Millions of families across the world enjoy outdoor cooking, mainly because it’s fun and ideal for socializing. Outdoor cooking is also great for breaking the monotony of cooking and serving meals at home, and for reconnecting with old friends.
That said, if you are an outdoor enthusiast and you want to have delicious bites as you enjoy your time, one of the items you must have is a great patio cooker.
A patio cooker is the best choice for your outdoor kitchen, whether you want it for multi-purpose or single use.
Our outdoor cooking aficionados have done the homework and come up with a list of the top 10 best patio cookers on the market today. Our research and selection of the top 10 best patio cookers was guided by key elements that a good patio cooker should have. These include:
- Energy output (determines the speed of cooking)
- Number of burners
- Versatility (how many needs it can fulfill in the kitchen)
- Ease of use
- Ease of assembly
- Stability and durability
- Reviews from customers who have used it before
With so many patio cookers in the market today, it is no easy task to come up with a list of the best products. This is because innovation is taking its course and every manufacturer is on his or her toes to ensure that he or she makes products that can compete in a market whose trends keep on changing. However, we used a criteria based on the following factors to come up with a combination that are good in the world of patio cookers today:
- Ease of use
- Ease of assembly
- Temperature control
- Output capability
- Fuel type
- Customer ratings and reviews
Most of the patio cookers that we reviewed are portable. This is because many people prefer buying an outdoor cooker that can be used both on the pavement of your house, in the backyard and one that you can easily pack and use outside while travelling or having fun in the wild with friends.
Portability is one of the most admirable qualities that can be used to gauge the quality of any patio cooker. On the other hand, portability goes hand in hand with weight and detachable parts. For most of the patio cookers that we reviewed, they have detachable legs and they weigh below 70 pounds for easy transportation.
Most of the products that we have in our guide can be used to cook at least using two different methods and can prepare a wide variety of dishes. In fact, some can grill and roast different foods at the same time. Others can be used as grills, fryers and smokers. Versatility is very key when it comes to cutting on costs and saving money and space in your outdoor kitchen. Nobody wants to buy an item that has single use.
Ease of use
One of the things that attract customers to buy a product is the ease of use. Considering that most buy patio cookers for the first time, most of our reviewed products come with a user manual for guidance purposes. A sophisticated cooper may end up posing more harm than good considering that most of them use fuels that can cause harm when handled inappropriately.
Type of fuel
A large percentage of our reviewed products use propane and natural gas for cooking. This is because they don’t cause any pollution and they rarely trigger any type of allergies. Gas can also be transported without the risk of dirtying the carrier.
For the reviewed patio cookers that use charcoal, we ensured that they have a charcoal basket to ensure that the hot charcoal does not fall outside the cooker posing the danger of burns. We also ensured that such products are fitted with an ashtray and a grater to sift the charcoal particles from the ash.
Both charcoal, propane and natural gas are cheap fuels which are easily available without straining much.
The ability to control temperatures in any cooking equipment is a sure way to get high quality cooking results. Most of the products that we reviewed have mechanisms of keeping temperatures in control during cooking. For charcoal cookers, they have charcoal baskets that are proportional to the food servings that the cooker can hold. Propane and gas cookers also have heat dials and regulators to ensure that they control the amount of heat and gas that flows during cooking. Controlled temperature makes food to cook evenly.
The amount of energy that a cooker can produce determines the length of time that you spend cooking as well as the type of foods that the cooker can handle. All our cookers have at least a 10,000 BTU output to ensure s fast cooking as well as the ability to cook a wide variety of foods.
Customer ratings and reviews
It takes excellence for a product to gain the trust and love of customers. This is something that we highly consider when coming up with a guide. The benchmark for this guide was at least 4.2 stars out of the possible 5 as well as great positive customer reviews. We consider this type of feedback to be the sincerest since it is sourced from interactions with the actual products and not just hearsay.
Cleaning and Maintenance Tips
Many people use gas grills to cook on their patio during the summer. After all, summer is the perfect time to entertain outdoors. For your patio, you may have a gas grill. These patio cookers can become very dirty while staying outside and not to mention after using them to cook some of your favorite delicious meals.
It is important to make sure that you always properly clean and maintain these cookers in order to keep them working efficiently and in tip top shape for years to come.
Maintaining Your Gas Patio Grill
You may be surprised to know that there is not a whole lot that you need to do to keep your grill cleaned and maintained. However, these tips will allow you to receive the longest life from your patio cooker!
Check for Propane Leaks Regularly
Every month, you should run soapy water along the gas line and connections with the propane turned on. With this method, you can detect whether there is a leak. If you see bubbles form while doing this, then it is best to either tighten your connection or just replace the line completely.
