Get the Grill Going for a Great Gastronomic Get-Together

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There is just something about cooking outside that makes everything feel more festive. It could be that first cookout of the year that automatically puts everyone in a good mood by signifying the changing of seasons to warmer weather. Or it could be that firing up the grill can so easily be associated with holidays like Memorial Day and the 4th of July. Or, for those who never put the grill away, it is simply a time-honored tradition that allows them to enjoy the fresh air with great food and usually great company as well. Whatever the reason, everyone loves an excuse to partake in a good cookout.

Finding the grill that fits your food

Whatever the occasion — be it a holiday or dinner on a Tuesday — you want it to be ideal. There is some debate over which type of grill is the best. Some prefer charcoal grills for the smokiness, while others swear by gas grills for their efficiency and the ease of the less-exciting clean up part of the cookout. Gas grills can definitely be better if you intend to grill lighter or more delicate foods than steak. While you may want that smokiness in a hearty piece of meat, it can overpower the flavor profile of foods like fruit, fish, vegetables, or chicken. And while charcoal grills are generally cheaper and require less time for assembly, when it comes to getting the heat going, gas grills take almost no time at all to reach the desired temperature for grilling, which can be especially good when you’re facing a time crunch on a weeknight or when you’ve got guests arriving soon.

Creating the perfect cookout
Choosing the right grill is certainly an important first step. Be it pellet or electric, charcoal or propane grill, you’ll want the one that is best suited for your grilling style and menu. But on top of that, you will probably also want the right setting. With many grillers — 60% in fact — using their grills all year round, the actual grill is only a part of the entire experience. About 49% of grill owners view the grilling area of their yard as a type of functional cooking spot, and 30% look at their grilling area as a space for entertainment. Another 21% view their grilling area as a place for rest and relaxation. But of course, it doesn’t have to be just any one single thing. It can be all of them! Many people enjoy dressing up their yard with the perfect patio set to go with their grill. In the U.S., the outdoor furniture — largely patio furniture sets — and grill industry is projected to continue growing, by at least 4% right through 2017. And of course there are so many accessories to think about for your grill and patio area, whether you’re looking at cushions, umbrellas, utensils for the grill, or even a portable fire pit.

There is no reason your grilling area can’t be your perfect little getaway right at home. Find a reason to celebrate, invite a few friends or gather the family, and get cooking!

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