• Units are thermostatically controlled
• Blowers circulate heat
• No need for a traditional chimney
• Pellets are more efficient than cord wood
• Units are cleaner than firewood, but pellets are still made of wood and can be dusty
• Relies on electricity
• Require the most in depth maintenance of the options. Pellet stoves require complete disassembly to clean, this is done periodically depending on use.
LP or Natural Gas
• Clean and quick burning
• Controlled by a thermostat or remote
• No chimney or electricity required
• Powered by natural gas, with fluctuating prices
• Critics find the flames look mechanical
• The biggest heater for the money
• Works without electricity
• Requires the most manual labor
• Is very messy
• You must have a chimney
So what’s a fireplace insert? In a word, it’s a stove. Either gas or wood, it’s a stove which is inserted into an open fireplace. Fireplace inserts are almost exclusively installed into masonry fireplaces, though there are a few very special models which are listed to be installed into prefabricated fireplaces.
A ventless (or vent-free) fireplace uses room air from the home for combustion. The exhaust products are released into the home. These units must be properly sized and installed for problem free use and can be the most beneficial and efficient heating source for the home.
If you are contemplating converting, there are multiple options.
- A direct vent gas insert is essentially a complete fireplace installed within the firebox of the existing wood-burning fireplace. It is dramatically more efficient than wood. Instead of losing heat and energy from the draft of an open-masonry hearth, they are closed systems that propel warmth into the room, and even better, they’re controlled with the flip or a switch or the tap of a remote.
- An electric fireplace insert is installed in much the same way as a gas insert, with the exception that it does not need to vent to the outdoors, making it an excellent choice for nonfunctioning chimneys. There is no actual fire in an electric fireplace, but newer models are available with highly realistic LED “flames” for ambiance.
- Vented gas logs are less expensive then the gas inserts. Gas logs are ceramic appliances that mimic a real wood fire. In these conversions, existing dampers in masonry fireplaces are clamped open for safety so that gas fumes are not directed into the homes.
- A pellet insert is cleaner burning than wood, wood-pellet stoves can provide a lot of heat and are relatively inexpensive to operate. They do require electricity to run the hopper, which feeds wood pellets into the fire. Some chimneys may need to be outfitted with a metal insert for safety.
The purpose of searing meat is to create a flavorful crust that locks in the meats juices throughout the cooking process. Searing is authentically done at a temp of about 1800 degrees. All of the famous steakhouses across the United States cook their steaks at this temperature. Currently, Napoleon Grills are the only brand in our local market to offer an 1800 degree sear burner standard on a grill, allowing you to sear your steaks just like the pros. Don’t be fooled by other brands “searing” claims. Most do not even get to 1000 degrees.
How do we use it?
Using the Sear Station is simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Once the grill has come up to temp it’s time to put the food to be seared onto the Sear Station. Depending on what is being cooked, you’ll need to sear each side of the food anywhere from 1 to 4 minutes, but don’t be afraid to experiment with searing times to get the results that work best for you. When you have finished searing, you can move the food to a different part of the cooking grates, where the heat is lower, to finish the cooking process. Some people like to employ the “reverse sear” method, in which the food is cooked almost to completion over a more lower temperature, and then moved to the Sear Station just before it’s done to sear it.
Searing is what produces those classic grill marks on food, and it provides a texture and taste contrast that make any food more interesting to eat.
In order to determine and compare grills, start by looking at the number of square inches of primary cooking surface. That’s the main cooking grate. Some manufacturer’s list total cooking area and that includes the warming rack suspended above the primary cooking area. Square inches are calculated by multiplying the length by the width of the primary cooking surface. When deciding how much surface you need, remember that you do not want to crowd a grill, that you should leave at least an inch between steaks or other things being cooked.