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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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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

socal_chris wrote:

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?


Didn't you guys take chemistry? The byproducts of carbonaceous combustion of are always water vapor and carbon dioxide. That means wood, charcoal and propane all have the same basic endproducts.

I vote for propane. You can use a smokerbox in your grill for specific smoked flavor with low heat. For steaks on a very hot grill, just drill out the gas orifice to a larger size. See my post here:
http://www.cookingforengineers.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=6951&highlight=#6951

Gas fired smokers also work very well. Besides, as far as water is concerned, many smokers use water inside to keep the air moist. The smoke does its thing just fine in the presence of increased humidity.
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 352
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GaryProtein wrote:
Didn't you guys take chemistry? The byproducts of carbonaceous combustion of are always water vapor and carbon dioxide. That means wood, charcoal and propane all have the same basic endproducts.

I vote for propane. You can use a smokerbox in your grill for specific smoked flavor with low heat. For steaks on a very hot grill, just drill out the gas orifice to a larger size. See my post here:
http://www.cookingforengineers.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=6951&highlight=#6951

Gas fired smokers also work very well. Besides, as far as water is concerned, many smokers use water inside to keep the air moist. The smoke does its thing just fine in the presence of increased humidity.


I attempted Chemistry and was actually motivated but not forced. But the instructor was such a nut job it blew my trip and I left. A 2 day lecture on how bad table salt was for you and lab time was spent listening to Zamphir on his pan flute. It still makes me shiver.

Biggles
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eltonyo



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: WA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GaryProtein wrote:
socal_chris wrote:

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?


Didn't you guys take chemistry? The byproducts of carbonaceous combustion of are always water vapor and carbon dioxide. That means wood, charcoal and propane all have the same basic endproducts.

I vote for propane. You can use a smokerbox in your grill for specific smoked flavor with low heat. For steaks on a very hot grill, just drill out the gas orifice to a larger size. See my post here:
http://www.cookingforengineers.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=6951&highlight=#6951

Gas fired smokers also work very well. Besides, as far as water is concerned, many smokers use water inside to keep the air moist. The smoke does its thing just fine in the presence of increased humidity.


i agree.

and chemistry aside, it's the efficiency and superior control of heat and temperature that really counts.

i actually rigged up a smaller gas powered "hibachi" to burn the wood chips, that feed into my larger gas grill. 100% percent gas, and speed, and ease, and efficiency all around.... combined with superb smokey BBQ flavor and great caramelized ("maillard reaction" in meats) goodness .

people just need to step-outta-da-box.... and push the pretty red "light" button, with a little frontal lobe action, and creativity.

yep, yep, yep.... i reckon so, cowboys. ain't nutt'in like dat dar maillard reaction and such creep'in up your protein and all, with a finely tuned gas grill (that makes ya wanna smack your momma), with a long-haired-digital-thermometer cooking to perfection, and cooks faster then-tham-there 'flies landing on a rib roast'... if ya know whadda-mean... *spit*.... *spit*....

* Spit! *..... DING!.... "Bingo!!!" YeeeeeeHaaaaw!!!!! Smile


Now THAT be good-eats...y'all! Wink

p.s. want some fancy-schmancy parsley garnish and twist of orange with that? "Hey Moe.... where's my Santoku knife.... have yoose been split'in wood and shav'in yer ugly face with it again?!"

p.s.2 DOH! ... sorry all.... it's the family of clowns that live within my head, and sleep under my bed, and bicker and snicker all night long (with their big clown feet!)... that make me speak the truth!
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jimjimjim9



Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eltonyo: I would like to hear more about the set-up you constructed, re:

"i actually rigged up a smaller gas powered "hibachi" to burn the wood chips, that feed into my larger gas grill."

Do you have pics, procedures, details of appliances and fittings, etc.? Is it powered by updraft, or fan? Smoke feed by hose? What provisions to focus circulation of smoke across the product, or are results better with random smoke once inside the gas grill? Exhaust from gas grill? What food products have you successfully cooked with this arrangement? If you were the engineer responsible for setting this system up in a commercial situation, how would you tweak it? Etc.

Looking forward to a focused engineering response.
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 352
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eltonyo wrote:
GaryProtein wrote:
socal_chris wrote:

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?


Didn't you guys take chemistry? The byproducts of carbonaceous combustion of are always water vapor and carbon dioxide. That means wood, charcoal and propane all have the same basic endproducts.

