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Five Grill Types: Which Grill type is the right one for you?


BBQ season is rolling on, this means hot summer days and tons of fun with family and friends while drinking beer and eating all kinds of tasty foods.

As meat is our passion we did a lot of research on how to make it even better and even more easy to prepare.

There's not only a huge variety in terms of user-friendliness when it comes to the different grill types but also a notable change in flavor and general outcome of the meat when you use a charcoal grill or an electric grill for example.

If you haven't already decided which grill you want to use this year, this guide will help you to make the right decision as well as giving you an insight on how the different types are working.

Let's not make it too long of an introduction and jump right into the interesting stuff.

Charcoal Grill - How to grill with the king of all grills

Charcoal Grill for Family BBQ

What is a Charcoal Grill?

When it comes to giving foods the mouthwatering smokey flavor, Charcoal Grills are the undefeated champions under all the different competitors.
Already our caveman ancestors appreciated gathering around fire spots to cook their hunted meats over the hot fire.

Not only the flavor part is a very unique feature of using a charcoal grill, the high temperatures which occur by burning wood also allow cooking a wider spectrum of foods.

The downsides of excessive preparation time and the possible health risks make the charcoal grill only suitable for special occasions that must be well prepared.

How to use a Charcoal Grill?

Using a Charcoal Grill is definitely a science itself and there are several steps and procedures needed to achieve the best results.

We will tell you how to make every session an outstanding success and how you can get the most out of your charcoal grill by following this step-by-step guide:

  • Clean your grill and throw away all old ash. We know you might want to skip on that but keep in mind that only consequent cleaning (Yes, also the grates) before and after will ensure the best results as well as guarantee you that you're having a long-lasting and consistent grilling experience.
  • Turn up the heat and light up the coals by using a newspaper. When the upper layer of coal turns white it is ready to be put into the grill. Don't forget to open up the vendors to let oxygen circulate. Now it is also time to put any pre-soaked wood chips to enhance the smokey flavor.
  • When the grates are hot you're ready to cook! To keep your foods from sticking, rub the grates with some oil and set up the tasty stuff.
  • First, you should stick to burgers or steaks. Hearty vegetables like corn are also fine. Later on, you can place foods that need to be cooked thoroughly like chicken, pork, or softer veggies.
  • Keep in mind that you need to regulate the temperature by using the vendors. Opening them up will result in higher temperatures while closing will lower it.
  • After  you're done don't forget to clean the grates. It is easier if they are still hot

Following these steps will make your next BBQ an incredible tasty success.
For different outcomes and general enhancement of flavors we highly recommend experimenting around with wood chips.
We like Traeger Grill Pellets the most, as they are reasonable in price and offer a suitable product for all kinds of meats.

For Beef, we recommend mesquite, while hickory is great for pork and chicken.

What foods can be cooked using a Charcoal Grill?

All foods that benefit from that woody smokey flavor are great using a Charcoal Grill.

Those include:

  • All kind of vegetables reaching from aubergines over corn to zucchinis
  • Pork, Beef, Chicken (Patties, Steaks, Sausages or Chicken Wings)

You can even enhance the experience by performing the art of slow smoking which will give your foods a distinctive and thoroughly strong flavor which can only be reached by this time-consuming procedure.

If you want to slow smoke we highly recommend using The MeatStick to stay aware of all necessary information such as time and temperature while you can handle other stuff like cleaning the house or taking care of the children.

Gas Grill - America's first choice

Gas Grill with The MeatStick Extender Set

What is a Gas Grill?

Gas grills are the most common grill type in America. Nearly everyone who got enough space got one and is using it frequently.

But why is that so? Well, gas grills show their strengths in convenience and cooking speed. While charcoal grills consume a lot of time, gas grills are easy to clean as well as very fast to be set up.

From little to no time you're ready to start grilling patties or steaks while drinking a bottle of beer with friends.

No need to heat up coal or to let temperature reach its sweet spot.

