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Old 06-26-2014, 09:25 AM
 
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If I have time and the right setup, I always prefer to cook over a wood fire or lump charcoal... But it's inconvenient. Propane rules for scientific repeatability and speed, but the flavor is different. That's not to say that you can't have great results with propane, because YOU CAN, but burning wood is just plain better than burning short-chain hydrocarbons.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:44 AM
 
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I just started grilling again. The thought of cooking in a hot kitchen, even with AC blasting, is not appealing.

Anyway, I use charcoal with mesquite chips in it. It has lighter fluid already in it, so I just throw in a match and it takes off.

The difference in the taste of the food is amazing. I've never used a gas grill. To me its would just be like cooking inside? Of course I could be wrong, since I've never used one.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:01 AM
 
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It's funny reading these responses. When I've done gas it's tasted just fine for me, but then it could be like those who think cell phone photos are "fine" because they've never seen what a quality DSLR type of camera can do, or they can't figure out how to use it and thus FOR THEM the results from a "real" camera are worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post
I just started grilling again. The thought of cooking in a hot kitchen, even with AC blasting, is not appealing.
I think that may be why many people grill mostly during the summer. I always thought it was because something about summer was just "conducive" to grilling, but actually you have a point--by cooking outside, you prevent the indoors from getting so hot in the summer from cooking.

Even if (and I stress IF) a gas grill doesn't produce food as tasty as a charcoal one, I certainly find that the food cooked on it tastes differently enough from stove-cooked to be a worthwhile endeavor. I used to "grill" using a large George Foreman electric grill, but upon getting this particular gas grill I haven't done so since. It's quite a pleasure.

As I asked earlier--many people around here line their grill with aluminum foil, and have suggested that I should do the same. Why? What's the point? It would seem to be beside the point, as you're sort of turning the grilling experience into one that's somewhat more "contact" cooking vs "open flame" cooking. The only reason I can see doing that is to keep the grill from getting as messy, but then, if you lose out on taste, what's the point of grilling to start with? I just don't get it.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shyguylh View Post
I have been doing a fair amount of grilling lately, using a somewhat unique grill: a Sportable 28159K gas grill (Sportable Propane Gas Grill in Black-28159K-DS at The Home Depot). It's somewhat of a blend between a table-top hibachi grill and a full-sized one. Its cooking area is somewhat larger than a table-top hibachi, and unlike a table-top it's supported on legs so you don't have to put it up on a platform, yet its cooking area and size and overall ambition wouldn't be at the level of a full-sized gas grill either. Out of box it operates using the "tube" Coleman propane containers but you can apparently buy a hose that lets it work with full-sized 20 gallon propane bottles as well. It has one distinct advantage: the legs collapse and then you can squeeze it into a car trunk and take it with you.

At any rate, my wife got me this grill for a discount price (I think it was like half-off and $75) and I have really gotten on well with it. It's my first "real" grill per se, as previously I made do with table-top hibachi grills like the $20 Coleman models etc. I really do well with it in that I cook much better with this thing than I ever did with any of the small table-top grills. (Then again, maybe that's not saying much.) The few times I tried goofing around with charcoal, that didn't work well for me either, I just couldn't get the knack of it, whereas I seem to just get it on with this particular gas model.

Living in east TX, I have noticed, though, a fair number of persons in grilling who SWEAR by charcoal, which surprises me, as I thought gas had long ago all but totally displaced charcoal totally. I read in Consumer Reports many years ago that the "charcoal taste" wasn't really due to the charcoal itself but from the meat drippings hitting the hot burning coals below, and that such could come from gas cooking as well. (That said, this particular grill doesn't seem to have any hot bricks, it just has the "tube" heating element that the gas emits from as it burns.) Whether that's actually true or not, I can tell you that, to me anyway, this gas grill seems to produce some very tasty food. Other than the fact that the left-area seems a bit hotter than the right area, it's perfect. I have cooked chicken breasts, "sirloin" style pork chops, and ground beef hamburgers on this thing and it all tastes great. It's easy, too, I turn the knock and when it "clicks" the gas lights right up and modulates very well.

