up the cooking. Infact, if you let it be, the chicken will cook much more evenly throughout. It’ll also cook faster if you wait until one side is fully cooked before flipping it.

 

If you have a meat thermometer, your chicken won’t be finished until it has reached a temperature of 180 fahrenheit, if it’s a whole chicken, or 170 degrees, if it’s a cut. If you don’t have a thermometer, the accepted method for doneness is making a small cut out of the thickest part of the chicken (this is best for cuts only – you should definitely get a thermometer for cooking whole chicken) and make sure that there’s absolutely no pink left in the meat.

 

When you’re done, make sure that you clean up properly. You’re going to want to scrape the grill rack and make sure that there’s no left over bits of burnt chicken stuck to them. If you don’t clean these off, they’ll get stuck to your next meal that you cook on your barbeque.

 

Some people prefer to oil their grill after using it as well as doing so beforehand. If you choose to do this, make sure you scrape it clean before oiling it or you’ll end up with a bigger mess.

 

In conclusion

Chicken has been cooked in many ways for hundreds of years, but one of the most underappreciated ways of cooking chicken is also one of the most delicious and rewarding: cooking it on a grill.

 

It’s not hard to get your chicken ready for cooking it on the grill, but the end result is fantastic. Not only that, but using a grill gives you new opportunities that you wouldn’t find if you were just going to cook your chicken in the kitchen.

 

Hopefully next time you cook chicken, you’ll consider this and try grilling it!

What’s a Teppanyaki grill and why are they good?

More traditional methods of cooking food have been overshadowed in recent years due to impressive advances in cooking technology. There’s a lot of complicated hybrid multi-fuel cooking units out there, and that can make it difficult for people who prefer to cook their food in an older style to find the necessary equipment.

 

One of the most interesting traditional methods for cooking food is the Teppanyaki grill. You might not have even heard of them before, but that’s alright – a lot of people haven’t. The grill remains highly popular in Japan where it originated, but many folk in the western world haven’t ever seen one.

 

So what makes a Teppanyaki grill special?

Teppanyaki grills are fantastic cooking devices, especially for people who like their food to be cooked healthy. The word teppan mean ‘iron pan,’ and yaki means grilled. A teppanyaki is basically a cast iron grilling unit that allows you to make delicious, Japanese-styled grilled food in the comfort of your own home.

 

The grill is basically an iron griddle. It’s mostly used for cooking skewers, and because of that they’re usually quite long and thin. Just because they’re primarily designed for cooking skewers doesn’t mean that that’s all that you can make with them, though. You can cook steaks, burgers, vegetables, shrimp, you name it. (Though if a more traditional cook saw you cooking a burger on your Teppanyaki grill they might give you a weird look.)

 

But most grills can cook all these things. Why are Teppanyaki grills so special?

 

  • First off, they can cook food quite quickly which is great for people who are in a rush, or who are cooking food to order for friends or at a party. This way you won’t have finished food sitting on the grill for long before somebody comes to claim it.

 

  • These are ideal for people on camping trips or having cookouts. While you may have to serve people one-by-one, they won’t have to wait long for their food to be ready.

 

  • These grills are typically made with very strong and durable materials. They’re also very easy to clean due to their shape and the way that they’re built; it’s easier to scrape burnt bits off these grills than it would be off a barbecue. They’re also so small that they’re easy to grease up.

 

  • Because they’re so easy to clean, you don’t need to worry about cleaning it after every use like you would with a barbecue. On a barbecue, if you don’t clean it after each use, burnt residue will harden and be very difficult to scrape off. Fortunately with a Teppanyaki, any residue comes off quite easily. Some grills even have a drip tray to catch grease and make your experience even cleaner.

 

  • Teppanyaki grills can also be easily used in the kitchen at home. They’re great for cooking skewers and prawns or seafood, and they’re also great for adding an extra course to a meal. Say you’re having friends over and the veggies are so good that they all get eaten right away. You’ll be able to easily cook up another batch before long and everyone will be happy.

 

  • This makes them ideal for use at parties or at big social events. You won’t have to worry about making too much food and having to throw any out because you can just cook it up when people are hungry.

