Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Barbecues have become increasingly popular these days. Barbecuing is one of the most popular pastimes in the world right now because it provides a perfect opportunity to eat extra delicious food, bond with family and friends and enjoy your free time. Depending on your needs and desires, different types of barbecues are suitable for you. With our grills test 2021 we want to help you find the right grill for you. We have compared charcoal grills, gas grills and electric grills with each other and created a list with the respective advantages and disadvantages. This should enable you to make the right decision.




Summary

  • Grilling is an original method of cooking food and you don't need any cooking utensils, just a grill. Grills allow you to prepare healthy food because the food retains its nutrients due to its short cooking time.
  • There are three different types of grills in terms of heat source: charcoal grills, gas grills and electric grills, each of which has advantages and disadvantages.
  • If you are a grill beginner or professional, a different variety of grills will suit you. Your needs and the frequency you will use the grill also play a big role in making the right purchase decision.

The Best Grill: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for barbecues

In the following section we show you which aspects you should think about when buying a barbecue. The criteria with which you can compare the grills with each other include:

Below we explain what is important for each of the above criteria.

Grate size

You can easily determine the grate size when you think about how many people you want to cook for frequently. The more people you have, the larger the grill size you need. For two to three people, a grill surface of about 100 to 200 cm² is suitable. Four to six people need a grill surface of about 450 to 500 cm². If you want to cook for many friends and a large family, you should opt for a grill surface of approx. 550 - 600 cm².

People grilling surface
2 - 3 approx. 100 - 200 cm²
4 - 6 approx. 450 to 500 cm²
over 6 approx. 550 - 600 cm²

It is important to emphasise that you will have difficulty grilling if you put all the food on the grill surface at once. Space for turning and turning over the grilled food is necessary. We also recommend that you keep a space in the grill area where you can move food around to keep it at a high temperature. If you want to grill potatoes or vegetables on the side with your fish or meat, you should take into account that you need an extra space. This way you don't have to get your indoor kitchen dirty.

Grate material

A grill grate can be made of several materials. But the two most common materials are stainless steel and cast iron. Both have advantages and disadvantages during use. Let's start with stainless steel first. The two most important advantages of stainless steel are that it can withstand high temperatures and does not rust. For these reasons, you can use it for a very long time. In addition, stainless steel is very easy to clean with water and detergent.

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Stainless steel withstood high temperatures, does not rust, easy to clean high price, little retention of heat
Cast iron efficient retention of heat, low price difficult to clean, rusts, unsuitable for indirect grilling

On the other hand, a major disadvantage of the stainless steel grate is its price, which is higher compared to other materials. A second disadvantage is that it cannot store heat so well. However, this can be avoided by choosing thick bars (at least 5 mm in diameter) in the grill grate. In contrast to the stainless steel grill grate, a cast iron grill grate allows the food to stay warm faster and longer because it stores the heat more efficiently. Cast iron is also cheaper than stainless steel. Let's look at the disadvantages of cast iron. You must not clean the cast iron grill with washing-up liquid, because this would destroy the patina, cause corrosion and break the grill. If you also use this grate a lot, it will rust quickly. Finally, the cast iron grate is unsuitable for people who want to grill indirectly, because the grate stores heat very quickly and for a long time. Our recommendation would be to buy a stainless steel grill if you can afford it. It costs more compared to the cast iron grate but it is worth the money because it is durable and rustproof.

Size

The size of the grill again depends on your needs. If you need a grill to take with you wherever you go, then a portable grill that is easily transportable is the best solution for you. You should also know that it is required that the barbecue is placed 2 to 3 feet away from the house and other materials that are easily combustible. So if you have a balcony, the barbecue should fit the size of the balcony. A large grill would be ideal for those who have a lot of space for it.

Accessories

There is a rich variety regarding the accessories of the barbecue. But this variety makes it difficult to decide which accessories you actually need. Some of these extras are perfect for the professionals but the beginners have difficulties to use them. There are many grills that do not include the extras, yet they grill very well and at a reasonable price. For this reason, you should consider what accessories you actually need.

Decision: What types of barbecues are there and which one is right for me?