I vote for propane. You can use a smokerbox in your grill for specific smoked flavor with low heat. For steaks on a very hot grill, just drill out the gas orifice to a larger size. See my post here:
http://www.cookingforengineers.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=6951&highlight=#6951

Gas fired smokers also work very well. Besides, as far as water is concerned, many smokers use water inside to keep the air moist. The smoke does its thing just fine in the presence of increased humidity.


i agree.

and chemistry aside, it's the efficiency and superior control of heat and temperature that really counts.

i actually rigged up a smaller gas powered "hibachi" to burn the wood chips, that feed into my larger gas grill. 100% percent gas, and speed, and ease, and efficiency all around.... combined with superb smokey BBQ flavor and great caramelized ("maillard reaction" in meats) goodness .

people just need to step-outta-da-box.... and push the pretty red "light" button, with a little frontal lobe action, and creativity.

yep, yep, yep.... i reckon so, cowboys. ain't nutt'in like dat dar maillard reaction and such creep'in up your protein and all, with a finely tuned gas grill (that makes ya wanna smack your momma), with a long-haired-digital-thermometer cooking to perfection, and cooks faster then-tham-there 'flies landing on a rib roast'... if ya know whadda-mean... *spit*.... *spit*....

* Spit! *..... DING!.... "Bingo!!!" YeeeeeeHaaaaw!!!!! Smile


Now THAT be good-eats...y'all! Wink

p.s. want some fancy-schmancy parsley garnish and twist of orange with that? "Hey Moe.... where's my Santoku knife.... have yoose been split'in wood and shav'in yer ugly face with it again?!"

p.s.2 DOH! ... sorry all.... it's the family of clowns that live within my head, and sleep under my bed, and bicker and snicker all night long (with their big clown feet!)... that make me speak the truth!


Uh huh.

Not only do I still use charcoal? I still use film in my camera. And if that isn't enough, my knives rust if I don't dry them right after washing. It's my nature.

xo,

Biggles
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socal_chris



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

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least there are 5 votes in these 2 pages of replies.

And ya...last chem class I took was in highschool...even got the science scholarship..shows how much you retain..or how rediculous our standards are for education...or both. Teasing

I still like coal. Maybe it's traditionalism or something like that. Doesn't mean I won't eat your steaks off the super hibachi-hybrid nuclear grill.

Meat's meat and a man's gotta eat.
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eltonyo



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: WA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

truth be told... i'm starting to like that "drbiggles" guy, and his responses.

uh huh.

he has a nice way with words, that i like. "uh huh".

dear dr. biggles,

i have a strange fondness for the "good-ol-days" too, in some respects.

i still drive (on occasion), a 1978 VW bus, with an air-cooled, fuel injected, hydraulic lifter, engine, built with old-school german technology. she may be old and unefficient (relative too today's world), but i know her every inch and cranny and nerve spot to make her sing. it's a "guy" thing. and she "talks" to me (and i listen)... and i feel her pains. (hint: she likes it a bit "rich"... if ya know what i mean!)

...* reflections from a day gone by *.... waking up.... in the back of my VW bus, on a windy ocean shore, next to a knarley pine tree, with one leg outside my sheet, as the breeze blows up my thigh, and the smell of black coffee, cooking off the propane burner, creeps up my nose, and i coil my legs in the fetal position.... take a deep breath.... as the bacon hits the hard iron pan, and i pray this day not to end, under puffy white cumulous clouds, and a sky of blue. good things. old things. an old friend.

and don't even get me started on my classic 1967 'tuxedo park edition' cj5 jeep (original color was "pink", but i like to call her color "salmon" when my wife ain't driving it!). she's a work horse.... a 225 6-cylinder buick, built like a brick sh*t house.....she may be ineffecient.... but i know her backwards and forwards... and side to side. (hint: she like's it a bit "lean"... if ya know what i mean!)

i just never realized... until now... that cooking a "steak" over charcoal or gas could actually be analogous. pffft! who knew?

sigh.....ok, ok, ok....long live charcoal!

and long live my "Betsy" (my old '67 jeep), and "Lucy", my old '75 VW shag wagon.

and oh.... Ooohhhh.... the pretty gas fuel! (over lumps of coal).

but in the end, my friend.... i "mostly" love my efficent over-head cam toyota.... and gas grill... and ipod!!!! (with some cheese, of course).


p.s. color me fickle. sigh. Smile

so to sum up... in your words.... (more or less..)

uh huh.... i still like her.... the old bag! Smile

and i must confess.... your pretty darn convincing sir!

uh huh.

p.s.2 as forrest gump would say..... "that's all i'm gonna say 'bout that!'


Last edited by eltonyo on Tue Oct 31, 2006 4:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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socal_chris



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

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll drink to that!

Like my '73 Ghia with the 1600cc air cooled power plant. That thing sat in the garage for over 3 years with the same gas...I put the battery charger on it and covered the carb with my palm...wife turned it right over. Gotta love it.

And my love for the coals relates more to the male ego of "how it's supposed to be done", I think. This would be a good post for the CookingForPsychologists.com site.

Like working on the car or in the garden...I cannot do it without beer. It's like a tool in itself.

