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Grilling: Charcoal Vs. Gas Grills

As the light Spring months descend upon us and the grills start coming out in earnest to nearly every backyard and deck, the age old question resurfaces of which is better: gas grills or charcoal grills, and why? What it really comes down to is a few key characteristics that each offers the consumer. What your individual priorities are such as cost, taste, energy consumption, etc in a grill determines which type of grill would be best suited to you. In this article, we'll discuss some of the most important aspects of gas and charcoal grills below to help you find your way to the right type of grill.


Many people opt for a grill depending on the convenience attached to it. Is it easy to turn on? Does it take awhile to cook? In terms of how convenient it is to cook, gas grills win out. With the gas grill, you turn on the gas knobs, push the igniter button, and presto: the cooking can begin within about ten minutes. With a charcoal grill; however, though it is fairly simple to light the charcoal briquettes, it does take on average about 30 minutes to get to a medium grilling heat. So, depending on your lifestyle and how often you use your grill, you may have the time or may not.


Maintaining your grill, as is the necessary of all your worldly possessions, is also a factor to consider, when deciding upon a gas or charcoal grill. Hands down, the gas grill is easier to clean up..Many people just let the previous meats, veggies, fish burn off before grilling again, and perform once in awhile washing. With charcoal grills, however, the mess is more pronounced, and typically requires cleaning maintenance much more often than a gas grill.


Now when it comes to taste, this is where the playing field levels a bit; as many people report that fish, steaks, burgers, and everything else they choose to grill taste much more smoky and flavorful on a charcoal grill as opposed to the gas grill. This would make sense as your food is burning directly above the charcoal briquettes, and therefore take on the rich smoky flavor of the bricks; whereas gas flame doesn't offer any smoky char-taste unless you cook your food longer.

Fuel Economy

When it comes to the fuel economy of your grill, it's also important to recognize the varying convenience of the fuel/grill choice. The gas grill operates on a propane gas tank that-depending on the frequency of your use-can last a whole summer without needing to be replaced with another. Charcoal briquettes, on the other hand, take no time at all to use; so you must be prepared to make frequent store visits for bags of charcoal, if you are an avid griller. In the course of a summer, a gas grill propane tank will last you longer in relative comparison to the trips you would have to make to replace your charcoal briquettes; making the charcoal fuel economy more expensive.


When it comes to barbeque grills and pricing, the range is pretty wide. Typically, gas grills range from $150 to upwards of $1000. Charcoal grills, on the other hand, range from $50 to $450. So, again it comes down to how much you want to spend, and what conveniences-if any-you require in a grill.


A Great Food For All Your Summer Festivities

There are foods that are associated with specific seasons' foods and drinks too that we reach for traditionally when the weather turns warmer or colder by turn. What would the winter be without a nice bowl of steaming oatmeal to start the day? And how much nicer is it to look out the window at a snowstorm when you've got a nice hot cup of hot chocolate in your hands?

Then there are the old standbys for the summer months as well. What better way to cool off in the middle of a heat wave than with a cool Popsicle? Who hasn't enjoyed a baseball game while munching on a hot dog? It seems there are foods and drinks for every season and most of them really add to our enjoyment of any particular time of year.

One of the all-time favorite summer foods is one that we've been enjoying in North America for one hundred years. Ever since Gennaro Lombardi opened the first pizza place in New York in 1905, we've been enjoying the tasty treat that's got a very interesting history. Of course it might be no surprise that pizza's origins are claimed by the Italians, and as you munch a piece of Toronto pizza in the middle of little Italy, you might think that the food's history only goes back to turn of the century Europe, but pizza has an even bigger past.

Although modern people munching Hamilton pizza might not have considered it on a hot July day, most historians agree that Italians have more than likely been eating the food since the Stone Age, perhaps as far back as the 6th century BC where soldiers baked a kind of flat bread and covered it afterward with cheese. The word itself has some interesting historical connotations.

Pizza is obviously Italian, but not many people know that the word means "a point" and the earliest forms of this popular food were baked like a lot of other things beneath the stones of a fire. At first, this early form of the modern food that has been popularized as Mississauga pizza was used as a kind of plate to sop up the excess gravy that was left over from other meals. However, like all great ideas, it wasn't long before pizza took off in its own right.

It seems that another great culture, The Greeks, helped bring what we now know as the modern day pizza along. Because their version of the flat bread was convenient for the working man and his family at the time, they decided that the flat round bread they were using for meals should have some kind of topping, and in this way the predecessor of the modern pizza pie was born.

It wasn't until years later that the modern world caught up to this popular summer food and in 1957 frozen pizzas were introduced and soon became the most popular food that you could get from the freezer.


