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      04-10-2014, 03:17 PM   #1
2011CrazE89
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Charcoal vs Propane?

I’ve been using charcoal grills for years. I’m looking to replace the ole Webber with possible propane this time around. I keep hearing how steaks just taste better over charcoal. But honestly, I haven’t had a bad steak cooked over propane either.

I’m curious to know what you guys are using to grill these days.
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      04-10-2014, 03:23 PM   #2
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I have a Weber S-330 propane which I've hardlined to our house propane tank. I love it. Things don't taste "better" on a charcoal grill, they simply take on some of the charcoal flavor which you naturally will not get from a propane grill. Some people prefer that flavor but I very rarely have anything actually cooked over coals so I don't miss it at all. I just really appreciate the convenience and ease of cooking on propane.
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      04-10-2014, 03:26 PM   #3
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Charcoal brings much better flavor IMO.
I'm a fan of grilling and I know it's much more work with charcoal but isn't that the fun of grilling?

But I do think propane is a better choice if you careless about charcoal taste.
I think meat tenderness is the same unless you are doing brazillian bbq.
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      04-10-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
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I do agree. The cleaning process sucks on charcoal grills. But that's my sons headache not mine
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      04-10-2014, 03:41 PM   #5
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Im a charcoal guy always seems to taste better then when I use Propane
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      04-10-2014, 03:43 PM   #6
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I enjoy building a fire on a charcoal grill, and find that I can control the flames better on a charcoal grill too. At the same time, my friend made me a steak on a propane grill last week and it was delicious.

Then you also have the Weber that uses propane to light the charcoal. I suppose one could see that as a hybrid solution.
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      04-10-2014, 03:50 PM   #7
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I've got both at the house. I use propane when I'm in a bit of a hurry. I use the charcoal grill when I have more time. I CAN taste a difference between the two and charcoal is better.

I am using charcoal more after a friend gave me one of these.

http://www.looftlighter.com/

It really cuts down the time required for getting the coals going. The only downside is flying sparks coming off the charcoal. Last time I used it it was a bit windy and I burned a small hole in my shirt from a flying spark.
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      04-10-2014, 03:58 PM   #8
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I use propane for basic grilling and charcoal for wood smoking.

To me, nothing tastes better than a meat properly smoked over charcoal with the right type of wood chips/chunks. I have a large Weber smoker that uses charcoal, so I count that as my charcoal grill. I have made some delicious smoked salmon on that beast and it tastes delicious.
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      04-10-2014, 03:59 PM   #9
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Clean burning propane here, hate clean up.

But I have had steaks cooked in a green egg and it really does taste better/smokey'r
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      04-10-2014, 04:03 PM   #10
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My grill sits right outside the patio door which is roughly 10 feet from my bedroom. Maybe I don't know enough about propane. But the thought of having a pressurized fuel tank right outside my bedroom window scares me a bit.
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      04-10-2014, 04:06 PM   #11
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Charcoal is king IMO but unless I'm making a big deal about dinner I usually pan sear it. Much faster and nearly as good. Burgers are always done over charcoal though.
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      04-10-2014, 04:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2011CrazE89 View Post
I’ve been using charcoal grills for years. I’m looking to replace the ole Webber with possible propane this time around. I keep hearing how steaks just taste better over charcoal. But honestly, I haven’t had a bad steak cooked over propane either.

I’m curious to know what you guys are using to grill these days.
It is a requirement if you reside in the great state of TEXAS, you must not only own a Grill or 2 like me, BUT you must also know WTF you're doing with said grills!
That being said... Charcoal has better flavor BUT gas cooks more evenly, faster and is much more practical with cleanup etc. And I for one am fine with the flavor. ANYTHING tastes better grilled than pan fried or baked IMO.
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      04-10-2014, 04:10 PM   #13
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In short, have both. Food is going to taste better on a charcoal grill, no doubt. But you'll find yourself not grilling food on an average day because it's a pain in the ass.

