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07 June 2011 @ 10:14 am
Grillin' season  

Grilling! Which is better?

Gas grill
Charcoal grill
I'm feeling: cheerfulcheerful
unintentionally intimidatingcoraline on June 7th, 2011 02:16 pm (UTC)
charcoal for flavor. gas grills are just good for expediency, but the charcoal doesn't take THAT long...
(on the other hand, i say this as someone who always leaves the grilling to other people :)
funner'n a sack a weasels: eating fran in japanmoominmolly on June 7th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
What you said in every detail. :)
wild, predictable abandon: foodcontessagrrl on June 7th, 2011 03:33 pm (UTC)
Yes, this!

As the person who grills most often (many nights/week), I'm happy with our gas grill. It's fast, easy and huge, which matters when your household is comprised of three people with greatly different diets.

Having said that, I'm always delighted when someone else fires up a charcoal grill. :)
Hawk Handsawhawkhandsaw on June 7th, 2011 03:42 pm (UTC)
This! I cook on a gas grill, but I do agree it tastes a bit better on charcoal, but not enough better for me to give up my immediately-ready gas.
Beahbeah on June 8th, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC)
whynotkaywhynotkay on June 7th, 2011 11:52 pm (UTC)
Doubly this, especially the "someone else...charcoal".
coorr on June 7th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)

I love my hybrid grill. I can use it as a gas grill when I need to cook something long and slow (and charcoal would be inconvenient) or I can do what I usually do and fire up a bed of coals in the time the gas takes to warm up the grill.

Nothing better
whynotkaywhynotkay on June 7th, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
Huh. That's an awesome idea. Now all I need is some outdoor space (I have none).
harimad on June 7th, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC)

IMHO a gas grill isn't that much different than a grill pan on a gas stove. Note, though, that I find charcoal enough of a pain that I've not really learned to grill.
... in a handbasketinahandbasket on June 7th, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC)
This, for that reason.

No briquettes, they're evil. Just lump hardwood charcoal.

I was skeptical of charcoal being easy enough to be worthwhile until I discovered chimney starters.
So. Easy.
Load up the chimney, place it on the grate, stuff an oil-spattered paper towel or newspaper under it, light the paper, walk away for 10 mins.
Come back, dump the coal in the grill, cook.
Takes no more time than letting a gas grill heat up. Only quibble left is dealing with the ash when you're done.
coorr on June 7th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
For some applications I like hardwood briquettes. They last a lot longer and heat evenly. Some of the lump charcoal is honestly too hot for some foods. Of course for something that calls for a quick high temp sear you cant beat the lump.

I would love to find some lump charcoal that burns a bit cooler and more evenly than the cowboy stuff that is available everywhere around here... there must be more stuff in the middle.
... in a handbasketinahandbasket on June 7th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
For that I just use less, or move it to the cooler side of the grill...
Can you get hardwood briquettes that don't include glue-type filler?
coorr on June 7th, 2011 06:11 pm (UTC)
there are a few. These guys for instance make a lump and a briquette that is made with corn starch only.


But readily available is a lot more difficult to manage. I just don't want to order charcoal on the internet.
... in a handbasketinahandbasket on June 7th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
Hmm, they're just up in Maine, I'll have to stop by if I head up there for lobster this summer. ^_^
coorr on June 7th, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)

I think they are sold in more stores, that is the distributor for New England. Ill have to do some more looking
harimad on June 7th, 2011 06:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reminding me: real charcoal, no petroleum-derived briquettes and no petroleum starters. They make the food taste bad.

I have a small grill, a bullet-shaped one that doubles as a smoker. I have a chimney starter. I have hardwood charcoal. I have fancy wood chips. I have a fantastic reason to learn to use all of these: half a happy pig in the freezer and some pork belly turning into bacon in the fridge.

But I haven't started yet! I think I'm intimidated and leery of wasting the time, materials and particularly the pork.

evolution, and some other stuffjacflash on June 7th, 2011 06:08 pm (UTC)
"IMHO a gas grill isn't that much different than a grill pan on a gas stove."

It is if you do it right. Using a good grill (any Weber will do) and some hardwood chips makes a big difference.
pir on June 7th, 2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
Charcoal if someone else is doing the setup, cleanup, etc.
Gas otherwise.
B.K. DeLongbkdelong on June 7th, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC)
Hehehe. Gas grill - because I note that everyone else who has mentioned charcoal has said something to the effect of "as long as someone else is doing the prep and/or cleanup. I don't even bother and usually who ever preps the food I cook on it builds the smokiness into the marinades of the food. It's a faster cook, easier to turn on, slap onto the grill once hot enough (after getting to the temperature you want quickly) and maintaining decent and quick control over the temperature.

