You see a sales paper where summer clearances are going on. Grills are at an all time low. Now’s the time to buy. You race to the store knowing this will be a breeze. Pick one out, pay for it and leave. You walk in and see signs for charcoal grills and gas grills. You’re stumped. Confusion sets in. Which one should you buy? It depends on which one you feel is more advantageous to you. Both grills have advantages and disadvantages. Let’s examine them.

Gas grills are made to work like your gas stove. They have knobs to ignite the fire. You just hook the propane tank to the gas grill tubing, turn it on and turn on the grill’s knob. Gas begins to flow to the heating element. Some gas grills have a button you push to ignite the fire. The knobs regulate just how high or low you want the fire to be. Most gas grills come with little rocks or “briskets” which acts like charcoal. Its used to help with giving a “smoked” or “grilled” flavor to whatever’s cooked. These briskets can be used over and over. You can also use “canned mesquite smoke” to give your foods that smokiness flavor that usually comes from charcoal. Gas grills are easier to set up and quicker to cook on. After turning it on, its food ready in a few minutes. Just place it on, close the top and periodically check the food until its ready. Clean up isn’t as messy. However, you do have to clean the “element” where the fire comes out because of the drippings that may get on it. And you have to buy propane gas. While it may cost a little more than charcoal. it’s used numerous times before having to refill.

Charcoal grills use what the name implies, charcoal. There are several brands of charcoal out there. Some are easier to light because they contain lighter fluid in them. Others need a little help from liquid charcoal lighter fluid that you manually put on it. When using either type charcoal, you must let it burn about 15-20 minutes so the fluid is burned out. Nothing tastes worse than having barbequed food that taste like lighter fluid! Yuck!! Once the charcoals turn an ashy white color, its ready for the food. Charcoal grills cook your food by “smoking” them. Cooking is not done over a fire with this type of grill. There is a much more intense smoke flavor in foods prepared on a charcoal grill than on a gas grill. Because it cooks slower, meats from a charcoal grill tend not to be tough. It takes longer to prepare a charcoal grill and clean-up is more detailed. You have to contend with the ashes from the charcoal as well as cleaning the racks. But to some cooks, the end product from this grill is worth it.

Now that you’ve decided which grill to buy, you invite some friends and co-workers over so you can try your new toy. You tell them you are “grilling out” and would like them to come. Some of them never heard of grilling out. When they get there, they see you put the meat on the grill and they exclaim, “Oh, you call this grilling out? We call this barbequeing”! So you ask, ” What’s the difference?

It depends what area of the country you come from. Some people call it “grilling” and some call it “barbequeing”. But to make it a little easier, most people who “grill” place their food on the grill and cook it without any sauce at all. If they use sauce, they have it on the side. Those who “barbeque” place the sauce on the meat during the last few minutes of cooking, giving it a sweet, smoky taste. Now that you know the difference, Happy whatever you call it

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