Cooking with an open flame is a tried-and-true method of making a home cooked meal for your family and friends. Learning about which kind of grill is the most sustainable isn’t as hard as it may seem, but SaveOnEnergy.com® is here to help you find the best equipment for your green grilling weekend. Check out the following list of grills and see which type is the most eco-friendly.
You might be familiar with the savory smell of steaks grilling on the back porch. Particularly, you might be even more familiar with smoky flavor that charcoal gives when grilling your favorite dish. However, charcoal grills aren’t the best way to cook your favorite meal if you’re looking to be eco-friendly.
The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory showed that charcoal grills release two times the amount of carbon into the atmosphere as compared to gas grills. While charcoal may be a popular option by most Americans, it’s not the healthiest option for our environment.
If you do decide to go with charcoal, be sure to pick all-natural lump charcoal made from wood.
When you think of a grill, a gas grill might be the first thing that comes to your mind. One of the pros of using a gas grill is its ease of use and easy clean-up. Most gas grills run off propane tanks, but you can easily run it to a natural gas line. The down side is that neither resource is renewable.
Although it runs off fossil fuels, this type of grill doesn’t emit as much carbon as other options. In fact, natural gas and propane burn cleaner than charcoal, so it’s more sustainable from a carbon footprint standpoint. Since these grills start up fast and are able to keep a consistent grilling temperature, you’ll thoroughly cook your salmon, veggies or hamburgers a bit faster – saving resources in the long run.
When you read the word “ceramic,” your mind might think of tiles, art or some type of pottery. However, ceramic is a great material to use for cooking. Ceramic skillets and spatulas are gaining popularity since they can withstand high temperatures, and ceramic grills are no exception. Unlike steel or other metals that many grills can be made from, ceramic doesn’t scratch and won’t emit chemicals (meaning less volatile organic compounds entering the atmosphere).
While this type of grill uses lump charcoal or wood chips, similar to the classic charcoal grill, a ceramic grill has multiple uses and can last as long as 20 years or more. You can use ceramic grills for smoking, grilling, baking and roasting. So while it may use non-renewable resources to fire it up, it can take the place of several different appliances – saving time, space and money (which is pretty green).
If you want to feel like you’re making a super eco-conscious decision, then the pellet grill might be a satisfying option for you. A pellet grill runs off compressed pellets of scrap wood or sawdust that are normally thrown away. This seemingly renewable resource is carbon neutral because the emissions produced by burning the pellets equal the amount that is absorbed when growing the trees in the first place. What makes pellets even more Earth-friendly is the fact that they do not contain the additives that make charcoal smoke harmful.
If you’re looking to make a difference by grilling instead of cooking inside, you’re already one step ahead. What most people forget is your indoor oven or stovetop uses electricity that most likely runs off non-renewable resources. By cooking outdoors on a grill during summer, you’re cutting back on your home’s electricity usage and reducing the energy your air conditioner has to consume to counter-balance the heat radiating from your appliance.
The pellet, ceramic and gas grills are greener options than the charcoal grill. To be the greenest griller of them all, you’ll have to always remember to cook efficiently without wasting excess energy. This means fewer woodchips or pellets and less gas. So no matter which grill you choose, try to always grill with the environment in mind.