Since this is the first in a series of blog posts about grilling and smoking food, let’s start with how to choose the right grill for your family. There are a number of things to consider in your search.
Since Lehman’s sells only Traeger grills, and I own two of them, you will hear me talk about them a lot. Personally, I think they’re the best grill on the market, especially considering their new Timberline XL and Timberline Large models.
So, you’ve decided to either buy your first grill, or upgrade from what you currently have. How do you choose the right one for your family? Let’s look at a few things to get you there.
1. Brand of Grill
What brand of grill to consider is of huge importance. Although there are a lot of different brands on the market, and some names you may recognize more than others. I suggest finding a grill that will do more than just traditional grilling. One that will grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise and BBQ is a good place to start. Would you look at that…we just arrived at Traeger grills. Any Traeger will allow you to do all of these things, many at the same time, depending on what you’re cooking. Ease of use and maintenance are also high on the list of things to consider. Find a grill that doesn’t require a PhD to operate or maintain. If you must do homework before you use your grill or spend a lot of time maintaining/cleaning, you’re probably going to lose interest in using it quite quickly. It will then become a lawn ornament, or something that just takes up space on your deck, patio or garage.
2. Amount You’re Cooking
How many people are in your family that you would typically be cooking for? There is one brand that I know of that has models in many sizes. Now, that can mean your immediate family that you’d cook for on a regular basis. Or it can also include extended family and friends that you may cook for several times a year. Maybe you host certain holidays throughout the year. My wife and I host Thanksgiving for my family every year, and I do my turkey on my Timberline 1300. So instead of the three of us that I usually cook for, on Thanksgiving I am cooking for 12 instead. A couple of times each year we also cook for 20-25. What I’m driving toward here is to consider how many people you may cook for throughout the year in terms of the largest number that may be. You certainly don’t want to invest in a new grill and then have it not be big enough to cook for any larger groups that may be at your house.
3. Type of Food You’re Cooking
What types of food (notice I didn’t just say meat) do you like to cook? Are you a burger and hot dog kind of family? Or possibly, do you like to smoke meat, BBQ, roast, etc.? We just keep coming back to Traeger, don’t we? I used to be a burger and hot dog cook, and I wasn’t very good at it either. The first Traeger I got (Pro34) quickly turned me into a competent griller. I’ve advanced to many more types of cooking since then. What I’m telling you is don’t be afraid to try something new on the grill. There are so many resources out there that on a Traeger, you almost have to try and mess it up. Don’t shoot for the moon your first time out, but it won’t be long until you’re on your way. Be adventurous and try new things. Roast corn or vegetables. Bake a pie. Make Canadian bacon. The possibilities are endless.
If you do your research and decide what brand you want, go for it! Don’t waste time over thinking. Grab one and get grilling. Usually, the hardest step to take is actually purchasing a grill. Once you do that, you’re on your way!
In the words of DivaQ, a BBQ World Champion, “Life is too short for bad BBQ.”
Until next post…