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We all know it’s not the sauce, salad, or sides that make-or-break your barbecue. It’s the meat.

The type of barbecue grill you use makes a big difference in how the meat will taste, so it’s important to choose one that fits your needs.

Here’s a quick guide to the main types and how they differ:

Gas Barbecues

These are great if you want to cook quickly, control temperatures and have a straightforward grilling experience with little clean-up. Gas grills have better heat and flame control than charcoal barbies. 

They also cause less smoke, which makes them more user-friendly, but not so good on the smoky-flavour front. For things like sausages, chicken and burgers this isn’t always a big deal, but steak could be a different story. It’s a good idea to generously marinate any kind of meat you cook on a gas barbeque to ensure juiciness and flavour. 

Charcoal Barbecues

Charcoal barbeques create an intense heat, with higher cooking temperatures and they directly expose the meat to smoke and flame. This creates a smokier flavour and cooks food quickly, making them perfect for picnics.

It’s important to get the temperature of your grill right for the type of meat you’re trying to cook. Steak, fish, and seafood are most often cooked on high heat for a short time – which makes charcoal grills ideal. 

If you’re a steak fan, then it’s hard to match the crispy caramelised exterior with a pink or red centre produced on a charcoal grill. However, thicker meats like chicken need to be cooked on low heat for a longer time, so be careful it doesn’t dry out and lose too much juiciness and flavour.

Open vs. Covered Grills

Cooking on an open grill is a lot like searing meat in a pan and is better for smaller cuts. Depending on temperature, cook time and meat thickness, you can achieve everything from caramelised, seared flesh with a rare-to-medium centre, through to well-done meats.

Covered grills create more smoke, more flavour and allow the food to grill-roast because of the heat. This style creates a fully heated area all around the food, not just under the meat. This is ideal for thicker cuts of meat and will give you a more authentic flavour.

Smokers

Smokers cook slowly and won’t suit if you have hungry guests to feed right away, but they produce incredibly tender and flavourful results if you have the time. They can be fuelled by charcoal, hardwood, electricity, or wood pellets. Each type can give you a different result.

  • Charcoal and wood smokers
    The traditional type of smoker provides a deliciously authentic smoky flavour to your cooking.
     
  • Electric smokers
    More convenient and less work than a charcoal and wood smoker but won’t create the same level of smokiness and flavour.

  • Gas/Pellet smokers
    The best of both worlds – electric or gas powered, they burn wood pellets/chips to provide heat and smoke. Mitre 10 carries Gasmate and Charmate gas smokers that burn wood chips to give your food the flavour of a charcoal or wood smoker, in a more convenient set-up.

     

For more handy grill tips, visit the helpful team at your local Mitre 10 or Mitre 10 MEGA.