types of grills you should know about

A grill is an equipment with a heat producing element that cooks food by radiating heat from below.

There are different types of grills to choose from. What majorly distinguishes the grills is their source of energy. Another way that separates them is their design. 

In this article, we’ll discuss all the major grills types available, their suitability, advantages and disadvantages.

1. Gas grills

Gas grills use liquified petroleum (propane/butane) or natural gas. You can easily access natural gas from your provider and connect to your grill. This is what makes gas grill popular and convenient to use. If you opt for propane or butane, there are tanks that come filled with the gas that you connect.

Overall, gas grills are simple to use and are recommended for users who want to prepare their food quickly without much activity. They are also great for beginners who are testing out how to grill since the system is straightforward. Another advantage that comes with gas grills is the ease of cleaning after use.

On the flip side, there are two main disadvantages of gas grills. One, little to no flavor when compared to charcoal grills. This is because most gas grills don’t smoke as much making you miss out on the smoky flavor.

The other disadvantage is the high cost. Majority of the grills start at $100 to upwards of $1000+. It becomes relatively pricey when compared to the other grill types in the market. The good news is, with proper maintenance practices, gas grills can last a while providing value.

You can find the best gas grills under $500 hereUnder gas grills, you’ll find other categories such as propane and natural gas grills. 

2. Charcoal grills

Charcoal grills are another popular type. They utilize charcoal or charcoal briquettes as a source of fuel. The coals are set on fire and the heated coals cook food placed on the grill.

The best charcoal grills require a bit more preparation since you need to set the charcoal, light the coals for fire and manage it to suitable temperature to cook. However, the prep time is worth it since the results are usually tasty food full of flavor.

The disadvantage of charcoal grills is the preparation time which is an average of 45 minutes to an hour. Moreover, maintaining the temperature can be challenging especially in cold and windy conditions. Secondly, it requires a lot more cleaning since you need to dispose the ashes and clear any other remnants left from grilling. Another disadvantage is the need to purchase charcoal which most times is expensive when compared to paying for gas.

Check out ways to clean your grill with minimal effort.

 3. Electric grills

These grills get power from electricity, normally a power source providing 120 or 220 volts. Electric grills are fitted with grill plates that heat up and in turn cook the meat. Since these grill types utilize electricity and don’t smoke, they are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Take note, there are various electric grill varieties, confirm whether it smokes before using it indoors to avoid damage from smoke.

Electric grills using 120 V are normally smaller compared to those that use 240 V. Most are portable, easy to use, and convenient for city dwellers who prefer a grill that doesn’t produce smoke and have limited space. Like the gas grills, they are great for beginners but don’t offer much flavor.

Example of electric grill

4. Infrared grills

Infrared grills cook food by using infrared radiation that is emitted by heating a ceramic tile using a gas fuel. These grills are new in the market and are quickly gaining popularity.

The advantage of these grills is the ability to obtain high temperatures. Moreover, you can simply adjust the temperatures that the grill emits for fast cooking.

One challenge that presents itself is the high cost of purchasing the grill. It costs more to purchase an infrared grill than a gas grill. This is because the infrared grills have more technical components.

5. Pellet grills

Pellet type of grills utilize wooden pellets as a source of fuel. What’s more, there are a variety of wooden pellets to use and different flavors to choose from. Some flavor examples include: Cherry, Pecan and Apple flavors.

Since these pellet grills smoke, you’re able to obtain a rich flavor of food. Moreover, you can obtain uniform heat distribution from proper arrangement of the pellets. The disadvantages of these grill types are similar to the charcoal grills.

If you’re the sort of person that likes to take charge of their grilling while enjoying the long slow cooking process, pellet grills are for you.

6. Kamado grills

Kamado grills, are a class of charcoal grills. We’ve classified them separately since they have continued to separate themselves with their quality of service.

So how are these grills different?

Firstly, they can be used to prepare a myriad of food and their level of efficiency is higher than most grills. From meat dishes, pizza, the kamado gives you freedom.