 

  • Another cool thing about these grills is that they add a unique flavour to your meal. One of the things that cooking on a teppanyaki grill encourages is making ample use of spices and cooking ingredients, while using fresh produce to make your food. This, combined with the cooking style, helps to enhance the flavour of your food rather than drown it out with seasonings and spices.

 

Teppanyakis often use beef as their main source of meat, and dark leafy green vegetables as well as carrots and onions for their vegetables. Seasonings often include soy sauce and wine or vinegar, as well as ample use of garlic and ginger. If you like these ingredients, you’ll probably be interested in using a teppanyaki.

 

For how much flavour they add, it’s pretty impressive when you consider how affordable and readily available these grills are.

 

Using a teppanyaki

It’s most common to start using a teppanyaki by heating it up to 120 degrees Celsius before cooking anything. This helps to eliminate any factory included protective coatings that you won’t want to include in your food. Once the coatings melt, you’ll want to turn your grill off and wipe off the melted residue.

 

Any time you plan on cooking make sure that you grease the griddle with at least 30 mls of vegetable oil per square foot. This helps to prevent food from sticking and prevents you from having to clean up a big mess after you’re done cooking.

 

It’s always recommended to heat up your grill for ten minutes before cooking on it. In addition, you should prepare your food before, or during, heating it up. After it’s heated, it’s best to have food on it right away instead of keeping it hot for no reason.

 

Make sure that you continuously stir the food while you’re cooking it to keep it evenly heated. If anything starts to burn or crisp, make sure that you scrape it off before it adheres to the grill. It’s not as necessary to clean a teppanyaki grill after cooking as it is to clean a regular grill, but it’s still a good idea.

 

In conclusion

A lot of people haven’t heard of teppanyaki grills, but that doesn’t mean that they’re obsolete. They’re great for cooking food in a traditional way, and they’re still effective and produce wonderful meals. If you haven’t heard of a teppanyaki grill, you should consider trying one out.

 

They cook food quickly, they provide a unique flavour, and they don’t require a whole lot of cleanup. On top of all that they’re much cheaper than other modern grills, so you really can’t go wrong with a teppanyaki.

What are the best types of grills?

There’s a lot of different grilling equipment out there. Grilling is more popular than ever before, and serious grillers take the cooking process as more of an art than a way to get food into your stomach. Naturally, the market has responded to this love of grilling by creating a whole bunch of different grills.

Today we’re going to look at the different types of grills so you can decide which one would suit you and your family best.

What are the different types of grills?

There are a few grill varieties that are more common than others, and we’re going to explain the differences between them here. The different types of grills have their own pros and cons, and it’s important to know these before you make a decision.

 

Charcoal grills

Charcoal grills are the most iconic of the grilling models that you can buy. Charcoal fans will attest that cooking your meat over charcoal provides it with an unbeatable smoky flavour, and they’ll probably never switch over to using a gas grill.

 

  • Charcoal grills are typically the cheapest of the common varieties. You must keep in mind that you’re going to have to pay for charcoal, though, but the price of charcoal is very cheap and in the long-run you’re still saving more money than you would be with a gas grill.
  • Charcoal grills are very good at distributing heat evenly among the cooking surface which is ideal for properly cooking food. This also helps if you need to prepare many people’s meals at once.
  • While they’re good at distributing heat, charcoal goals aren’t great for temperature adjustment since coals take a while to heat up and cool down.
  • Charcoal grills can be difficult to clean. There is a lot of ash residue. Some grills have ash catchers or other cleaning perks that make it easy to get the ash out.
    • Make sure you never let your charcoal ash get wet. If it does, it will turn into a cement-like substance that’s next to impossible to clean.

 

Gas grills

Gas grills are a much more recent invention than charcoal grills, and some people swear by them. They may not deliver the same flavour that you’ll find in a charcoal grill, but they have a lot of other benefits.

 

  • If you want to have control over the temperature of your cooking, gas grills are the way to go. They can reach a higher maximum temperature, and since you can easily turn the gas on and off, you have more flexibility.
  • Gas usually costs a bit more than charcoal but these models still aren’t that expensive to maintain.
  • Gas grills allow you to use direct and indirect heat depending on your preferences.
  • Many gas grills are made of stainless steel and aren’t that difficult to clean.
  • Gas grills may have great temperature adjustment, but they aren’t the best at applying heat evenly across your grill.

