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With Colorado boasting over 300 days of sunshine a year and great mid winter ambient temperature its no wonder our grill habits don’t go dormant during these colder months. As a result of all those grilling days I get asked one question very often: what do I prefer to grill on? I wish it were a simple answer, but each grill choice provides its own unique eating experience.  So, I’ll try and break it down for you based one what end result you desire. That said, we are a bit grill crazy at my house. Our cooking arsenal includes a Weber Genesis, Big Green Egg and Louisiana Smoker. You’ll understand why all three in a minute.

Grill Type – Gas (Weber, Kenmore or Char Broil)

  • Heat range – 300 – 600 degrees.
  • Heat type – direct or infrared.
  • Heat source – propane or natural gas.
  • Pros – fast pre-heat time, tried and true, faster food onto the table, can add accessories if you want to smoke or roast.
  • Cons – harder to smoke on, limited size for larger items (turkey).
  • Flavor profile – will have some grill flavor due to juices integrating into the flavorizer bars.
  • Overall – this is a great choice for the griller who wants to turn on the grill, cook their food and eat.  If you want to expand your grilling they make accessories to aid in smoking, etc.

Grill Type – Lump Charcoal (Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe)

  • Heat range – 200 – 750 degrees.
  • Heat type – direct, indirect or slow roast.
  • Heat source – lump charcoal.
  • Pros – well rounded cooking tool, very versatile to: cook, bake, roast, grill, smoke.
  • Cons – small learning curve on how to light your fire and airflow settings to maintain temp.
  • Flavor profile – most rustic grill flavor from the charcoal and add some wood chips for killer smoke rings.
  • Overall – this is the perfect choice for the griller who wants to control every bit of their experience from temp to taste.  With this cooking tool you can go from low and slow to pizza oven hot.

Grill Type – Wood Pellet (Louisiana Smoker or Traeger)

  • Heat range – 200 – 350 degrees.
  • Heat type – indirect.
  • Heat source – flavor added wood pellets.
  • Pros – set it and forget it style of cooking or smoking.
  • Cons – while some models don’t get hot enough to sear a thick steak, they’re working to change that to ensure this grill is a one stop shop.
  • Flavor profile – killer smoke flavor bordering on too much smoke if you don’t prefer heavy smoke.
  • Overall – this is an excellent choice for that griller who wants to get into smoking, very easy to work with.

So whats a chef to do? We chose one of each. Why? Because there are times we need a fast grilled meal, there are times we want to dial it in and have a great overall experience, and then those times when we don’t have the time and want the easier set it and forget it.  It helps to have some temperature tools on hand as well… Until next time when we talk grill tools, stay hungry my friends.

About the Author

Chef Jason K. Morse is a Certified Executive Chef who is working to take the Colorado Grilling world by storm. He is a huge advocate for the grilling lifestyle and his company produces a high end line of rubs and spices sold at your local ACE Hardware in their grilling section. A master of the grill on weekends, you can find Chef at the helm of his Big Green Egg talking Colorado Beef and Red Bird Chicken. Jason and his company are also very savvy business consultants that focus their work currently with Student Nutrition. Don’t let that fool you though, this Country Club Chef has the skills and team to pull off any event at any level.

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