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It’s National Grilling Month: How’s Your Summer Heating Up?

Find the right grill for your home and cooking style.

So you’ve rented a beautiful beach house and can’t wait to get outside into the backyard and start cooking—July is National Grilling Month, after all. In the grilling world, there are three standard options: classic charcoal and gas are what residents on the East End are rocking these days, but we didn’t forget about those electric users out there. And we even have a new contender in the ring.

Let’s start simple with the charcoal grill. No mechanics involved, simply fire and charcoal. This type of grill tends to be the least expensive, with most models starting around $100. High-end charcoal grills boast features such as built-in thermometers, heat-resistant shells and plenty of room to grill for a party.

On a positive note, charcoal enhances the flavor of foods with rich, smoky flavor and can cook food at up to 700° Fahrenheit. However, charcoal grills heat up much slower than gas or electric and require more cleanup, as the ash has to be cleaned out after every use.

Next, we have natural gas or propane grills. Natural gas grills can’t be moved as they’re attached to the home’s natural gas line, whereas propane grills use a portable tank. The grills themselves run from $100 up to $21,000.

For big bucks, a grillmaster can get a combination grill with wood, gas and charcoal, which also offers ample space for preparation and the ability to drive up the heat to more than 1000° Fahrenheit. Plesser’s Luxury Appliances in Southampton offers a wide range of Kalamazoo hybrid gas grills.

Gas grills heat up quickly. Temperature control knobs allow the griller to regulate heat more precisely than their charcoal counterparts, and different heat zones can create areas for searing, cooking or warming foods. Also of note: gas grills are easily operated and require very little cleanup

Electric grills are good for places where charcoal grilling, or open flames, are not allowed. These grills are the most cost effective, and top-of-the-line models run about $1,000. All these units need is a nearby electrical outlet to start up the fun. They heat up quickly and grill food evenly, but don’t add much flavor to the mix. Most electric grills are smaller than gas or charcoal grills and they come in portable and tabletop models for those on the go. They’re a favorite among boaters and require little cleanup.

The new challenger in the market is the electric wood pellet smoker grill. These grills are quickly becoming popular in the Hamptons. They have a reservoir to hold wood pellets that regulates itself, allowing for perfect cooking and easy cleanup. P.C. Richards and Son in Southampton offers new brands like Traeger Grills, machines that are able to grill, smoke, bake, roast and BBQ using woods such as alder, apple, cherry and hickory. If you want to impress your friends, consider their Lil Pig Pellet Grill—it’s shaped like a big pink pig to spice up your landscape.

Of course, it’s possible you’ve rented a beautiful beach house and can’t wait to relax, take in the beautiful East End environs and fill yourself with food grilled by professionals. If so, you’re in luck. Dan’s GrillHampton presented by New York Prime Beef, is a one-of-a-kind cooking competition and tasting event pitting East End chefs against New York City chefs, on Friday, July 20 at Fairview Farm at Mecox on beautiful Mecox Bay.

For tickets and more info about Dan’s GrillHampton visit DansTasteofSummer.com.

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