 

Hybrid grills

If you can’t decide between a charcoal and a gas grill, and if you have the finances, you should consider getting a hybrid grill.

 

  • Hybrid grills combine the best of both charcoal and gas grilling. A hybrid grill usually has at least one charcoal cook station and one gas cook station. More advanced hybrid grills may have a smoker attached, or a convection grill attached.
  • Hybrid grills are, naturally, more expensive than the individual components that make them up. However, you can’t go wrong with them.
  • Hybrid grills are great for parties because you can cook food in different ways for different people. You can also cook a lot more at one time than you would be able to otherwise.
  • Since you’re usually paying top dollar for a hybrid grill, they often have good cleaning features included.

 

Lesser-known grills

Two of the most popular foreign grills are the Hibachi and the Teppanyaki grill.

 

  • Hibachi grills originated in Japan, and are basically just a round steel container that you put charcoal in and throw a grill on top of. Hibachi grills are incredibly cheap and very versatile. You can use them inside, since they don’t produce much smoke, or you can take them outside or bring them on camping trips. Despite their simplicity, Hibachi grills make food just as good as other grills. You just can’t make a lot of it.
  • Teppanyaki grills are long, thin grills that also originated in Japan. They’re most often used for skewers, due to their shape, but can also be used to quickly cook meat and vegetables. Teppanyaki grills are particularly useful for large dinners where you don’t want to waste food. If you start running out of a grilled item on the table, you can fire up your Teppanyaki and quickly grill some more.

 

So which grill is the best?

Ultimately, it depends on your preferences and your budget. If you’re on a frugal budget, you might be most interested in a Hibachi grill because they’ll only cost you fifteen bucks. If you’re super strapped and still want to grill, you could even build yourself a pit grill.

If money is somewhat available, you could choose between gas and charcoal just based on your preference of flavour and your cooking style. Both are viable options that people have been happy with.

If money is no concern, then naturally, you’d want to get a hybrid grill with all the bells and whistles attached. A hybrid grill can combine both charcoal and gas, and include a lot of other grilling options that you won’t often find on their own. Smokers are sometimes included with charcoal grills – which would technically make them hybrids – but including one in a combination gas and charcoal grill makes it a much better deal.

Hybrid grills sometimes also include induction elements which are great for cooking things really quickly. These only come on the most expensive of hybrid grills.

So you see, there is no one best grill for everyone. But now that you know the different options, you should be able to make a good decision!

What makes a Hibachi grill so good?

If you’re an average everyday griller, you may have seen the term ‘Hibachi Grill’ and been left in the dark. While they are a very unique type of grill, they aren’t generally as well known as your basics – charcoal, gas grills, etc.

 

In fact, what some people know to be a Hibachi grill isn’t actually even a typical Hibachi. We’re going to give you some information about what a Hibachi grill is and what makes them special compared to other types of grills.

 

What is a Hibachi grill?

 

The traditional Hibachi grill is a very old device that dates back more than a century, to the Japanese Heian period which began in 785 AD. They emerged because Japan was going through some serious economic difficulty, and the winters in Japan are cold and unforgiving which can make winters during times of economic turmoil a difficult time. A time for innovating.

 

Since Japanese houses were made of paper-thin wood, they didn’t want to use fire indoors, and since burnable wood wasn’t available, they had to find other alternatives for cooking. They began putting charcoal in open-topped containers to heat their food.

 

This formed the basis for a Hibachi grill. Hibachi actually means ‘fire bowl,’ but the Hibachi grill have evolved a little bit from their origin.

 

It first became used as a grill during World War II when the Japanese didn’t have enough time to afford cooks for their troops. They began using Hibachis for personal cooking utensils. They’re very durable, very portable, and they work great for cooking meals over the hot charcoal.

 

The term Hibachi is now used to describe pretty much any portable, round cooking device, though true Hibachis will still use charcoal and have no lid.

 

So what makes Hibachi grills special?

The term Hibachi means different things to different people now. A true Hibachi won’t be gas powered or electric, though many electric or grass, rounded personal grills use the name Hibachi now.

