With advancements in gas-grill technologies, and the help of Food Network television shows, more and more gas-grill shoppers are looking to expand their outdoor cooking horizons.
For most people, outdoor cooking is usually a simple affair -- grilling up some hot dogs, hamburgers or maybe a few steaks.
But with advancements in gas-grill technologies, and the help of Food Network television shows, more and more gas-grill shoppers are looking to expand their outdoor cooking horizons.
According to Bruce Keltie, co-owner of Commonwealth Fireplace & Grill in Norwood, Mass., New Englanders at first had been slow to jump on the bandwagon because of the region’s shorter outdoor season.
“But what we’ve found in New England now is that because we don’t have that much outdoor time, people want to take better advantage of the time we do have,” Keltie said.
As such, Keltie said more customers are coming in looking for grills that come complete with side-burners, rotisseries and even infrared burners.
Bob Pearson, manager at Dick’s Gas Grill Store in South Weymouth, Mass., said he’s noticed the trend as well.
“Last year I couldn’t give away a grill with a side burner, and now I’m selling a lot of them,” Pearson said. “I’ve had people tell me, ‘I saw it on the Food Channel.”’
However, the added bells and whistles may not prove practical for the occasional griller.
Side-burners, for example, typically don’t get much hotter than the burner on a gas stove, making them useful for sauces or some side dishes, but not as an additional grilling space.
“Some people think you can cook lobsters and clams on them, but they’re not that powerful,” Pearson said.
On the other hand, infrared-burners may prove too powerful for casual users, Keltie said. Infrared-burners heat up very quickly and get hotter than a traditional burner, allowing for searing heat that lets you cook a steak thoroughly much faster.
But Keltie said most casual grills are capable of providing equally good-tasting grilled food without the extra expense.
Keltie said grill shoppers should primarily consider two things: what they cook, and how many people they usually cook for.
If you’re just cooking dogs and burgers, you just need a good grill --don’t worry about the add-ons, Keltie said. And the more people you typically serve, the larger the grilling space you need.
“It’s generally pretty straightforward,” Keltie said.
Patriot Ledger writer A.J. Bauer may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.