Got Gas?...or Charcoal
I love cooking. In some way or another, who doesn’t love cooking. If you are reading this blog you probably love cooking as well.
Hey, either you love to eat what is cooking or you love the act of cooking itself. In any case, cooking is always a good thing because that means there is something to eat. Mmm, yum yum.
My favorite way of cooking is by way of BBQ.
Everybody has their preferences when it comes to this style of cooking. Personally, I love charcoal grilling. My wife, on the other hand, likes gas grilling. We have both types and “fire” them both up equally.
In my opinion, charcoal grilling imparts a “grilled flavor” to foods that gas cannot achieve. My wife says I’m nuts. I say she's full of – gas. (Sorry. I had to get that in.)
I like that getting-back-to-nature feel of building a fire and tending it. Very zen, very manly, very . . . -- well you get the point.
(Uh, my wife says I need to choose my next words wisely.) Anyway, in her own right she can throw down with the best of them (gas or charcoal) and that's not me just kissin' up. Gotta' give her props.
And don’t forget, most kids love to roast marshmallows over the fire when dinner is over. (Charcoal has got the kids' vote; otherwise they may as well put a marshmallow on a twig and hold it over the stove in the house. Boy, is that ever fun.)
Now, let us quickly explore a few simple differences that I notice between charcoal and gas grilling. First, let's check out:
Charcoal grills are inexpensive.
They are easy to cart around with you to different locations. By the way, have you seen the grills that attach to the trailer hitch of your vehicle? They are great for tailgating and so freakin' cool.
Although you may have to wait a short bit of time for the coals to heat up, you won’t even notice the wait time if you time things right like prepping the food. (Hey, if you're ahead of the game you can even pop a couple of icy cold beverages. Wink.)
Gas grills will give you greater control over the temperature and are fast to light and heat up.
They usually come with a side burner, which is pretty cool for making sauces and vegetables.
They also have options such as steamers, smokers and electric rotisseries.
Choose a grill with two or more burners for greater control over heat.
Also the food grates that have angled metal bars over the burners are usually the best to prevent flare-ups during grilling, as the ceramic briquettes and lava rock tend to collect grease on them.
Features you might want to consider when purchasing a grill:
Find a grill made of aluminum or high grade steel with a baked-on porcelain enamel finish. They will last longer and they look good as well.
Thankfully they don't make many grills with viewing windows anymore. They are plain dangerous (window breakage) and don't hold heat well. Grillin' is serious business. You ain't cookin' with an easy-bake oven here.
Most important, purchase one that is heavy for its size. One way you can estimate the “heaviness” is to check to see if the lid of a grill feels heavy to swing open for its size. If it does, more than likely it is going to keep the heat in the grill and cook food more evenly.
(Another way of looking at it is to think of two identically sized frying pans, one made of aluminum and the other made of cast iron. The cast iron one is heavier and conducts heat better than the aluminum one can.)
A grill that is large enough to cook both directly and indirectly over the heat is important too.
Wooden or plastic handles are a plus because they will stay cooler.
Whatever your preference – Grilling Rocks!
Whether you are new to grilling or a seasoned pro, we trust you will find some great recipes and tips throughout this blog that suites your taste.