That's my $0.02 as one who doesn't cook so much in general and enjoys summer grilling.
The other side of Delirium: cowgirltaura_g on June 7th, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC)
My preference is for cooking over a wood fire. Something I love about camping and I would adore living somewhere with a large cooking fireplace or wood stove.

But definitely, between gas and charcoal, charcoal all the way.
Spikespike on June 7th, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)
5.7-liter V-8 grill.
Cooks 240 hot dogs in three minutes.
funner'n a sack a weaselsmoominmolly on June 7th, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC)
I always preferred the slant-6.
Spikespike on June 7th, 2011 03:26 pm (UTC)
Wanna go for a ride?

funner'n a sack a weaselsmoominmolly on June 7th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure what I'd be getting myself into -- literally! I mean, what is that? -- but: with you, baby? Any time!
Spikespike on June 7th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC)
Grill. Sound system. Cooler. Painted-on-flames. Substandard safety equipment.

It IS Tuesday, after all.
ruthless compassion: laughteraroraborealis on June 7th, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, sure, dickering with the options aGAIN.
Tamartamidon on June 7th, 2011 02:32 pm (UTC)
I used to be charwood all the time, no matter what, but if you plan on doing it alot over the summer it can get to be a bit much to constantly be cleaning out ash and setting up and waiting for it to get hot. Gas for convenience, especially if grilling more than bbq is your goal
Elizabeth Hunterlillibet on June 7th, 2011 02:37 pm (UTC)
I'm with all the people who say that charcoal gives great flavor and bad clean-up. I'll add that gas grills are better for the environment.

We're in the process of having our backyard re-done and a deck added and are planning to get a gas grill when that's done.
... in a handbasketinahandbasket on June 7th, 2011 03:20 pm (UTC)
Discounting transportation, lump hardwood charcoal is carbon neutral and infinitely renewable. So if you can get local-ish lump charcoal you're far better off environmentally than using a fossil-based natural gas.

Just sayin'. ;-)
evolution, and some other stuffjacflash on June 7th, 2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
The distinction is kinda minimal, IMO. Cooking over wood is where it starts to get really not-so-green (but oh so tasty, done right).
metagnatmetagnat on June 7th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
I've done my own grilling and cleanup and I like charcoal. Both because of the flavor and because the gear and fuel are smaller, lighter, cheaper (though I know you can get gas grills hooked into the gas for your house-that would be awfully convenient).

To me part of the point of doing that kind of cooking is to get the extra flavor and have the experiences and sensations that echo family traditions from my childhood. But then, I have never grilled so constantly that the cleanup of the grill was an irritating problem. Hauling all the dishes and cups into and out of the house was a bigger deal than the actual grill cleanup.
blkblk on June 7th, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
It's much more fun to cook s'mores over charcoal embers, if an actual campfire is not available.
Hawk Handsawhawkhandsaw on June 7th, 2011 03:48 pm (UTC)
As I mentioned above, I prefer gas. I should also add I grill all year long and will shovel the snow and ice off the grill to do so, setting up and cleaning charcoal is not something I'm willing to do all year long. That said, roasting marshmellos on a gas grill is not fun.
born from jets!!!catness on June 7th, 2011 04:01 pm (UTC)
I Am Cos
I totally love eating other folks' grillins. :)
Words of Fire on the Surface of the Worldinfinitehotel on June 7th, 2011 04:01 pm (UTC)
Like most things, the devil is all up in your details. Best for what? And in what? :)

I prefer the flavor of charcoal but from a serious cooking perspective temperature control can be a bitchkitty. If you're doing a long-cooked item (I did a porchetta roast last night for example) maintaining a constant temp requires constant overwatch. Some soaked wood chips or lump charcoal chunks in the smoker box and you can cheat with gas. (Of course, if you've got a spare grand to drop on a Big Green Egg, all bets are off.)

The main advantage of gas for us is our grill is tied into the home gas line. That means that even if we lose power during the winter (I've been really surprised how badly a little snow can shut things down in NC) we've still got a reliable way to cook.

DancingWolfGrrldancingwolfgrrl on June 7th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
I admit to preferring charcoal if someone else is doing the grilling; gas is good only because I use it!
evolution, and some other stuffjacflash on June 7th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
I have one of each. Each is better for certain things. But if I were going to have just one, and I didn't have an occasional need to (for instance) cook burgers for 30 in a hurry, I'd have a Weber kettle-style charcoal grill, no question.
Sapere Aude: paperflowersprimal_pastry on June 7th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
This, entirely. Except I rarely need to turn out burgers for thirty with little notice.
evolution, and some other stuffjacflash on June 7th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
Yeah, well, cohousing. :-)