How many burners does my grill need?

The number of burners your grill should have will depend on two things:

First, it depends on the size of your space. As should be expected, more burners mean a larger grill, so you will want to ensure that your space is large enough for the number of desired burners. Most owners manuals or line drawings will provide you with details on the dimensions of the various grills' configurations.

Second, it depends on how much food you plan on cooking at one time. If you're only planning on cooking for intimate groups, a close knit friend circle, or your immediate family, a smaller number of burners will do fine. If you're someone who likes to BBQ for large gatherings, you'll probably want to upgrade to more burners in order to cook enough for everyone.

What purpose does a warming rack serve?
A warming rack is standard on most gas grills. A warming rack's main purpose is obvious: to keep food warm while other things are cooking. It is also a perfect place to put food items that need to be slow cooked, like baked potatoes or veggie foil packs. A warming rack is also perfect for toasting buns while your hot dogs and burgers are cooking.
Should I choose a grill with a side burner?
A side burner, while unnecessary for grilling's sake, can be an invaluable tool to save you a trip to your indoor kitchen. Ideal for cooking a side dish or reducing a sauce without leaving your grill unattended, a side burner exists purely for convenience sake. Since side burners draw from your fuel source, propane gas grillers may find that this add-on depletes their tank unnecessarily.
How can I achieve a smoky flavor with a gas grill?
Some gas grills come with the option of a smoker system with a dedicated burner and wood chip drawer. As a part of the main grilling area, this smoker system can help you achieve the signature smoky taste you crave from the convenience of your gas grill. As an alternative, a smoker box can be filled with flavored wood chips and used in conjunction with your favorite gas grill to add some smoky goodness to your gas grilling.
What is a sear burner, and do I need one?
A searing zone is a spot on your grill that gets really hot, really quickly. Typically a sear zone will have an infrared burner, or two to three burners side-by-side, that works to get your grate hot enough to create a nice sear on your steaks or other food items. You might be able to sear on a gas grill without a searing station, although it will take longer and might not give you the same caramelized crust that steakhouses are known for. If you are partial to a nice rare to medium rare steak or seared ahi, you might want to consider buying a grill with a searing station or adding one to your built-in.
How much assembly and setup are required before I can use the Fontana oven?

The ovens arrive in one piece, with no assembly required. For our Forno Toscano ovens, the oven carts require about fifteen minutes of assembly, and we’ve got videos on our website to help you through it. For our double chamber ovens, the cart arrives fully assembled; you simply place the oven on the cart and attach the roof with the screws that we provide.

How much experience do I need to use a Fontana oven?

If you know how to build a fire and put food in the oven, then you already know how to use a Fontana oven.

Do I need to be a gourmet chef to use a Fontana oven?

Not at all. Simple foods and classic techniques yield intensely flavored, immensely satisfying results when you use a Fontana wood-fired oven, without needing “Top Chef” qualifications. Can you squeeze a lemon over a whole chicken, grind a little salt and pepper onto it, and drizzle it with a little olive oil? Then you’re ready to use your Fontana oven to make the best roast chicken you’ve ever had.

Which size Fire Magic grill do I need?

Fire Magic Gas Grills are measured differently than most other gas grills. They measure the size of the grill by the cooking surface of the grill, and not end to end grill. Other brands that may be considered a 36" grill will be smaller than a Fire Magic 36" Grill. Listed below are the cooking area sizes for each style. Each "style" listed below is a code. "E" stands for Echelon and the "A" stands for Aurora, and the number following is the square inches of cooking area of the grill.

 

A430

15 hamburgers
432 sq. inches 
24" x 18" cooking grid

A530

20 hamburgers
528 sq. inches
24" x 22" cooking grid

A540

18 hamburgers
540 sq. inches
30" x 18" cooking grid

A660 (Most Popular)

24 hamburgers
660 sq. inches
30" x 22" cooking grid

A790

28 hamburgers
792 sq. inches 
36" x 22" cooking grid

E660

24 hamburgers
660 sq. inches
30" x 22" cooking grid

E790

29 hamburgers
790 sq. inches

36" x 22" cooking grid

E1060

36 hamburgers
1056 sq. inches
48" x 22" cooking grid

What type of grill should I buy?

