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Jan 19, 2007 08:51 PM

Coal or gas for the outdoor grill

I have long been a propoent of using charcoal or woods for grilling/smoking meats on the outdoor grill, and take great pride in my ability to work a charcoal/wood fire. However, the allure of a simpler set-up and the degree of control one can exercise, not to mention the generally larger cooking area that gas grills (i.e. the larger Webers)can provide, is staring to seduce me.

Coal or gas? Is straying from natural materials going to condemn me to an afterlife in a Dennys?

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  1. bill,

    in my opinion you cant beat charcoal, & wood chips for the best tasting grilled, or bbq food.

    I owned a gas grill in the past, and although it is easier, and quicker to get lit, and operate, I moved back to charcoal, and woodchips for taste.

    I will never go back.

    1. The correct answer is... BOTH.

      Use the coal when you have the time and the gas when you just want to grill up a quick chicken breast or pork chop. If you don't have room, make room. You can't underestimate the importance of meat cooked by flame in your diet.

      1. Why can't you have both? Charcoal grills, like a Weber kettle style are relatively cheap. When you want to do some relaxing cooking on a Saturday afternoon, start up the charcoal grill. You'll get great flavor and have the allure of tending to your fire. Alternatively, if you get home late on a Wednesday, you don't have to worry about lighting charcoal and waiting for everything to get moving - you just light the gas grill and go. IMO, there's no question that if you're a true griller, you should have both gas and charcoal.

        1. Nothing compares to the flavor charcoal or wood creates. I own a gas grill due to space restriction and clean-up issues but readily admit it can't produce the same flavor.

          You might consider getting both. My brother is in the process of thinking it through. He has a Weber kettle but when he saw me use the gas grill (Weber Q) he was impressed with start-up time, clean-up/hassle factor. He's also looking at is the the Weber with the built-in gas starter and and easy ash clean mechanism. Not as easy as gas grill but it does reduce two of the biggest hassles.

          1. I guess both could be an option, I read the question is a one or the other choice..

            however for myself if I cant use the charcoal grill out of time restraints, I will just throw that meat under the gas broiler in the kitchen.

            For me its a matter of taste, not space, I have a home,& a large deck, that easily holds my grill/smoker. & it is the size of a 30 gallon drum on its side with a hinge, and a fire box on the side. If I want to smoke I use the fire box, and if im grilling, just the drum portion.

            I just find gas cooking pretty much flavorless vs the taste charcoal, and woodchips give.. To each their own though..

            good grillin to you all...