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Propane or Charcoal? Help me buy a new grill!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by zac2944, May 9, 2006.

  1. Propane

    26 vote(s)
  2. Charcoal

    30 vote(s)
  1. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Which do you like better and why?

    I need a new grill, but I'm not sure what kind to get. I've always had gas grills, but charcoal users seem so die-hard. What is the big deal? I've eaten off of both and can't really tell the difference. I really like gas because they are easier to use. I don't like to wait for the charcoal to get hot and then have to deal with the clean up.

    So which do you like better? Please feel free to make specific recommendations.

    I'll be using this grill for cooking weekday dinners for two and the occasional backyard weekend BBQ with friends.
  2. personally I love a charcoal grill...everything about them is perfect :)
    gimme a weber any day :)

    but on the other hand, a propane grill is nice when you don't have all afternoon to grill :)

    i still like charcoal grills, because propane grills just seem like taking your stove outside, which doesn't really do it for me :)
  3. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    propane--very convenient and clean, but it doesn't get hot enough to really grill food. it's basically kind of an outdoor oven. I have a propane grill, a very nice Weber, that i use all the time but I want a charcoal grill that will actually grill food and not just cook it. My wife keeps saying no. I'm probably going to get a small charcoal grill soon anyway
  4. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    I even use the kind of charcoal that's just the burnt-up sticks-- no binders, glue, lighter fluid. Charcoal chimney starters are where it's at!

    You might need a big charcoal grill to grill food-- with something that can raise or lower the coals depending on the type and thickness of the meat/veg.

    Plus, if you get a used (aka side-of-the-road-on-trash-day-special like both of my fine grills), it won't blow up in your face...

    Plus you smell al good and camp-firey afterwards... an aphrodisiac!

    Joe (the cheap one) J.
  5. Propane. Charcoal tastes better, but it takes too long. I find when things become an ordeal I'm less likely to do them. If you are a busy person propane is the way to go.
  6. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    You, my friend, just have the wrong grill. ;)

    I was a die-hard charcoal guy for years. I loved the smell and the taste of the food. However, I also like to grill, alot. Even with the charcoal towers and a fancy grill, it would take me 30-45 minutes to get everything ready, only to have the charcoal dying out within 20 minutes of getting started. Charcoal is difficult when cooking items that require long cooking times, like ribs. After fighting the urge for many years, I finally bought one of those fancy stainless propane grills. This thing is big enough to do approximately 50 burgers at the same time, plus I can promise you that it gets plenty hot. Now, I just scrape the grill, preheat for 10 minutes, cook my food, shut it off and forget about it. We are cooking out 3-4 times a week. Last night it was scallops, wrapped in prichutto (sp?). Mmmmm, scallops without stinking up the kitchen.

    Now, I am addicted to propane and propane accessories.
  7. radi8


    Feb 10, 2004
  8. I have both - and at first I loved the convenience of the propane grill. But after a while I missed the flavor that the charcoal grill provided. Plus I feel like there is a more 'ritualistic' feel to cooking with charcoal.

  9. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
  10. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    This guy can't be wrong.


    Look at that; dual tanks! Is that a Weber?
  11. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Propane is a lot more environmentally friendly if that matters to you. The act of cooking the wood to create the charcoal and the act of burning the charcoal itself creates a lot more nasty greenhouse gasses than propane, by a big margin.

    You've got the conundrum right. Charcoal tastes better but is lots more work, propane doesn't taste as good but is still good, and is a lot less work. I've got a bunch of mesquite chips that I soak in water then throw on the Lava Rocks in my gas grille that brings the taste more "BBQ" than appliance.

    What I want to get is a grill that runs off house gas - I've got the hookup ready to go.

    A LOT of people just buy two grills.
  12. this is more of an off topic thing
  13. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN




    Mmm Hmm.
  14. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I've got a 2br, 5 room apartment. It is a very typicall layout in these parts. I'll be keeping the grill on my small back deck/porch.

    I'm not really concerned about the environmental effects.
  15. Then let me suggest uranium. It's great for searing ahi.
  16. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    For that setting, propane would seem to be a better choice. Charcoal can remain hot, and therefore a fire hazard, for hours after you finish cooking. Plus, your neighbors may not appreciate the smoke and report you. Many municipalities have codes against grills in apartment communities. Check your lease before you invest in a grill.
  17. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I hope you aren't talking about a balcony. It's illegal in most places to have or use any kind of grill on a balcony. It's a HUGE fire hazard. The danger is considerably worse with charcoal than with gas, but highly illegal in most places regardless.

    When I lived in a similar situation I used to own a little hibachi that I would bring down to the main (grass) common area for grilling. It worked great, you can get charcoal or gas in these things, too!
  18. terrelli721


    Mar 19, 2006
    charcoal all the way for taste.
  19. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Good point. I've already cleared it with the landlord, and all my nieghbors grill regularly. So I don't see any issues there.
  20. BadB


    May 25, 2005
    AZ, USA
    Charcoal=taste, propane=convenience. I have both. Voted propane. I don't have much time.

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