Grilling Geekery: The Science Behind Grilling With Charcoal, Gas And Wood

Is there really a difference in taste? And why?
May 22, 2015 9:00 am

Today marks the start of Memorial Day weekend, when millions of Americans will light up grills all weekend long to cook a variety of meats and veggies. Grilling food over the glowing embers of a fire is as old as humanity itself, and yet there are still only two very distinct types of grilling enthusiasts: those who prefer the convenience of gas and those who equate grilling with honest-to-goodness charcoal. But is there really a difference in taste between these methods?

3 Ways To Light Your Grill: Charcoal Briquettes vs. Lump Charcoal vs. Wood

So you're not a fan of gas? Join the club.
May 28, 2014 11:00 am

If you’re not a polished pitmaster, chances are you’ll have a little difficulty keeping up conversation with hardcore charcoal devotees. That’s why we’ve put together this grill-fuel cheat sheet, covering all the basic questions that arise when perusing the seasonal entertaining section. Before choosing what to buy, know what it is, what it does and why.

Grilling God: Russ Faulk

Burger tips, best cuts of pork, wood fires and more
May 30, 2013 11:01 am

May is Grilling Month at Food Republic, where we are offering pro tips from chefs and other well-known grilling gods. Next up, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet grillmaster Russ Faulk, who works on a hybrid gas/charcoal/wood rig. He also shares some of the most insane burger-grilling tips ever, right this way...

How Much Lighter Fluid Should I Use?

Observe: definitely not this much lighter fluid.
May 23, 2013 1:31 pm

Okay, we realize it's fun to squirt lighter fluid all over a live fire, but beyond being generally unwise for you and those around you, it won't help food cook. In fact, it'll impart a chemical flavor non-lighter fluid fans probably won't appreciate. Take control of your fire, Grillmaster, no cheating. 

Charcoal-Grilled Yellowtail Collar Recipe

Japanese buri kama makes a great first course
Dec 17, 2012 6:01 pm
broiled yellowtail collar
Photo: Kenji Miura

When we finally hooked up back at Sylvan’s cooking studio in Oakland, Kanchan regaled us with his tale of grabbing out fish guts (liver and eggs, to be precise) and yellowtail collars from the refuse pile due to be jettisoned. Good in the oven, these are even better on the barbecue.

How To Use a Charcoal Chimney Starter

Ditch the fluid for this handy gadget
Jun 2, 2011 11:31 am
charcoal briquettes in a chimney starter
Photo: Michael Dietsch on Flickr

As fond as my memories are of my Dad at the grill, dousing his coals with butane, what stands out most in my mind is the unwelcome toxic odor permeating whatever was grilled. There begins my love of the charcoal chimney starter.

It started while I was scanning barbecue paraphernalia at a local hardware store. I was struck by the chimney starter — a metal...

Playing with Fire: Gas vs. Charcoal BBQ

The grate debate: smoky flavor or convenience?
May 25, 2011 8:33 am
burgers on the grill
Photo: mjasonprickett on Flickr

It's that time. Time to gaze longingly at your backyard or terrace and envision the grill of your dreams. Is it the type of BBQ that you fill with coal and set ablaze, or does it fire up with a click of a button and the turn of a knob? 

That's the debate before us today as we ponder the pros and cons of Gas vs. Charcoal:

Gas Grills...


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