Gas Grills

This is the most popular type of backyard grill. They can run either on bottled propane or natural gas from your utility provider. Most gas grills are designed for propane, but can be converted to natural gas fairly easily. Some people argue the merits of propane or methane, but there is very little difference between the two.  If you have access to a natural gas line, utilizing it is certainly more convenient and less expensive than refilling propane tanks.

Best for: The chef who wants to quickly fire up the grill and cook a meal without having to worry about the preparation and cleanup of charcoal.

Disadvantages: Flavor and price. Although some gas grills have small smoker boxes, you will only get a hint of smoke flavor compared to a genuine charcoal grill or smoker; you really can’t smoke meats without a charcoal grill. While inexpensive gas grills do exist, the mechanisms involved ensure that they will always be more expensive than a comparable charcoal model.

Charcoal Grills

These grills use charcoal briquettes as the fuel and fire power for cooking. Cooking with charcoal is more time-consuming and expensive than a gas grill, but some people prefer the taste of cooking with charcoal, especially when it is made of natural wood.

Best for: The purist. If you long for that smoky, grilled flavor or you enjoy smoking meats, the only way to achieve both is with a charcoal grill. Charcoal burns at a higher temperature than gas, allowing a skilled grill master to easily sear meat. Cooking with charcoal also has a distinct romance that is clearly lacking with a modern gas grill.

Disadvantages: Time involved and the expense of charcoal. With a charcoal grill, you can’t just fire it up and throw something on it. Getting the grill ready to go takes at least 45 minutes of starting the coals and pre-heating the grill. You will also need to spend some time cleaning up your grill and disposing of the ashes when you’re done. Purchasing charcoal is also quite expensive when compared to gas.

Electric Grills

Electric grills are not hybrids, but are powered 100% by electricity and cook meat using heated grill plates – no fire required. There are indoor and outdoor varieties available.

Best for: City dwellers who are prohibited by fire regulations from using gas or charcoal grills. Check your local laws and building regulations to make sure that the grill you buy doesn’t violate any codes.

Disadvantages: Taste. Electric grills can produce results that look like their fire-powered cousins (grill marks are easy to come by), but they are not a replacement for the traditional grill. The smoky flavor is all but lost when using electricity.

Portable Grills

These grills can run on propane or charcoal, but have one thing in common – they are easily transported from one location to another.

Best for: The tailgater. If you love a good outdoor picnic or a perfectly cooked brat in the parking lot before the big game, this is the grill for you. You can buy portable grills of all different styles for picnics or for tailgating.

Disadvantages: Size. You can’t cook hamburgers for all 50 of your closest friends and fans at the same time. And if you’re cooking for a large crowd, you might just be on grill duty all day.

What is infrared heat?

Infrared heat is an energy form like the sun's rays warming the earth. Infrared rays are part of the visible light spectrum and travel at 186,000 miles per second in a straight line without loss of heat traveling through the air. The infrared rays can be focused by materials that have a reflective surface such as aluminum reflectors. When the infrared rays strike an object like human skin, glass, concrete, wood, or paint, the infrared rays are converted into heat and these surfaces, in turn, heat up and radiate heat and warmth.

Which burner configuration should I choose?

When it comes to Fire Magic and American Outdoor Grills, you may be presented with two options on your burner configuration. The first variation of burners is all cast stainless steel burners and the second is one infrared burner with the remaining cast stainless steel burners. Each variation has its own benefits, as explained below.

All Cast Stainless Steel (Most Popular): The advantage of all cast stainless steel burners is that the burners themselves will never rust, and can't be damaged by grease or cooking utensils. You will be able to enjoy a classic flavor, as well.

One Infrared with Remaining Cast Stainless Steel: The advantage of having one infrared burner with your cast stainless steel burners is that you enjoy the benefits of all cast stainless steel burners, but you also get a little of the quicker cook time, better searing, and improved flavor locking that infrared burners provide.