Ask Jen about grilling

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Summer is finally here, and with it, a picnic table outside to gather around. And a grill. Mmmm… the grill. Your mouth just watered, didn’t it? And so begins that age old debate: gas or charcoal?

Let’s look at the logistics.

Gas grilling

Gas frilling is fast. Turn a knob, push a button and there it is. A beautiful, controllable flame in which to cook over. No dirty charcoals, just a nice, clean refillable white propane tank, and no praying that your arm isn’t soaked in starter fluid when you light them. Yikes! Quicker to cool and easy to brush the grate, cover and put away after the meal.

There’s no denying that gas grilling is all-around quicker and cleaner. You can pick up a gas grill on almost any budget, starting at around $150.00. Bonus: a lot of gas grills have one or more side burners, just like your kitchen stovetop. So, you’re saying I can cook my sides on the grill and keep the kitchen clean? Yes, please!

Charcoal grilling

Some might say that grilling with charcoal is an art form that needs to be taught and learned. There are so many more elements to master when using charcoal, like what brand of charcoal and starter fluid to use, how much of each to use, the way in which you stack them, the placement of the hot coals, and the length of time to allow them to “get ready” before placing your food over them. All of this to get just the right amount of that smokey flavor in whatever you may be grilling.

Ah, that delicious smokey flavor that can only be obtained by cooking with charcoal.

Which to choose

So, gas or charcoal? A gas grill is faster, cleaner, and easier to use than a charcoal grill, but a charcoal grill is cheaper, more portable, and gives meat that sought-after smokey flavor. So ultimately, which one is better?  That would have to be determined by each individual user. There are pros and cons to every aspect of grilling, and it basically just comes down to personal preference.

My personal flame of choice? Charcoal if I have the time, gas if I don’t (I know, I know, it’s a cop-out). They make my mouth water equally.

-Jen

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