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Old 08-28-2006, 09:30 AM   #21
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If it works for you then that is what counts!
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Old 08-28-2006, 01:20 PM   #22
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The beauty of a charcoal grill is it doesn't have to be expensive, just get the size you want. I bought mine for $20 on sale at WalMart and it cooks just as good as my dad's Webber. Would I prefer a Webber? Heck yeah! But I was not on that kind of budget and until this falls apart, I'm happy. I love my chimney for starting the charcoal too. No fuel taste.
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Old 08-28-2006, 07:23 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecactuswill
You have to cook food somehow.
Ahhhh, cactus, my dear friend - that is where one begins to sink into culinary obscurity!! Just like a dear family member who puts the "roast" on when she goes to church ( 10am) and takes it out at 3...

Only pulling your leg!
I've a feeling that the "grill" has a lot to do with the local culture.
Anyone over here in Venezuela who cannot do a "parrilla" (Grill) is simply NOT considered a human being...

Having said that, I cringe at some of the things I've seen passing as a BBQ - DOUSE the flames with 4 cans of beer; whip the meat off the grill, toss water on the flames; wrap the meat in aluminium paper; gasp!!!

Charcoal rocks.It's a lot more fussy that a Weber grill; it's harder work; if you're the kind of person who just wants to chuck stuff on the grill and wait for an alarm bell - FORGET charcoal. You have to watch the grill and the food most of the time; you have to be ready to move stuff around on the grill, etc. if you're using charcoal. Emeril's tips have helped me a bunch - " the coals are ready when you can hold your open palm over the coals for 3 seconds and not get burnt". It works. Cooking on charcoal imparts an unforgettable flavour to what ever you are cooking.

Having used charcoal, dried fruit tree branches ( avocado, Guava, mango, apple, etc) I'd NEVER go back to anything else. Like going from a Jaguar to a Honda 50cc!!
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Old 08-29-2006, 12:37 AM   #24
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hey gb, sorry, i've been meaning to respond to this. we're getting ready for football, so work keeps getting in the way of my time here. the noive o' dem.

the combination of wood ash and water creates lye, which will accelerate the rusting process. ayrton, you must use very little water and remove any remaining ash or ashey paste to be successful with it. just one chink in the paint, and you've got bare metal, and then rust. add lye, and it'll rust thru in no time.

if you want to save your charcoal, you just have to remove the oxygen. close up all vents on the grill and cover it tightly. it'll smoke itself out. you can toss in a piece of newspaper to help it out. it'll burn down a little more, but there should be coals left.
i've been in bad conditions in the mountains where we've really needed to preserve firewood and charcoal for cooking, so we put out the fire when it wasn't needed by smothering it with sandy soil. the coals will continue to smolder for some time, so you can restart a fire easily if you do it right. also, it's a good place to sleep on top of when it realy cold. i guess if you're really into it, you could smother the coals in your grill with play sand, then pick out the useable pieces, and reserve the sand to use again.

imo, as i've mentioned before, real hardwood lump charcoal is the way to go for cooking, if you can afford and/or obtain it. there is no comparison for flavor, and different woods will impart different flavors. aslo, it should be started with a chimney, not lighter fluid. the latter is always fun, but i can always taste it in the food, no matter how little was used.
i will resort to using briquette charcoal if that's all that's available, but i prefer lump hardwood.

and you don't need a fancy or expensive charcoal grill. i have some cheapo $40 walmart special, and it's worked fine now for about 5 years or so, in all conditions. i'm just careful to be vigilant removing old ashes, and not letting any water get inside.

here's a picture of my no-name cheapo grill, cooking a coupla pork tenderloins on a cold night.


http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/7...nwinter4uy.jpg

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Old 08-29-2006, 08:48 AM   #25
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Bucky, I'm SHOCKED!!!

I thought for sure, given your fascination with it, you would extoll the virtues of (que Hank Hill Voice) "Propane and Propane Accessories" (end Hank Hill Voice).

John
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Old 08-29-2006, 05:15 PM   #26
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I will chime in on this one.... Charcoal, by means of convenience, rules over a wood fire. A wood fire, burned to a bed of coals, rules. But given our fast paced society, we have little time for this unless planned. Here, we grill & we grill often. 98% of the time, it's over charcoal. Not meaning anything negative toward someone else's option, but gas is not a consideration at my home. It does not compare. This, of course has nothing to do with my choice of indoor appliances, which in the case with gas, is number 1.

Now, having said this, I will expound a bit more:

Cooking with coals, whether it be charcoal or wood, can and does involve many avenues. Grilling is one of them. But, let's not forget the world of breads, soups, cakes, etc, etc... I have done all with charcoal, but prefer to burn down a hickory fire.

Aside from my charcoal grill, I have a fire-pit in the yard, tri-pod, dutch ovens and the like. It's a big world. devour all you can.

Best regards,
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Old 08-29-2006, 08:29 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarionW
A wood fire, burned to a bed of coals, rules.
LOL!! I have to agree! We "kinda" grilled, "kinda" smoked some thick cut pork ribs (country style) this summer up at the cottage. We put the tripod over the campfire, added some northern Michigan wild cherry wood, and cooked them for about 4 hours. They disappeared in about 5 minutes! Good Stuff!

John
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Old 08-29-2006, 09:10 PM   #28
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:09 AM   #29
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good points marion.

as far as convenience goes, lump hardwood charcoal is available by the bag, just like briquette charcoal. it is more expensive, and is a little more difficult to control as is even burning briquettes. but as we've mentioned, the way to go if you can.

most surveys or tests say that lump burns longer, hotter, and more evenly. but in my experience, it burns out quicker because it burns hotter.
briquettes are manufactured, therefore would have less variation in the product, and would burn more evenly i would think.
the extra heat from lump is not a problem, tho. you just have to adjust for it. in fact, sometimes you really want a hot grill, and you just can't get that with briquettes.

here's a good link for lump charcoal info and comparisons: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/lump.htm


and ronjohn, go back to your gaseous dark side. i've resisted the wife's attempts all summer to buy a propane grill.
even tho you promised the key to your cellar...
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:37 AM   #30
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ronjohn,

Might you be a fellow brewer, or even a fellow winemaker?

marion
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