June 2010
Outdoor Grilling
Natural Gas Grills are a Clean and Safe Option

Who doesn't love a good cookout? Being outside in the sunshine while enjoying tasty food fresh off the grill is a summertime pleasure.

A grill is essential for your cookout and Walton EMC Natural Gas is essential for your grill. Whether it is summer feasting with the family or fall tailgating with friends, outdoor grilling makes for a great time.

Grills come in many forms (pedestal, cart, post and island) and are powered in several ways (charcoal, natural gas or propane). We are here to tell you why natural gas is the smartest choice.

Natural gas is the cleanest option. With charcoal,there is no getting around the messy startup and cleanup, not to mention the smoke and ash in between. Natural gas provides instant-on, instant-off capability, unlike charcoal. With natural gas, you won’t have to wait around for the grill to heat up wheneveryone is already hungry.

If your decision lies between natural gas and propane, remember natural gas has safety and convenience on its side. With propane, hooking and unhooking the tank is a constant battle, along with the possibility of leaving the tank open and running out of fuel. With natural gas, your grill is always connected to the fuel source, reducing the possibility of leaks and insects nesting in the gas line.

"There's no doubt that budget usually dictates the grade of appliance you can afford,"says Dory Brown, grill expert and owner of Dory's Hearth & Home in Watkinsville. "Just about anything you can cook indoors can now be moved outside to the grill."

For the average griller, a mid-grade grill can range anywhere from $200-$400. Be sure and do your homework before purchasing.

A British thermal unit (Btu) is used to describe the output of many heating systems including furnaces, stoves, and barbecue grills. One Btu is the equivalent energy use to heat one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. When purchasing a grill, models with 30,000 Btus and above are going to provide the best cooking capacity.

Lengthen the life of your grill purchase by routinely cleaning inside and outside the unit. Buying a grill cover is a good decision. Keeping the appliance out of the elements will save you time, money and maintenance.

"Another way to keep your grill clean is by not basting meat directly on the grill,"explains Brown. Sauces and marinades are great on food but can really do a number on your grill. Build up over time not only makes for a messy grill, but can also create a fire hazard. Prevent this by using dry rubs or seasoning the meat before or after cooking.

Whatever your choice, if you have a grill, use it. Ever walked into a hot kitchen after someone has prepared a meal? Take the heat out of the kitchen and invest in an outdoor grill. Cooking outside can help you save on monthly cooling bills by keeping the temperature in your house stable.

Smoking Options

Cooking with natural gas doesn't mean you have to sacrifice smoky flavor. A variety of products - available in chips, pellets and planks - can be used on the grill to give food a genuine barbecue taste.

Read other articles from The Walton EMC Gasette:
Grilling on a Dime

Meal on the Grill