Well, you asked for it. Here, Smoky answers the most commonly asked questions. He is direct, honest and offers an insight into the time proven techniques to preparing great barbecue that is unavailable elsewhere. If you are unable to locate the exact answer you are seeking, feel free to contact him directly and ask!
He returns all questions . . . . . . .
Topic: Gas grill differences . . . . From: Tim,
Subject: Re: Gas grill differences
I'm looking to buy a gas grill. I've looked at all the different grills and so far trying to decide which brand is the best. The 2 that I like the best is the Webber Gas Grill and the Ducane Grills. These grills are also the most expensive, but I'm trying to find out is the high price mean that they are also the best ? Are the other gas grills as good ? If you could answer these questions or direct me to where I can find out this info, thanks
Tim, I am really an amateur - "one who engages is the activity out of fondness rather than for financial reward." I do sell a few books and videos however.
The Ducane is top of the line. I am not familiar with the Webber, but their other products are of good quality. Char-Broil also makes a good gas grill.
There are several features that must be present if the grill is to be satisfactory for anything more than burning weinies.
First of all it must deliver a minimum of 30M BTUs. You cannot properly broil a decent steak with less. Even with 30M, you must light it and close the grill to allow it to reach proper temperatures - 700*F - before you put the steak on the grill.
On the rare occasions when I use them, I prefer gas grills with left and right burners. This allow much more flexibility. For instance if the grill encloses enough volume, you can roast a chicken, duck or prime rib on one side with the flame on the other. And, with supreme ingenuity and masterful technique, you can approximate the conditions for barbecuing.
The grill should be well constructed, stable and allow easy access for removing the drippings. Accumulated drippings are a serious fire hazard. The gas bottle should be removable so that, in an emergency, the shut off valve is a safe distance from the grill.
I recommend lava rocks to absorb btus and then give them up as required. One company makes a rock which gives off a smoke flavor. (Hickory Specialties) They work over a finite period.
In the final analysis, a gas grill is an outdoor gas broiler and one with a lid is an outdoor oven. You can bake bread or cakes. They are clean and convenient. However, take no less time than a charcoal grill to reach the proper conditions for cooking anything but burgers or weinies.
On the other hand, you can never really barbecue. If that is okay with you go for it. Look at all the brands available (and garage sales) before you buy. Cast aluminum for the body is a plus. They do not rust when you convert the grill to a flower pot holder after you have discovered that you want to use charcoal or wood. You can also take out the gas burners and, with installation of a fire grate, make a useable charcoal grill.
Best approach is to think about what you plan to cook, how and how much. Time spent on research and planning now will please you immeasurably later.
Get started. Start cooking even if you make a mistake. I have learned a lot that way.