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Apr 6, 2008 07:23 PM

Cooking Steaks on a Natural Gas Barbecue

By way of a little history, I used to own a propane fueled barbecue and when I cooked steaks I would turn the barbecue onto high and then typically cook my steaks 5 or so minutes a side with the lid closed and Bob's your uncle.
I have now recently purchased a new natural gas fueled barbecue and have been experimenting with cooking the steaks with the lid open (trying to emulate cooking them on a grill as opposed to a oven) and perhaps not surpriseingly it takes forever to cook the steaks.
Using my new method, my steaks still taste pretty good but as mentioned above they take forever and so I am asking the collective wisdom of my fellow Chowhounds whether I should go back to my tried and true method? My suspicion is that the fire produced by natural gas is just not hot enough for a "grill" and that I am stuck with perhaps a combination of cooking with the lid open and closed.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. According to supposed experts I've read, the grilled flavor on gas grills comes from the smoke generated by burning fat. With the lid up, a lot of the smoke flavor will be gone with the wind.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mpalmer6c

      NYC steakhouses have broilers that reach up to 1800 degrees...some brag on how high they are. Impossible to duplicate this at home on a residential stove or broiler, but: cook on real charcoal on a grill and you will never again try to cook a steak on a propoane grill. (PS: barbecue is usually pork, slowly smoked, primarily in a pit, not to be confused with a grill)

    2. Go back to your old method to see if you get the results you want....
      Is the Btu output/rating of the new appliance the same as the old one..?
      Have you considered a small charcoal grill just for grilling...?

      1. Leaving the grill lid open will not add any grill flavor it will just take longer to cook. Go back to your old method. Keeping the lid closed may produce an oven effect to some degree but it also keeps the grates hot.
        If you want more flavor add a few wood chips when grilling.

        1. My guess is that it may be the BTUs, and not the natural gas, that's causing the difference in your grilling experience.

          1 Reply
          1. re: CindyJ

            correct....High on 1 grill doesn't mean the same "High" on another.

            also what's the grilling surface material?

          2. I'm not sure why you think there would be a difference between natural gas and propane in grilling. It shouldn't change the way/method you cook things, the only difference would be due to changing grills, i.e., your new grill might run hotter or colder than your last grill. The same changes would need to be if you simply got a new propane grill.