Thanks for all the insight...I've never put so much thought into the "why" behind my charcoal fetish.
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 352
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2006 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eltonyo wrote:
truth be told... i'm starting to like that "drbiggles" guy, and his responses.

uh huh.

i still drive (on occasion), a 1978 VW bus, with an air-cooled, fuel injected, hydraulic lifter, engine, built with old-school german technology. she may be old and unefficient (relative too today's world), but i know her every inch and cranny and nerve spot to make her sing. it's a "guy" thing. and she "talks" to me (and i listen)... and i feel her pains. (hint: she likes it a bit "rich"... if ya know what i mean!)


Yop, yop. Love the VW. Had me a '68 Westfalia (no poptop), 73 transporter, 2 69 bugs and a 65 bug. Those are 5 out of maybe 28 vehicles I've owned over the years. Most of which I'd probably buy again, sigh.

Oh, and I never bought in to this whole, music on a CD thing. I never thought it was going anywhere. Man, you want inefficiency? Records baby, that's where it's at. 12" across and a box worth weighs tons. What kind of insanity is that? I have shelves worth.

Biggles
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Thor



Joined: 24 Jul 2006
Posts: 112
Location: Camp Hill, PA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:38 pm    Post subject: Late to the Party Reply with quote

Ah yes, this thread demonstrates one of the flaws plaguing the engineering industry today. Clients want immediate results and they want it done cheap. So our bosses want our designs done yesterday. Screw quality control and workmanship. They tell us to hurry up, get it done, and if we have to redesign later, we’ll fight for a change order!! What ever happened to the sense of pride and integrity that drove the engineering profession toward the notion of doing things right, and doing them well??

I miss those times at work. But at home, much to the disagreement of Mrs. Thor, I am the King of my Domain. Things done in my Domain are done the right way, with adequate PPD: planning, preparation, and determination. PPD occasionally takes more time than “lesser” methods. But time is NOT the only variable affecting efficiency. And, I would argue that with proper PPD, you too could accomplish your tasks as fast using inferior quick and dirty methods.

As you have already surmised, I have cast my vote for charcoal. It produces higher heat levels without having to turbo boost my grill, it provides greater flexibility by creating multiple heat zones, it makes smoke without any additional effort on my part, and the combined smell of meat and smoke brings my neighbors out of their houses. And the lingering smoke smell left on my clothes works better on my wife (nudge, nudge; wink, wink) than expensive cologne. Plus, without explosive propane or lighter fluids, it’s a great way to teach my kids how to play with fire. And, oh yeah, the food tastes fantastic.

With a little experimentation on timing and a touch of PPD, there is no reason that the process from match ignition to hot grate should significantly cramp your style. Once you have a feel for how long the coal lighting process takes, you can set out a game plan that works with that process. Light the coals, prep your vittles, spread coals to heat grate, set the table. By then the grill is ready. Cook, eat, and be merry. If marinating is involved, do that first, then light the coals. A little experimentation is required to develop a system that works for you. Once that system is in place, the “burden” of charcoal fuel is eliminated. Screw the little red button.

The real magic happens on those days when you have time to screw around. Pack a cooler with a few steaks, veggies, bread dough, and adult beverages of your choosing. Invite a few friends over or gather up your chilluns. Turn the stereo in the house up loud enough for the neighbors to hear. Head to the grill with a pack of matches, pull up a lawn chair, and kick back. Relax. There’s a great deal of pleasure involved with working with smoke and fire. And the best way to celebrate the tradition of outdoor grilling and to maximize that pleasure is by using charcoal.
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George Chow



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 13
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:24 pm    Post subject: charcoal or gas for barbecue Reply with quote

if the choice is either charcoal or open flame gas burners, then i would say charcoal. the meat comes out juicier because of the heat. if you are talking about a compromise that is cleaner to handle that charcoal and juicier than regular gas barbecue, then i am for infrared burners followed by regular gas barbecue cooking. for thin slices of meat or fish, you can even eliminate the regular gas cooking at the end. as far as i know, tec is the first to come up with the idea - http://www.tecinfrared.com. now char-broil is integrating the tec burners in their grills also. http://www.charbroil.com
because infrared grills are expensive, i actually bought my own burner and did some experiment - cost of burner - $125 plus hookup versus thousands for the ready to use type.
i actually wanted to post something else here because i am also using the infrared burners for my home built refractory pizza oven - for naples style pizza. which requires temperature above 650 degrees f. i bought 2 new lp gas tanks and had them filled at a place in san francisco. since the tanks were new, they needed to be purged of the air inside the tank. however, they station did not know what they are doing and did not purge the air properly causing my burners not to turn red. so for you people out there that just bought a new lp tank, beware of this issue and bring it back to the station to be refilled properly should you experience flame out or poor performance from the burners
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 352
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:38 pm    Post subject: Re: charcoal or gas for barbecue Reply with quote

