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Add Sizzle to your Summer with These Barbecue Tips from the Pros

Sailun Tires

 RONA offers advice on how to select the best outdoor grills, accessories for your needs

Barbecue season will soon be heating up and with a study showing outdoor grilling is at or near an all-time high in Canada, leading home improvement retailer RONA is dishing out some advice to ensure the best barbecuing experience.

“Summer is synonymous with outdoor grilling and to meet growing consumer demand, we’ve introduced a wide range of the latest barbecues and accessories this season to accommodate all needs and budgets,” said Véronique Auger St-Onge, Category Manager, Grills and Seasonal Heat of RONA.

With so many options available, how do you choose the best outdoor grill and accessories for your needs? Auger St-Onge offers this recipe for barbecuing success.

Energy source

Before anything else, choose your preferred barbecue energy source, whether gas, charcoal, smoker, pellet or electric.

Gas grills – powered by propane or natural gas – are simple to use, heat up quickly, and have dials to easily control cooking temperatures. If you don’t have a natural gas line at home to plug into, a refillable propane tank is the way to go due to its accessibility and mobility.

Charcoal grills are making a comeback – upgraded in design and functionality – thanks to the classic grilled flavour they deliver. Lightweight and easily mobile, charcoal grills allow for more control over cooking temperature than gas units but require a learning curve.

Smoker barbecues use heat from smoke to enable “low and slow” cooking that makes food extra tender and flavourful. They can take between three and 12 hours to fully cook food and deliver a variety of flavours depending on the fuel source, whether charcoal, maple or mesquite.

Wood pellet grills generate heat with easy-to-use hardwood pellets, giving food a wood fire taste. Highly versatile, pellets come in a range of flavours, including hickory, mesquite, apple and oak, and can be used to smoke, braise, barbecue or sear food.

Electric barbecues are perfect for those living in apartments. Balcony-friendly and portable, electric barbecues are smokeless yet can deliver the same char, searing and authentic smoky flavours as a standard propane grill.

Outdoor pizza ovens are the latest craze, enabling homeowners to create their own restaurant quality stone-baked pizza in the backyard. Different pizza oven options can be powered by wood, charcoal or gas, delivering fresh, authentic stone-baked pizza in as little as 60 seconds.

If you’re new to barbecuing, Auger St-Onge recommends starting with a propane gas grill. “As you advance in skills, charcoal, smoker or wood pellet barbecues may be good choices to vary the taste and texture of your food,” she said. Popular barbecues from RONA include:

Master Forge 30,000 BTU black and silver 3-burner liquid propane gas grill, a great entry-level barbecue which can fit up to 26 burgers at a time. $279 at RONA stores or online.

Monument Grills Mesa 36,000-BTU 3-burner black propane gas BBQ with porcelain cast iron cooking grids. $599 at RONA stores and online.

Weber Genesis E-315 39,000-BTU Stainless Steel 3-Burner Propane Gas Gril. $999 at RONA stores and online.

Traeger Pro Series 22 572-in² black steel pellet barbecue, featuring a spacious cooking surface and porcelain-coated grates. $799.99 at RONA stores and online.

Pit Boss Pro Series 1100 3-Burner Propane and Pellet Gas Grill with Side Burner, allowing you to choose between gas and pellet combustion cooking. (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled, so you can check grill settings in real time on your smartphone and receive notifications when food reaches desired cooking temperatures.) $1,499 at RONA stores or online.

Ninja 910-in² 23.62 x 13.31-in grey portable electric BBQ. $399 at RONA stores and online.

OONI Karu 12 stainless steel 15.75 x 26.6-in multi fuel outdoor pizza oven, fired up with wood or charcoal (or with gas in the Ooni gas burner, sold separately). $399.99 at RONA stores or online.

Barbecue type, size

Consider how you plan to use your grill. Will you be cooking for yourself, for two, or for a family? Would you like your unit to be integrated into an outdoor kitchen, mobile, or portable for a day at the beach or park? You can then choose the right size, cooking surface area and number of burners that best meet your needs.

If you’re grilling for a family of four, a two-burner gas grill or small to medium charcoal grill will work well. If you’re entertaining a crowd, you may need something larger.

This year’s hottest look in grills – and a great conversation starter – is RONA’s new red propane barbecue by Monument Grills, guaranteed to wow family and friends with more than the delicious food it delivers.

 Monument Grills 24,000-BTU 2-burner red propane gas BBQ. $499 at RONA stores and online.

 The plancha flat-top griddle trend is also sizzling. Great for breakfasts, vegetables and everything in between, flat top grills – such as the Blackstone propane griddle available at RONA – are highly versatile and retain heat longer, while distributing it more evenly.

 Blackstone 30-in Black Powder-Coated Steel Liquid Propane Griddle. $549 at RONA stores and online.

Grids materials

Grids are made from a range of materials, from porcelain-coated steel to stainless steel and cast iron, each having its benefits and requiring different methods of care and cleaning. The choice comes down to personal preference.

Porcelain-coated steel grids have a shiny coating that makes them easy to clean and prevents food from sticking. However, the grids must be cleaned and maintained properly in order to avoid chipping the porcelain coating and, ultimately, rusting.

Stainless steel grids provide strong protection against rust and corrosion but may cause food to stick. They also require more effort to clean.

Cast iron grids are durable, last longer, retain more heat and provide greater nonstick properties than stainless steel, yet are more prone to rust and so maintenance and curing are key.

For an inexpensive, yet effective barbecue brush cleaner, try RONA’s bestseller:

Grillpro 18-in Palmyra wood fibre BBQ brush with steel scraper. $4.99 at RONA stores or online.

Barbecue accessories

Using the right accessories can do wonders in prolonging the life of your barbecue and taking cooking to a new level. The three main accessories to consider are barbecue covers, cooking tools and utensils.

Covers. To keep your barbecue in tip-top shape, give it a good wipe down about once a month and use an adjustable cover that fits your unit properly to protect it from the elements.

Cooking tools. It’s worthwhile to invest in kitchen accessories specifically designed for the barbecue, such as a thermometer, roaster, and electric skewer turner to enhance the flavour and quality of your food.

Ooni Infrared Thermometer for Pizza Stone. $55 at RONA stores or online.

 Utensils: Whatever your preference in utensils – wood, stainless steel or silicone – opt for tools that have long handles and are thermo-resistant in order to reduce the risk of burns.

  Blackstone stainless steel 5-piece barbecue tool set. $59.99 at RONA stores or online.

 About RONA inc. 

RONA inc. is one of Canada’s leading home improvement retailers headquartered in Boucherville, Québec. The RONA network operates or services some 425 corporate and affiliated dealer stores under the RONA+, RONA, Réno-Dépôt, and Dick’s Lumber banners. With a long and rich history, RONA supports Canadians in their home improvement and construction projects since 1939. To achieve this, the company relies on a team of 22,000 employees, to whom it strives to provide an inclusive workplace where everyone is invited to contribute. RONA is one of the Montréal region Top Employers since 2021. As a result of its ongoing efforts in sustainable development, the company is recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers. To learn more about the company, visit the website



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