Friday night topic: Gas or charcoal?

As American gerbils head home for the Memorial Day weekend, many are no doubt preparing to honor our fallen service members. It's also time to engage in the time-honored tradition of grilling up a whole bunch of meat for friends and family. As we all head out to our patios and backyards to fire up the grill, the inevitable question is one of methods.

Taken just as I was writing this

Personally, I'm a charcoal guy. I prefer the higher peak heat levels, the smoky flavor, and the easy experimentation possible with direct and indirect heat from single-zone and dual-zone fires. There's also less to fail in a good old Weber kettle grill than in the relatively fussy mechanics of the typical gas grill. It's hard to beat the quality of the grilling experience available versus the price of entry—just $150 or so for the 22" Weber Premium on my back deck right now.

Of course, gas grills have their own advantages. It's a lot less involved to fire up a gas grill, and the set-it-and-forget-it lighting and preheating process is likely a boon for those who can't carefully attend a chimney full of coals until it's good and ready. It's less messy to hook up a propane canister every now and again than it is to crack open and dispense a bag of charcoal briquettes, too.

So what's your preferred method for getting a good sear on burgers and brats? Any tips and tricks you've honed over the years? Convince me that my preference is wrong or back me up in the comments. No matter what, I'm sure whatever comes off your grill is delicious.

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