 

A Hibachi should just be a round container that holds hot coals with a grill placed above them so you can cook food on it. Some true Hibachis are modified to have air vents, but you don’t really need these on an open grill and these are often just cash grabs for companies.

 

There should be legs on the bowl to make sure that it doesn’t topple and that you don’t have to put it directly on a surface. That’s all a Hibachi grill is, in a traditional sense.

 

They’re great for a few reasons.

 

  • Since they have minimal components, they’re very cheap.

 

  • They’re reliable, not only because they use charcoal as a fuel source which will always treat you the same, but because they’re made of durable materials. The bowl has to be made of fireproof material, but that’s about it, and in today’s modern world, many cheap metals are fireproof.

 

  • They’re very simplistic which is great for people who don’t need a grill to cook gourmet meals. There are no adjustable flames, you don’t have to deal with liquid fuel sources, you don’t have any moving parts, you don’t even need to decide whether or not you should keep the lid on, because a true Hibachi won’t have a lid.

 

  • Charcoal, the typical fuel source for a Hibachi, is very cheap. However, you can also use other cheap fuel sources like wood or anything that will burn down to produce embers strong enough to heat them.
  • They make great heaters as well as grills, since embers from charcoal don’t release a lot of smoke. You can set them up in a ventilated room and you’ll hardly be able to detect the smoke. Some people even report using them in tents without having to smell the smoke, which is great because you can’t use propane heaters in a confined space.

 

  • They’re also portable, so you can use them for camp cookouts or bring them to your tailgate parties. They’re much cheaper than other portable grills, and they don’t usually take up a lot of space or require much of a safety zone.

 

Mind you, Hibachis aren’t perfect. Due to their size, you can only cook so much food on them and the typical sized Hibachi won’t be enough to feed a group of people. In retrospect, though, you could probably buy a couple cheap Hibachi grills for the same price you’d pay for a bigger portable grill.

 

  • Since there’s no lid, things that need to be steamed aren’t ideal for a Hibachi – though you can use something else, like the lid of a pot, to make your own.

 

  • The fact that you can’t adjust the temperature might be a bit irritating for some people who likes to have complete control over their food. You can adjust how much fuel you use and the height of the grill, but that’s about it.

 

  • They’re best for cooking thinner meats like steaks, burgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, but not thicker meats. You won’t want to cook a whole chicken on a Hibachi.

 

  • If you get a lower-grade model made from steel, it could rust, but they’re not very expensive and you’ll probably still get your money’s worth.

 

Despite these few cons, Hibachi grills are still top of the line if you’re looking for a cheap grill that’s highly effective and great for use while you’re on the move.

 

In conclusion

Not a lot of people know what a Hibachi grill is, which is a shame because they have such interesting history and are so versatile. A Hibachi grill is only going to cost you a few bucks, but you can take it with you anywhere. The fuel source for most Hibachi grills is charcoal, which is also cheap, but you can also use wood which is great if you’re camping.

 

A Hibachi grill might not be as heavy duty as a portable camping grill, but if you’re just cooking burgers and hot dogs for a night out or an evening with the family, they will be more than enough to suit your needs.

How to build a proper pit grill? 6 easy steps!

If you’re the type of person who likes barbequed food but doesn’t want to spend the money on buying an expensive grill, then you’re in for a treat. You can build a pit grill all by yourself and have your food turn out nearly as good as it would on a $300 grill.

 

A pit grill is, well, a grill in a pit. It’s basically just a hole in the ground that you fill up with some charcoal and throw a grill grate overtop. Of course, there are some fairly important things you’ll want to make sure you do properly, and that’s what we’re here to help you with.

 

Why build a pit grill?

Not only can you save a lot of money by not having to buy a regular grill, but pit grills are fantastic ways to save space. You won’t have to store your grill under an awning or in your garage, and you won’t have to buy a cover for it. Just make sure you keep additional charcoal somewhere clean so you can change it out if you go a while without using your grill.

 

In fact, you don’t even need to use charcoal with a pit grill – you can literally just use wood and rocks that you find in your backyard. They’re ideal for the frugal griller. Pit grills make superb meat. It will be tender and juicy, and it’ll have a smoky flavour that rivals that of a charcoal grill.

