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8 Types of Grills Explained (Pros and Cons)

8 Types of Grills Explained (Pros and Cons) - Proline Range Hoods

Are you looking for a quality outdoor grill? There are so many different types that you may find the search overwhelming.

We’ll break down the pros and cons of seven types of grills in this post.

  • Gas grills
  • Propane grills
  • Pellet grills
  • Charcoal grills
  • Flat top grills
  • Kamado grills
  • Electric grills
  • Portable grills

By the end, you’ll know exactly which grill is best for you.

Gas grills

Gas grill under vent hood

A gas grill uses natural gas as the fuel source. You need access to a gas line to install your gas grill. It’s quite cheap and especially convenient for those that already have a gas line installed in their home.

If you don’t have a gas line, it can be quite expensive to install one. It’s possible to do it yourself but probably is best left for a more experienced DIYer. Here’s our guide on hooking up natural gas to your grill if you’d like to learn more.

In outdoor kitchens, built-in grills are quite popular (see above). They are installed inside your lower cabinets. But freestanding grills are an option too!

Freestanding grill in outdoor kitchen - types of grills

Gas grills pros

  • Doesn’t require electricity
  • Cheap
  • Eco-friendly
  • Doesn’t require tanks or refills
  • Won’t run out of gas

Gas grills cons

  • Requires professionals to install a new gas line
  • May need a permit to install a new gas line
  • Not portable - must be hooked up
  • Not as hot as propane

Propane grills

Propane grill outside on patio

Propane grills use propane as a fuel source. It is more expensive than natural gas but burns hotter. Propane gas comes in tanks so you won’t need to worry about an extensive installation.

If you want to be able to move your grill around or travel, propane grills are a great option. You’re not confined to one space and can bring the tanks wherever you want to grill.

Propane grills pros

  • Portable
  • Doesn’t require installation
  • Burns hotter than gas
  • Easy to clean
  • Doesn’t require electricity

Propane grill cons

  • Expensive in the long run
  • Requires refills
  • Can run out of gas

Pellet grills

Pellet grill

A pellet grill is an electric grill that uses pellets as a fuel source. Pellet grills have fireboxes where you add pellets. Most grills have controls that periodically feed the pellets into the grill. As they burn, smoke forms, giving your meats a delicious smoky flavor.

Want a quick and easy way to build an outdoor kitchen? Check out these Outdoor Kitchen Kits!

Pellet grills pros

  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
  • Incredible for smoking meats
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Cooks evenly

Pellet grills cons

  • Requires pellets for fuel
  • Requires electricity
  • Pellets deteriorate in humid environments
  • Not ideal for searing meats

Charcoal grills

Open charcoal grill with skewers and corn

Charcoal grills use charcoal as a fuel source. Like pellet grills, they are great at smoking meats. Charcoal grills take some time to light but if you want a delicious smoky flavor, this grill is for you. The more charcoal you use, the hotter your grill. You can customize your grill setup with ease based on what you’re cooking.

The more coals you place under the grill grates, the hotter it will get. So you can create hotter and cooler areas on your grill. This is practical to ensure that food doesn’t burn or if you want to cook a thick cut of meat and a thin cut of meat, for example.

You can also reuse your briquettes which saves you some money and is quite convenient.

Charcoal grills pros

  • Can regulate heat by changing the number of coals used
  • Gives meats a delicious, authentic smoky flavor
  • Charcoal can be reused
  • Can burn hotter than gas and propane grills
  • Great for searing steaks
  • Can create hot and cold ‘cooking zones’ to cook food efficiently

Charcoal grills cons

  • Unregulated heat - difficult to control
  • Takes more time to light than a gas grill
  • Requires frequent cleaning
  • Must add charcoal continuously during long cookouts

Flat top grills

Griddle with meat and veggies cooking

Flat top grills or griddles are either gas or electric grills with a flat griddle. They are most common in commercial kitchens where lots of food is cooked. Things like burgers, pancakes, steaks, and the like. You might have been to Asian restaurants in the past where professional chefs cook food in front of you. But they can be practical in residential kitchens too!

Some kitchens feature full-size flat top grills. Others feature side burners that have small griddles. They are convenient if you don’t have enough room on your main grill or need to warm up a dish or two before serving.

Double range hood with grill and side burners

Flat top grills pros

  • Cook food evenly
  • High surface area
  • Little smoke
  • Healthy - doesn’t require much oil
  • Provides entertainment for your guests
  • Great for hosting large gatherings and barbecues
  • Available full size or as a side burner
  • More versatile than a grill with grates

Flat top grills cons

  • Requires consistent cleaning to prevent heavy grease buildup
  • Not suitable for smoking meats

Kamado grills

Gas grill and kamado grill

Kamado grills are round, ceramic charcoal grills that are portable and easy to use. You might have also heard of Big Green Egg grills which are the same style.

Kamado grills pros

  • Great for searing or smoking steaks
  • Durable ceramic exterior
  • Incredibly safe to use
  • Easy to use
  • Some grills feature adjustable grates
  • Adjustable vents to control the temperature

Kamado grills cons

  • Unregulated heat - difficult to control
  • Takes more time to light than a gas grill
  • Limited surface area

Electric grills

Electric grill cooking meat

Electric grills are powered by electricity. All you need to do is plug them in, adjust the settings, and you’re ready to cook. They are quite convenient for people who don’t have a natural gas connection or don’t have the time to light charcoal grills.

Electric grills pros

  • High heat
  • Low smoke
  • Great in apartments or small homes
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to use

Electric grills cons

  • Doesn’t give meats a smoky flavor
  • Small
  • Difficult to control the temperature
  • Not ideal for searing meats

Portable grills

Portable charcoal grill

Portable grills, as the name suggests, are portable. Some portable grills are propane or charcoal, while others are electric. These grills are a great option if you are going camping or RVing and want to do some barbecuing. If you are looking for a more permanent option, though, look into larger grills. Gas and propane are reliable options.

Portable grills pros

  • Perfect for traveling
  • Easy to store
  • Great for 1-2 people

Portable grills cons

  • Low heat compared to other grills
  • Small
  • Not ideal for smoking meats

Have you decided on an outdoor grill? You have a lot of options but it’s important to choose one that fits your cooking style. Hopefully you learned more about what type of grill is best for you. For more grilling content, check out the articles below.

Related Articles

How to Start a Charcoal Grill

Can I line my grill with foil?

Can you use a cast iron skillet on a grill?

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