Grill outdoors to improve the taste of food immeasurably. It is a fun, easy and inexpensive way to tweak the flavor of your meal. Even foods you are bored with will enjoy a new zest on a grill.
First, do you want to use charcoal or gas?
Charcoal adds a nice flavor to grilled foods. They don't flame up as much as gas grills when food fats drip onto the briquettes and many charcoal grills are portable. It is easy to purchase a charcoal grill pre-loaded with briquettes for single use, as well.
Charcoal usually requires a starter fluid to be applied to the briquettes before lighting, however. If you use too much fluid it will affect the taste of your food. You also need to dispose of the charcoal ash after you grill outdoors. Be careful though, while the ash is frequently beneficial to soil you have to wait for it to cool before disposing of it. Finally, the entire grill is hot during cooking and activity around it should be monitored carefully, especially if young children are playing. Accidents with charcoal grills can leave nasty burns.
You need to burn the briquettes before adding food to the grill. Once the charcoal has cooked down to a hot ash covered briquette with little or no flame you can start grilling. Watch your food carefully though, it will burn easily. Always wrap foods like potatoes in foil before grilling and make sure to puncture the potato with a fork to release steam.
Gas grills use ceramic briquettes to cook your food and your fuel source is propane gas. You can purchase several additives to help flavor your food for them. One popular method is cedar planks. As the cedar smokes the flavor of the cedar permeates the food cooking on it. This is especially nice for fish and there are many flavored "smokes" you can add to the briquettes.
Gas grills usually have a two tiered cooking system. Vegetables cooked on a gas grill outdoors are usually cooked on the top tier and meats on the bottom. Gas grills do not get as hot as charcoal grills so there is less danger to small children around them. But many gas grills are not portable and they use propane gas. The grill, according to the law in many states, must be at least four feet away from a residence.
Cooking your food on a grill outdoors, whether gas or charcoal, will make for a fun and relaxed meal.