 

You’ll want to make sure that there’s no fire ban in your area if you’re making a pit grill. While you won’t be having a huge raging bonfire, you may still produce enough smoke for the authorities to get called.

The steps for making a pit grill

First thing’s first, you’ll need your tools and ingredients. You’ll need:

 

  • A shovel
  • Some firewood
  • Some green wood for smoking
  • Tinfoil or something else to wrap your meat in
  • A wood or metal sheet to cover our pit
  • An old blanket or something can help as well because it can restrict oxygen and prevent flare ups

 

1. Dig your pit

This is the most difficult part of building your pit grill, but considering the money you’re saving, the labour is well worth it.

 

The hole needs to be fairly large – about a square meter around, and half a metre deep. This will make a grilling space big enough to support food for a whole family. If you’re just cooking for yourself and a partner, you can make it smaller. You can also make it bigger if you plan to cook feasts.

 

Keep the dirt nearby, perhaps in a garden, for later steps.

 

2. Line the pit with rocks

Pretty self-explanatory. Get some flat rocks about the same size as those you’d find around a bonfire and line the very bottom of your pit and the circumference of the pit. You don’t necessarily need them around the perimeter, but the rocks on the bottom help distribute heat

 

If you plan to use charcoal, you can include the rocks, or just use charcoal on the bottom, but we recommend keeping the rocks.

 

3. Soak your green wood

If you can get some flavoured wood like they use to make wood chips for grills (cherry, applewood, etc) then do so. Soak them in water for a while and add them to the rocks.

It’s necessary to have some kind of green wood for a later step.

 

4. Build your fire

Your goal here is to build a fire big enough so that it creates a thick layer of embers. This can take a long freakin’ time, so remember that pit grilling is not for the impatient or the rushed.

 

It’s a good idea to sprinkle water on the grass around the pit to prevent fires from catching. Keep some water nearby as well, in case sparks fly out and catch something on fire.

 

5. Get your meat (or veggies) ready

Season your food however you want, and then wrap it in tinfoil. You can also wrap it in brown paper, but that might cause a bit of worry.

 

After that, wrap the wrapped packages in wet newspaper. A good idea is to make a handle for your food out of chicken-wire or some other type of malleable metal so you can access it without burning yourself.

 

6. Add it to the fire

First, smooth out the embers from the remains of your fire. Then add your green wood and put the food on top of it. Once it’s situated, cover the whole pit with your cover, then re-cover that with most of the dirt you dug out. If you grabbed a blanket, cover it up with that. Now it’s time to wait.

 

Traditionally, pit grills are left overnight so the food has ample time to cook. If you start the food fairly late in the night, it’ll be ready in the early afternoon for lunch. It usually takes around 12 hours for food to be fully cooked and flavoured.

 

Hopefully your food won’t be undercooked, but sometimes, that just happens. While it sort of defeats the purpose of building the grill in the first place, you can finish your food in your oven and wish yourself better luck next time.

 

Once it’s all done and unwrapped, you can treat it the same way you’d treat any other barbequed food! Whip out the BBQ sauce and the salt and pepper, slab it on some plates (or just eat it off a flat rock if you’re feeling the self-sustainable pit grill lifestyle) and enjoy!

 

In conclusion

Pit grills may not be the fastest way to cook food, but they’re certainly practical for people who don’t mind putting in a bit of work to save a few bucks. The food tastes just as good as it would on a normal grill, and some people think it tastes even better. Good luck making your pit grill, and happy smoking!

The Best Tips To Grill Potatoes

If you think that grilling a potato sounds like a trick process, just remember that you can literally cook a potato by wrapping it in tinfoil and throwing it into an open fire. While grilling potatoes can, indeed, be that simple, there are other techniques that people can employ for making some grilled potatoes that could compete with gourmet food.

Potatoes are very versatile foods and can be enjoyed in many different ways. They’re also versatile in the sense that you can cook them about a million different ways. For this reason, potatoes are great options for people who are new to grilling, or hoping to expand their experience grilling different type of food.

So why doesn’t everyone grill their potatoes?

There’s one main problem that’s commonly associated with grilling potatoes. That problem would be getting the inside of the potato cooked without managing to burn the outside. However, this problem is quite easily remedied, and the resulting potato will have a whole new level of flavour.

