Outdoor BBQ parties become really cool when you have grilled meat and vegetables to serve your guests. Even if you do a lot of BBQ with your family in your backyard, the smoky food is going to fill up the environment. But if your grilling experience is a lot more about flare-ups, then it will become more frustrating than fun.
And what about the time when your guests have to wait for their turn to eat the burgers during the time! Of course, when you invest in a large size grill, you need to have a lot of space. But if you don’t do much BBQ, then you will end up overspending for sure.
So let’s find out what size of grill do you need!
How to find a perfect grill size like a professional?
When you go out to buy the perfect grill size for your BBQ party, there can be many factors that you’re not familiar with, particularly when it is your first barbecue.
A lot of folks ask me about “what size grill do I need to buy”? So, here I’m going to give you tips on how to avoid your mistakes.
Firstly, it is imperative to find your BBQ needs and then buy a grill size that caters to the serving size of the BBQ party.
It is just like when you choose a new car, you have to decide whether you need a two-seater or a four-seater, same goes for the size of the grill.
Furthermore, it is key to get a few answers from yourself about the following questions:
- How many guests do you typically host at a BBQ party? Are you going to host a small family or a large batch of college friends?
- Are you going to grill only once a week or it will be a special occasion only; for example, an Independence Day or a Memorial?
- Where are you planning to host the party – is it going to be at the balcony or backyard?
What is a good BTU for a gas grill?
For a simple answer, a unit that can produce 100 BTUs per square inch or round about this number will work for you. BTU (British Thermal Units) is a technical and traditional method according to which 1 BTU is the energy needed to heat 1 pound of water by 1°F.
But now you need to know how hot a grill can actually get instead of how much fuel can it burn. For this reason, BTU ratings can be very deceptive.
BTU rating is for the primary burners of a grill that are underneath the cooking grate. This rating doesn’t include the output BTU of any of those side, smoker or rotisserie burners. But manufacturers do include them in the final figures. It tricks you into thinking that the grill is more powerful than in actuality.
Some brands even overstate the BTUs per square-inch by adding up the areas of all cooking surfaces. It makes you think that the grill is bigger.
Therefore, you need to be careful about the spec of a particular grill that states very high BTUs. This might be a disguise for poor quality construction or design.
BBQ grill sizes
BBQ grills come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The primary factor here is to determine the cooking surface size. You need to decide what you want to achieve with your BBQ grill.
If you do frequent BBQs, you will need a good quality medium sized grill. If you host 12 to 15 people for your BBQ party, then you need a large sized grill. However, when you do BBQ on a campsite you will need a portable design. And quite frankly there are all sizes available for all kinds of purposes!
You’ll find different types of grills available on the market based on the fuel source. You can find charcoal grills, electric grills and gas grills.
How many burgers fit on a grill?
Just like the BTUs, how-many-burger you need in one serving has been exploited by the manufacturers. They frequently market their grills like 30-burger grills, or 50-burger grills, etc.
The point we need to consider here is that you don’t know the size of the burger that they have used to do the measurements. You also don’t have any information on how close they have placed those burgers on the grate during the measurement.
You need space between your burgers when cooking them. It will enable you to flip them with ease and you can easily toss them around as well. There is no point in buying a grill that doesn’t provide you with enough space even work with your burgers.
Grill surface area
A major aspect of determining the right grill size is the cooking surface area. This space is usually expressed in square inches. If you are looking at a typical gas grill then it features a cooking area that ranges between 450 to 500 square inches.
This is suitable for a household on average. If you are someone who likes to host BBQ parties or have a large family then you will require a grill that comes with a cooking surface that ranges between 550 to 650 square inches.
However, size is not the only thing that matters here. You also need to think about the footprint that a particular grill has. Most of the BBQ grills come with side shelves and you may collapse or remove them altogether.
For safety measures, you need to keep your grill at least a couple of feet away from the walls or any other object. Therefore, you need to make sure that your space can conveniently accommodate such a wingspan or not.
However, with the recent models, manufacturers are not accommodating more cooking area with the help of those half shelves. These shelves allow you to add 50% more area for cooking by adding another inches of cooking surface. The warming rack is another feature that the modern models of grills have and it hangs from the top of the grill itself. You can use it for toasting any food items and slow temperature.
What size grill do I need?
If you are looking to buy a model that you can take with you on your camping trips, there is nothing better than portable versions. Large grills are usually professional-grade and you can easily take care of a large group of people with them if you want. You need to go for the size of a grill that you think will be suitable for you.
You can find grills with two cooking surface ranges; these are as small as 140 square inches and as large as 700 square inches.
The grills also come in different styles. A charcoal kettle grill comes with a classic design where there is a large metal ball on the legs. You can place your charcoals at the bottom of the ball. This is the best space saver option.
You can find ceramic grills, which are the most versatile versions of a charcoal grill. It allows you to smoke and grill. You can also bake a pizza in it.
Barrel grills are the balance between the two that we have just mentioned. These grills are rounded on the top as well as the bottom and the top lid is hinged. These grills are best for large scale BBQ plans.
In order to answer, ‘what size grill do I need´ you must define what are your needs and requirements. Determine whether you need a grill that can fit in your small patio or you can take with you on your camping grill, or you want to go with a large one because you have a craze for BBQs and you frequently invite a large number of friends.
I hope you have found this article useful and informative! Let’s hear your side of the story. What grill size do you use? Do you think we have missed out on something? Leave a comment in the section below and we will get back to you.