Most people have their own preferences when it comes to cooking some people like to use a gas oven, some an electric oven, some people even prefer to cook everything in the microwave. This strong desire for a preferred cooking technique extends from the kitchen to the garden in the summer when it comes to cooking on the barbecue. The two main styles of barbecue are the traditional charcoal BBQ and the new kid on the block the gas BBQ. The barbecuing world is split between traditionalists who think it is worth the trouble to start and maintain a charcoal burner for the conventional taste and experience and those who believe that it is not worth the time and opt for the just as effective but easier gas burner.
Timing is of the Essence
First things first, fire! We all know this is one of the major draws for men and the barbecue, lighting the coals and watching them gently come up to temperature. Nurturing the coals all afternoon whilst having a drink and building the anticipation is part of the fun of having a barbecue. However, there are issues with this kind of heat! It can take a long time for the charcoal to reach their optimum temperature and then there is the danger that you will not get the food on the barbecue in time and it will not cook in the time left in the coals and that you will have to begin the process over again. Although this takes some expertise once mastered it can become part of the pleasure of the barbecuing process, the next step is learning when to put on the food so that it cooks just right.
This is a main reason why so many people like the gas burner is that it heats up very quickly after only 10 minutes whereas the traditional model takes around 40 minutes. This means that you can start the barbecue just before you start to cook and therefore do not have to concern yourself about it burning away in the garden especially if there are children running about.
In Control of the Fire
It goes without saying that the fire temperature cannot be easily adjusted once lit. This is not the case with a gas BBQ and is one of the reasons that many people prefer to cook on them. as a result you can get an even temperature and ensure that all the food is cooked through. This is a problem that can put people off cooking on a charcoal BBQ because they are concerned about meats like pork and chicken not being cooked properly.
This can be done with a traditional barbecue it just requires a little more care and a good understanding of the barbecuing process.
One of the main arguments for the charcoal BBQ is the taste, because the food is cooked over the direct heat of the charcoal all of the flavour from the smoke is taken in and shows in the taste. To enhance the smoky flavour wood chips can be added that will smoke and infuse the food that is being cooked, you can purchase wood chips that add to the flavour of a gas BBQ so you can have the best of both worlds.
However, a certain amount of the flavour comes from the fat from the meat hitting the heat and smoking, something that is achieved with a gas BBQ as well because of the meat fat dropping onto the grill. Some folks think that the food tastes better when grilled over gas because it stays unsullied by ash and tar from the charcoal.
No Scrubbing Required
Gas barbecues are easier to clean because they employ the very popular heat cleaning process where the heat from the barbecue can be used after you have finished cooking to remove the fat from the grill and it can then be scraped off the heat plates. Whereas with a charcoal barbecue you would have to take apart the grill and tip out the ash and then scrape the meat fat from the grill. This is of course time consuming and not the best job so it is a key reason why so many people are choosing a gas barbecue over a charcoal one.
Charcoal BBQ’s are extremely popular because they are cheap to buy and with some people only using them a couple of times over the summer it does not make financial sense to spend a lot of money on a barbecue. However, if you do invest, a gas barbecue can be more cost effective in the long run..
Safety is an concern for some people who do not feel happy using gas canisters and don’t like the idea of having a pressurized canister in their garden/shed. Although the chances of there being any genuine problems with a gas canister are minimal, it is an understandable concern and is a reason why so many people feel more at ease with the traditional charcoal BBQ.
So, as you can see there are pros and cons to both charcoal BBQs and Gas BBQs and no doubt the debate will continue with both camps strongly arguing the benefits of their preferred way of barbecuing.
Alex P Jones suggested that you can create the perfect al fresco meal using either a charcoal bbq or a gas bbq. BBQ’s from OutDoorChef barbecues offer many of the latest designs, styles and finishes.