How to properly grill potatoes

There’s a couple different techniques that you’re going to want to employ over your potato-cooking career, particularly if you plan on using different kinds of potatoes or if you’re cooking other food with the potatoes. You can adjust the basic recipe with your own spices, extra salt/pepper, or more oil if you want. Before long, you’ll have your own personal method perfected!

1. Par-cook your potatoes before grilling them

Though this kind of defeats the ability to cook your potatoes entirely on a grill, this is also a good idea for someone who’s never cooked potatoes on a grill before. Doing it this way allows you greater control over the cooking process. Some experienced potato grillers still prefer to do thi method because it changes a couple things.

  • It cuts down on the actual grilling time, which is great if you’re cooking a whole meal on the grill. You can cook your food on the grill and par-cook the potatoes elsewhere, so as soon as your other food is finishing up, you can throw the potatoes on the grill and they’ll be done within minutes.
  • Since the potatoes are already cooked, all you really need to do with the grill is sear them so they get an appealing crust. This should be done over direct heat and shouldn’t take more than a couple minutes.
  • You don’t need to cover the grill so you can cook the potatoes at the same time as other food that can’t be covered, such as steak.
  • This is great for people who prefer to cook by visual instead of by timer, since you can actually decide the potatoes are done when they look done.

 

This method is great for denser potatoes, like the Yukon Gold variety or most red potatoes. This is because dense potatoes can take quite a long time to cook solely on the grill and, for most purposes, that’s really not practical.

2. Cook the potatoes entirely on your grill

This is for people who don’t want to deal with the precooking process and have more space or time available to use their grill for potatoes. This technique takes a bit more finesse and dedication, but the result is a very creamy potato with a crispy skin.

This can be done on both gas and charcoal grills, but we recommend charcoal. You’ll be using both direct and indirect heat.

  • If you’re using a charcoal grill, when setting up your coals, make one side higher/more densely packed than the other, so you’ll have one side reaching a higher temperature than the other.
  • If you’re using a gas grill, heat up one side to medium high and the other to medium low.

Remember that you’ll need to plan your meal in advance. You’ll be covering it to cook these potatoes, and since they take a while to cook, you’ll probably be cooking them for longer than anything else you’re making.

Start off by cooking the potatoes on the higher temperature, but don’t let them burn. Then move them over to the cool side and let them sit there until they’re done.

3. Grilling potatoes in tinfoil

This is basically the same as the ‘tossing a foil-wrapped potato into a fire’ method that we mentioned earlier, but it’s a little more hygienic and takes a bit longer.

The deal with this method is that the tinfoil traps the potato’s own moisture in with it, which allows you to blend flavours and cook them quicker than the previous method. You can also include the herbs and spices you might add to a baked potato and put them in with the potato in the wrapper, so the flavours absorb.

All you have to do is make sure they’re tightly snug in the foil and then put them on the grate, directly over heat, for about 40 minutes.  You can put more than one potato into the same foil wrap to save yourself from having to wrap multiple potatoes. Make sure the coals in your grill are about 5 inches away from the grill, but not much closer or they’ll burn.

You’re going to want to flip them after about 20 minutes, when they should be beginning to char on the bottom. Again, make sure the grill remains closed to preserve the atmosphere and their flavour.

The result will be very moist potatoes that are almost creamy. You can choose to further spice them afterwards – garlic, dill, cilantro, anything that goes good on a baked potato will go even better on a tinfoil-wrapped potato.

It’s best to start these before cooking your main course because you can take it off before they’re done without compromising their flavour. These mean you can get them three quarters cooked, then cook your main course, then throw the potatoes back on for another 15 minutes so everything’s ready at relatively the same time.

In conclusion

Grilling potatoes is a bit of a lengthy process, but hey – anything related to potatoes usually is. This method, however, can accommodate many methods of making potatoes and provide you with a better tasting result than more conventional methods.

3 Easy Steps To Grill Fish & Unlimited Tips

If you’re reading this then chances are you know how good a nicely seared tuna steak is, or a plate of veggies with some baked salmon. What you might not know – or at least not have experience with – is that fish can be grilled on a barbeque or a gas grill. The results are, quite simply, amazing.

