Family having a barbecue party in their garden in summer

Summer’s almost here, and it’s time to start grilling! Whether you’re an old pro or new to the game, our essential guide will prepare you for the grilling season to come.

Choosing a Grill or Smoker
There are a variety of grilling options available, and each has its pros and cons.

  • Charcoal grills take longer to heat up, but they also achieve hotter temperatures, making them perfect for searing meat. And purists love charcoal for the flavor it produces.
  • Gas grills are a favorite among recreational grillers, largely because they’re easy to use and heat up quickly. They do cost more than charcoal grills up front, but they’re less expensive to operate over the long term.
  • Electric grills are portable and compact, providing a practical, affordable alternative for people living in apartments that restrict outdoor grilling. But critics of electric grills argue that they won’t give you that smoky barbecue flavor.
  • Smokers slow cook meat to achieve the distinct flavor connoisseurs love, but the process does take more time.

Gathering Gadgets for Grilling
Before you start cooking, make sure you have these grilling essentials:

  • Tongs
  • Skewers
  • Basting brush
  • Rubs and marinades
  • Heat-resistant grilling gloves
  • Wire basket for vegetables and seafood
  • Grill brush for cleaning

Finding the Best Recipes
Not sure what to cook? Check out The New York Times’ Summer Barbecue Essentials for an ample list of grilling recipes organized by category, including sauces, marinades and rubs.