Gas Grill vs. Charcoal

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Grill of Choice

  • Charcoal

  • Gas (Propane)

  • Smoker Only

  • Both Charcoal and Propane

  • "Roasting meat on a stick directly over the turkey fryer burner"


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brauhaus

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So last night I went out and bought a charcoal grill, it's a decent little thing from wally world, but my intention is for this little guy to only last us about a year or so.... so I didn't go hogwild and buy anything crazy.

So I put it together with the help of my one year old daughter, of which was completely amazed that I let her play with the tool it came with (i have a large set of Snap-On tools and have no need for the cheesy screwdriver and "wrenches" they supply).

Anyway, after about 30mins we were up and running, had the grill outside, filled it up with charcoal (first mistake) and fired up and ready to go. I say mistake b/c I didn't realize that I should have only put in enough bricks to last me for an hour or so, not fill the entire bottom of the grill and basically could have cooked until 10:30pm. Opps. Well also bought smoked wood chips, soaked them in water for about an hour and then added that to the grill for a smokey flavor.

Anyway, we had steak and a tinfoil pouch filled with green beans, onions and potatoes, soaked in "EVOO" (thanks Rachael Ray) and some assorted spices. After about 10mins (10mins for the pouch, less than 5 of the steak) everything was cooked to perfection!

So, the whole point to this thread, what do you all prefer? Charcoal or Gas Grill? or do you have a "smoker" and are into the whole long process of an aged smokey cooked meal?

Aside from waiting for the charcoal to be completely ready I am 100% happy with the charcoal grill and really enjoy the smoked flavor from the chips.
 

elkdog

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I love my charcoal grill and wouldn't trade it. Gas is fine, but I just like the ritual of building the fire.
 

ScubaSteve

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The 22.5" weber kettle grill is awesome. Don't anyone ever try to convince you that ceramic kamados/bge's, pellet smokers, etc. are superior. If you are skilled, you can cook amazing food on one of those. Indirect, direct, low/slow, incredibly high temp cooking, you can do it all if you know how and don't mind hanging around the grill a bit more. I got one for $60 on the offseason...it was what I started with, and I have gone through entire BBQ books by doing each recipe on it. It's none worse for wear and works like it did on day 1. Expensive grills (I also have a few of those, don't get me wrong :D) are just more of a luxury and require less tending and/or have more space.
 

the_bird

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I have a charcoal grill, but am looking to buy a smoker at some point and maybe a propane grill. The huge advantage of propane is convenience; I grill maybe a couple times a month with propane, I'd grill a lot more with propane.

One thing you need to do is get yourself a chimney starter. They hold just about enough coals for one session, and you don't need to use any starter fluid (the juice of bezelbub). Just a couple pieces of newspaper in the bottom, and in a couple minutes you'll have perfectly started charcoal. Oh, and I much prefer the natural lump charcoal over the pressed briquettes.
 

Yooper

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I use the gas grill for fast outdoor cooking, like for salmon and some meat occasionally. I love the charcoal for the best taste though!

For Thanksgiving, we brine a turkey and then put it on the Webber for several hours. It's the best turkey in the world, and no way would I change that to cooking on gas!

So, gas for quick easy meals. Charcoal for the "real" stuff.
 

brewt00l

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So, gas for quick easy meals. Charcoal for the "real" stuff.
I use charcoal for quick easy meals too. I start the grill right before I start prep'n food...by the time my food is ready to hit the grill, the coals are rollin. The gas grill comes in handy for burgers/dogs/party-style. I'll also use the gas where imparting smoky/charcoal flavors are not necessary.
 

Milhouse

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I own a Weber gas grill. Fires up quickly and no mess to clean up after. If I want some flavor in my meats, I add some wet hickory or applewood to a smoker box in the grill. Works great.
 

Flyin' Lion

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We have an old Webber kettle grill that I got for free and use it during the warmer months. We have a Jenn-Aire grill indoors for quick and easy cooking.
 
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I don't know how to vote...I have a propane grill, a charcoal grill, a charcoal smoker and I'm about to buy a new natural gas grill. Sometimes I cook over hardwood.

There is some serious deja vu going on here...maybe we need a six-month moratorium on "charcoal vs gas" threads/polls. ;)
 

bethlehembrewer

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I have always used gas, esp when I would cook at a golf course for outings. I prefer charcoal for the flavor. The best though is the fire pit we have at the summer cottage. We just throw some oak or maple in and place the grate over it. We always wondered why the meat tastes so much better and finally figured it out this past summer.
 

buckrogers71

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gas grill if I am pressed for time. but i do like the taste of charcoal. I will second the turkey being brined and smoked, its VERY good!:)
 

joejaz

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The best grill ever made --- cast iron hibachi ---. Theses things were about five bucks back in the early seventies. Used a few charcoal brickettes and made a hell of a fire. Small but powerfull. I think anyone who had one will agree. Kept one in my car trunk. Then all of a sudden. they disappeared. You can get a metal one, but you can't get a cast iron one anymore. I think, I'll check Ebay.
 

NWernBrewer

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I prefer charcoal - I use a chimney starter and wood chips. I used to smoke meats with my Dad, but haven't done so in some time. That said, I do kind of want to buy a propane BBQ for ease of cooking little ****, hamburgers, hotdogs and things like that when I do not want to mess with the time it takes to get a charcoal BBQ going.
 