You know how grill-heads will tout that the taste of a burger is much better when cooked over a bed of charcoal? Well, fish is no different. There’s a bit of a different approach that’s required for cooking fish on a grill as opposed to cooking burgers and steaks, but it’s nothing that should scare you away from trying it.

Grilled fish is not a strange idea, and in fact, fish suits the grill just as well, if not better, than red meat. Cooking fish on a grill is quick, and the resulting product is absolutely loaded with flavour and very juicy.

We’re going to explain how to set up your grill for cooking fish so you can do it yourself.

Getting things ready

First off, you’re going to want to get a nice piece of fish. Try to get something that’s been caught locally or at least recently, that’s been frozen for a minimal amount of time.

  • If you’re getting your fish from a speciality fish retailer (which will always taste way better than stuff bought at the supermarket, tell them that you want your fish fully gutted. If you want them to leave the fins on (mostly for people cooking for high-class parties, or who are just weird) let them know because they usually come off during the process.
  • Another cool thing about going through a speciality retailer (though some supermarket delis do offer this as well) is that you can ask the workers to cut up your fish so you don’t have to at home. You can get them to slice it into nice steaks, get it fillet cut, or even butterfly it for you, which is pretty ideal if you’ve ever tried and failed to butterfly your own fish.
  • Fishmongers can also tell you which fish are the freshest and which have been caught locally.

Once you’ve got your fish ready, it’s time to set up your grill. Fortunately, that mostly just involves heavily oiling it. Fish is much more likely to stick to a grill grate than a burger. It’s also more likely to stick if you’ve got burnt bits leftover on your grill, so make sure you clean it before you oil it.

  • Use a grill brush and scrub the heck out of it beforehand, and then again afterwards.
  • It’s best to use a rag dipped in oil to oil the grill. This allows you better control and will ensure that you can get the whole grill thoroughly coated.

Pro tip: If the fish is reluctant to get off the grill when you’re trying to flip it, it’s probably not ready yet.

Marinating fish for grilling

Most often, you marinate a meat before you cook it so it can absorb the flavour of the marinade prior to cooking. This isn’t the case with fish. Since fish is already so fragile, soaking it before you cook it can further compromise its integrity and make it very difficult to work with without having it disintegrate.

So what do you do? Marinate it afterwards. Some people even prefer to do this with their meats. It provides a bit of a different flavour when you soak your food after cooking it, but for fish, this is pretty much the only way to do it.

Don’t restrict yourself to your regular type of fish

Plenty of types of fish can be grilled. Swordfish, salmon, char, albacore, halibut, you name it.

The larger varieties of fish are typically what you carve fish steaks out of. Fish steaks, coming from larger fish that tend to have more fat, are often much more flavourful than the most commonly cooked types of fish.

If you’re ordering fish steaks to cook so the grill, make sure they’re at least an inch thick. Not only will this make sure they don’t cook too fast, but you’ll get a more satisfying meal.

On top of this, grilling fish can completely change their flavour, so you should try fish you don’t like, cooked on the grill. For example, a lot of people don’t like sardines or anchovies. Cooking these on the grill, however, completely changes their taste and mellows it out so they’re not too intense, like most people think they are. Plus, instead of being soggy and ‘weird,’ you’ll be able to crisp up their skin. This alone might be enough to change your opinion.

Really oily fish like sardines and mackerel are actually easier to cook on the grill because the oil in their skin prevents them from sticking as easily.

Cooking whole fish on the grill

I remember once in South America, I ordered a plate of fish. I was shocked when they served me the entire thing – fins, head, tail, everything. It’s definitely doable, and the taste is absolutely amazing.

It takes a bit of work, though. Grilling a whole fish is more complicated than just cooking steak and requires that you adjust the temperature and keep constant attention. Look up a specific recipe for more information.

In conclusion

Cooking fish on a grill should only take you a few minutes unless you’re working with a whole fish. As long as you make sure that your grill is well-oiled, and that you’re paying attention, you shouldn’t have a problem. Fish and grills go hand-in-hand, and if you try this out for your first time, you may soon find yourself cooking fish more often than burgers.

You can cook many types of fish on a grill, and in fact, many people have reported changing their opinion on fish that they didn’t like after giving it a chance on the grill. This is a great way to open up new avenues for your favourite type of fish!