George Chow wrote:
if the choice is either charcoal or open flame gas burners, then i would say charcoal. the meat comes out juicier because of the heat. if you are talking about a compromise that is cleaner to handle that charcoal and juicier than regular gas barbecue, then i am for infrared burners followed by regular gas barbecue cooking. for thin slices of meat or fish, you can even eliminate the regular gas cooking at the end. as far as i know, tec is the first to come up with the idea - http://www.tecinfrared.com. now char-broil is integrating the tec burners in their grills also. http://www.charbroil.com
because infrared grills are expensive, i actually bought my own burner and did some experiment - cost of burner - $125 plus hookup versus thousands for the ready to use type.
i actually wanted to post something else here because i am also using the infrared burners for my home built refractory pizza oven - for naples style pizza. which requires temperature above 650 degrees f. i bought 2 new lp gas tanks and had them filled at a place in san francisco. since the tanks were new, they needed to be purged of the air inside the tank. however, they station did not know what they are doing and did not purge the air properly causing my burners not to turn red. so for you people out there that just bought a new lp tank, beware of this issue and bring it back to the station to be refilled properly should you experience flame out or poor performance from the burners


Uhngh? I'm sorry, I wasn't listening. What was that?

I wasn't aware the fine people of Naples used infrared thingies in their refractory pizza ovens. Why can't you just use wood?

That's how tandoor ovens reach their 700, 800+ oven temperatures, wood. They use wood and a time tested, centuries old design.

I suppose if you're looking to do something different, a fuel other than wood? Why not fuel your outdoor, handmade bread oven with napalm? Boy, talk about getting a great bang for the buck and that shit burns forever. Don't get it on your shoes though, that's a tough removal process by anyones standard.

And don't give me that, "Oh, but Biggles !!! I don't know where you live, but around here you can't just go to your local neighborhood grocery and buy napalm." All you need is some shaved bar soap, then mix in some gasoline. This works exceptionally well, every time. Plus it stays lit with an even heat, for hours. Takes just like you used propane, every time.

Biggles
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George Chow



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 13
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:33 am    Post subject: charcoal or gas for barbecue Reply with quote

biggles wrote: Uhngh? I'm sorry, I wasn't listening. What was that?

I wasn't aware the fine people of Naples used infrared thingies in their refractory pizza ovens. Why can't you just use wood?

That's how tandoor ovens reach their 700, 800+ oven temperatures, wood. They use wood and a time tested, centuries old design.

I suppose if you're looking to do something different, a fuel other than wood? Why not fuel your outdoor, handmade bread oven with napalm? Boy, talk about getting a great bang for the buck and that shit burns forever. Don't get it on your shoes though, that's a tough removal process by anyones standard.

And don't give me that, "Oh, but Biggles !!! I don't know where you live, but around here you can't just go to your local neighborhood grocery and buy napalm." All you need is some shaved bar soap, then mix in some gasoline. This works exceptionally well, every time. Plus it stays lit with an even heat, for hours. Takes just like you used propane, every time.


i agree with you totally - wood is the preferred fuel for naples style pizza. i would have used wood, if i had the space and the time to build a foundation strong enough to support the oven, which can easily go over a few thousand pounds.
may be you can show me how to use wood as a fuel for a oven that is 26"x28"x16" that can burn wood, can reach over 650 degrees and still be able to accomodate the pizza inside the oven.
fyi- infrared red burner's fuel is natural gas or propane and in italy, a lot of the naples style pizza ovens are using gas burners instead of wood. may be you should take a trip over to italy to see for yourself
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Late to the Party Reply with quote

[quote="Thor"]Ah yes, this thread demonstrates one of the flaws plaguing the engineering industry today. Clients want immediate results and they want it done cheap. So our bosses want our designs done yesterday. Screw quality control and workmanship. They tell us to hurry up, get it done, and if we have to redesign later, we’ll fight for a change order!! What ever happened to the sense of pride and integrity that drove the engineering profession toward the notion of doing things right, and doing them well??[/quote]


I was at a welding shop recently. They had a sign up where they write up your orders for custom work listing the three parameters of manufacturing: speed, cost and quality. The sign stated:



You can have your work done in one of two ways

slow, reasonably priced and good
fast, expensive and good

You CANNOT have it fast, cheaply priced and good.
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Thor



Joined: 24 Jul 2006
Posts: 112
Location: Camp Hill, PA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:17 pm    Post subject: Grill On Reply with quote

Quote:
I was at a welding shop recently. They had a sign up where they write up your orders for custom work listing the three parameters of manufacturing: speed, cost and quality. The sign stated:



You can have your work done in one of two ways

slow, reasonably priced and good
fast, expensive and good

You CANNOT have it fast, cheaply priced and good.


I like your welder. You should commission him to fabricate you a grill.
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