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Charcoal or Gas?
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Charcoal, Gas, or Other?
Charcoal
50%
 50%  [ 8 ]
Gas
37%
 37%  [ 6 ]
Other
12%
 12%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 16

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socal_chris



Joined: 02 Oct 2006
Posts: 49
Location: Southern CA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:36 pm    Post subject: Charcoal or Gas? Reply with quote

I'm a huge grilling/barbeque fanatic.

Just thought I'd start a little poll and see who shares my views?

I'm 100% charcoal ritualist! Never go gas...but I know lots who love it...
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1619
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use both. My general preference (from a purely culinary perspective) is charcoal, but I also have a gas grill for convenience. In fact, I use the gas grill much more because it is so convenient - so in most of the photographs shown on this site, you'll find the gas grill in use. It's hard enough getting all the materials prepped and juggling a bulky camera without having to deal with charcoal, chimney starters, and a timeline (set by the coals).
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Chu wrote:
I use both. My general preference (from a purely culinary perspective) is charcoal, but I also have a gas grill for convenience. In fact, I use the gas grill much more because it is so convenient - so in most of the photographs shown on this site, you'll find the gas grill in use. It's hard enough getting all the materials prepped and juggling a bulky camera without having to deal with charcoal, chimney starters, and a timeline (set by the coals).


Oh Michael, you convenience lover you. I don't believe I'll ever make it over to the propane side of life. While I believe it's good for low temperature smoking (90 to 110F), grilling with propane causes my loverly meaty treats to lack the flavor I put them on the grill in the first place for.
I recently bought 320 lbs of maple and applewood charcoal from http://www.customcharcoal.com/. Luckily a friend drove up and brought down the load for me. Anyway, it's really cool stuff. The guy doesn't charcoal the heck out of his wood, so there's raw wood in the center (burns longer & has the smoky love). Plus they're fairly small pieces, so they catch quickly both at the beginning of the fire and easy to add later on. My coals are usually ready for grilling within 15 mnutes.
And as far as the bulky camera, hip to that. The D70 mated to a SB-800 rests easily on a large sturdy table next to my grills & smokers, ready at any moment, SNAP. And yes, I'm regularly cleaning pork/chicken/beef fat off my rig. Some guy at the camera store tried to get me to buy a fancy cloth, "It's what everyone is using these days." He said to me. "Does it clean pork fat off my lens?" It doesn't, just so you know.

I suppose it's clear I enjoy the timeline my wood gives me, huh?

Cheers
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jimjimjim9



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both.

Just for flexibility and convenience.

Gas get's the "unscheduled" stuff, the grilled veggies, and the purely indirect heat stuff, with left burner on, right burner off. If needed, a tray with wood chips adds quick and dirty smoke.

Steak for 2: charcoal on the tiny hibachi.

Planned timeline (3-4 hour) meats get the Weber w/ charcoal and wood chunks.

Luxuriously planned Dionysian events get the charcoal vertical standing barrel smoker.

Cooler smoked stuff like sausages, fish, cheese get the vertical barrel, using electric hot plate with chips.
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socal_chris



Joined: 02 Oct 2006
Posts: 49
Location: Southern CA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrBiggles wrote:
While I believe it's good for low temperature smoking (90 to 110F)


Interesting...I thought propane was supposed to horrible for smoking since the 2 byproducts of burning it are water vapor and carbon dioxide. Neither of which are condusive to smoke, or so I'm told.

That charcoal sounds great! This poll has already proved to be valuable!

Although, there's only 2 votes cast thus far, and more replies....hmmm. Huh?
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

socal_chris wrote:
DrBiggles wrote:
While I believe it's good for low temperature smoking (90 to 110F)


Interesting...I thought propane was supposed to horrible for smoking since the 2 byproducts of burning it are water vapor and carbon dioxide. Neither of which are condusive to smoke, or so I'm told.


Well, the crap coming off wood when it pooly combusts is no good either. It's all about intake & exhaust & flame adjustment. Most of the large smokers used to compete and serve carnivals are all propane rigs.

I have a J&R manufacturing Little Red Smokehouse (needs some restoration to be put in to use), it's wood fired. But I believe I can buy attachments for it to run propane or natural gas. When and if I get it up and going I'll be able to smoke 250 pounds at a time. That's necessary you know.

And as far as what meats go it what cooker, I put them all in my smoker and it does a wonderful job. I smoked breakfast sausage patties last week, man that was good.

Biggles
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socal_chris



Joined: 02 Oct 2006
Posts: 49
Location: Southern CA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrBiggles wrote:

Well, the crap coming off wood when it pooly combusts is no good either. It's all about intake & exhaust & flame adjustment. Most of the large smokers used to compete and serve carnivals are all propane rigs.

I have a J&R manufacturing Little Red Smokehouse (needs some restoration to be put in to use), it's wood fired. But I believe I can buy attachments for it to run propane or natural gas. When and if I get it up and going I'll be able to smoke 250 pounds at a time. That's necessary you know.

