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Submitted by on Mar 29, 2022

A barbecue grill or barbeque grill (also known as a barbecue or barbie in Australia) is a cooking appliance that uses heat from below to cook food. Grills come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with the majority falling into one of three categories: gas, charcoal, or electric. Which approach produces greater outcomes is a point of contention.

Grilling has been practiced in the Americas since before the arrival of the Spanish. South American Arawaks grilled meat on a wooden structure known as a barbacoa in Spanish. Barbacoa originally referred to the wooden structure rather than the process of grilling, but the phrase was subsequently changed to “barbecue.” It was also used to describe the pit-style cooking techniques that are presently popular in the Southeast. Barbecue was invented to slow-cook pigs, but diverse methods of food preparation resulted in regional variances. Other meals, such as hamburgers and hot dogs, have been cooked in a similar manner over time.

The contemporary charcoal briquette was created by Edward G. Kingsford. Henry Ford handed Kingsford the responsibility of constructing a Ford car parts plant and sawmill in northern Michigan, a mission that Kingsford eagerly accepted. In his honor, the surrounding community was renamed Kingsford. Kingsford discovered that Ford’s Model T assembly processes produced a lot of wood waste that were being thrown away. He recommended to Ford that a charcoal production plant be built next to the assembly line, where charcoal could be processed and sold under the Ford brand at Ford dealerships. The chemical firm was sold to local businesspeople and renamed the Kingsford Chemical Company some years after Kingsford’s death.

George Stephen designed the classic hemispheric grill shape, which Stephen’s neighbors playfully dubbed “Sputnik.” Stephen worked as a welder at Weber Brothers Metal Works, a metal fabrication company that specialized in welding steel spheres together to create buoys. Stephen was fed up with the wind blowing ash over his food when grilling, so he took the lower half of a buoy, welded three steel legs to it, and created a shallower hemisphere to serve as a lid. He returned home with the results and, after some initial success, founded the Weber-Stephen Products Company.

Don McGlaughlin, proprietor of the Chicago Combustion Corporation, now known as LazyMan, designed the gas grill in the late 1930s. McGlaughlin created the first built-in grill based on the popular BROILBURGER gas broiler. The first Lazy-Man grills were advertised as “open-fire charcoal-type gas broilers” with “permanent coals,” also known as lava rock. Because most domestic houses did not have a grill in the 1950s, the word “broiler” was used to sell commercial restaurants. In 1954, Chicago Combustion Corporation converted the gas open-broiler concept into the first portable gas barbecue, the Model AP. McGlaughlin’s portable design was the first to employ 20-pound propane cylinders as a fuel supply, which were previously only available to plumbers.

Gas-fueled barbecues commonly employ propane, butane (liquefied petroleum gas), or natural gas as a fuel source, with the gas flame either directly cooking food or heating grilling components, which then radiate the heat required to cook food. Gas grills come in a variety of sizes, from little single-steak grills to big industrial-sized restaurant grills that can cook enough meat to feed a hundred or more people. Some gas grills may be converted to use liquefied petroleum gas or natural gas, although this entails physically altering important components such as burners and regulator valves.

The majority of gas grills are designed in the cart grill style, with the grill unit coupled to a wheeled chassis that houses the fuel tank. Side tables, storage compartments, and other features may be supported by the wheeled frame.

The addition of an infrared radiant burner to the back of the grill enclosure is a new trend in gas grills. This radiant burner is designed to work with a horizontal rotisserie and delivers a uniform heat distribution over the burner. An electric motor rotates a metal skewer containing a meat item (whole chickenbeef roast, pig loin roast). A spherical metal basket that slides over the metal skewer may be used to grill smaller portions of meat in this manner.

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