Depending on your personal preferences and circumstances there are two types of gas grills for you to choose from:

  • Propane gas grill
  • Natural gas grill

While there are only marginal differences like propane burning hotter there are also big differences like that propane is not bound to a gas source but to a tank which has to be refueled.

Natural Gas on the other hand can score with its general cheaper living costs as well as an unlimited source of gas.
This comes with the disadvantage of immobility as well as higher acquisition costs.

How to use a Gas Grill?

The usage of a gas grill is fairly easy: 

  • Clean your grill first to ensure better grill marks and to prevent foods from sticking
  • Check your gas tanks (No fuel no grill)
  • Light it up and let it preheat on high for 10 - 15 minutes
  • Zoning is one key technique when using gas grills we found this article to be quite useful
  • Use the lid and top rack to handle thick meat cuts or high amounts of food by turning your grill into an oven. This causes a very hot environment and can lead to overcooking fine cuts and fish filets. So be cautious and make your own experiences.

Using a gas grill is definitely making life more convenient and easy-going than other grill types. There is no need to handle dirty piles of coal nor you have to wait for hours to get it hot.

Charcoal still offers the best flavor but if you want your foods to acquire that smokey taste you have to invest in a smoker box.

This smoker box gives you the possibility to fill in your desired wood pieces in order to create a quite noticeable amount of smoked flavor.

What foods can be cooked using a Gas Grill?

Especially very fine tasting foods like certain veggies and seafood do benefit when it comes to grilling with a Gas Grill. Since it lacks the strong smokey flavor which is provided by burning coal, Gas Grills tend to not overlap fine flavors.

So what foods are suitable to cook on the Gas Grill the most? Here are some examples of what foods that really do well:

  • Seafood such as shrimps or fish
  • Vegetables such as cauliflower or broccoli and carrots

Pellet Grill - The Allround-Talent

Pellet Grill with Beef Cuts

What is a Pellet Grill?

Pellet Grills are the easiest grills to use and offer a healthier way to cook food since they are producing less smoke and tend to not reach temperatures higher than 500°F/260°C.

The rather new system allows the automatic regulation of wood chip consumption to regulate heat and to make the user worry less about the grilling process.

To make it quick we created a short comparison of pro and con arguments of using a pellet grill:


  • Pellet grills are able to offer authentic BBQ flavor through using wood chips which can be chosen according to your own flavor preferences.
  • Pellet grills are very convenient. Once you placed the food you can almost forget about it, the used wood chips get disposed in a separate chamber which can be emptied after the session.
  • Even though electric grills are healthier, Pellet grills can be set to specific low temperatures in order to minimize the burning of threatening substances.
  • For heating up, you don't have to wait for hours but only around 10 minutes.

There are tons of variation in size, price, or even the pellets you can use for grilling. Those pellets also come in different flavors which can be chosen according to personal preference and food.

Negative Aspects of using a Pellet Grill

  • Pellet grills are not cheap. They easily cost double the amount of a high-end gas grill.
  • You will have to have an additional power supply which makes a pellet grill a rather bad candidate when it comes to mobility.
  • High-temperature smoking is not possible since pellet grills barley hit more than 450°F/232°C.

How to use a Pellet Grill?

The Pellet Grill usage is also fairly easy and is a very good option for amateurs or people who just want to put some steaks on the grate and start grilling.

  • In the beginning, you have to make sure that there are still enough wood chips inside.
  • Set up the temperature and let the grill get hot.
  • After reaching the desired temperature you can start placing the meats.

As you can see the usage of a Pellet Grill is not that much of science.

When it comes to cleaning there is more work to be done since you have to dispose and scratch all ash remaining and set up the place for the next session.
But overall in combination with The MeatStick, this grill type is the most convenient and easiest.

What foods can be cooked using a Pellet Grill?

This is quite similar to when using a charcoal grill. Since we get that smokey flavor from burning the wood pellets, fans of the authentic BBQ flavor will not get disappointed.

The pureness of the flavor is not as impressive as you get from charcoal, but it's definitely enough when you consider the benefits.

Electric Grill - The cleanest Grill

Electric Grill in action with Beef Cuts

What is an Electric Grill?

