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Grilling: Charcoal vs. Gas


Joe Blowe
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A quick question if you don't mind me derailing the thread, what do you do with the lit charcoal when you're done cooking?  Do you just hang around waiting for it to die out, or can you extinguish it somehow?

I simply let the coals burn down in the grill after the cooking is over (with the lid on and dampers open). After they burn out fully, I dump them in a 5-gallon metal garbage can that has a secure lid, usually right before the next cook. When that gets full, I empty it into a bag and put it into the regular garbage.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I can see I'm vastly outnumbered here, but let me make a couple of clarifications.

First - I'm not talking about the ordinary gas grill. I'm talking about a Weber Baby Q - with 4 1/2 stars at Amazon in over 200 reviews. Though I'm not sure how much weight I should give that.

Second - I have never had any use for gas grills before this one. My son has a monster of a stainless steel gas grill that must have cost $1500 - at least. I would not trade any charcoal grill I've ever had for it. Including, years ago, a very cheap hibachi.

weinoo - Cooking swordfish on charcoal, I'm cooking in the open. No cover. Hence the drying out. I want to taste the swordfish. Not the charcoal flavor. Tuna is different. There I want some smoke and, after turning it over (on charcoal), I add some cherry sawdust to the charcoal, spray it with water so it doesn't catch fire, put a cover on, and finish cooking it. This is especially good if the tuna has been marinated in some tamari and ginger beforehand. But swordfish, like a good cut of beef, I want to taste the meat.

Daniel - There is no comparison between cooking on a gas range and the Q. The Q has a heavy cast iron grill rack, heated from below with a gas tube that matches it. And, it has a cover that is easily raised and lowered. The dome shaped cover may be another reason why things cook so good and retain their moisture.

Well, I've run on enough. Here's a review I found that seems pretty accurate. (I got the optional hose connection so it can be run off a 20# propane tank when I'm at home. But, it's handy to be able to use the little propane cylinders when going on the raod.)

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A quick question if you don't mind me derailing the thread, what do you do with the lit charcoal when you're done cooking?  Do you just hang around waiting for it to die out, or can you extinguish it somehow?

On my Kamado I just close down both vents and the fire goes out due to lack of a air. I then can shake off the ash and reuse the remaining charcoal. I take the ashes after their cooled and spread them on the garden, ash from pure charcoal is a good a nutrient.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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A quick question if you don't mind me derailing the thread, what do you do with the lit charcoal when you're done cooking?  Do you just hang around waiting for it to die out, or can you extinguish it somehow?

On my Kamado I just close down both vents and the fire goes out due to lack of a air. I then can shake off the ash and reuse the remaining charcoal.

I don't like to do this on my Komodo or any of my charcoal grills because it's much harder to gauge how a fire will burn or control it properly when using pre-used coals. You just never know what exactly you're dealing with in such cases. OTOH, my method can be a bit wasteful if I miscalculate how much fuel I'm going to need.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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A quick question if you don't mind me derailing the thread, what do you do with the lit charcoal when you're done cooking?  Do you just hang around waiting for it to die out, or can you extinguish it somehow?

On my Kamado I just close down both vents and the fire goes out due to lack of a air. I then can shake off the ash and reuse the remaining charcoal.

I don't like to do this on my Komodo or any of my charcoal grills because it's much harder to gauge how a fire will burn or control it properly when using pre-used coals. You just never know what exactly you're dealing with in such cases. OTOH, my method can be a bit wasteful if I miscalculate how much fuel I'm going to need.

=R=

I never have any problem controlling temperatures with new or pre-used charcoal. I always add fresh charcoal when I start a new fire, I wonder if this helps or if my technique is different than yours?

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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A quick question if you don't mind me derailing the thread, what do you do with the lit charcoal when you're done cooking?  Do you just hang around waiting for it to die out, or can you extinguish it somehow?

On my Kamado I just close down both vents and the fire goes out due to lack of a air. I then can shake off the ash and reuse the remaining charcoal.

I don't like to do this on my Komodo or any of my charcoal grills because it's much harder to gauge how a fire will burn or control it properly when using pre-used coals. You just never know what exactly you're dealing with in such cases. OTOH, my method can be a bit wasteful if I miscalculate how much fuel I'm going to need.

=R=

I never have any problem controlling temperatures with new or pre-used charcoal. I always add fresh charcoal when I start a new fire, I wonder if this helps or if my technique is different than yours?

Not temperature but burn duration. I should have been more clear on that.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Not temperature but burn duration.  I should have been more clear on that.

=R=

After I shake off the old ash and refill the basket with new charcoal I don't see any difference in burn time either. I still can do a 12-14 hour cook without adding charcoal without a problem. (Temp 225 +/-)

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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Not temperature but burn duration.  I should have been more clear on that.

=R=

After I shake off the old ash and refill the basket with new charcoal I don't see any difference in burn time either. I still can do a 12-14 hour cook without adding charcoal without a problem. (Temp 225 +/-)

That hasn't been my experience, which is why I stopped trying to use leftover charcoal . . . although the Komodo does greatly increase the chances of a long burn. I absolutely love mine and have even held temperature on it (225-250 F) for over 24 hours on one load of fuel.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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