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    Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    After having gone through four gas grills in the last 10 years or so, I'm seriously considering switching back to charcoal. I know one of the big drawbacks is waiting for the coals to heat up but according to what I've read it only takes 20-25 minutes. Surely (don't call me Shirley) I can kill that much time getting my meat (heheh) ready.

    Has anyone else switched or considered switching to coal (or maybe you never left!)?



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    Re: Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    Well, Shirley, I always had charcoal until recently, and I would never switch back. I grill way more often now due to the convenience, and I think the food usually tastes better.



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    Re: Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    Quote Originally Posted by ruxCYtable View Post
    After having gone through four gas grills in the last 10 years or so, I'm seriously considering switching back to charcoal. I know one of the big drawbacks is waiting for the coals to heat up but according to what I've read it only takes 20-25 minutes. Surely (don't call me Shirley) I can kill that much time getting my meat (heheh) ready.

    Has anyone else switched or considered switching to coal (or maybe you never left!)?
    We had a gas grill when we lived in our apartment in Ames. After my wife and I graduated we moved to an apartment in Des Moines and we had to get rid of it per the new management group, so I sold it to my sister and her husband. When we got a house a few years ago getting a grill wasn't an expense we could afford at the time so we just got a cheapo Weber charcoal grill. Food tastes a lot better on the charcoal but the convenience (or lack thereof) of it really takes away from the experience. I grill out every so often but if I had a gas grill I would grill way more often, much like I did when I lived in Ames.


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    Re: Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    Well, we have both at our house. The charcoal grill is a old, small grill, more like for tailgating. But, the food definitely tastes better on the charcoal than with gas.

    We grill out fairly regularly during the summer. I also have a portable charcoal grill for tailgating that I use when I'm at school, and I use it quite a bit.


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    Re: Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    I am a gas grill guy. If I am home in the summer at dinner time, its grill time. Charcoal costs too much and take soo long. I also hate when I am grilling for a lot of people and my coals get cold.

    Bought a nice grill last year on clearance and am very happy.



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    Re: Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    Wow that many gas grills in that short of time is astounding. My family has had 1 gas grill for twelve years maybe. It is falling apart in a couple of different ways (broken, but still functional burner knobs, broken wheels, hinges a little iffy, etc.) What kinds of gas grills were you using? Did you have a cover on it? I don't think we did but i suppose it would help to store it in the winter.

    But yeah, you will face the usual increase in taste and increase in time investment to cook.

    Its a Weber Gas grill btw.


    Last edited by Trainer; 05-17-2011 at 12:10 PM.

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    Re: Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    Quote Originally Posted by ruxCYtable View Post
    After having gone through four gas grills in the last 10 years or so, I'm seriously considering switching back to charcoal. I know one of the big drawbacks is waiting for the coals to heat up but according to what I've read it only takes 20-25 minutes. Surely (don't call me Shirley) I can kill that much time getting my meat (heheh) ready.

    Has anyone else switched or considered switching to coal (or maybe you never left!)?

    What's your budget? I had a cheap (CharBroil I think) gas grill that we got as a wedding present. It was a piece of crap that didn't cook well and was wearing out. Five or six years ago, I dropped about $800 and bought a Holland. I freaking LOVE that grill. It's got a drip pan between the burners and the cooking surface so you're cooking with indirect heat, thus, no flare ups/hot spots. It's great for burgers or steaks, but I've also cooked more "complicated" things like pork loin on it that are amazing. It's got a (very small, wish it was bigger) drawer for wood chips so you can smoke, or you can fill up the drip pan with water and steam (very good for fish). I guess I'm demeaning my own grilling skills, but the thing is really idiot proof. I've never once noticed any "gas" taste to anything, and I would put the flavor up against anything I've ever had off a charcoal grill.

    I'm no charcoal hater and if that's the route you choose to go, more power to you. That said, if you don't mind dropping some coin and choose to go with a gas grill, I'd highly recommend taking a look at a Holland. Good luck Shirley.



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    Re: Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    I have both. A Weber Q100 for tailgating/small grilling meals at home/winter use, then a Weber Performer charcoal grill for larger meals during the summer months. They both serve their purpose well. I have a charcoal chimney which speeds up the process considerably. Drink a beer or two and you are ready to go!



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    Re: Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    If you are willing to go through the added effort of a charcoal grill then go for it.