Electric Grills use electricity as an energy source and are therefore not burning any kind of substance. In terms of mobility and size, the electric version is very effective and can also be used indoors which makes it a very good choice for bad weather or sudden rain.

There are two versions of e-grills:

  • the open grill, the food gets placed on one single grate and is not being covered
  • the contact grill, the food gets placed between two plates and gets heated from both sides

Depending on personal preference and what food you're going to cook an open grill or a contact grill might be better for you.

While open grills allow cooking food more gentle and slow, contact grills create way higher heat and can lead to quicker overcooking due also sending heat from two sides.

On the other hand, contact grills offer more even results if done right.

How to use an Electric Grill?

The instruction of usage is the easiest compared to other grill types and are a huge plus when it comes to the question if it is the right one for your needs:

  • Find an even spot and place the grill on top of it
  • Start to prepare the grill by plugging it into a power source
  • Spray a layer of oil on the grates and let the grill heat up
  • If the desired temperature is reached you can place your foods on top

Be careful and give the food time to rest. If you're new to electric grills this might need some time to gain new experience but you will get into it very fast.

What foods can be cooked using an Electric Grill?

Especially contact grills are perfect for grilling different kinds of foods which benefit from being heated from two sides at the same time as:

  • steaks
  • hamburgers
  • Vegetables
  • fish fillets
  • pork chops

Keep in mind that fish and vegetables become overcooked very fast and need special surveillance by you.

Portable Grill - The choice for Adventurers

Portable Grill used for grilling outside

What is a Portable Grill?

A portable grill is a miniature version of either charcoal -or gas grills and can easily be transported to make tasty grilled foods possible.
Anywhere, anytime, occupy a spot in the green or get your stomachs filled in front of the baseball stadium.

There are so many different places where portable grills can shine and really are the key to an unforgettable moment.

How to use a Portable Grill?

Setting up a mobile grill might not seem to be a difficult task but there are a few things which need to be considered especially when you're in nature:

  • When grilling outdoors make sure to find a flat surface that is away from overhanging plants or other structures. Open up any oxygen circulation vents.
  • Get the charcoal ready by placing it in a pyramid shape inside the center. Count at least thirty briquets for every pound of meat you're going to cook. Keep in mind that you will need more charcoal on cold, wet, or windy days.
  • Use lighter fluid or other approved liquid to coat all coal pieces. If it's done you can light it up and proceed.
  • The heating process will take approximately 20 - 25 minutes and is done when the coal turns white.
  • For direct heat spread the bottom with coal or bank them up on one side for indirect heat.
  • Coat the grates with oil to prevent the food from sticking and place the rack on the fire. Let it heat up before placing the food.

Please be careful and very patient when grilling in nature as it is very easy that you can seriously damage the environment. Dispose of your trash and always keep a safe distance to burnable structures.

What foods can be cooked using a Portable Grill?

Of course, a portable grill lacks size and can therefore not handle big pieces that well as his bigger brothers do.

Particularly thick meat cuts will take either longer or need to be cut in order to get through completely.
Small veggies and fish should be very easy to process and the procedure is nearly the same as on the bigger grills.

Final examination and last words

BBQ in general is not only a free time activity but more a subculture in the US.
There are a lot of different ways to reach the desired target so don't worry too much about which grill might be right for you.

Becoming a Masterchef of the grill takes a lot of time and experience with different stuff to find the right way to go.
This doesn't mean you should buy the next best grill and start putting meat on it but more that you should approach the subject matter and read a lot about the topic.

Especially when it comes to cooking there are no right or wrong ways and you're always going to encounter new strategies.

Last but not least cooking especially BBQ and grilling should be an opportunity to have a good time with family and friends which is not always possible due to the circumstance that someone has to handle the food and has to constantly worry about nothing to get burned.
Here is where The MeatStick comes in to save the day.

Our products take over the part of measuring and surveillance while providing you with all the information needed to reach the best results in cooking meat and other stuff.

You are not forced to stand behind the grill and can enjoy drinking beer with your friends or play games with your children.

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