A few pounds of charcoal can be used for more than 15 hours without the need of adding any more. Cooking for long periods of time is no longer be a hassle. In addition, control of the fire is simplified no matter the quantity of food you are preparing.

Their shape and design also distinguish it from the rest. A Kamado grill has an oval clay pot shape that enables it to adequately contain its components.

Did we mention that the kamado grill can reach temperatures of up to 500 degrees? Whether you’re participating in a contest or preparing a meal for your family- the ceramic grill has you covered.

The material making these grills varies. You’ll find different types of kamado grills depending on the material. The main common types of kamado grills are ceramic and stainless-steel grills.

Kamado grill example

7. Hybrid grills

Hybrid grills are products that have the option to utilize two sources of fuel -charcoal and gas on the same grill. They have two independent sections for the two grill types.

What’s more, some models allow the use of both gas and charcoal at the same time. This grill combination gives the opportunity to fill the shortcomings that either of the grill sections may have.

The advantage of the hybrid grills is the opportunity to prepare a large quantity of food at a time since there’re two cooking sections. Moreover, you have the option to choose a grilling method depending on the time you have and outcome you need.

Most noteworthy, extra caution is necessary when handling hybrid grills. Handling two grilling sections especially at the same time poses challenges and fire outbreaks may occur without adequate caution.

The downside with these hybrid systems of grills is you’ll get a larger area to clean up.

8. Portable grills

Portable grills are designed to be smaller in size and therefore can easily be moved from one place to another without much struggle.

Most noteworthy, portable grills utilize the variety of fuels previously discussed above. They purely distinguish themselves due to their size.

They are convenient since you’re not confined to a particular area. Portable grills come in handy for those who engage in outdoor activities such as camping, fishing etc. Even when at home, they’re great for individuals who have limited space. Another advantage is that they are cheaper.

On the downside, the area of cooking is drastically minimized since the grills are smaller in size.

9. Open grills

As the name suggests, it’s an open simple stone or metal box with a burning section at the bottom, and the food is placed over the fire. They may utilize propane, wood or charcoal as a source of fuel.

Open grills are great for direct grilling with high heat. The disadvantage with open grills is the lack of a method to contain food since the cooking area is open. Therefore, you need to keep a close watch to prevent contamination.

Moreover, some of the open grills are large and heavy, moving them around can be a difficult task.

 10. Covered grills

Covered grills are those that have a lid and allows the containment of food when cooking. Majority of the grills in the market are covered grills. Having a lid on your grill allows for smoking, direct and indirect grilling.

11. Rotisserie grills

These grills have a rotating spit equipment that facilitates the slow and even cooking of food. Rotisserie cooking is great since the food is not directly on the fire and the rotation aids in the production of crisp and succulent meals.

12. Smoker grill

A smoker is slightly different from normal grills, but since they are closely related, we’ve decided to add it to the list.  Smokers grill food at a low temperature to produce a rich smoky flavor. They normally use wood chips and charcoal as a source of fuel.

Majority of smokers are large in size and are suitable for preparing food for large crowds. However, newer models are coming up whereby smoker boxes are added to a normal grill to achieve the smoky flavor.

One major difference between a smoker and a normal grill is the temperature. Smokers normally achieve a temperature of not more than 225 degrees while normal grills can go higher than that. Also, smokers are majorly for preparing meat dishes while grills can prepare a variety of foods.  

Watch the video below to establish how to choose the right grill for you.


There are several types of grills available in the market. The two main ways to categorize grills are by their source of fuel and their design. Some of the grill types include: gas, charcoal, kamado, infrared, portable and rotisserie grills.

In order to determine what type of grill to buy establish your need. This relates to what type of fuel you’d like to utilize, your space, amount of food to prepare, the need to move around and the cost depending on budget.

Now that you understand the options available, you’re a step closer to grilling. Feel free to let us know which type you prefer and why.