Fans of gas grills like how easy they are to use and how there is so little mess to clean up afterward. On the other hand, charcoal fans say the additional flavor you get from charcoal grilling makes all the difference. Now you can have the best of both worlds with a hybrid grill, also called a dual-fuel grill.
If you are a grill master looking for a hybrid grill that allows you to grill up to 50 burgers at once, a great choice is the Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas and Charcoal Grill with nearly 9 square feet of grilling surface.
How big a grill you need is determined by how many people you want to cook for at one time. The rule of thumb is that for each person you plan to feed, you need about 72 square inches of grill space. So if you plan to grill for a family of four, you want a hybrid grill that has about 300 square inches of grilling space. Another way to visualize the surface area you should look for is that you need 1 square foot for every two people you feed.
The grilling surfaces, called grates, are made of stainless steel or cast iron coated with a porcelain finish. Stainless steel resists corrosion and is easy to clean. Cast iron is better at retaining heat but is subject to rusting if the porcelain surface is chipped, so it requires greater caution, especially with the metal tools that are used by grillers.
Protect your hybrid grill from the elements with a cover. Make sure it is waterproof, UV resistant, is sturdy enough to not rip or tear and has reinforced corners.
The more extras your hybrid grill has, the more you can do. Top grillers like having warming racks, side burners, side tables and rotisseries.
Most good hybrid grills cost between $400 and $600. Inexpensive hybrid grills cost around $300 to $400. Larger and more sophisticated models easily run from $1,000 to $10,000.
A. Clean your cooking grates every time you use your grill by heating the grill on high for 10 to 15 minutes, then scrubbing the grates with a grill brush. Don’t forget the underside of the lid, where grease and smoke form deposits on the metal surface. Be especially cautious when cleaning sensitive areas such as burner tubes, heat deflectors and screens. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you don’t void your warranty.
A. Look for gloves made specifically for grilling. They should be flexible, heat resistant and have textured gripping surfaces. Also look for reinforced webbing so they don’t tear.
A. If your hybrid grill does not have a smoker, soak the wood chips and wrap them in foil. Make a small hole in the foil and put it on the grill with the lid closed.
Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas and Charcoal Grill
What you need to know: This giant hybrid grill handles 50 burgers at once.
What you’ll love: The three gas burners, side burner and charcoal grill combine to give you more than 8 square feet of cooking space. The grills are made of cast iron and coated with top-quality porcelain that is easy to clean. The grate height adjusts for temperature control, and the ash pan is easy to dump.
What you should consider: The inconsistent finishing means some grills can rust.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Blossomz Dual Fuel Combination Charcoal/Gas Grill
What you need to know: This is a generously sized hybrid grill for the money.
What you’ll love: The cast iron cooking grids and chrome-plated warming racks are sturdily made. This stainless steel hybrid grill has 745 square inches of usable space for cooking with gas, cooking with charcoal, and a warming rack. The wheels make this 103-pound hybrid grill easy to move around.
What you should consider: Some users reported minor issues with rust.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Weber 15501001 Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill
What you need to know: This charcoal grill uses a Touch-N-Go gas ignition system to fire the coals.
What you’ll love: This 363-square-inch hybrid has a 22-inch-diameter cooking bowl and a weather-protected CharBin charcoal storage container. It has a removable LCD countdown cooking timer and a thermometer built into the lid. The One-Touch cleaning system also has a removable aluminum ash catcher. The Gourmet BBQ system uses a hinged cooking grate for use with custom inserts.
What you should consider: This is an expensive unit for its size.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and The Home Depot
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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.