Burning question, gas or charcoal grill? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Burning question, gas or charcoal grill?

May 22, 2005

Albany- When it comes to good cooking, they both get the job done.

"Yes, Always charcoal, and sometimes the wood chips add the aroma, add favor to it, some of the hickory chips are good too," said Linda Harris, a charcoal griller.

"With the gas you just start it up when you get ready and let it slow cook," said Kurt Bland, who cooks with propane.

Which one is better? Some say, the answer is as simple as taste and convenience.

"Outside, I want the smell of the coals and the grill I want all of that harmony coming in I like that flavor," said Harris.

"When it comes to tasting the meat, I really believe that it's involved in the seasoning, heat really can, it does play a part, but it's in the seasoning," said Bland.

Grilling with gas, can be a lot faster and cleaner.

"Normally when you're working with charcoal you have to start early in the morning and it takes so long. Then, you have to deal with the charcoal getting in the meat and doing things of that nature," said Bland.

Some say, slow cooking is part of the fun with charcoal.

"Once you shut it up, see everything slow cooks, and right now I'm good to go, I can sit down and get my book and read or meditate like I came out here to do anyway," said Harris.

While those who use gas grills say, gas cooks more evenly.

"You have a lot better control when you have a gas grill, that charcoal you have to put the water on it and charcoal fly up and control the temperature, but when you have gas, just a twist of the knob," said Bland.

Charcoal users say getting the right temperature isn't an exact science.

"If I can get a good set on the grill , it will be set at the right temperature where you won't be jumping up," said Harris.

What really counts, is the reaction the food gets.

"It smells good," said Harris.

"Mmmmm, This is good," said Denise Richard.

It may all boil down to just how much cash you have to burn.

Charcoal grills can cost at least a hundred dollars less than their propane counterparts. It all comes down to what best suits your style and taste buds and how much time your willing to wait for dinner.

Clean up also remains a factor. Gas grills are easier to clean and maintain where charcoal can be messy to clean up and cooling down the coals can take time.

feedback: news@walb.com