There’s no reason to clog your backyard air with a smoky old charcoal grill. Instead, try one of these green grilling options.
Big Green Egg
Derived from ancient ceramic “Kamado” cookers, the Big Green Egg ($265-$1,085) is a fuel-efficient alternative to traditional metal grills. No lighter fluid is required for the Egg, which cooks or smokes with lump charcoal, wood-smoking chips and other fire starters. www.biggreenegg.com.
Traeger Wood Pellet Grill
The wood pellets that power Traeger grills ($649 for the Royal 1000, $390 for the Junior) don’t contain the coal dust or sodium nitrate found in popular charcoals, and food gets a tasty woodsmoke flavor. The company claims that their grills are capable of a combustion efficiency rate of 98.8% with an extremely high fuel-to-air ratio, allowing for low emissions and a reduced carbon footprint. www.traegergrills.com.
These solar-powered ovens require no fuel and can reach temperatures up to 400°F. Made with collapsible aluminum reflectors, Sun Ovens ($299) use solar power to bake, boil or steam food. While cooking time can be close to that of a conventional oven, it depends how much sunlight is available. www.sunoven.com.
Meco Electric Grills
Reliant upon clean, continuous electric heat, Meco Grills ($80-$218) don’t require gas or charcoal and won’t produce any harmful open flames. The grills come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can fit almost anywhere within reach of an outlet. www.meco.net.