There’s nothing like summer in North Carolina. Whether you’re hosting the big Fourth of July cookout, or vacationing on the Outer Banks, it’s the season to do some serious grilling. But then the usual question always seems to come up: what’s the better way to cook outdoors: with propane or charcoal?
Charcoal is great for old-school, low-and-slow Carolina barbecue. But for a dinner on the deck or feeding the crowd at your kid’s pool party, propane is definitely the way to go.
On a busy weeknight, you’ve got two choices. You can lug out the charcoal, the chimney and newspapers, the lighter fluid and the lighter. Then you can pour out the charcoal, ignite it with lighter fluid or in the chimney, and … wait for 15 minutes or longer. Or, you can turn a dial on your propane grill, push a button, go inside to get the food, and come back to a grill that’s ready for you.
When the temperature outside is pushing 90 degrees or surging even higher, turning on the stove and cooking in a hot kitchen is not very appealing.
What’s great about grilling with propane is the variety of delicious meals you can make. Go online and you’ll find tons of recipes for all tastes and all meals, from grilled breakfast pizzas to countless ways to grill chicken breasts. You may not turn on your indoor stove again until October!
If you cook on a gas stove, you know how terrific its precise control of heat can be. By just turning the dial, you can instantly add or reduce heat.
Take that control outside when you grill with propane. Do you want to make one side direct grilling and one side indirect? Propane can do that! You can decide just how hot you need it, and make adjustments immediately. When you want to go from medium heat for corn on the cob to high heat for a quick-searing tuna steak, you’re in control. Charcoal can’t do that.
You’ve probably heard so many food snobs say that charcoal is the only acceptable way to grill. Don’t listen to them.
Charcoal can add an overwhelming smoky taste to some foods. You can also get a not-so-appetizing whiff and taste of butane if the backyard griller was too generous applying the lighter fluid.
Propane is perfect for lighter foods like chicken, fish or fruit, where you want the flavor of the food and the seasonings to be the stars. And you can do slower grilling, like barbecued chicken legs, without worrying about too much smoke and char flavor getting in the food.
After the meal is where propane leaves charcoal in the dust – literally. With propane, all you have to do is turn off the grill, quickly clean the grates, and you’re done. With charcoal, you have to wait for an hour or more for the grill to cool down enough. Then you have to deal with messy ashes and soot.
All of these things make propane the best choice when you want to make the most of outdoor grilling–even during your busiest times.
Don’t stop with grilling! To learn more about all the ways you can enjoy propane, please contact your North Carolina propane company and they’ll be glad to help.