BBQ Grills: Variety is the Spice of Life

My experience with bbq grills goes way back to the early 70's. I remember watching my Grandpa cook burgers on his backyard grill. There was something magical about the way the smoke would rise up out of it and fill the air with all that goodness. I was too short to see the food inside, but I could hear the sizzle and smell the flavor. I associated having a bbq with good times with cousins and other family members, good food, and long summer days. It's likely that you also have similar memories and associations.

When considering the many bbq grills on the market, it is important to recognize as soon as possible that you definitely get what you pay for. If you opt for the "el cheapo" unit you should expect to get minimal longevity out of it, maybe a couple of years at best. If you spend a little bit more you can probably get up to a few more years and a few more features. However, it's only when you really put out the big bucks that you are going to get a grill that will last for a long time. Since moisture and heat work their corrosive magic on metal, the higher quality metals used in the more expensive grills are the only ones that can really stand up over the long haul.

A few weeks ago our 12 year old son went fishing with some other family members and came home with about fifty little blue back salmon. The daily limit on the lake they went to is one hundred fish so I guess you could say he had a pretty poor day of fishing! Don't you feel bad for him? Yeah, me neither. These fish are small, but really good. I wasn't sure what we were going to do with them, but he decided that we should cook them on the grill. He laid out some aluminum foil and got the propane fired up. He laid out the fish and before long they were cooking away and ready to serve. It only took about 10 minutes and we were enjoying a nice meal. So now I can attest that bbq grills are good for more than just burgers.

Speaking of other foods that you can cook on BBQ grills, I discovered a few years ago that another great thing to cook on them is shish kabobs. They are fun to make and incredibly easy. The first time we did them we just skewered chunks of chicken with pieces of onion, bell peppers, and pineapple. We basted them with teriyaki sauce as they cooked. We discovered that if you cut the veggies too small, they will overcook before the chicken is finished cooking. The next time we did these, we just kept things chunkier and it came out great.

Obviously, many bbq grills come with features like side tables, storage shelves, and side burners. These things just make the grill more versatile, but also add to the cost. I find that a basic, quality, name brand grill does the job, and that many of the bells and whistles go unused, and ultimately prove to be unnecessary. But that's just me. I'm sure that many others find all the extras really helpful and nice to have. Just find what you want and start cooking. And most importantly, have fun!


Fathers Day Gifts - Cuisinart 10-Piece Premium Grilling Set

Brief Item Overview

This Cuisinart 10-Piece Premium Grilling Set consists of a total of 10-pieces of barbecuing tools, and it includes: A chef's spatula, 4 skewers, grill fork, grill tongs, grill brush, and 2 replacement grill brush heads.

One thing that we would like to bring to your attention about the tools in this grilling set is that, all of the tools tools are made of stainless steel (so that you do not have to worry about any rust) and have wooden handles (with wooden handles, you need not worry about the heat when holding the tools while barbecuing).

Also included in this Cuisinart Premium Grilling Set is a leather carry case to store the tools.

Customers' Reviews Of This Cuisinart 10-Piece Premium Grilling Set

Besides taking a look at this Cuisinart 10-Piece Premium Grilling Set ourselves when reviewing the product, we have also taken into consideration what fellow customers are saying about it.

And when it comes to customers' reviews about this premium grilling set, on the whole, they are delighted with their purchase - In particular, the like the fact that the wooden handles on the tools give it a long reach to avoid the frame of the grill. Also, in terms of durability, they have said that this grilling set is highly durable.

On top of that, users have also mentioned the fact that the stainless steel look great as well, and it is easily washable.

Our Final Verdict

All in all, we feel that this Cuisinart 10-Piece Premium Grilling Set will make an excellent Father's Day gift for your dad, especially if he loves grilling.

He will then have a set of quality tools to show off his grilling skills and will definitely be very delighted with this gift. This grilling set will be a wonderful complement to his grill.

Moreover, the wooden handles make the tools look stylish and also enable your dad to still handle the tools when cooking at the hot grill. It even comes with a very nice looking case that is great for keeping the tools together in one place so your dad can easily find them and get his tools out for some barbequing in the backyard.

Not only that, the leather case enables your dad to bring the tools to some other place conveniently. This set even comes with replacement brush heads which is really great. Therefore, make your dad happy and get him this Cuisinart 10-Piece Premium Grilling Set for your dad this Father's Day.


So Many BBQ Grills, Which Type is Best for You?

There are a lot of different BBQ grills on the market today, different sizes and styles. Sometimes choosing the best one for you is more confusing than it should be, after all, it is just a BBQ. At one time that meant a basic, round BBQ that you used with briquets. But today you do not have to be so limited, the options are endless. Let's take a look at what's available.

