So you have decided to take the plunge and build your own outdoor kitchen. It can be a daunting project that requires a large amount of time and labor, but the end result will be well worth it. The most important decision that you now face is what type of grill insert to install. The grill will be the most used piece of the kitchen and must match the surrounding décor. It needs to also last for years to come. When shopping for a built-in grill insert it is easy to get carried away by size and features, but to find the perfect grill for you it is important to ask the following three questions:
- How many people do I plan on cooking for on a regular basis?
- What types of foods do I enjoy cooking?
- What grilling techniques do I most often use?
The answers to these three questions will help you to decide which of the many inserts to choose from.
Sure, there will be times that you will cook for a large crowd, maybe once or twice a summer, but how many people do you usually cook for? For most of us the answer is our family; four to 6, or maybe 8 people. In this situation a 27 inch built in grill will work just fine. Most 27 inch grills have around 450 square inches of cooking surface on the main rack; a second rack can add an additional 200 square inches.
If you cook for a slightly larger crowd, then you may want to upgrade to a 30 inch grill. These models have a primary cooking surface of around 600 square inches, with an additional 240 square inches available on a secondary rack. With the additional space a third burner is usually added to these models.
If you routinely cook for large groups of people then you will need to jump to a 42 inch model. These monster grills sport around 850 square inches of primary cooking surface with an additional 350 square inches of secondary surface. You can flip a lot of burgers on one of these grills.
The second question that you need to ask yourself before deciding on a grill is: what types of foods do you plan on cooking? If you usually cook burgers and steaks, then you may need a larger grill, but if you prefer to grill roasts and whole birds, then you can grill a lot of meat on a small surface. Another thing to keep in mind is the variety of foods that you enjoy grilling. Are you a strict carnivore, who believes that cooking anything other than meat on a grill is sacrilegious? Or do you prefer to cook an entire meal on the grill; side dishes, vegetables, and even desert? If you will cook a myriad of foods on the grill during a single meal then a larger grill will give you the necessary space.
The third important decision that you must make is: what grilling techniques you use. Most built in grills have a variety of different options. For instance Lynx makes a stainless steel 42 inch model with two racks; they also offer the same model with an optional rotisserie, and a third model with the rotisserie and ProSear technology. So, if you cook exclusively on the grate, and don’t play around with grill temperatures very much, then the first model will work great for you. If you grill whole poultry or large roasts, then the rotisserie attachment is a must have. For searing steaks the ProSear option is indispensable.
By answering the questions posed in this article you will be able to make the right choice when shopping for a built in grill for your outdoor kitchen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Derrick Sharp is a Barbecue enthusiast with over a decade of grilling experience who owns and writes for the Backyard Grilling & Outdoor Living Blog. He has spent the past two years designing and building his own built in Brazilian Churrasco style brick barbecue grill. Derrick has published extensively online and is a platinum level author at EzineArticles.