For years best and most expensive grills were those huge gas grills, much larger than what most of us have (or have room for), this is a professional style stainless steel grill with all the amenities.
But now you are starting to see more charcoal grills of equal prominence.
First off the gold standard in charcoal grill is Weber, most people have an 18 or 22 inch round Weber kettle in their back yard.
These things last if you take care of them, I have my father’s 26 inch Weber grill that he bought new in 1965 (pictured), and it cooks better than any other grill (and I have four others), that I have.
Now even Weber is going to that next level in charcoal cooking.
You’ve seen these egg shaped ceramic cookers. The knock offs start at $ 300.00 and it goes up from there well into the thousands for the best ones.
It’s a smaller grilling area (than a traditional charcoal grill), but more insulated and more flexible, you can do your regular grilling, you can smoke or even bake on these. The grates can move, usually made of cast iron and it’s shaped to produce more heat and longer heat so you’re not checking on it every 20 minutes.
Those cookers originated in Asia and are really nice, they are smaller than those of us who also use “barrel cookers”, the ones that look like a garbage can on its side.
The egg cookers give you the versatility of a barrel (I primarily use mine for smoking), but fit in a tighter space on a better cart and do more cooking.
That’s’ what the new Weber Summit is, its Weber’s take on an egg cooker which is now the elite form of charcoal grilling.
Now there are some people (like celebrated BBQ Pitmaster Myron Mixon), who says “He can beat you cooking bbq on a garbage can”.
I share his sentiment, I feel I can out cook most people no matter what bbq device.
My late paternal grandfather was said to have cooked the best bbq you ever had on a rack out of the oven over a wash bucket.
But what makes the difference between cheap BBQ grills and high end BBQ equipment is simply options and making your cooking easier.
I love my barrel cooker and it makes great bbq but it’s a lot of work.
I’ve been tempted to invest in a better grill/smoker so I can relax a little more and not work so hard.
But I’m torn between working the bbq pit (which I do love), and taking it easy on the weekend during my cooking.
If you have one of these egg grills you’re not out every 20 minutes adding wood (or soaked wood chips), checking the temperature and making sure all is well.
Trust me I have a cordless thermometer for the meat that runs through an app on my phone and I’m still out there checking.
I think you see the rise in high end charcoal cookers is because people want that flavor you can only get in with charcoal (I prefer to use wood), yet have the ease of a gas grill.
These new upscale charcoal grills can light the fire quicker and get you cooking sooner so it’s still possible to have a real fire on the grill on a weekend night after work.
These grills have gas igniters on them to warm up quick, so it’s not the 45 minute to an hour wait like with a traditional charcoal grill.
So it comes down to a matter of convenience and affordability, if you are willing to spend the big dollars for an easier cooking experience.
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Filed under: Food