Charcoal BBQ grills - of course, these are still available, and the preference of many outdoor cooking enthusiasts. They take pride in knowing exactly how many briquets are needed depending upon what and how much they are cooking in order to create the perfect temperature. Barbecuing is an art, and they are experts. No matter what they cook, it turns out perfect every time.

Portable BBQ Grills - these grills are normally smaller, easy to load up into your car or truck to take with you to park or beach. These can be either charcoal, gas or electric. Many are small, tabletop grills, and some are bigger, but are light enough to carry. Since they are not very big, they are best for small gatherings.

Electric Grills - electric grills are not very common, and though not for everybody, they serve a devoted market. Most electric grills are small and designed for the table top, but you can get full size grills as well. These are perfect for people who do not grill a lot, but enjoy the occasional summer BBQ. Also great for apartment living when grilling on a balcony. No need to worry about briquets or gas, just plug it in. I have only used one once, it was the grill on the balcony at a resort. I had never used one before, but was very happy with the results, it was nice to just set the temperature (Hi / Low), and not worry about it. The cooking was very even, the steaks were perfect!

Gas Grills - these BBQ grills have become very popular in the last 10 - 20 years. Which shouldn't be very surprising, there is no charcoal to buy or dispose of, you get almost instant heat, and if regularly maintained, the heat is evenly disbursed. These grills come in a variety of sizes and can be quite deluxe. When we moved from the country into town, we changed from charcoal to gas. I was reluctant at first, but soon got used to the convenience. It is nice to be able to BBQ whenever you wish without wondering if you need briquets. Sure, you may run out of propane, but it is an annual problem, not monthly.

BBQ Islands - these are for the serious griller. They are large, and though you can get one on wheels, they can also be a permanent fixture on you patio. The grill is built into a surface with an island, and often with a small refrigerator below for storing everything you need without running into the house. I have seen some really nice island grills made out of brick or stone, adding great ambiance to a patio. Most of these are propane BBQ grills.

Regardless of where you live or the type of BBQ-er you are: the occasional griller, the weekly griller, or the "often as possible" griller, there is the perfect grill out there for you. With so many different types of BBQ grills on the market today, you can find one to suit your lifestyle and grilling needs.


The Thrill of the Grill

Ever notice that on backyard barbecues, it's always the man of the house who is in charge of the grill? Maybe it's the scent and the sizzle of fat and grease hitting a hot surface. Or the primal allure of cooking with the most basic of tools. Whatever it is, you still need to know the basics of cooking like this for your family to fully enjoy the thrills from the grill.

You have to keep in mind that grilling is a quick cooking process. The meat has to be tender right from the start. You cannot cook longer like in steaming and boiling where it will tenderize the meat. You try that in the grill and you will end up with charcoal for dinner. Be aware of the meat's freshness, thickness, cut and marbling. These factors will determine the final outcome of your efforts.

All the fancy flavourings and infusions will be useless if done on the wrong cut of meat. Porterhouse steaks, T-bone, and strip steaks are popular choices because they are the ones best suited to being subject to the grill's high heat. Thinner cuts like flank steaks and skirt steaks burn easily and are not recommended for outdoor barbecues and indoor broilers.

Balance freshness with aging. To ensure freshness, look for beef that is bright red or deep red. Avoid too much blood and stay away from those pre-cut meats with too much liquids sloshing around in the packaging. This simply means the meat has been staying in the butchers for so long that liquid is starting to seep out. Also look for meat that has a layer of fat. During the grilling process, this fat will melt and infuse the meat with intense flavor.

Even cuts are the best for grilling. Too thin and you burn the meat. Too thick and the inside will be raw. Have one side thinner and that side will get done first. Cook it long enough for the thicker side to get done and you will end up burning the other.

Next concern is aging the meat. Buy meat a few days from the planned grilling. This way, the met will have time to mature in your refrigerator. Aging is when the meat's natural enzymes act on it making it more tender. Frozen meat should be allowed to thaw out completely before being grilled.

If the recipe calls for a marinade, this is the time to do it. Marinades often contain acids like vinegar or lemon juice, salt, and possibly alcohol from wine or brandy. This makes them fast-acting so you have to marinate on the day itself and not longer. There is a big difference between tender and mushy so you have to time it perfectly. To prevent spills inside your refrigerator, place the meat along with the marinade inside a resealable plastic bag.

Remember that you are still handling raw meat so all the usual precautions still apply. Keep it refrigerated until the grill is nice and hot. Also mind the surfaces you will be laying food on. food poisoning caused by bacteria will ruin any picnic, so be careful.

Finally, you can place the meat on the grill and wait eagerly for dinner to be served. Enjoy!


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