It doesn’t matter if it’s a few family members or a huge holiday party—when you’re hosting an outdoor gathering, people tend to gravitate toward the scent of food cooking on the grill. So, while the guests are always the most important part of any get-together, the grill almost always ends up being the hub of the party. That makes choosing your perfect grill one of the key ingredients to a successful party. Some specific details to keep in mind when grill shopping include:

  • Space:  How much space do you have to store your grill when you aren’t using it?
  • Cooking Style: What is your preferred cooking style?
  • Amount of Food: How much food do you typically grill in each session?
  • Food Type: What kinds of food are you looking to grill?
Cuisinart Outdoor Deluxe Griddle Grill

While these three shopping tips are a start, finding the perfect grill for you can still be overwhelming – especially when you have a party to prepare for. Read on to find the best grill for you.

How to Buy a Grill

Buying a grill can be a stressful process, but it can be easy if broken down into a few simple steps. First, begin with simply looking at your cooking needs. For example, if you don’t have a lot of outdoor space, you might need a smaller grill, a tabletop grill, or a firepit that pulls double duty with a convenient cooking surface. You might also want to consider your preferred cooking style. Examples of questions to ask yourself about your preferred cooking style when choosing a grill include:

  • Do you prefer to only grill meat, or do you want a side burner you can use to prepare side dishes such as …?
  • Do you need an attached warmer to keep your grilled foods warm before serving or will you typically serve your food right away?

Types of Grills

You can choose from several popular types of grills at Ashley to accommodate your lifestyle. These include gas grills, charcoal grills, electric grills, wood-burning grills, and tabletop grills.

Gas Grills

Gas grills have a lot of advantages. They offer ease of use, instant heat delivery, and the ability to produce high temperatures. With a gas grill just push a button to ignite the flame and set it to the desired temperature setting. There’s no waiting on charcoal or wood to reach your temperature sweet spot, which makes it a great grill for hosting parties or feeding the family after a long day at work.

Cuisinart Outdoor Gas Smoker Grill

Charcoal Grills

Charcoal grills take longer to start cooking because it takes time for the lumps of charcoal to ignite and heat up. However, charcoal grills build up to an intense level of heat that sears flavors into your food, leaving your meats and veggies juicy and flavorful. If you are a foodie and love the art of cooking, charcoal grills are often less expensive making them less of an investment.

Cuisinart Outdoor Vertical Charcoal Grill

Electric Grills

Electric grills have some great advantages – especially if you live in a city without outdoor space. They heat up quickly, and the temperature gauge is easy to control while you’re cooking. Electric grills are also smokeless so you can use them indoors. Additionally, electric grills are one of the easier types of grills to clean when you’re finished grilling your food.

Cuisinart Outdoor Portable Electric Grill

Wood Grills

Wood grills — such as fire pits with grilling surfaces — are nice when you want an authentic cooking experience. You get to enjoy the satisfaction of building a fire until it’s hot enough to use the grilling surface. Then, as a bonus, your friends and family can gather around the fire to chat and stay warm after they finish the meal.

Sunnydaze Outdoor Cosmic Fire Pit with Wood Grill

Tabletop Grills

If you’re looking for a grill that’s convenient and portable, a tabletop grill is a perfect option to explore. These smaller grills are useful when space is limited.  Tabletop grills are available in electric, gas, and charcoal styles. Also, they’re great for preparing food at tailgating parties and spur-of-the-moment events.

Cuisinart Outdoor Tabletop Gas Grill.

Must-Have Grill Accessories

Now that you know what grill will fit your lifestyle, it’s time to accessorize. Grill accessories add to the enjoyment of using your grill by making it easier to use and maintain. Grilling toolsets typically include the utensils you need to prepare food on the grill and items to protect your hands from the heat. Planning an evening party? Consider picking up a light to mount above your grill to illuminate the cooking surface. This makes it easier to see the food that’s cooking so you can be sure nothing is getting overcooked. Other helpful accessories for your grill include a cleaning brush with metal bristles for cleaning the grates and a grill cover to protect your grill from outdoor elements when it’s not in use.

Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Grills

What’s the best way to protect an outdoor grill?

The best way to protect your investment in an outdoor grill is to clean it after each use and protect it from the elements. If space allows, you can store your grill in the garage or a shed between uses. If you store your grill outside, invest in a cover to protect it. A cover keeps debris and animals away from your grill, and also helps keep rust from forming on the metal parts.

What are the most useful extra features to consider in a new grill?

Modern grills are available with an abundance of exciting bonus features that make them more fun to use and increase the versatility of cooking styles you can enjoy. Examples are grills with rotisseries that cook meat evenly on all sides, as well as side burners you can use to prepare a side dish while the main course cooks on the grill.

How important is it to use a temperature probe when grilling?

A temperature probe is important when grilling because it helps confirm that meat has been heated to a safe internal temperature. Ensuring you cook your meat thoroughly is a safety measure that prevents food-borne illnesses. You can integrate a temperature probe into the grill, or you can pick one up as an accessory.

Where to Buy a Grill

There are many places you can buy a grill, but there are several advantages to shopping Ashley’s large selection of outdoor grills. First, you get to enjoy browsing through a wide selection of grills to find the one with the features you want. You get time to examine the product details so you can be sure you’ve found the perfect grill for your needs before ordering. Additionally, you can check out the images of the grills in realistic settings so you can imagine how the grill you love will look when displayed in your patio area.