May 26, 2006

Hank Hill Adores Propane

I was still stumbling around in my early morning haze when the phone rang. It was Wendy in the midst of her morning commute. She suggested, since the weather was so gorgeous, that I defrost something for us to grill for dinner.

That well-timed thought spawned a fabulous evening feast.

We've always been a charcoal-grilling household but we recently absorbed a gas grill when my mother downsized.

I'm a bit leary of switching teams. I've heard grilling with gas is not really grilling at all, that real barbeque flavor comes from the charcoal. Yet the convenience appeals to me.

I mean really. Gas grills require significantly less effort. With a charcoal grill, one must arrange the briquettes, set them ablaze and patiently wait for them to gray to a perfect emberly glow, said perfection dependent on what is being grilled. There is no science to determining when the coals are ready; it's a guessing game with many different answers but only one right one.

But a gas grill? Press the ignition button and bam! Ready to grill. Fire too hot? Turn the knob right. Fire too cool? Turn the knob left. Simple in theory, the same in practice?

It seems appropriate on the eve of this Memorial Day weekend to solicit opinions on advantages and/or disadvantages of grilling with gas. Hints? Tips? Tricks? Traps? Do, don't, must, musn't?

Clue me in, folks.
The perfect burger may be riding on your response.



Gina said...

Oddly enough, I can see food as art. Maybe because I like it so much.

Anyhoo, my entire family uses nothing but gas grills, my dad started using gas about 10 years ago, and has never looked back.

I don't really miss the black charring that briquettes give.

A bit nostaligic, but I don't miss it. The only problems anyone has ever had is underestimating the amount of propane in the tank, necessitating a panic trip, but that was just twice in ten years or so.

weese said...

I love the convenience of the gas grille. that far outweighs the realistic grilled flavor from the charcoal briquettes.
remember.. when lighting the grille - if it doesn't light on the first or second push of the button...stand back.
also - do the soap test when ever changeing the tank, and once in the spring up around the hoses that go to the knobs. Saftey First.

Middle Girl said...

Gas grilling, the only way to go. The convenience helped get & keep the *kids* involved. My daughter does most of the outdoor stuff.

Have a happy and safe holiday weekend.


cbar said...

I love grilling food. If I had it my way, I'd grill all my food, outside on the grill, all year long...

Geeky Dragon Girl said...

They sell that "realistic charcoal taste" in jars now, don't they? My gas grill has a little pocket in the center to put in such flavorings. Plus, if you slather the food in BBQ sauce, you don't taste that extra little flavor anyway. Convenience is sooo much better than realism if you ask me.

whispers said...

Grilling is the best way to eat all spring, summer, fall (and yes even winter, in the snow).

A brat in the oven....even under the broiler is greasy and just not right. And with a gas grill I can have them year round.

I have never really gotten the major difference in taste that some people do between gas and charcol, but its so much easier and quicker that it really doesn't matter.

Enjoy your grilling how ever you wish, and have a great holiday weekend!

maxine said...

Be careful what you wish for C. When we moved into la casa there was a huge remode;l going on. Wait...there is still a remodel going on...

Anyway, no stove for about a year so I cooked everything on the grill. Baked bread and a cake on the grill. Mac and cheese from the gourmet deli? Throw it on the grill. All of it.

Then dishes got washed in the shower!

CoffeeDog said...

You can try those hickory chips to give the meat a smoky flavor..