And as far as what meats go it what cooker, I put them all in my smoker and it does a wonderful job. I smoked breakfast sausage patties last week, man that was good.

Biggles

Never know when you'll need to smoke a whole pig...better to be prepared!

I'm a Weber fan since I was just a young buck, but after doing much research and watching 5 years of the Food Network, I've come to appreciate other grills out there. I spent about 6 months looking for a great charcoal gril and Tejas Smokers (http://www.tejassmokers.com/) gets the win for me....my x-mas gift will be this:


Notice, there is a propane attachment availabe. I'll get it for boiling up some Pabst Blue Ribbon and slice onions...the perfect finish to some grilled white brats!

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socal_chris



Joined: 02 Oct 2006
Posts: 49
Location: Southern CA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow...3 votes!
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1619
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lots of lurkers, not too many posters. I've got a fair amount of registered users, but I'm not sure they keep coming back to post except for ten or fifteen regulars. A lot of people don't wan tto deal with the funky CAPCHA, but on the other hand it does seem to keep the spam down.
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eltonyo



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: WA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is an engineering forum.

engineer's are concerned with a thing called "efficiency"!

burning many charcoal coals, for a few minutes of BTU's, is a total waste.

gas grills are more efficient... Period.

gas grills can control the temperature to a greater degree.... Period.

just ask the chinese, who opt to stir-fry, using gas powered burners.

efficiency is a good thing.

electricity is pretty darn good too.

before the days of more efficient energy.... coals were good.

hell... a microwave oven can cook a hot-dog (or sticking a nail into each end of a hot-dog, that are connected, respectively to a 120 volt outlet, in less than 60 seconds.

somebody remind me.... what century is this?

p.s. Mr. Chu says: "lots of lurkers, not too many posters. I've got a fair amount of registered users, but I'm not sure they keep coming back to post except for ten or fifteen regulars."

sigh.... well this at least 'splains a few things. (since i am an avid poster, and engineer.... who loves to COOK!!!!!)

Mr. Chu: You have an AMAZING web sight, with a brilliant perspective. Don't give up. Think big. You have layed the ground-work for a future "engineering" (geek) team-up on the FoodNetwork show... (Alton Brown will be humbled!).... I will volunteer to be your right-hand man.

Don't give up..... NERDS (who love to cook).... UNITE!!!!!
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guest
Guest





PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer charcoal to gas. Gas is quick, but charcoaled tastes better. It has the cooked out flavor, where as gas....well, you might as well cook in the kitchen.
Hi Tony, how's it going little buddy.......where is clown # 3? Laughing Out Loud
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eltonyo wrote:
this is an engineering forum.

engineer's are concerned with a thing called "efficiency"!

burning many charcoal coals, for a few minutes of BTU's, is a total waste.

gas grills are more efficient... Period.

gas grills can control the temperature to a greater degree.... Period.

just ask the chinese, who opt to stir-fry, using gas powered burners.

efficiency is a good thing.

electricity is pretty darn good too.

before the days of more efficient energy.... coals were good.

hell... a microwave oven can cook a hot-dog (or sticking a nail into each end of a hot-dog, that are connected, respectively to a 120 volt outlet, in less than 60 seconds.

somebody remind me.... what century is this?

p.s. Mr. Chu says: "lots of lurkers, not too many posters. I've got a fair amount of registered users, but I'm not sure they keep coming back to post except for ten or fifteen regulars."

sigh.... well this at least 'splains a few things. (since i am an avid poster, and engineer.... who loves to COOK!!!!!)

Mr. Chu: You have an AMAZING web sight, with a brilliant perspective. Don't give up. Think big. You have layed the ground-work for a future "engineering" (geek) team-up on the FoodNetwork show... (Alton Brown will be humbled!).... I will volunteer to be your right-hand man.

Don't give up..... NERDS (who love to cook).... UNITE!!!!!


Yawn.

Keeripes man, you gonna reinvent the wheel cause it was made centuries ago? Stop eating bacon cause it was cured with salt and that's centuries old as well?

You may enjoy cooking, but clearly eating and actually tasting your food has eluded your efficient senses.

No skin off muh back, you're the one that has to eat that "efficiency steak".

Biggles
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eltonyo



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: WA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 11:03 pm    Post subject: ! Reply with quote

DrBiggles wrote:
eltonyo wrote:
this is an engineering forum.

engineer's are concerned with a thing called "efficiency"!

burning many charcoal coals, for a few minutes of BTU's, is a total waste.

gas grills are more efficient... Period.

gas grills can control the temperature to a greater degree.... Period.

just ask the chinese, who opt to stir-fry, using gas powered burners.

efficiency is a good thing.

electricity is pretty darn good too.

before the days of more efficient energy.... coals were good.

hell... a microwave oven can cook a hot-dog (or sticking a nail into each end of a hot-dog, that are connected, respectively to a 120 volt outlet, in less than 60 seconds.

somebody remind me.... what century is this?

p.s. Mr. Chu says: "lots of lurkers, not too many posters. I've got a fair amount of registered users, but I'm not sure they keep coming back to post except for ten or fifteen regulars."

sigh.... well this at least 'splains a few things. (since i am an avid poster, and engineer.... who loves to COOK!!!!!)

