Fighting Illini Fan Forums => Illini Football => Ultimate Tailgating => Topic started by: Musson on October 10, 2010, 05:03:40 PM

Title: Gas or charcoal?
Post by: Musson on October 10, 2010, 05:03:40 PM
All of us have had this argument.  Is is best to grill with gas or charcoal?  Everyone who has spent any amount of time in the back yard cooking, has an opinion.  This is mine.

My answer to this age old question is...BOTH!

I have owed, or do currently own, just about every grill, smoker, and "hot box" that is on the market.  Everything from a ceramic egg grill, to a pellet grill, to a super expensive stainless steal gas grill with searing capabilities.  La Caja China, gas smokers, barrel smokers, bullet smokers.  You get the idea.  I am a back yard cooking junky!

When it is time to cook, I have more issues with what to cook on, rather than what to cook.  I spend more time thinking about how to change the grilling experience, than just grilling, and getting the job done.

The one  BIG advantage to cooking with gas, is instant heat.   The one BIG disadvantage to gas is no taste, and overcooking/ dry meat.

The one BIG advantage to charcoal is added flavor and "wet" heat.  The one BIG disadvantage to charcoal is waiting around for the coals to be ready to cook on.

I always prefer to cook on charcoal when I have time to do it.  Besides, it gives me some quality time outside with my grill, and I can drink as much beer as I want "waiting" for the grill to be ready.  On those days that I need to get it done in a certain limit of time, I use gas. 

Gas can provide you with instant heat, and higher cooking temperatures, but charcoal can provide you with almost the same heat/temp, and make anything you cook taste better.  So, if you are limited on time, or can not tell the difference in the meat you cook on gas or charcoal, then you probably just own a gas grill.

If you ever try to impress friends or family members with a masterpiece known as meat, you probably own a charcoal grill.

Either way, it is the grilling experience that matters.  Keep grilling everyone, be it on gas or charcoal.

Title: Re: Gas or charcoal?
Post by: Reaper on October 10, 2010, 06:03:00 PM
You can mark me down as a charcoal man because I refuse to sacrifice taste for convenience. For me it's all about the taste of the meat and the experience.
Title: Re: Gas or charcoal?
Post by: Musson on October 10, 2010, 06:06:18 PM
What kind of grill do you have and what kind of charcoal do you use?
Title: Re: Gas or charcoal?
Post by: BYS on October 10, 2010, 06:45:15 PM
Being in AZ, I have endless supplies of mesquite and oak. So the answer for me is....neither. I use hard wood in my smoker and for grilling.
Title: Re: Gas or charcoal?
Post by: Reaper on October 10, 2010, 07:31:36 PM
What kind of grill do you have and what kind of charcoal do you use?
I have 4 grills and 1 smoker. I know this may seem a bit excessive but I've accumalted these over a long period of time.

Barrel grill - Converted 55 gallon drum
Standard weber grill
Mini Webber Grill -   
Brinkmann Smoke N Pit Charcoal/Grill Smoker
regular smoker

I use kingsford charcoal and mesquite wood chips.
Title: Re: Gas or charcoal?
Post by: Musson on October 10, 2010, 08:55:58 PM
Excessive??

You should take a look at my back yard and wonder to yourself what excessive really is :tounge:

I have/had pretty much everything on your list.

Brinkmann makes a really nice dual gas/charcoal grill now.  Have one of those too.  Gas on one side, charcoal on the other.  Can do some DAMAGE with that thing, even though it is not made to last too long, you can really turn out some food!
Title: Re: Gas or charcoal?
Post by: Musson on October 10, 2010, 08:59:49 PM
Oh, and the Kingsford....you should try some real wood charcoal.  Some of the stuff that comes in the brown paper bag.  Basically pre lit wood chunks. :thumbup:  The name escapes me at the moment.

And, I sit on BAGS of different wood chunks/chips.  Pisses the wife off that I have so much wood just piled up all over the place.  We have a wood chip/chunk "BAR" not far from here, so she doesn't understand why I need so much, when I can just go get whatever I want any time I want it!
Title: Re: Gas or charcoal?
Post by: Musson on October 10, 2010, 09:03:33 PM
Best of the West is the natural hardwood (oak) I was talking about, and Besque (or something like that) is a really good one too.   WAY hotter, and will burn FOREVER!
Title: Re: Gas or charcoal?
Post by: QCPost33 on October 10, 2010, 11:04:00 PM
Just reading this page made me hungry.
Title: Re: Gas or charcoal?
Post by: Big Phil on October 11, 2010, 12:14:57 AM
No crap can I come over?
Title: Re: Gas or charcoal?
Post by: miis on October 11, 2010, 02:44:27 PM
I replied to the article prior to seeing this thread.  Some years back my wife bought me a Weber performer its there standard kettle with a gas starter.  I love the think if I need coals quick I can have them in about 5 minutes.  For those of you that appreciate charcoal thats pretty fast.  I too have a brinkman smoker and havent pulled it out for ever.  The weber does a great job smoking and cleared a lot of deck space.