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Frequently Asked Questions: BBQ Grills

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What is the advantage of an infrared grill?

Standard gas burners in a grill cook the food, but they also heat the air around the food; which is why sometimes items can become dried out on the grill.

Infrared burners cook food directly with energy waves in the infrared spectrum, not too unlike a microwave oven. Dishes cooks faster and with less exposure to hot air are much moister. Quicker cooking means more energy efficiency; infrared grills typically use 30% less fuel. That's green also; less gas used equals less CO2 emissions.

Why don't grills have lava rocks anymore?

As used in older grills, lava rocks and ceramic briquettes served to prevent burner flames from directly hitting the food and burning it. Also, as the rocks got hot they vaporized drippings from the food. Newer grills replace the lava rock with specially designed sear plates, typically make of stainless steel. The advantages are numerous - more even heat distribution, longer life span, and easy removal for cleaning in the dishwasher.

What is a rotisserie burner?

This is a special flameless burner that runs along the back of the grill. It cooks food rotating on the rotisserie spit from the side rather than the bottom. That way, any drippings will not flare up.

Can I switch a grill from natural gas to LP or vice versa?

It varies by manufacturer.  For some brands, internal components are designed for the specific fuel. They can be changed, but it is preferable to buy a grill made for the fuel you desire.  Other brands have fuel flexibility and are relatively easily switched from one fuel to the other.

If you think you might be switching fuels in the future, select a grill that will lend itself to that.

What is the best cooking grid?

This is mostly a matter of personal preference, also considering the types of food you most often cook. The FireMagic is great since it offers a wide choice of cast or steel cooking grids.

What about a side burner?

A side burner is just like a burner on a gas range. It's great for cooking corn on the cob, beans, boiling water, or any other use. Very handy.

Portable or built-in?

The choice depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle. There is a wide range of choices:

Portable - The traditional grill. It can easily be moved around the yard or taken elsewhere. Propane bottles need to be refilled, and they can run out while you are cooking.

Built-in - This can simply be a post mount, where the grill is on a permanently located post. Or the grill can be built into a counter that can be as elaborate as you desire. You can run a gas line from the house to serve the grill, or you can leave space under the counter, often accessed from behind, to store the propane bottle.

Semi-Portable - This uses a rigid gas line that is plumbed to the deck or patio. A flexible gas line, usually 10 or 20' connects to the portable grill. You can move the grill about, and you never have to worry about running out of fuel.