Mr. Chu: You have an AMAZING web sight, with a brilliant perspective. Don't give up. Think big. You have layed the ground-work for a future "engineering" (geek) team-up on the FoodNetwork show... (Alton Brown will be humbled!).... I will volunteer to be your right-hand man.

Don't give up..... NERDS (who love to cook).... UNITE!!!!!


Yawn.

Keeripes man, you gonna reinvent the wheel cause it was made centuries ago? Stop eating bacon cause it was cured with salt and that's centuries old as well?

You may enjoy cooking, but clearly eating and actually tasting your food has eluded your efficient senses.

No skin off muh back, you're the one that has to eat that "efficiency steak".

Biggles


"No skin off my [your] back, you say? LOL!!! Precious. Well hell then... lets get the check book out! As long as your back has skin!

You sound like one of those guys, who will buy a top level fishing boat, best fishing poles for the money, best tackle, licenses, etc... and spend about $500 bucks an hour (when you tally in how much fish you actually catch yourself, versus what you have paid for power-toys)... and when you finally catch that dream fish.... (for a cost of 10 grand).... you parade it around, burn it on some charcoal, and talk about the "good-ol' days", when real men "caught" their own food.... and cooked it "their" way!

Shea! LOL!!!

Meanwhile... I could buy a salmon fillet locally, and poach it in water even, and with a little creativity, come up with a dish that humbles the great american hunter (with power toys).... for a fraction of the cost.

But hey... this is America. Think big. Spend big. Burn a bag of charcoal to cook your hot-dog weenie and marshmellow treast.

Someday... when we lose the war on inefficient and useless spending ... the efficiency of cooking, will become the fad again, as it has, in all of history, and the majority of people on the planet, since time antiquaty.

But don't listen to me.... I'm just an engineer who gets paid to take "efficiency" into account.... and thats no "skin off your american back!" LMAO!!! (obviously)

Smile

p.s. want some bacon lard with that? how about some precious pine nut oil and saffron spice to go with your "delicate" charcoaled flesh? it's only money... not skin off our [your] backs, eh?
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:15 pm    Post subject: Re: ! Reply with quote

"No skin off my [your] back, you say? LOL!!! Precious. Well hell then... lets get the check book out! As long as your back has skin!

You sound like one of those guys, who will buy a top level fishing boat, best fishing poles for the money, best tackle, licenses, etc... and spend about $500 bucks an hour (when you tally in how much fish you actually catch yourself, versus what you have paid for power-toys)... and when you finally catch that dream fish.... (for a cost of 10 grand).... you parade it around, burn it on some charcoal, and talk about the "good-ol' days", when real men "caught" their own food.... and cooked it "their" way!

Shea! LOL!!!

Meanwhile... I could buy a salmon fillet locally, and poach it in water even, and with a little creativity, come up with a dish that humbles the great american hunter (with power toys).... for a fraction of the cost.

But hey... this is America. Think big. Spend big. Burn a bag of charcoal to cook your hot-dog weenie and marshmellow treast.

Someday... when we lose the war on inefficient and useless spending ... the efficiency of cooking, will become the fad again, as it has, in all of history, and the majority of people on the planet, since time antiquaty.

But don't listen to me.... I'm just an engineer who gets paid to take "efficiency" into account.... and thats no "skin off your american back!" LMAO!!! (obviously)

Smile

p.s. want some bacon lard with that? how about some precious pine nut oil and saffron spice to go with your "delicate" charcoaled flesh? it's only money... not skin off our [your] backs, eh?[/quote]

mMmMm, lard. Yup, make my own lard too. Nope, no fancy boats. I got a charcoal grill, or two. They were free. Keep it simple, silly. I'd hunt or go fishing. But in the San Francisco Bay Area, the deer are protected and the fish have so much crap in them you are only allowed to have 1 per month.
I'm efficient where it warrants it. Not with charcoal, nor with food.

I drove over an hour on Friday to buy bacon. YEAH.

Biggles
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socal_chris



Joined: 02 Oct 2006
Posts: 49
Location: Southern CA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did we need to move this to the political debate forum? Teasing

I can re-use my coals 2 and sometimes 3 times, depending on what I cook. I use a chimney starter and burn newspaper I would have thrown away, instead of lighter fluid. I can taste lighter fluid.

And those crazy high-tech vents on the grill....if you close them when you pull your food off, the coals go out and are still 50-60% in tact for re-use.

I cooked steaks 3 times last week on one set of coals. High heat and short cooking times = little use of coals.

For the taste, it's well worth it. Propane aint free either!

Just my $0.02. But I'm not an engineer...I sell software. What do I know?

LOL

Now go back and cast a vote!
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