Gas or charcoal?

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  #1  
Old 07-05-06, 02:17 AM
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Gas or charcoal?

Noticed some 4th of July posts referred to grilling.

We bbq year round. Christmans Eve we grill Tbones/potatoes/onions etc. Sometimes 30 below outside and 2 feet of snow but its tradition!

I have a 20 year old charcoal unit with a hinged cover and a decent gas grill.

Love to bbq on charcoal. Tastes incredible and is almost impossible to burn stuff because I can open or close vents. I throw in wet hickory chips to get more smoke flavour.

Charcoal makes you slow down. You need to light it, let it set up and then cook slowly. Usually enough time for a couple beverages and some visiting.

I admit we use the gas grill the most because its fast and easy but how could anyone not prefer charcoal?????

I'd bet most people under 30 have never tried charcoal. Poor them.
 
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Old 07-05-06, 04:54 AM
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I use gas 90% of the time. The only time the charcoal grill is used is if I run out of room on the gas grill or if we're camping. Flavorwise I don't prefer one over the other simply because mine taste great no matter where they are cooked. I make a pretty mean pan fried steak.

My smoker uses charcoal.
 
  #3  
Old 07-05-06, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mjd2k
I'd bet most people under 30 have never tried charcoal. Poor them.
How much did you bet??? I prefer charcoal as well and use charcoal only.
 
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Old 07-05-06, 09:16 AM
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I prefer charcoal when I have the time. I also use a gas grill and often use a pan for wood chips over one burner. I do a lot of smoked foods and that is all charcoal, even though I have a propane burner that attaches to my smoker.
 
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Old 07-05-06, 11:39 AM
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I use both. It depends on what I'm cooking. Shrimp, burgers, brats, chicken, pizza, fruit and veggies on the gas barbie and ribs, butt, steaks on charcoal.
 
  #6  
Old 07-05-06, 11:49 AM
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never owned a gas grill , Charcoal for me . Ive started using the natural hardwood charcoal rather than Brickets .

I really think it makes a diffrence I get a good smoke taste without adding and other chips.
 
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Old 07-05-06, 11:59 AM
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Im 10 years under 30 and I have BOTH a charcol grill and a gas grill. I use the gas for grilling chicken. I use the charcol for hambugers hot-dogs things like that.
 
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Old 07-05-06, 04:23 PM
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I charcoal grilled a can of creamed corn over the 4th. It tasted like straight out of the smokehouse.
















Just kidding(about the taste). I could not tell one bit that I had prepared them over charcoal, getting smoked with the lid down. But I sort of suspected that before I did it. Not enough surface area to absorb the odors. Next time I am going to try it in a big shallow pan.

Did I JUST barbeque creamed corn? Of course not. I made brats first. The corn idea was sort of a joke to make the neighbors laugh as they had a can of beans out on their grill (along with brats and weiners) and I asked them if they'd like to try barbequed creamed corn. We all laughed. But I did indeed make it.

What a waste of beautiful briquettes though. After I made for just myself, I could have kept making and kept making, with those coals getting hotter and hotter. And I didn't have any marshmallows... and the neighbors only had those dinky ones that are colored and they didn't want to bother. I joked with them that I should try making toaster waffles out there. But I suppose they could burst into flames, eh?
 
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Old 07-05-06, 04:46 PM
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OK I'm wrong. DIY, glad I never bet any real money cause I don't have a lot .

Its neat that chats and whines regulars are coal burners. I don't know even one person in my reality life that does coal. Must be a DIY thing.

We're special!
 
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Old 07-05-06, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mjd2k
Must be a DIY thing.

We're special!
Definintely!

Gotta try that creamed corn thing.
 
  #11  
Old 07-05-06, 05:09 PM
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All else being equal, studies have shown that there is virtually no discernable difference in taste between food cooked on charcol or gas when the gas unit has a vaporizer bar.

I find that most charcol cooks don't wait long enough before they start throwing food on it, and it tastes like lighter fluid.