I'd prioritize it by having a gas grill for normal daily use but picking up a gas grill for get togethers.
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      04-10-2014, 04:12 PM   #14
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i think charcoal has a very noticeable smoky flavor. propane is easier but doesn't get that taste.
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      04-10-2014, 04:24 PM   #15
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Sounds like a King of the Hill episode I prefer propane not as messy, but I don't grill as much lately because my girlfriend likes to go to fancy steakhouses.
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      04-10-2014, 08:41 PM   #16
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I don't get what everyone is saying about clean up with the charcoal? My clean up is no different than the clean up on my parents propane grill.

The biggest difference between my webber kettle charcoal grill and a propane grill is that the charcoal grill can get much hotter than the propane. I have an infrared thermometer and my charcoal grill gets about 400 degrees hotter than my parents brand new $1000 propane grill. The difference in that 400 degrees is what sears the each side of the steak. Thus keeping more moisture inside ma steak.

Clean up is easy. Start up is easy. I just light the charcoal about 20 min before i'm ready to cook. I feel like i can control the hotspots better with the charcoal by pushing the coals around where i want them.

As far as taste, my parents will always opt for buying the steaks if they can come over and have them at my place. I don't think there is that much of a taste difference, but i know that i've been to several steak houses and my steak is on par with most and better than several. Whether or not that's because of charcoal is up for debate. However, most of the ones that i would consider better or on par with mine use wood burning grills for their steaks.
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      04-10-2014, 09:02 PM   #17
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I have a 1992 Weber Charcoal grill that I used religiously - 3 or 4 times a week, and a Weber Bullet charcoal smoker. I've had the internals replaced 4 times over the years...welded the handle, modified some items, yet...never replaced the cooking grate. Food just slides off it.



You want to use gas...put your food in the oven, it's the same thing.

My wife did by me this for my birthday last year...a Weber charcoal grill with a gas ignite for the charcoal. Takes a little fuss out of using the chimney starter...and you still get the great flavor.

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      04-10-2014, 09:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphT5 View Post
I've got both at the house. I use propane when I'm in a bit of a hurry. I use the charcoal grill when I have more time. I CAN taste a difference between the two and charcoal is better.
Completely agree. During the week, the ease and consistency of the gas grill is best but nothing tastes better than charcoal. I use lump. For any smoking you have to use charcoal, gas is not an option in my opinion.

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      04-10-2014, 09:49 PM   #19
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It all depends on how much you grill. If it's once a week then charcoal. I use gas because I like to grill around 3 times every week.
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      04-10-2014, 10:41 PM   #20
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This thing is awesome to start the coals:

http://www.hayneedle.com/product/web...FeMSOgodgVEA6A

Wad up a couple pieces of newspaper and stuff in the bottom, load the coals, and light. The coals are ready in about 5 min, without using any starter.

When the coals are ready, I put the food grate on, and let it heat up for about a minute. Then wad up a piece of foil, and scrub off the food/scunge from the last cooking (beware if you are using a wire brush to scrape: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul...ushes-20120706 ).

When finished, close the vents on the Weber to kill the fire - it's cool to the touch in about 3 min.

I had a separate smoker, but kept smashing it with the car in the garage... Came across this thing, which turns a standard Weber kettle into a smoker. It's really great:

http://www.smokenator.com/
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      04-11-2014, 06:55 AM   #21
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You charcoal guys don't find the small cooking surface too restrictive? There's something to be said for cooking two pizzas at the same time or cooking eight burgers and toasting buns at the same time.

My Weber propane gets blazing hot (600+) with the three main burners lit but is also equipped with an additional sear-burner that will max out the thermometer (750+).
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      04-11-2014, 09:11 AM   #22
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I don't bother with charcoal. I primarily use a wood pellet grill/smoker (traeger), but I also use propane for grilling steak, grilling chicken anything hot and fast.

The traeger is used for slow cooking and pizza
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