Author Topic: Propane vs Charcoal  (Read 6633 times)

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Offline Lobar

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Propane vs Charcoal
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2008, 08:31:26 pm »
Charcoal, or even better yet a mixture of fairly green Hickory/Pecan, Oak, and perhaps some maple thrown in.

I have a serious interest in making southern style BBQ, (uncured Hams, Pork Shoulders, or half/whole hog that has been has been slow cooked over coals) and have done it over gas before. The end result of this is a really good piece of pork that has been roasted for 6 hours, which really isn't BBQ.

BBQ pork need to have some of the smoked wood flavor in order for it to be BBQ, and the gas doesn't really cut it. --Same thing with Hamburgers, hotdogs, and whatever else you might want to grill.
Alton Brown's method of a cheap, DIY smoker:

Take a large, circular terra cotta planter from a lawn and garden store with sloped sides.  Prop it up on bricks, and set an electric hot plate on some more bricks in the bottom.  Run the cord out through the drainage hole that should naturally be in the pot, and make sure the hole isn't blocked for air intake.  Set wood chips on the hot plate, and a round grate from a kettle-type grill in the planter, and the meat atop the grate.  Then, take a terra cotta bowl and invert it to cover the top of the planter.  Put a large stem thermometer in the bowl's drainage hole.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2008, 11:43:09 am by Blastdav »
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Offline guf

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Re: Propane vs Charcoal
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2008, 10:33:42 am »
Charcoal, please.

And no, it doesn't have to take a long time to get ready, nor use lighter fluid.  With a proper chimney starter, it'll start right up while you're doing your food prep.  I use two chimneys' worth plus some extra after the spread, give it 5 mins to settle while I stage the food, and then go to it.  I like to light my chimneys with electric starters, but a wad of vegetable-oily paper in the bottom will work fine too.  Or a blowtorch...  that works splendidly!

For grilling, wood is nice, but if you're going all-wood for your fuel you'll need to let most of it burn down and only add a little fresh wood for flavoring.  Using all wood will be overpowering, unless you're a beaver furry. 
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Offline RedneckFur

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Re: Propane vs Charcoal
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2008, 01:13:54 am »
I've got a grill and two meat smokers. Both smokers use wood chips to add flavor. I prefer charcoal for grilling beef, and pork.

But to cook traditional southern pork BBQ, you have to cook whole-hog on a low pressure gas system.
Those cookers are uasually home built. The grill is built from a 150 gallon oil drum, and the 4 burners come out of an old tobacco curing barn.  there are alot of locals that specialise in building these cookers and selling them. I've seen a few comericial makers try to get in on the BBQ market, but none come close. I've built a few pig cookers myself, and in high school, I helped build a chicken fryer that fries 120 lbs of chicken at once :P

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Offline Acton

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Re: Propane vs Charcoal
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2008, 02:55:57 am »
Before they banned ope flame BBQ from my apartment complex balcony , I used only natural lump charcoal.

Offline South Munjoy

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Re: Propane vs Charcoal
« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2008, 08:01:13 pm »
Before they banned ope flame BBQ from my apartment complex balcony , I used only natural lump charcoal.

If you can, find another Apt. when your lease runs out. Look for a ground floor unit, with a patio type deal. You probably won't have much trouble having a BBQ and the cool thing about ground floor units, is that during the summer, your Apt will be cooler if your upstairs neighbor runs his AC. --Thermal convection will take care of a good deal of your AC needs.

Offline shakuhachi

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Re: Propane vs Charcoal
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2008, 03:14:25 pm »
There is no comparison. Charcoal.  I always just start the coals when I'm not hungry.

Offline Itico

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Re: Propane vs Charcoal
« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2008, 01:12:20 am »
Okay, now this is a pet peeve of mine.  People way over simplify the debate.  It makes it look like those idiot 'tastes great' 'less filling' commercials.

People, I have used both.  I like both.  But, the truth is, the 'charcoal vs. gas' debate is really null.  Why?

Do you use a hammer to open a jar of pickles?  I don't.

I burned up my last gas grill because I tried to treat it like a barbeque.  Well, it's not.

As has been mentioned, charcoal is slower.  That makes it best for slow cooking at lower heat.

Gas grills are hotter and are great for making things quickly.

Charcoal gives extra flavor from the smoke, sure enough.  Some people say that gas gives stuff a strange flavor.  Well, hey, I've had chicken that tasted like lighter fluid before.

Some of you might not be aware of this, on the scale of what's good for our environment, charcoal is the worst of the two.

I would like to introduce a new concept to some of you.  I saw it in action a few weeks ago.


Now, that's good stuff and it's clean.  Okay, not as cheap as a Tiawanese made gas grill, which my last one was, or a bag of charcoal in a pit.

But, I think it has both beat, hands and paws down.
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Offline CiceroKit

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Re: Propane vs Charcoal
« Reply #32 on: July 16, 2008, 09:18:57 pm »
I'm with Itico. :)

Charcoal is the least environmental option, and I know there is debate about the taste, but I can honestly say I have had really good meat and veggies cooked all of the ways described. I typically use my electric grill (more environmental than charcoal and propane, but not quite as environmental as solar, according to the Sierra Club). I think there are a lot of facets to a great tasting grilled product, marinades and rubs not with-standing. So, while going a bit off topic, I will share a marinade recipe that works for whatever method you so desire. I have used this with salmon steaks, mainly, but think it would be good for a variety of meat.

2 Tbsp. tamari (variation of soy sauce)
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. ginger puree
juice of 1 lemon or orange

Mix ingredients and pour over raw meat. Let set for four hours or more.
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