General Question

charliecompany34's avatar

Gas or charcoal?

Asked by charliecompany34 (7807points) September 1st, 2008

well, ladies and gentlemen, here we are at the end of summer, unofficially. great day for grilling in americana. two kinds of people in the world: those who grill with gas and those who dig the coals. on which flame does the meat and veggies taste better? what are YOU cooking today? i’m feeling jerk salmon with grilled asparagus—over charcoal that is.

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15 Answers

JackAdams's avatar

My vote is charcoal.

I’ve had food prepared outdoors both ways, and there is nothing like meat, flavored with charcoal and kerosene.

September 1, 2008, 8:38 AM EDT

PeterM's avatar

Charcoal for me. But not just charcoal; charwood chunks and wood.Charcoal briquettes are made with petroleum products, and that affects the taste and smell of the food. If you use lighter fluid, that makes things even worse.

I use kiln-fired charwood in a chimney starter, lit with brown paper. For extended sessions, I just keep adding charwood; it keeps the fire going nicely. My grill is a standard Weber kettle. Most often I grill large burgers made from 87% lean ground sirloin, organic if I can get it, dunked shortly before grilling in a marinade made primarily from soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. It’s best to cook them slowly, of course. Some soaked mesquite or hickory chips add a little more smoky flavor.

I barbecue year-round; I’ve even barbecued in blizzards!

JackAdams's avatar

You didn’t mention this as a choice, but cooking some steaks over Hickory Wood gives them a unique flavor, that is unmatched by other methods.

September 1, 2008, 9:30 AM EDT

jcs007's avatar

Charcoal. ‘nuff said.

marinelife's avatar

OK, I know about the carcinogens in the smoke and the issues with the petroleum products in charcoal and in lighter fluid, but gas does not impart the fire flavor. So, it is still charcoal for me, but I may well start to try PeterM’s method. Lurve to you, Peter, and good question, cc34.

PeterM's avatar

Actually, Marina, one of the reasons I dunk the burgers in marinade before grilling them is that studies show that it cuts down enormously on carcinogens. And since I avoid petroleum products (briquettes and lighter fluid), that also reduces carcinogens.

marinelife's avatar

I wrote down your method. Do you buy your charred wood somewhere?

Knotmyday's avatar

Charcoal makes food yummier. I light it with this thing at home, and this thing when camping. I hate the smell of lighter fluid.

PeterM's avatar

It’s available in season at a lot of places; Home Depot and Lowes, for example. One brand that’s pretty widely sold (at least in this area) is Cowboy brand. Kingsford came out with chunk charwood recently, but it was nasty – sparked and smelled bad.

This is over the top even for me, but here’s a website that actually goes into huge detail on lump charcoal:

charliecompany34's avatar

jerk salmon with grilled asparagus and lemon wedges about to come off grill at 6:15 CST.

stratman37's avatar

JA: the beauty of wood chips, is that you can add them to charcoal AND a gas grill!

XrayGirl's avatar

both are great. ..but I have to go with charcoal.

stevenb's avatar

I go for lump charcoal too. I like the easy lighting and the flavor.

mrbugles's avatar

gas for efficiency, charcoal for flavour

WestRiverrat's avatar

Lump Charcoal for me too, If I don’t have time to make my own, I use Royal Oak.

I just got some Mulberry wood from someone that cut down a tree, I think I will make half of it into charcoal, and chip the rest for smoking.

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