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BBQ question to coal or not to coal

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SR
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BBQ question to coal or not to coal

Postby SR » May 13th, 2007, 3:58 pm

what do you prefer
charcoal or gas grill


and why

what are the benefits/advantages/disadvantages or one over the other

does it really make a difference with taste or is it all in your head??

lets hear some real opinions

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RASC
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Postby RASC » May 13th, 2007, 4:00 pm

We talked about this in another recent thread...

Charcoal
Taste, authenticity, I also prefer to take my time and cook my food-through out...
The difference in taste is not all in the head, it is VERY noticable!

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SR
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Postby SR » May 13th, 2007, 4:02 pm

but what about uneven cooking of the meat due to hotspots when using a charcoal grill

not i am not reffering to the brickets like kingsford....we not in america

i talkin bout good old valencia coals


i agree coals do add a smokiness flavor to the meat

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Postby RASC » May 13th, 2007, 4:03 pm

Yes I Know what kind of coals you are talking about!

Use a chimney to get all at the same degree of "hottness" then spread evenly :!:

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Postby RichieRich » May 13th, 2007, 4:04 pm

now im feeling for bar b q :?

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Postby SR » May 13th, 2007, 4:05 pm

what about flairups when the fat hits the coals


now i know with gas grills this is non existant and you can get an nice even heat and have your meat properly cooked thru without over burning and drying out of the meat

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Postby RASC » May 13th, 2007, 4:11 pm

WRT to flair ups, I mean thats all part of cooking using coals, its the true and only way to do BBQ IMHO...have you ever watched BBQ championships on TV...when last have you seen a gas grill?

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SR
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Postby SR » May 13th, 2007, 4:11 pm

yes but coals take some time to light

especialy the kingsford and even when u use lighter fluid u need for all the coals to light and burn off the fluid before cooking


same goes for charcoal when using good ole pitchoil etc

otherwise your first batch of meat has the lighter fluid/kerosene flavor in it

by that time its already an hour gone by

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Postby RASC » May 13th, 2007, 4:13 pm

Thats why I said use a chimney :!:
I just started using it this last year july, and the rate at which the coals are heated, and brought to a nice white-is greatly reduced, also the heat is spread evenly amoung all...
Last edited by RASC on May 13th, 2007, 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby RASC » May 13th, 2007, 4:15 pm

SR-its called a CHIMNEY STARTER

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimney_starter

I highly reccomend this :!:

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Postby SR » May 13th, 2007, 4:16 pm

now i am looking at this
http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product. ... Cookie=Yes


due to it being a gas light using propane gas

however with all charcoal grills you do not get a secondary shelf where you can place stuff higher than the meat for slow cooking

such as corn etc

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product. ... Cookie=Yes

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Postby RASC » May 13th, 2007, 4:18 pm

Yes mine does...

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Postby flatline » May 13th, 2007, 4:18 pm

repost, use de mc search butoon :mrgreen:

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SR
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Postby SR » May 13th, 2007, 4:18 pm

HUTRINI wrote:SR-its called a CHIMNEY STARTER

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimney_starter

I highly reccomend this :!:


hmmm

dat eh lookin hard to make

and it makes sense
concentrates the heat with the coals


ah feel dais meh project next weekend

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Postby RASC » May 13th, 2007, 4:20 pm

SR wrote:
HUTRINI wrote:SR-its called a CHIMNEY STARTER

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimney_starter

I highly reccomend this :!:


hmmm

dat eh lookin hard to make

and it makes sense
concentrates the heat with the coals


ah feel dais meh project next weekend


Yeah, first time I used it , I was amazed at
1. How fast the coals started(not kingsford, REAL COAL)
2. How evenly the heat was spread

Its so fast you wouldn't even realise that your cooking with coals...you can make one, it shouldnt be too hard!

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Postby SR » May 13th, 2007, 4:22 pm

looking at the diagrams i can see why a good old coal pot lights up quicker than any bbq pit

similar principle

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Postby RASC » May 13th, 2007, 4:29 pm

You have to be careful using the chimney tho, because it gets VERY HOTT VERY FAST, much more than your used to from coals...so the first couple times try not to let it reach the point where the fire is raging, just to the point where the coals have a little fire going...

start pratising turning it over at these temp. then progress to when it gets hotter. Turning it over is a skill, cause you can easily burn yourself or drop coals, if you let the fire get to large in the chimney!