If you want to buy a barbecue, there are three types of products you can choose from:

type advantages disadvantages
Charcoal grill authentic smoky taste, mobile time-consuming firing, heavy smoke
Gas grill indirect grilling, little smoke no authentic taste, immobile
Electric grill healthy preparation, grilling indoors and outdoors, low price no BBQ atmosphere, immobile _COPY0

These three types of grills have advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your needs and which factor you consider important, a different type is suitable for you. In the following section we hope to help you decide.

Holzkohlegrill

Charcoal grill

The most important reason to buy a charcoal barbecue is that it can give your food that original BBQ smoky taste. The charcoal grill is the classic grill and that is why it has become so loved. Of course, second comes the low purchase price. You have the option of not spending a lot of money to buy a charcoal grill. But there are also some models that are more expensive. How much money you want to spend depends on your budget. Another advantage is that charcoal barbecues are usually light and portable to take with you wherever you go. They also don’t need gas or electricity.

Advantages
  • authentic smoke flavour
  • low price
  • portable
Disadvantages
  • time-consuming to light
  • no temperature control
  • heavy smoke

On the other hand, it takes quite a long time to light a charcoal barbecue. It should take at least 30 minutes from lighting to grilling. Another disadvantage of the charcoal grill is that you have to regulate the right temperature yourself so that you put the right amount of coals in the grill. In addition, the charcoal grill emits a lot of smoke when grilling. This can be problematic for neighbours, which is why barbecuing with a charcoal barbecue is prohibited on many balconies, terraces and gardens.

Gasgrill

Gas barbecue

Gas grills are undoubtedly becoming more and more popular with barbecue fans. First of all, since you can adjust the temperature yourself, you can also use the gas grill for indirect grilling. With indirect grilling you can grill thicker meat or whole poultry nicely. Otherwise, if you used the direct method, the food would burn on the outside and still be raw on the inside.

Advantages
  • adjustable temperature
  • indirect grilling
  • little smoke
Disadvantages
  • no authentic taste
  • high price
  • immobile

Another advantage of the gas barbecue is that there is no smoke when barbecuing. For this reason, the gas barbecue is suitable for terraces, balconies and gardens. Nevertheless, the gas barbecue also has some disadvantages. The special BBQ smoke flavour that makes grilling so tempting for many is missing with the gas grill. The price of gas barbecues is also high. You should think about whether you want to invest in a gas barbecue. In addition, gas barbecues are too heavy and large to take with you when travelling. That is why they are more often used as a permanent barbecue station on the balcony, terrace or in the garden.

Elektrogrill

Electric grill

The electric grill allows for healthier food preparation because there is no need to use coals or grill lighters. In this way, you can avoid the potential carcinogenic substances. Additionally, if you own an electric grill, you don’t have to wait for the grilling season to use it. Electric barbecues can be used indoors and outdoors – even with less smoke. Another advantage of the electric barbecue is that it is cheaper to buy than a charcoal or gas barbecue.

Advantages
  • healthy preparation
  • can be used indoors and outdoors
  • little smoke
  • low price
Disadvantages
  • no BBQ atmosphere
  • no authentic taste
  • immobile

The biggest disadvantage of the electric grill is that it doesn’t create quite as great a barbecue atmosphere. There is no fire to sit around and watch and also the typical BBQ taste is missing. The second disadvantage is that the electric grill is immobile because it needs a power source. So you can’t use it when barbecuing in camping, for example.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about barbecues answered in detail

If you want to buy a barbecue, you will certainly have a few questions that you would like to have clarified beforehand. In our big barbecue guide, we have found the most important and most frequently asked questions from customers and answered them clearly. Our guide should help you find the perfect barbecue for you on the market.

How much does a barbecue cost?

