Most North Carolinians stand firm on how they like their barbeque — and whether you’re team vinegar-based or tomato sauce — we can all agree that having proper equipment is the secret ingredient for getting finger-licking-good results. If you’re in the market for a Father’s Day gift that dad will love and use all the time, check out the different grill types below and find the one that works best for your family’s lifestyle.
For Small Spaces
You don’t need a huge grill to get big flavor seared into your food. For small patios or balconies, there are some great compact grills that can get the job done without taking up too much space. Just be sure to check your building’s rules about grills before making a purchase.
Gas and electric grills are more commonly permitted on balconies than those using charcoal. The Weber Spirit E-210 is one of the brand’s smallest models, yet still offers 360 square inches of primary cooking surface, plus a 90-square-inch warming rack, and a folding side table to save even more space when not in use.
If you prefer the ease of plugging in your grill, Charbroil has a line of balcony-friendly electric grills with a super tiny footprint, yet large enough to accommodate 12 burgers at once.
For Time-Strapped Families
Easy-to-preheat and turn off, gas grills are great time savers for families who like to cook out often, but need a quicker solution than charcoal can offer. Foodal.com named the Weber Genesis E-310 as the Best Value and Performance in a Gas Grill, with users commending its even heat distribution and ability to hold heat, even in the winter. For a more economical option, Foodal.com recommends the Char-Broil Classic 4-Burner, which is known for its sturdy construction and durability.
The aroma of burning charcoals and the smoky flavor it infuses into the food are hallmarks of summer. Check out the rankings from experts at BBQGuys of their top charcoal grills based on quality, value, durability and performance. Once you find a grill that meets your needs, try experimenting with different types of charcoal. Kingsford brand charcoal is widely available at grocery and hardware stores, and comes in specialty flavors like Hickory, Cherrywood, Mesquite, Pecan and Applewood.
For Going Low and Slow
There’s nothing quite like the taste of smoked ribs or pork butt that is slow cooked on the grill for hours over low heat. The Big Green Egg is a kamado-style ceramic charcoal barbecue cooker that has attracted a community of die-hard fans. Not only is it revered for smoking meats to perfection, it is versatile enough to be used as a grill or pizza oven.
If you’re new to the smoking process and aren’t ready to commit to the Big Green Egg’s price tag, home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot carry lots of entry-level models that will be easier on your wallet while you hone your craft.
For Dads on the Go
Portable grills are perfect for camping trips or tailgates. Before deciding on a grill, you’ll want to assess which power source will work best for your desired setting. Electric grills that run off of outlets or generators can support higher BTUs that allow for better searing, while grills using propane tanks can be smaller and easier to transport. Weber’s line of electric grills come in two sizes and can be placed on a tabletop while you’re grilling on the road, and they’re also patio- and balcony-friendly too. The Coleman RoadTrip X-cursion Propane Grill sits on collapsible steel scissor legs with wheels on one side and its propane tank can provide up to an hour of cooking time on high heat.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads—we hope you’re in for a tasty surprise!