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Postby pugboy » May 13th, 2007, 4:38 pm

Dude, coals is the ONLY way to go, however you need to use coals which don't have the built in lighter fluid, it give the meat a nasty petroleum taste.

Chimney starter makes life a lot easier, you put a sheet of newspaper below and light it, 10 mins later the coals are red hot.

I made one a few years ago, used some galvanize sheet with holes cut with a knockout punch, riveted together with some wire rods below to hold up the coals. I eventually got a Weber chimney which has better handle. Peake's has chimney's pretty cheap, not worth the trouble to make imho.

Image

Pricesmart used to have the good kingsford(blue/white bag) but they only carry the ones with lighter fluid(red bad) now.
Superpharm has the good kingsford but it is too expensive.

A load of kingsford in my weber smoker could last 12 hours at 250f
the local sangre grande coals last 6-8 hours max but they have a lot less mess to clean up.

My Weber Smokey Mountain smoker is the best investment I have ever made.
I sure if there was a ribs or brisket competition in Trinidad I supposed to win :)

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Last edited by pugboy on May 13th, 2007, 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby RASC » May 13th, 2007, 4:40 pm

Image

See Like this , I wouldn't let the flame get that high if I now start to use it...the risk of the flame coming back onto your hand/arm, without prior practise real high!

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Postby RASC » May 13th, 2007, 4:43 pm

pugboy, I got some Kingsford, NON lighter fluid coals here , but they still do not give you the best taste of the natural wooden coals...IMHO...

SR best you buy a chimney, the time and effort it would take to make one not really worth it-the weber comes with a "cool to the touch" handle and everything...good buy!

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Postby pugboy » May 13th, 2007, 4:50 pm

Where you get that Kingsford to buy ? And what price for 20lb bag ?
Natural does taste better but kingsford good for long cooks over 10 hours.

SR you can have my homemade chimney if you want, I aint use it in years.

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Postby RASC » May 13th, 2007, 4:54 pm

Right now I'm not in TT
10 hours out of your Kingsford? How much are you using at a time???

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Postby pugboy » May 13th, 2007, 5:00 pm

Image

that center ring full can run almost 12 hours with kingsford regular

Pricesmart don't have the regular kingsford, I pass thru there all the time
they used to sell a package of 2 20lb bags for $116
all them other places plenty more expensive, cheaper to use local wood coals now.

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Postby RASC » May 13th, 2007, 5:02 pm

I would still go with the local wood if I had the choice, cheaper, better tasting and gives you a more satisfying feeling after you have finished your masterpiece( only true cooks would know the feeling :mrgreen: )

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Postby pugboy » May 13th, 2007, 5:05 pm

for smoke flavor I throw in some angostura oak barrel chunks too, i've even tried dried bamboo
as you can guess by now, I am a Q fanatic

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Postby RASC » May 13th, 2007, 5:06 pm

Dried Bamboo? never heard that one before-what are the advantages?

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Postby pugboy » May 13th, 2007, 5:08 pm

for the smoke flavor, most popular smokewood is hickory but you don't always get that in Trinidad. Hickory is familiar to most people as the flavor used on them smoked hams etc
fruit and sweeter type woods give good flavor, the bamboo is a pretty ok

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Postby Cjruckus » May 13th, 2007, 5:17 pm

I much prefer to use Gas over coals. Before i was a charcoal til death kind of guy until i got a chance to use a well built soild gas grill.

True you do get some authentic flavor with coals, but taste can become inconsitant.

Cooking meat is all about which temp works best for application, and if you are serious about Qing like using your grill at least twice weekly for meat, then gas is the way to go.

On the question of flairups, they can still occur on a gas grill, it just depends on how hot of a grill you are using. If all burners are going and the grill is operating at max temp then flair ups can occur like they do on a coal grill. Just you need to check the temp rating of your grill.

To some, the higher the BTU, the better.

I still enjoy coals from time to time, but for hardcore grilling, Gas just takes win.

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Postby RASC » May 13th, 2007, 5:25 pm

For hardcore grill?

What exacttly is hardcore grilling? Because when I get the chance, I could go up to 4 times a week using the grill, and thats with wooden coals, chimney and a variety of meats...and I have no issues.

Just up to Thursday at about 1 a.m. I did some baby back ribs on my grill, no worries...

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Postby Cjruckus » May 13th, 2007, 5:32 pm

Well for my chicken and watermellon bashes i much prefer to use the gas to keep taste and outcome consitant.

Different strokes for different folks. One isnt better than the other. Its just a preference.

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