There is a large price list between the different grills. The price differs depending on the type, quality and size of the barbecue. You can buy charcoal bar becues from 10 euros. These grills are usually small and about unstable. Such a grill is for you if you rarely grill and your budget is limited. If you barbecue often, a model with a purchase price of at least 100 to 150 euros would suit you. If you want to grill professionally, you can spend a higher amount of money to buy a grill station. The most expensive charcoal grills cost from 4,000 to 5,000 euros.
Type Price range
Charcoal grills approx. 10-5000 €
Gas grills approx. 150-9000 €
Electric grills approx. 20-1500 €

Gas gr ills are generally more expensive than charcoal grills. The price list starts at 150 euros but can reach 9,000 euros. The inexpensive units - up to 500 euros - have a small grilling surface but they are perfect for the person who wants to grill on the balcony. If you want to buy a useful, robust gas barbecue with perfect functionality, you should pay 1000 - 1500 Euros. Above 1500 euros you can find all the luxury models.

Grill -1

With the right barbecue for you, you can enjoy a delicious meal. Such a grill should not be missing from your home. (Image source: jamessutton_photography / unsplash.com)

Like any type of grills, electric grills also come in a wide price range. While you can buy a small electric table grill with few accessories from 20 euros, even a luxurious electric grill can cost up to 1500 euros. With the cheapest model, you can grill the usual sausages without any problems, but grilling thick meat such as steaks is not possible. If you want to grill thick meat, you should buy expensive models up to about 400 euros. The most expensive models have more accessories and you can also grill indirectly.

What are the alternatives to a grill?

Barbecues can be built with three different types. Each model has its advantages and disadvantages. In the following section, we will give you a brief overview of the alternatives to barbecues.
Type Description
Grill with undercarriage / trolley You can easily move the trolley on the balcony and store it in the cellar in winter.
Table grill The table grill can be placed effortlessly on the dining table and everyone can grill their own food.
Built-in gas barbecue The built-in barbecue can be installed in the outdoor kitchen and with the right accessories you can replace the indoor kitchen.

How do I turn on a barbecue?

If you want to start a charcoal barbecue, you have to put a little more effort into it. But with the following instructions we hope to make the work easier for you. The classic way to light a charcoal barbecue is with a barbecue lighter. You can use either coals or briquettes. First you put the lighter on the grill and place the coals / briquettes around it. The barbecue lighter should burn completely for health reasons. At this point, the coals/briquettes should be covered in ash. Oxygen must be produced at this point. It would be ideal if you had an air pump, otherwise you will have to constantly bob with your hands or an object. When the coals/briquettes light up, you can put the food on the grill. To help you understand the whole process, we have selected a suitable video with instructions for lighting the charcoal barbecue with a barbecue lighter. The professional way to light a charcoal barbecue is to use a fireplace. Lighting the barbecue this way is quicker and more comfortable. The process is simple: you place a grill lighter on the grate and fill the fireplace with coals or briquettes. Then you light the barbecue lighter and place the chimney on top. Wait until the coals have glowed through. In good weather, this could take about 30 minutes. Finally, you can pour the fireplaces into the barbecue. Be sure to wear grill gloves when handling the fireplaces because they can get very hot. You could also watch the following video to help you understand the process. As for the gas barbecues, firing them up is very simple. All you have to do is turn on the gas barbecue and control the temperature exactly as you would on an oven. Firing up the electric grill is just as simple. All you have to do is connect it to a power source and it will heat up quickly. The temperature control knob can help you easily regulate the heat precisely.

How do I clean a grill properly?

There are a few important differences in how to clean each grill. Let's start with cleaning the charcoal grill first. It is very important that you wait until the grill and the coals are completely cold. Then you can remove the coals and the remaining ash. You can clean the grate with a steel brush or sponge, water and washing-up liquid. A little tip: You can do without the long rubbing if you coat the grate with oil or grease before each barbecue.

Fortunately, both gas and electric grills are very easy to clean if you let them burn out. All you have to do is close the lid and set the temperature to maximum. When you see no more smoke, the grill is clean. If you have an electric grill, unplug it and wait until it gets cold. Then use a stainless steel brush to remove any residue and wipe the grill grate.

Which oil should I use for a grill?

The most important factor for healthy grilling is that the oil you use is heat resistant, because temperatures can go above 200 degrees. For this reason, you should be careful and choose an oil with a high smoke point. Otherwise, the fatty acids it contains will break down and make the oil dangerous for consumption. Oils that can also be used at high temperatures:

  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Grape seed oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Maize germ oil

Image source: Gojda/ 123rf.com

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