I’ve always been a fan of BBQ-ing. The first thing my husband & I bought when we moved into our first house was a propane BBQ (actually a case of beer was first, than the BBQ). And since we were renovating our kitchen at the time, we spent a lot of time cooking outside. On to our second house we had a gas valve installed in the backyard so we would never be caught without the flame (yes it has happened before & it sucks).
So BBQ-ing with propane was easy, once I got past my initial fear of blowing up the house by the push of the ignition button, and very convenient. But something was missing. It just didn’t feel like BBQ-ing, not the BBQ-ing I was use to . You know the get your hands dirty, forever waiting, billowing smoke into ash BBQ-ing. Using propane felt more like cooking on the stove outside, which isn’t a bad thing but I wanted more.
I’ve always been a big fan of charcoal. One of my dreams is to go down to the Memphis in May festival where they smoke and smolder meat for days to get it just right. I’ve tried to convince my hubby many times to switch back, instead we would always end up with a bigger, shinier gas machine. Then after talking to some other friends who had converted, he saw the light.
We are now the proud owners of a little Weber grill. I’d like to get a nice large Green Egg, but you have to start somewhere. Babysteps.
So using charcoal isn’t as convenient as ga. Instead BBQ-ing is an experience. And the charcoal BBQ isn’t like the little hibachi you had growing up. Now many charcoal grills have extra vents & screens for adjusting the cooking temperature, plus other features like built in temperature gauges, propane starters, and easy clean ash buckets just to name a few.
And I find there’s more tinkering with charcoal which is fun: size and shape of the coals, where and how they are placed on the Q, and wood chips to add to the coals, not to mention all the accessories you expect with a propane grill. All this adds variety to your meat and gives you the option to smoke and not just grill. Even the smoke smells better on charcoal.
Now charcoal may not be an environmentally sound option, but with my grill, I could use wood instead of lump coal if I choose to. I haven’t done that yet.
I’m sure many gas BBQers will disagree with me about switching to charcoal and that’s fine. But there’s no denying the taste. Food grilled or smoked over charcoal just taste so much better. Smoking ribs for four hours over a low heat turns out the best food I’ve had in in a long time. And since most cooking is done with heat versus a flame, you don’t end up chewing on a lot of charred meat.
Yes, I don’t think there’s any going back to propane. Now I just need to find someone to buy my DCS so I can upgrade to the Green Egg. Anyone?