Charcoal or Gas?

Discussion in 'The Refreshment Lounge' started by Blake Bowden, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Which do you prefer and why?
     
  2. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

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    I was robbed of my gas grill for the last year, and was forced into charcoal. It was miserable, charcoal heats unevenly, is a pan to use and a mess to clean up.

    I will take gas any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. You want smoke in your flavor than buy some woodchips and soak them.

    S&F,
    -Bro Vick
     
  3. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    I use charcoal, and by "charcoal", I mean real charcoal, not briquettes. It's also called "lump charcoal". It takes a bit of practice to acquire skill, but I like how it cooks. It's also a great way to control smoke when I'm smoking something with the live oak we have down here (I can cut live oak at my own home instead of having to find mesquite). Pure charcoal has almost zero smoke. One can get temperatures sufficient to work iron if you want using this stuff.
     
  4. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    Yep, I use lump charcoal as well. Once you get the hang of the stuff I don't see how anything else measures up after that.

    As far as cooking evenly, that isn't any kind of a problem. If we are talking about grilling, the coals shouldn't be directly under the meat anyhow. Move them all to one side and create a zone fire, and cook on the side of the grate where the coals aren't.

    For smoking/bbqing, you are working with indirect heat anyway - usually with a firebox on the side or down on the bottom of a vertical setup with a waterpan between the fire and the first rack.

    Also another thing I reckon most folks working with charcoal (either briquettes or lump) *don't* do is use lighter fuel or some other lighting method by which you apply the fire directly to the charcoal. You get a metal tube thing, and some newspaper or paraffin and light underneath it, and wait for it to all catch evenly before using it to grill, or pour into unlit charcoal for the purpose of hour long smokes.

    Google "charcoal chimney starter" to find the workin tool I mean.
     
  5. robert leachman

    robert leachman Registered User

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    Cooking on a gas grill is just like cooking inside only you are outside!

    Mesquite lump charcoal for grilling. Oak, hickory, pecan or a combination of all these woods for BarBQ.
     
  6. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I use charcoal as well. I prefer the lump to briquettes, but I don't always have the choice. Gas is fine for certain things and at certain times. Given the choice I will always take charcoal over gas though.

    This is where most people mess up at. I will put something right over the coals to get a sear, but cooking is always done indirectly.
     
  7. mattcaler

    mattcaler Registered User

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    They make gas grills???
     
  8. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Gas here with soaked chips.
     
  9. CStevenson

    CStevenson Registered User

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    Sorry to revive an old thread but....

    For me it really depends what I am cooking. I prefer gas for meats that will cook quickly, (Grilling at about 5-10 min) such as hamburgers and steaks. The fast cooking time usually means not a lot of smoke will get in the food anyways. You cannot beat the fast start and clean up times that come with gas cooking. For longer cook items at lower temps, (smoking or BBQ) I have to use Charcoal. I use lump coal and hardwood logs (mesquite or oak).
     
  10. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    I use both. I have a smoker that I gril on. It has charcole in a fire box and gril area. I also have propaine augmentation to keep a constant temp. It depends on what I am cooking and how musch I time I want it to take. I also use wood.

    Smoke Hollow Tri-Mate Model 47180T Gas/Charcoal Grill/Smoker
     
  11. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    Can't wait to have a yard and a grill!
     
  12. DJGurkins

    DJGurkins Floresville #515 Premium Member

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    I use coal or wood (hickory, oak). Don't own a Gas grill. every time I think about buying one I just cant get past the fact that I wouldn't get to play with matches and start a fire. Kids will be kids. Now that's a fire.
     
  13. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

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    Yard work is overrated. ;)

    S&F,
    -Bro Vick
     
  14. otherstar

    otherstar Registered User

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    I use both. If I am grilling meat (bratwurst, chicken, pork chops, etc.--higher heat) I prefer gas because it is quick and easy and I find that the heat source doesn't have that big of an impact when grilling because the meat is so close the heat anyway.

    If I am doing BBQ (smoking--indirect heat--low temperature--ribs or brisket, sometimes a whole turkey), then I use a mix of lump charcoal and soaked hickory or apple wood chunks. I BBQ when I want the smoke flavor in the meat. Low and slow is the way to go!

    I'm originally from Kansas (not far from Kansas City), so I have a different approach to BBQ than most Texans.
     
  15. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    Sweet sauces?

    I always feel bad for my Aussie friends. The only mesquite most of them are aware of is some brush thing they have over there, and that apparently ain't good for cookin. I just love the stuff - but then I was raised equating the smell of burning mesquite with awesome :)

    Low and slow for me too, love it.
     
  16. otherstar

    otherstar Registered User

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    Actually, a mix of sweet and spicy in the sauce. Gates and KC Masterpiece are two sample sauces that you can buy (my wife and I make our own and don't have a consistent recipe) that are different, but have similarities. Gates has a LOT of black pepper in it and is very spicy, whereas KC Masterpiece is the sweeter of the two, but still have a bit of bite. Apple and hickory woods are used quite a bit because they are local and plentiful.
     
  17. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    I use Stubbs as a base. If I make my own, it has mustard in it :)
     
  18. rpbrown

    rpbrown Premium Member

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    My wife got me a new grille for Christmas that has gas on 1 side and charcoal on the other and also has a firebox attachement for smoking. I will use gas in the weekday evenings to cook after work, charcoal on the weekends for steaks and such and then smoke an occasional brisket, pork loin, turkey or anything else I can put on there.
     
  19. SeeKer.mm

    SeeKer.mm Premium Member

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  20. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Charcoal ... gas can be embarrassing!

    :blush:
     

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