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brauhaus

brauhaus

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Where is the multiple choice option? I use both charcoal & propane.
where's the "Both" selection?!
can a mod please add a "both" selection.

I don't know how to vote...I have a propane grill, a charcoal grill, a charcoal smoker and I'm about to buy a new natural gas grill. Sometimes I cook over hardwood.

There is some serious deja vu going on here...maybe we need a six-month moratorium on "charcoal vs gas" threads/polls. ;)
and for the sake of not repeating, could we find a previous thread and merge the two?
 
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I think it's kinda like cameras. The camera is very important, but not nearly as important as what is in front of...and behind the camera.

Good meat, good cook=good grub!
Good Meat, Good Cook, Good Grill= Great Grub!

I just picked this up yesterday...



and I will make 10x better food on it than the green egg I have eaten off of....the in laws have one, and I've never had a decent piece of meat off of it...proof that even a green egg can't make a chef out of you!

0009914304809_500X500.jpg
 
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brauhaus

brauhaus

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I think it's kinda like cameras. The camera is very important, but not nearly as important as what is in front of...and behind the camera.

Good meat, good cook=good grub!
Good Meat, Good Cook, Good Grill= Great Grub!

I just picked this up yesterday...



and I will make 10x better food on it than the green egg I have eaten off of....the in laws have one, and I've never had a decent piece of meat off of it...proof that even a green egg can't make a chef out of you!
what are the odds, it was actually somewhat of a toss-up between the charcoal grill we got and that charcoal grill/smoker.
 
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The best grill ever made --- cast iron hibachi ---. Theses things were about five bucks back in the early seventies. Used a few charcoal brickettes and made a hell of a fire.
I always liked the "Son of Hibachi," the little folding cast iron model. You could preload it with charcoal and pack it away. When lighting, the closed body acted as a chimney starter. After cooking, you just close it up and all ashes fall into a little sliding tray for easy disposal. Very slick.

A guy from my club brought one to the SCHF two weeks ago, they work just as well as they did in the seventies.
 

cubbies

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My preference is charcoal grilling. Charcoal gives so much more flavor to the food. However, I have a gas grill and use it for most applications. The thing is is it is just me and SWMBO and 90% of our grilling is just a couple of chicken breasts, or a couple of filets of fish. There is little to no prep involved and I can have that stuff prepped, cooked and on my plate in the time it would take me to get the charcoal ready...maybe even less. Sure, it would taste better on the charcoal, but it is not like food grilled with propane tastes bad...so I chose propane. Given one choice for the rest of my life, I would probably choose charcoal, but for convenience factor, 90% or more I use propane.
 

the_bird

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The decision I'm faced with... I really like that smoker someone posted a picture of, but for about the same $$ I could buy an entry-level propane grill. I'd probably use the propane grill a lot more often, but the smoker would be pretty extreme (and I'd love to be able to home-smoke malt).

The other thing I learned yesterday - a big-ass wok (like a thirty-pounder, Chen Kenichi-style) on a Bayou Classic Patio Stove? ****ing awesome. Did a quick Thai stir-fry, with mussels and shrimp... worked incredibly well, ultra-hot pan like I've been craving since going into a house with an electric stove... was just awesome.
 

MA_Brewer

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Like a lot of folks here, I use both charcoal and propane - Weber 22.5" for the weekends, when I have time to really enjoy it - and a propane gas grill for the weekdays when we are pressed for time.
 

EdWort

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and I will make 10x better food on it than the green egg I have eaten off of....the in laws have one, and I've never had a decent piece of meat off of it...proof that even a green egg can't make a chef out of you!
You poor bastich. :D You've never had one of my tri-tips off the egg (at least when I'm cooking).

Go ahead, tell him what he's missing Yuri.
 

mr_goodwrench

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Definitely charcoal!!! I have a large rectangular grill that I got for father's day about 6 years ago. The chimney is essential to charcoal cooking; can't stand the lighter fluid taste. I have been using lump charcoal exclusively for quite awhile and last summer I discovered Kingsford Charwood and I believe it is the best around. I have my eye on a new grill for this father's day. I plan on converting the old one to dedicated smoker use.
I don't even own a gas grill. In fact I bought my first propane tank ever to go with my outdoor burner for homebrewing! My buddy thinks I am insane...
 

EvilTOJ

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I didn't see any option for 'roasting meat on a stick directly over the turkey fryer burner' :D
 

capcrnch

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9 out of 10 times, I use my propane grill.
The other time is charcoal.

Charcoal is easily better tasting, but im SO lazy.

If it weren't for my laziness and the ease of the propane grill, i'd use charcoal 100% of the time.
 

freyguy

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I just bought me one of these after having some awsome ribs off of one:



An Orion Cooker from Home Depot. Did a chicken last night. 7lb chicken, rubbed with olive oil and spices, 1hr 25mins, 1cup Hickory chips, pure perfection. I'm looking forward to cooking alot more on this thing. I'm now thinking about a charcoal grill since I've realized it's not too much of a pita. But we normally use our propane grill about 3 times a week.
 
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