You also see a fair amount of grills that use wood, where people grill barbecue brisket and the like, for hours on these grills they call 'smokers." I imagine those grills are JUST for barbecue, vs grilling steaks and burgers etc?

From what I've read, apparently people can't tell much difference in burgers as burgers aren't on the flame long enough to really benefit that much from what charcoal-flavored smoke can do, the same goes for thinner steaks, but that for thicker steaks that are on the grill longer, charcoal can't be matched by gas. At the same time, though, for someone like me for whom charcoal is difficult to "get on with," it may be that in real world execution of matters there is no advantage simply because you never will be able to realize any advantages with charcoal if you can't figure out the grill to start with. Maybe one would say it's like a car with a 5-speed vs a car with an automatic--the 5-speed provides advantages, but if you can't figure out a 5-speed (that would be my wife, she will pop your neck with whiplash trying to figure out the clutch, ha ha), then in the real world the 5-speed experience will actually turn out WORSE for such a person.

So what's the overall consensus here, or have I opened a can of worms sort of like "Ford Vs Chevy" in a trucks forum?
Coal and wood only matter for real (ie: smoked) BBQ, not grilling.

We are avid hobbyists and have almost every kind of rig made, from a hibachi to a Weber kettle. If you're only grilling, relax. Gas works fine.
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonchalance View Post
Coal and wood only matter for real (ie: smoked) BBQ, not grilling.

We are avid hobbyists and have almost every kind of rig made, from a hibachi to a Weber kettle. If you're only grilling, relax. Gas works fine.
That's assuring to hear. As for smoked BBQ, I do know I've seen some people around here with "smokers," I had the chance to grab one for cheap awhile back at a garage sale but didn't, and wish I had. What is a good link for instructions on doing that sort of grilling? I assume it's the sort of thing you'd do for beef brisket and the like? What is your thing is pulled pork eastern-NC style vinegar-based barbecue, but you're just wanting to cook the roast vs cooking an actual entire pig etc?
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:12 AM
 
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Start with a pork butt. VERY forgiving. Usually inexpensive. The cut they call picnic is usually cheaper, and trickier, because of the thick skin.

Brisket? Difficult, because it's expensive and lacks marbling. Even I haven't mastered it yet.

But for all sorts of Q-info, not just pig, try the Amazing Ribs site.

You can google a couple of excellent BBQ forums, including the Texas BBQ forum. You don't have to live in TX, lol.

HTH.
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
12,448 posts, read 10,130,341 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonchalance View Post
Start with a pork butt. VERY forgiving...
Actually, it's not very forgiving at all if you're going for moist pulled pork and you haven't done real BBQ before. You have to season the pork properly, keep the temp low, cook for a long period of time to render the fat and connective tissues, be aware that the temperature will stall at some point - and resist increasing the temperature to pass the stall point, and don't remove the pork from the heat until it has reached pulled-pork temperature.
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:53 AM
 
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I stand by what I said: compared to brisket, pork is forgiving.

Lots of good info on those sites I posted and elsewhere.
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
12,448 posts, read 10,130,341 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonchalance View Post
I stand by what I said: compared to brisket, pork is forgiving...
LOL - you didn't say "Compared to brisket."

I've been BBQing for over twenty years - I have a garage full of BBQers. I have an original Oklahoma Joe offset, Big Green Egg, gas smoker, La Caja China. My favorite is still my old OK Joe stick burner. My mentors have been a bunch of award-winning competition BBQers.
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:03 PM
 
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DH does it all. You name it, he's tried it and is still experimenting.

Don't underestimate the value of using wood chips when doing hamburger. The flavor is out of this world.

He's even used pine (a no-no) for all beef, skin-on hot dogs and managed to produce an addictive delight.
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