Now that you have an idea of the type style and size grill you want, it’s time to think about the features.
What features are important to you? Certain features will be more important to you, like drawers for storing utensils and condiments. Other features, like a pullout grease tray and removable ash pan, make grilling and cleanup easier. While extra features are a luxury on a gas grill, they can significantly improve cooking with charcoal. Because charcoal grills are all about controlling the coals, ease of use is one of the most important considerations.
BTUs: British Thermal Unit is a fuel efficiency rating that has no impact on how hot your grill will get. Think of BTUs like your car’s fuel efficiency or MPG (miles per gallon), BTUs measure your grill’s fuel efficiency or OPB (output per burner) and the number is usually listed with all the burners combined.
Shelves: Get a grill with sturdy shelves on the sides to hold your grilling utensils, marinades and seasonings. You need a place to set your food when loading and unloading food while you’re grilling.
Lid Thermometer: With a built-in thermometer, you always know the temperature of the inside of the grill. Knowing the temperature of the inside of the grill at all times helps you maintain consistent cooking temperatures for better food.
Burners: Get a gas grill with at least two burners to enable you to set up different heat zones when you want to grill different types of food at the same time or cook with indirect heat.
Basket or Topper: A grilling basket or topper keeps smaller foods like vegetables and shrimp from falling through the grates into the flames or onto the ashes.
Heavy-Duty Grates: Stainless steel and coated cast iron grates are both good for searing and retaining heat, but stainless is more durable.
Accessible Charcoal Bed: An easy-access door or hinged grate makes it infinitely more easy to add and rearrange coals while grilling.
Adjustable Charcoal or Cooking Grates: Look for a grill with charcoal or cooking grates that can be easily raised and lowered to get a steak close to the coals for searing or cook a chicken low and slow without charring the skin.