Gas is easier to regulate heat, and doesn't continue to burn for hours after you are done with it. On the the other hand, if you do need it to burn at a consistent heat for hours, gas is the only way to go.

At that point, it's a matter of personal preference and some people are just afraid of gas.
 
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Old 07-05-06, 07:00 PM
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Speaking of marshmallows, next time you toast them over an open fire, try the coconut coated marshmallows. I highly recommend them!
 
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Old 07-06-06, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Pendragon
All else being equal, studies have shown that there is virtually no discernable difference in taste between food cooked on charcol or gas when the gas unit has a vaporizer bar.

I saw that test on tv a while back. People were amazed because they did the blind taste test and these die hard people on both sides of the fence couldn't tell the difference from gas vs coals.
 
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Old 07-06-06, 07:04 AM
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Gasssssss. [Sorry, just wanted to say "gas" but there's a 10 character minimum].
 
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Old 07-06-06, 04:55 PM
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Both
 
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Old 07-07-06, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mattison
I saw that test on tv a while back. People were amazed because they did the blind taste test and these die hard people on both sides of the fence couldn't tell the difference from gas vs coals.
If you really think about it? What on earth could be great tasting about charcoal soaked in lighter fluid, if you really think about it. Ever chomp into one? I bet one would spit it right out. I think lot of the 'flavor' comes from the searing action created by the hot grill racks searing the meat...and from the juices dripping down into the fire creating THAT smoke.

Although...hmmmmm... maybe I should take back what I said because when I lit my barbeque the 4th it gave off that smell that gets peoples stomachs to growl, wanting to hang out at your place in hopes you give them some of whatever you are making.

So if charcoal and lighter fluid most likely taste bad...how on earth could it smell good? Isnt' THAT an interesting question?

Mesquite is suposed to be like some Cadillac of barbeque burning materials. Yet I'm not sure whether one would care to make a meal on eating mesquite wood either.
 
  #17  
Old 07-07-06, 07:10 PM
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Gas or charcoal?

I use both - each for a different time or purpose. I can't wait for my charcoal to get started at 20 below for a hamburger.

I saw a show on TV (Made in America). It showed wood being oxidized (turned coal black without flames). Next it was ground, mixed with coal, pressed into neat little pieces and became charCOAL.

Next time it will be real, natural charcoal and not briquettes and no more lighter fluid.

I want to take my time, do it right and enjoy the process.

Dick
 
  #18  
Old 07-08-06, 09:15 AM
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Dick - I think what you saw was the making of "lump charcoal". It's the only way to go IMO. No petroleum or other additives. Just natural wood, carbonized at high temps.
What most people get at their local supermarket is composition briquettes made from burned wood and scraps, coal dust, camphor, paraffin and petroleum products. Sounds appetizing doesn't it?
I use lump charcoal and normally use a chimney starter. I also use wood (I burn it in a separate fire and add it to the grill as needed). I probably use gas more than charcoal, but there are things a charcoal fire can do that are tougher to do on gas.
If someone did a taste test between gas and charcoal, I'm not surprised there wasn't any noticable difference between them if they used common charcoal.
The big difference in taste is when slow cooking or smoking. I'll guarantee you that you can tell the difference between a brisket cooked for 5-6 hours or more over mesquite compared to one cooked over gas. Some wet chips in a pan over gas just isn't the same.
The taste difference comes in the wood used. Hickory and mesquite are the most popular and pretty strong. Milder are alder, apple and pecan. If you have the budget, you can also use the wood from old wine barrels.
 
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Old 07-08-06, 05:56 PM
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When I lived in Texas for 7 years (where I helped construct the world's largest nuclear reactored power plant in the world as a journeyman form-carpenter, and was a licensed water operator for the island community I lived on) we had an island party get together (like a giant 'block party') and this guy made brisket over mesquite and cooked the stuff for like a whole day...slow. You'd think it was the best meat in the world! Yet brisket is some lowly cut of meat. Shows what good barbequing methods can do.
 
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