Charcoal or Gas?
Ok, so I’m poking around the Web during a day of being mainly stuck indoors making sure my injured spouse doesn’t further the damage by hurling herself accidentally down the stairs… a more disturbing possibility than you might imagine. I don’t mind this because there’s only so much yardwork I can do to this sucky little Army yard I have. Anyway, I find a link to a video of Bobby Flay waxing deep on the issue of gas versus charcoal grilling. I did not bother copying the link for you all out there because personally I think that while Bobby Flay is a good cook/chef/BBQ guy, he’s kind of a douchebag due to his arrogance. Yeah, a d-bag.
His Flayness has this vid clip where he largely issues forth a lot of oral farting, ultimately waffling on the topic he was beating his lips together about. Clearly he didn’t wish to offend any segment of his fan base and thus threaten his Food Network standing. Personally I think that if you’re going to be a public figure, just be yourself and say what you think. After all, that’s what got you there, right? Have I ranted about this long enough? Time to pony up and walk the talk, though I’m hardly a public figure. Except when I’m in public. I personally prefer charcoal.
Charcoal grills, in my humble opinion, produce a better flavor. In fact, I’d say they’re arguably organic. Also, if you’re part of the Al Gore Zombie Army, I’m thinking that they have a negative carbon footprint because they’re using up carbon while facilitating you making food. I also use one of the round metal thingys that you light the charcoal with newspaper. I am so freaking environmentally awesome, I know. I’ll admit there is a higher level of preparation required, and some skill in judging the coals, arranging them for the task (grilling versus smoking, or the graduate shit of indirect heat). I like that because it makes the eating intrinsically better to me. There’s also an element of Zen in it all that appeals to me.
I’ve had gas grilled food. In fact, Dad switched to a gas grill after years using his red Weber once he slowed down to the point that the repeated laps outside to check the coals got to be too much. The steaks were good, but different. Most restaurants, I suspect, use some sort of gas grill contraption, which is why I continue to like my own grilled dead animal products over anything I get in a restaurant… with one exception, but that’s a different topic. I’m also just not one of those people who favor the whole instant gratification, ‘easy button’ solutions to doing things that are worth doing correctly. Gas grills allow you to almost time your meat grilling too, and that also cuts out a whole section of skill and expertise – the ability to judge meat ‘done-ness’ by poking it with the tongs.
The picture up there is of my Weber, bought in a PX in Germany (of all places – they generally don’t grill) way back about 1998. It’s survived six Army moves, and the legs are kinda wobbly. It is on it’s third grill grate. Overall I have probably cleaned it only six times (coinciding with said moves) – I like the flavor all that built-up patina gives. The enamel is chipped, and very soon I will have to whittle a new wood handle. I think I’ll keep it.