Over the eons the act of cooking over a flame has developed into a real art form, with all matter of equipment and gadgets now available. As the backyard barbecue season heats up, we consulted the experts at The Grill Doctor, a family-owned business in Mooresville, about finding the right grill to fit the pitmaster in you.
The Family GuyIf you are ready to step up from a charcoal grill, Weber offers a variety of gas grills, from the portable Q 120 ($120), perfect for tailgaters and balcony grillers, to the more sizeable Genesis S-330 ($949), with three burners and 637 square inches of cooking area, to the high-powered Summit E-670 ($2,799), which can sear steaks to perfection with a center burner that reaches temperatures of 900 degrees.
The EntertainerIf grilling for you is equal parts food and flourish, you want a grill that not only can handle a big work load and works precisely, but also has a stylish design. For these folks, there’s the top-of-the-line Lynx 42-inch grill ($6,799), with a whopping 1,200-square-inches of cooking surface, two cast-brass burners, blue LED controls, and internal rotisserie.
The Steak LoverTo achieve the seared crust that you find in expensive steak houses, you need a super hot grill that uses infrared heat. Thermal Engineering Corporation invented the first infrared grill more than 30 years ago and has continued to offer innovative products, including the Sterling G 4000 ($10,437), which uses glass panels to radiate heat while blocking any rising hot air, sealing in the meat’s natural juices.
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The VegetarianGrilling is not just for carnivores. Vegetables, veggie burgers, pizzas, and fruit are all right at home on a grill. The Weber Spirit E-210 ($499) is a basic-but-beautiful model with porcelain-enameled, cast-iron grates and two stainless steel burners that you can fold down when not in use.
The GourmetIf part of the appeal of grilling is the process, the attention to the food, and the bragging rights, then the Big Green Egg may be for you. With a cult following, the BGE is renowned for its high grilling temperatures and functionality: it works as a grill, smoker, and oven. BGE comes in five sizes, with the large model ($850) providing 262 square inches of cooking area—enough real estate for eight steaks.