    I personally have a gas Weber. I think the food taste just fine and I would not switch just because of the convienience. I grill pretty much year round so that is something to take into consideration as well.


    Oh and as far as going through the gas models as fast as you are I would reccomend spending the extra cash on a better brand/model. My father inlaw had a gas weber for like 12 years before he upgraded and I am going on year 5 on my weber. Im not pitching the weber brand just trying to say that you can find ones that will last much longer if you are willing to spend the extra cash. I also have a cover for mine to keep the weather from taking its toll so that might help too!


    Last edited by CykoAGR; 05-17-2011 at 12:15 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    Quote Originally Posted by ca4cy View Post
    What's your budget? I had a cheap (CharBroil I think) gas grill that we got as a wedding present. It was a piece of crap that didn't cook well and was wearing out. Five or six years ago, I dropped about $800 and bought a Holland. I freaking LOVE that grill. It's got a drip pan between the burners and the cooking surface so you're cooking with indirect heat, thus, no flare ups/hot spots. It's great for burgers or steaks, but I've also cooked more "complicated" things like pork loin on it that are amazing. It's got a (very small, wish it was bigger) drawer for wood chips so you can smoke, or you can fill up the drip pan with water and steam (very good for fish). I guess I'm demeaning my own grilling skills, but the thing is really idiot proof. I've never once noticed any "gas" taste to anything, and I would put the flavor up against anything I've ever had off a charcoal grill.

    I'm no charcoal hater and if that's the route you choose to go, more power to you. That said, if you don't mind dropping some coin and choose to go with a gas grill, I'd highly recommend taking a look at a Holland. Good luck Shirley.
    I'll second that. My parents have a Holland and really love it.

    Personally, I'm a poor grad student so I bought a $25 Wal-Mart special charcoal last spring. I love the taste from cooking with charcoal, but I agree that the warm-up time gets frustrating. If you go the charcoal route, I'd suggest getting a decent Weber grill. My parents used to have one of those and after using my cheap one I really miss the nice Weber unit.


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  11. #11
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    Re: Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    I went from gas to a big weber charcoal. The gas is a lot easier but I like the charcoal better. Just get a chimney starter and it only takes about 10 minutes. It's more work but I don't mind.



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    Re: Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    Quote Originally Posted by Trainer View Post
    Wow that many gas grills in that short of time is astounding. My family has had 1 gas grill for twelve years maybe. It is falling apart in a couple of different ways (broken, but still functional burner knobs, broken wheels, hinges a little iffy, etc.) What kinds of gas grills were you using? Did you have a cover on it? I don't think we did but i suppose it would help to store it in the winter.

    But yeah, you will face the usual increase in taste and increase in time investment to cook.

    Its a Weber Gas grill btw.
    I've always bought one kind of grill: cheap! I had a couple Sunbeams that I really liked but they didn't last. One, the gas regulator went out after two years and it was one of those one piece systems where replacing the part cost as much as a new grill. My second Sunbeam lasted two years, but this one the bottom rusted out and the pit came off the frame and I could not reattach it. Since then I've been through a couple of the cheapo Charbroils. I'm not good about keeping them covered.



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    Re: Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    We have both. Had a small charcoal first, then bought a cheaper gas grill until we find a permanent residence, then I will look to get a nicer gas grill. My dad has basically gotten rid of his gas grill and only does charcoal.

    I grill so much more using the gas grill. Even with the smaller charcoal grill sitting around, the wife and I usually use the gas as it is easier and quicker to do after work.



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    Re: Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    I'll echo the statements about gas being convenient and charcoal tasting better. I have both kinds of grill (both Weber's) and they both do a good job. Since I have moved to Houston and bought a house, I'm more apt to use the gas grill. Just all around quicker and easier to use, plus better temperature control for grilling different items in different places.



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    Re: Grills: Charcoal or Gas

    Quote Originally Posted by ruxCYtable View Post
    I've always bought one kind of grill: cheap! I had a couple Sunbeams that I really liked but they didn't last. One, the gas regulator went out after two years and it was one of those one piece systems where replacing the part cost as much as a new grill. My second Sunbeam lasted two years, but this one the bottom rusted out and the pit came off the frame and I could not reattach it. Since then I've been through a couple of the cheapo Charbroils. I'm not good about keeping them covered.
    No offense here, but your above statement could be the problem. If you are gonna go cheap go the little extra to make it last longer imo by covering it up and what not.



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