ISO tips for using gas grill

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
29,211
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
I am going away for the weekend at the end of May. The resort where we will be staying says we have a "barbecue" on the balcony, but I'm sure it's a gas grill.

I have grilled with charcoal, but I have never used a gas grill. I would like to make one grilled meal. Any tips (and I am not going to make beer can chicken)?
 

Kayelle

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
14,789
Location
south central coast/California
You lucky girl, to have a charcoal grill at home TL !! Husbands gas grill came into the marriage and I hate it, even though it's convenient. Nothing special to know about a gas grill, just treat it like you would an upside down broiler because that's all it really is. Have fun on your weekend!!
 

pacanis

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
18,750
Location
NW PA
Well, they tend to flare up more, especially if they have build-up on the "flavor bars" (I think of them more as heat deflectors) or the floor, which could be likely. And depending on what you are cooking, some wood chips in a loose foil pouch with a couple slits poked in could be nice to throw directly on a burner to add a little smoke for flavor. Otherwise you are relying on the juice hitting the heat deflectors for smoke and flavor. Assuming it's not an ancient grill using lava rocks, lol.
On the plus side, they warm up quickly and you can cook a lot of varied foods, going from indirect heat to direct heat with the turn of a knob, so you can really load it up and if you don't like your heat, change it without fussing with charcoal. They also tend to have hot spots and cold spots. When you light it, try to see which side is hotter. Typically the side away from the gas inlet, or last burner in line, runs hotter. And that can work to your advantage, too.

That said, I grill almost exclusively on a gas grill and have no problem switching to charcoal a few times a year. That's why I just bought a little Weber. If you are fairly adept at grilling, it should be even easier going the other way.

And as an observation, although I have seen exceptions, yes, that was my disclaimer, people who cook on a gas grill tend to cook the whole dinner outside. People who use charcoal tend to cook the main course outside. Maybe those folks don't grill often enough though to know how to play with their heat source.
 
Last edited:

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
29,211
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
You lucky girl, to have a charcoal grill at home TL !! Husbands gas grill came into the marriage and I hate it, even though it's convenient. Nothing special to know about a gas grill, just treat it like you would an upside down broiler because that's all it really is. Have fun on your weekend!!

I insist on it. Right now I have a little hibachi with two grates. It cost me less than $20.
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
29,211
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
Well, they tend to flare up more, especially if they have build-up on the "flavor bars" (I think of them more as heat deflectors) or the floor, which could be likely. And depending on what you are cooking, some wood chips in a loose foil pouch with a couple slits poked in could be nice to throw directly on a burner to add a little smoke for flavor. Otherwise you are relying on the juice hitting the heat deflectors for smoke and flavor. Assuming it's not an ancient grill using lava rocks, lol.
On the plus side, they warm up quickly and you can cook a lot of varied foods, going from indirect heat to direct heat with the turn of a knob, so you can really load it up and if you don't like your heat, change it without fussing with charcoal. They also tend to have hot spots and cold spots. When you light it, try to see which side is hotter. Typically the side away from the gas inlet, or last burner in line, runs hotter. And that can work to your advantage, too.

That said, I grill almost exclusively on a gas grill and have no problem switching to charcoal a few times a year. That's why I just bought a little Weber. If you are fairly adept at grilling, it should be even easier going the other way.

And as an observation, although I have seen exceptions, yes, that was my disclaimer, people who cook on a gas grill tend to cook the whole dinner outside. People who use charcoal tend to cook the main course outside. Maybe those folks don't grill often enough though to know how to play with their heat source.

Great info. I don't even know what the flavour bars do or what they look like.
 

pacanis

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
18,750
Location
NW PA
Kayelle, I set my little Smoky Joe right inside my Ducane on the grate. Perfect height.

If it has flavor bars, Taxlady, they are what covers the burners. Different grills have different shapes, but they are basically slotted pieces of metal inbetween the grate and the burners.
 

Stellar

Assistant Cook
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
4
If it has flavor bars, Taxlady, they are what covers the burners. Different grills have different shapes, but they are basically slotted pieces of metal inbetween the grate and the burners.
Usually sloped they sit directly above gas burners to protect them. What ever juices and fats aren't incinerated and recycled back into the cooking air to add flavour, are directed down into a fat collector of some sort. They also act to spread heat rather than having several points of intense heat and are removable so easy to clean :)
 

buckytom

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 19, 2004
Messages
21,933
Location
My mountain
taxy, you'll need to find the hotter spots and the cooler spots on a gas grill. it's important because you want nice grill marks and charred edges from spending time over the hot spots, and thicker or bone in pieces of meat that need to cook longer can finish over the cooler spots without the outside burning to a crisp. i often start meats over hot, then finish over cool to be sure they're cooked through.

the cooler spots are also good for adding sugary sauces like bbq that would quickly burn over the hot spots.

generally, the area directly over a flame tamer is cooler than the open gaps between them. also, most gas grills are hotter in the back, cooler towards the front.

hth.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

Certified/Certifiable
Joined
Aug 26, 2004
Messages
12,454
Location
USA,Michigan
I wish I could help. But I only cook over charcoal. The times I've tried to cook over gas has ruined perfectly good food. I thought I'd been through U.S. Navy culinary School.:LOL:

Good luck with your meals. I hope you have the knack for preparing great food on a gas grill.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

buckytom

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 19, 2004
Messages
21,933
Location
My mountain
wait, you're an indian AND a sailor?

now, if you own a biker's leathers, worked in construction, and once were a cop you could be the village people all rolled into one!!!
:mrgreen:
 

bakechef

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
4,237
Location
North Carolina
You've gotten some good advise here. Don't poo poo gas, you can get some stellar results from gas. I have used both and prefer gas. Maybe there is slightly (and I mean slightly) less flavor with gas, but it is really convenient. I grill and smoke on mine.

I think what I like the most is not having to light charcoal, wait for it and then have to dispose of the ashes. Since my deck has no stairs going to the back yard, it is not as easy for me to dispose of them. When I did charcoal (a great little Smoky Joe) I only grilled once in a while, but with gas I grill multiple times a week, even in the winter.

I grill meat, veg, pizza, you name it!
 
Top Bottom