A useful device such as a grill will help you to savor chicken, pork or shrimp. Compact and functional equipment will become an indispensable assistant both at home and in the country. When thinking about buying, you probably ask – what is the difference between a three thousand model and a twenty thousand grill? In short, there are many different design features, and for details, read our material.
Surface heating and the ability to fry meat
Cheap grills, compared to expensive ones, even with the same power, are very often not capable of roasting meat to the desired degree. The steak is more like a boiled stew, has no crust. As a result, you have to spend more time roasting, and in the worst cases, on cheap models, you can not even get a well-done or medium rare roast.
The optimum temperature for frying meat is 250-300 degrees. Cheap models have a limitation of only 200 degrees, while more expensive devices are capable of providing 230 degrees.
A similar situation will be with chicken – cheap grills do not have time to warm up enough and, as a result, raw chicken.
This problem is not widespread, but the chances of buying a cheap grill with poor roast are high enough.
Removable work surfaces
On most cheap grills, the work surfaces are not removable. This is a rather big disadvantage, since it becomes difficult to clean the non-stick surface with high quality. Removable components are much easier to clean of grease right in the sink or dishwasher.
Also, in more expensive grills, the non-stick surfaces can be double-sided – there is a flat surface on the opposite side of the ribbed one. It can be used, for example, for making pancakes or shrimp.
Tray for fat and juice
As you can see, the panels have a special grease drain. However, trays for collecting it are not always supplied in the kit – in the cheapest grills this accessory will have to be purchased separately. Also note that some of both expensive and cheap grills may have a tray built into the structure. These containers are usually more convenient and easier to store and use. Additionally, you do not have to be afraid that, through carelessness, you can touch them and turn them over.
The lid opens 180 degrees
Cheap grill models also do not support BBQ mode when the lid is opened 180 degrees. This function allows you to get a second work surface and cook twice as many dishes in one go.
In this case, it is worth paying attention to whether in this case there is a drain for fat and a second complete container on the second surface. Sometimes the drain is done in the central part, then one container will be enough. Pay attention to the height of the sides, because as soon as you place the second work surface upright, all the fat will begin to flow down.
Location and shape of heating elements
Remember at the very beginning we said that cheap grills are not capable of roasting meat? The most common reason for this is the developers’ elementary savings on the heating element. To show the difference, just look at two grill models:
The grill on the left has a larger cooking surface due to the longer heating element compared to the model on the right. Due to such savings in a cheap grill, the central part may not heat up well, and the edges will, on the contrary, burn. Spiral heating elements have another problem – the edges do not warm up well there.
In the most expensive and advanced grills, electronics are responsible for temperature control. The user can select the type of meat, and the system, using sensors, is already able to determine the thickness and set the optimal roasting mode. All this is done literally in one click, which saves time. The only conditional minus is another potential breakdown, because if the sensor fails, such a mode will be useless. Automation also allows you to select the degree of roasting – Rare, Medium or Well-done.
Mid-range models usually have manual adjustment using buttons or rotary knobs. In this case, the temperature is set for all panels. More expensive grills have double adjustment, separately for each work surface. This allows you to cook two dishes at the same time with different degrees of roasting.
The cheapest grills do not have temperature control. Since the heating is always constant, you will have to calculate the cooking time yourself for each dish.
Multiple lid positions
Expensive models, as a rule, have an additional adjustment of the top lid, which allows you to more accurately control the roasting. For example, a special “ladder” can be provided in the design, with the help of which the degree of inclination of the top panel is set.
In expensive grills, the worktops can be installed in parallel at different distances from each other. This allows you to implement the mode of maintaining the temperature, as well as work with larger dishes – hamburgers, multilayer sandwiches, large pieces of meat, buns.
Each auxiliary function usually increases the price tag on the grill. In order not to overpay, you should immediately decide which of the functions will be really useful to you:
Timer . Shows the remaining cooking time. It will help those who are constantly distracted in the kitchen and do not have the opportunity to follow the cooking process.
Auto shutdown . The function, paired with a timer, turns off the grill after the end of cooking or if the equipment is idle for a certain time.
Display . As a rule, it is installed on grills from a high price segment with the possibility of various adjustments. Displays useful information: remaining time, current temperature and more.