Cover Your Grill
It is important that while your grill is not use to keep it covered. There are many brands on the market that make their own covers for various models. However, these will need to be purchased separately. Although these are a separate purchase, they are well worth your money. These covers will protect your grill from the elements as well as keeping it from rusting and becoming any more dirty than it should be.
Regularly Clean Your Grill
With your grill, you should clean it every few months when you happen to grill more frequently. However, it is important to spot clean after each use. To spot clean, simply brush the grates and wipe the exterior of the grill with a cleaning agent like Windex.
You may also find that turning your grill on high for approximately fifteen minutes very beneficial because this burns off any dirt that may have collected on the grill. By doing this once a week, you will guarantee that the grime does not build up, which can happen a lot faster than you would think.
Process For Cleaning Your Gas Grill
Many experts agree that a grill needs to only be deep cleaned one to two times a year. However, if you use your grill frequently and all year round, then it is probably best to deep clean it every few months or so.
This is because vegetables can drop through the grates, marinades can splash, and the grease from your steaks and burgers will build up very fast.
In order to keep your grill in tip top shape all you will need to keep your grill cleaned is an excellent grill brush, an empty bucket for any debris, another bucket full of warm soapy water, and an old sponge that you plan on throwing away afterward.
Make Sure to Scrub the Grates Really Well with Your Brush
Many people will brush the grates on their grills before or after using it. But to truly clean the grates, make sure all of the charred and chunks of meat are off your grates. If you need to, use a little added force for this task.
You can also use the metal scraper that comes included on the brush if the chunks are being particularly stubborn. Once you have brushed the top of your grates really well, you will want to take the grates out. Here you will notice that the bottom needs to be scrubbed as well. Make sure and scrub the bottom like you did the top. Once this is done, you will want to set them aside.
Removing and Washing the Burner Protectors
Burner protectors defend the burner mechanisms from grease as well as other material that could ultimately clog them. With grilling and, if they are left uncovered, the elements, you can imagine just how dirty these protectors can get. In many grills, these protectors are very easy to remove to clean.
For cleaning, use the bucket filled with warm soapy water and your old sponge to scrub your burner protectors clean. It should not be too difficult to get any dirt or grime off. When you are finished, your protectors should look shiny.
Wiping Grime from the Burners
Some grills are built so that the burners are easier to remove. If you so happen to have on that allow your burners to be removed easily, then you can simply rinse these burners with your warm soapy water.
However, if it is a difficult task to take your burners out, then you can simply use a damp sponge to wipe them down. A lot of dirt and grime on your burners can clog them, so it is important to make sure that you clean these regularly.
Make Sure to Remove All the Filth at the Bottom
After cleaning your burners, you will want to go after the plates located underneath next. Normally, these plates are pretty easy to clean off with your grill brush and they pull out. A sponge usually will not do the trick here because this is where all of the grease and gunk ends up. This is also where you will find a layer of char.
However, it is mostly important to worry about cleaning off the big chunks of filth on these plates.
When you have finished cleaning this plate, you will find that all that is left is the removable bottom tray. Next you will want to use the scraper on your grill brush to scrape away any chunks on the edges of this tray. With this tray, you may need to use the scraper, your brush, and your sponge in order to completely clean it off. It may not be spotless, but it will be clean enough to enjoy plenty of delicious meals!
Put Your Patio Cooker Back Together
Lastly, you will want to put your grill back together after everything has been thoroughly cleaned. Once you put the tray, plates, burners, burner protectors, and grates back on, you will be ready to enjoy a delicious barbecue meal! A few months later, you grill will be ready for another cleaning.
Q1. Where should I store my cooker?
Most people store their patio cookers just on the pavement or at the garage to protect them from rusting and excess sunlight.
Q2. Do I need a cover for the cooker?
A cover is very necessary for the cooker. Though it is not included in many packages, you can get one from the manufacturer.
Q3. what is the best size of a cooker?
There is no particular benchmark for sizes but it is wise to buy a cooker that suits your needs.
Q4. Can I use my charcoal cooker as a fire pit?
It is not advisable to use a charcoal cooker as a fire pit because many are designed in a way that cannot accommodate extremely high temperatures. In addition to this, firepits require you to use firewood while a typical charcoal cooker can only accommodate a tiny charcoal basket.
Q5. where can I get the spare parts for my cooker?
The best thing to do when you are in need of any spare part is to contact the manufacturer of the product. They provide the correct spare parts.
Q6. what is the use of the thermometer on my cooker?
It is used for monitoring and controlling temperatures inside the cooker to ensure that you achieve great cooking results.
Q7. can the cookers be used inside the house?
No, this is because patio cookers are meant for outdoor use only.
Q8. do all the cookers need assembling upon purchase?
Not all cookers will require assembly once they are bought but most of them do. To ensure that you assemble everything correctly, always ensure that you carefully read and follow the directions i the user guide provided.