Grill Buying Guide

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Grill Buying Guide

Upon hearing the term ‘grill’, many will think of a standard kitchen grill that comes as a standard part of a standalone cooker, but it’s actually a very broad umbrella term for a wide range of cooking devices. There are more grilling appliances available than most people realise, and the extensive choice is really quite astonishing. Ranging from indoor grills to outdoor, one sided cooking to two, and functions for cooking everything from a simple piece of toast to Thai style fishcakes, a grill can perform many duties both in and out of the kitchen.

What Can a Grill Cook?

A standard grill in a standalone cooker may or may not be used to its full ability. As well as toasting pieces of bread for breakfast or supper, meats and fish are often grilled, flipped, and grilled once more to create healthy dinners. However, as far as grills go, this is only skimming the surface of their cooking capabilities. In fact, different variations on the standard grill are actually huge parts of the cooking process in other parts of the world. Korea, for example, has a large grilling culture, with many Korean, or Korean inspired, restaurants including either grills that are built into diners’ tables, or brought to the table during the meal. This style of cooking is known as Gogigui, which translates as ‘roasted meat’. There’s a similar style in Japan, known as Teppanyaki. Teppanyaki cooking is commonly found in pubs in the major cities which cater to the after work crowds. Kebab style meats on sticks are grilled at the table, and eaten as a pre-dinner snack.

Choosing a Grill

What grill to choose will greatly depend upon the purpose the grill will perform. Will it be used inside or out? Will it be used for basic grilling, or for specific cuisines and dishes? What is the preferred power source, or outcome of the appliance? Take a look at the options and answer these questions before deciding on a product.

Types of Grill

There are a variety of grill types available which are based upon the fuel source, the effect it has on the food, and also how and where the appliance will primarily be used.

Cooker Grill

These come as part of standard kitchen cookers. They can be either gas or electric, and use a top mounted element for one sided cooking on a grate above a deep pan.

Griddle

Griddles and hot plates are similar. They are a single piece of metal that heats to grill. They are either flat, or ridged which produces those classic grill lines on foods.

Barbecue

Barbecues are a form of outdoor grill. They are usually gas or charcoal fuelled, and produce a smoky, crispy product. They are very popular for grilling burgers and sausages in the summer.

Tabletop Grill

Powered electrically, these grills can be used on the kitchen work surface, or on the living room table for show cooking, or foods that are eaten immediately after cooking.

Grill Features

Regardless of type, grills come with varying features that cater to specific dietary requirements, simplify the cooking process, and provide alternative functions that make creating the perfect dinner much more convenient.

Fat Removal

Health grills are very popular. They are usually angled to allow fat and grease to drain from the foods, and include a sort of trough that fits underneath to catch run off.

Two Side Cooking

Grills with lids often have two elements; one on the top and one on the bottom. This allows for even, two sided cooking which reduces cooking time and increases convenience.

Infusions

For food infusions, a barbecue style grill is the best option. A smoky infusion can be added to meats and fish, or try adding some herbs or spices to the charcoal for an alternative taste.

Handles

Grills that are placed directly onto a cooker top will come with handles for ease and safety, although handles are also common on lidded grills and those that can be used outside the kitchen.

Lid Position Locking

Grills that allow the lid to be locked into position are a good choice for grilling breads, especially paninis. It encourages the bread and the filling to blend together.

Warming Function

Grills designed to cook products traditionally eaten with breads may have a warming function that can preheat bread products such as tortillas to make them more flexible for rolling.

Where Can a Grill be Used?

There’s a big misconception that grills belong in the kitchen. Yes, grills are a great addition to a home or office kitchen, but they have so many uses outside of the kitchen, too. Depending on the type of grill, they can be used elsewhere in the home, or even outside.

Kitchen

Kitchen grills can either be part of a standalone cooker, or designed for the kitchen work surface. These grills will have protective bases to prevent countertop damage.

Living Room

These grills usually have handles for transporting into the living room and are designed to be used on tables for show cooking or for foods that are cooked individually.

Outdoors

Barbecues are used outdoors, and dedicated camping grills are suitable for outside the tent. They are usually smaller, and can be fuelled by gas canisters.

Speciality Grills

Some grills are designed with a specific dish or cuisine in mind, and either perform this task exclusively, or in addition to its standard grilling function. These grills make cooking specific foods easier and more convenient.

Raclette Grill

Raclette grills are used for heating raclette cheeses before scraping off the melted section. This is the traditional way of serving the Swiss cheese.

Pizza Grill

A pizza grill has a circular base into which raw dough is moulded into. Once the topping has been added, a lid is attached which allows for both sides to be grilled evenly.

Fishcake Grill

A fishcake grill has individual indentations to create the signature rounded shape. Raw mix is added, and is cooked on both sides as the same time.

Mexican Cuisine Grill

A quesadilla grill is shaped like a pizza grill, with dividers which indicate where the finished product should be sliced. Fajita grills contain a griddle for cooking meat and veg, and a tortilla warmer.

Sandwich Grill

Sandwich grills have both a top and bottom element to grill both sides evenly. They may have lockable lids to squash the two sides of the sandwich together. Grilled paninis are especially popular.

Waffle Grill

Waffle grills are uncommon in the UK, but are very popular in the United States where waffles are eaten for breakfast. Waffle grills encourage the batter to form into the classic waffle shape.

Grill Maintenance

If cooking greasy foods such as cheeses, or fatty foods such as some meats, or even if grilling vegetables with a little olive oil, there is going to be some grease and fat residue that remains in or on the grill after cooking. While this isn’t an immediate problem, if left to build up this grease and fat presents a real fire hazard, so it’s important to remove as much of the residue as possible. Once the grill has cooled after cooking, wipe with a piece of dry kitchen roll to remove the worst of the grease, then wash well in warm, soapy water. Some grills come with removable plates that can be put through the dishwasher for ease. Once the grill is clean, take preventative measures to protect the appliance. For standard grills, use foil to line the pan, and for speciality grills, wipe a small amount of oil onto the clean surface to reduce the risk of rusting.

Find a Grill on eBay

There are a wide range of grills available on eBay. Searching for ‘grill’ will bring up a list of all items marked as being a grill product, although this could include results that aren’t relevant, such as grills for a car. To find only relevant results, use eBay’s Home & Garden category to bring up a range of Cookware, Dining & Bar items. From here, select Small Appliances, followed by Grills. Using the left hand menu, these results can then be narrowed down based on personal preferences and individual requirements, such as seeing only used products, or only raclette grills.

Conclusion

A grill isn’t a specific product, it’s a category containing many different types of cooking appliances. A wide range of these grilling devices can be found on eBay, and purchased in either a new or used condition. This variety emphasises that grilling isn’t, and shouldn’t be, restricted to the kitchen, with many of the items for sale being designed to be utilised elsewhere in the home as well as in the great outdoors. When it comes to looking for a grill, consider the intended purpose of the grill, and think outside the box. Don’t stick to traditional if contemporary will better suit requirements.

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