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Old 06-30-2012, 08:42 PM   #1
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Gas or charcoal?

I'm thinking of buy a grill. At the moment I use a hibachi. I've never used a gas grill, but I have never been impressed with the food other people have made on gas grills. But, I have been reading posts here and am getting the impression that a gas grill might not be such a bad thing.

What do you guys like and why?

Could I buy a gas grill and on occasion stick the hibachi on the grate and use the gas grill's cover to have a nice enclosed space for cooking on charcoal?

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Old 06-30-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
I'm thinking of buy a grill. At the moment I use a hibachi. I've never used a gas grill, but I have never been impressed with the food other people have made on gas grills. But, I have been reading posts here and am getting the impression that a gas grill might not be such a bad thing.

What do you guys like and why?

Could I buy a gas grill and on occasion stick the hibachi on the grate and use the gas grill's cover to have a nice enclosed space for cooking on charcoal?
I agree that the flavor of the food I've had from gas grills does not compare favorably to that from wood or charcoal grills. I have both a large Weber and a Green Egg charcoal grill. They may not be as convenient as gas grills but I prefer the variety of flavors that I can achieve with them. If I had the space, I'd be interested in acquiring the type of grill that Uncle Bob uses.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:10 PM   #3
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I have both gas and charcoal grills. During the busy workweek it's really nice to have a gas grill. Instant on, doesn't heat up the kitchen...quick.

The purist in me wants to cook over charcoal when time permits. Much better flavor. Just takes a little more time. A charcoal chimney starter is highly recommended for starting your coals without petroleum based starters.

I don't know if you have access to a Sams Wholesale club but here is a happy medium. This is a hybrid grill for $260. Propane on one side charcoal on the other. If I was in the market I would look closely at this one.

.40
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:23 PM   #4
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And charcoal can be made to produce a significantly hotter fire, especially using lump charcoal, as we should. It may be impossible to do a thin steak properly over gas, just as it is on a residential range.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:33 PM   #5
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I was helping Mom through Sam's (don't have a membership myself) and noticed a hybrid that had three grills, gas, charcoal, and this new stuff I don't even understand. Infrared or something like that. It seemed reasonably priced to me (seems like below, $260 or so). In a previous life I'd have loved it; in Hawaii or Florida when an entire outdoor kitchen would have been lovely and at that price would have been a bargain. Nowadays, I'm lucky to get my husband to grill out a couple times a month through good weather. I'm the one with a passion for food cooked over coals, he can take it or leave it. I say I'll cook it myself (I do 98% of the cooking, and certainly, especially in Hawaii, have cooked out many, many times and am a much more experienced camper than he). But if I do it myself, I think he feels guilty.

The only real advantage I can see to gas outside over electric or gas in your kitchen is getting the heat out, plus I do not have a vent in my kitchen (old house). But the other advantage, and I'm being sexist here, is some men won't cook in the kitchen, but will outside. So some women might go through any expense to get a little help out there!

I do so love food cooked over coal or wood, though, and would eat it most days given the choice. In Hawaii, when I was out of work and hubby worked 50+ work weeks, I often fired up either our little hibachi or our mini-weber and I miss that flavor.

I live in an area that can have pretty harsh winters, and we've already gone through a Weber and another brand, I can't imagine a gas or electric living through a winter here. I, too, am in the market, and barring anything else, am planning on getting another Weber (we've owned 4 or 5).
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:46 PM   #6
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Claire, that sounds like the one Forty posted about. No Sam's Club in Canada. I did see a hybrid online at Canadian Tire. But, as one reviewer pointed out, if one half breaks, you are stuck with a five foot long, single purpose grill. And my yard is tiny: 14'x16'.

Decisions, decisions. I do believe Stirling would be more willing to use a gas grill. He has no experience with charcoal and is reluctant to try it. I have no experience with a gas grill and am reluctant to try because, well, because it isn't charcoal.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:01 PM   #7
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I don't want to start a whole different discussion here but, some would argue that the heat source, clean burning charcoal or gas isn't what imparts flavor to grilled foods. Rather, it's the fat dripping down onto the super hot coals or heat source and vaporizing so it can, in the form of fat smoke, flavor the food on its way out of the grill.

Just sayin'.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:02 PM   #8
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Oak bark on a bed of coals.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I don't want to start a whole different discussion here but, some would argue that the heat source, clean burning charcoal or gas isn't what imparts flavor to grilled foods. Rather, it's the fat dripping down onto the super hot coals or heat source and vaporizing so it can, in the form of fat smoke, flavor the food on its way out of the grill.

Just sayin'.
Wasn't that the idea with lava stones on a gas grill?
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:34 PM   #10
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Wasn't that the idea with lava stones on a gas grill?
Yes, exactly.
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