If you know me, you know that I love to cook outdoors. I am a fan of anything that has to do with the word’s grill and accessories. Grilling is a passion that I truly enjoy. There is nothing like a great steak grilled medium-rare to perfection and an ice-cold porter to wash it down with.
I’m not sorry if you are a vegetarian. There is just something about the taste of any kind of meat coming off the grill or smoker that makes your mouth water.
Which, leads me to my topic today. What do you like best? Smoked, gas-fired, charcoal, or wood. I’m sure there are others, but these are the main four that come to mind. I will share my new personal favorite in just a little bit.
Smoked to Perfection
Pulled pork was something that I grew up on as a kid. I have vivid memories of spending every weekend at Lake Gaston with my best friend. Every Sunday on our way back home, we would stop in this little restaurant and have a feast of pulled pork which was Carolina style, Brunswick stew, and a quarter grilled chicken with all the fix-ins.
To this day I have yet to find a restaurant as good as that. Now, I always ask myself, was it just the experience or the food? I don’t know. What I do know is I searched the world to find that recipe so that I could recreate the pulled pork that they served. Do you remember any places like this?
One thing I have realized in my travels is that every region has a special recipe for pulled pork. That is to say, there is red sauce, vinegar-based sauce, and mustard-based sauce. So, no matter where ever you live you are accustomed to that style. By the way, if you don’t know Eastern Carolina sauce is a vinegar-based sauce. And, I will share my recipe in a future blog.
I can honestly say that I don’t remember a time in my adult life that I haven’t owned a smoker of some kind. For example, I remember my first smoker was one of those round domed charcoal smokers. Every Easter I would smoke a ham. I even used that smoker in Iceland in the snow.
Consequently, I have moved on to what I feel is a higher level of smoker today the wood pellet smoker. However, I have tried most of them in the past. I went thru the electric stage of smoking and then I moved to the gas stage before I purchased what I feel is the best smoker I have ever owned.
About a year ago, I purchased the Pit Boss upright smoker and it outperforms any smoker I have ever owned by far. I love how I can set the temperature and it stays constant the entire time. In short, that is a key element to smoking meats of any kind. Low and slow at a constant temperature.
Give Me the Gas
Probably the most common type of grill sold is the gas grill. There are tons of gas grills out on the market today. In fact, just about everyone sells them. And, for the price, you can’t beat them. For instance, they start around $99. The best thing about a gas grill is it does one thing and it does it well.
Gas grills are perfect if you are looking for a fast starter to cook your dinner outside. Step out, push the button, and BOOM you have a fire. However, in my opinion, they do lack flavor. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have owned and used my share of gas grilles over the years. That is to say, with the correct seasoning and maybe a smoker accessory you can get a good flavor from your meat.
Consequently, gas grills do have an advantage over the other styles of grills. They are easy to maintain and cheaper to operate than other grills. And, they are easier to rebuild. I cannot remember how many gas grills I have rebuilt at the beginning of each grilling season.
Charcoal is in the Bag
Now, a charcoal grill is the start of a whole new adventure in grilling. That is to say, cooking over a charcoal grill gives a semi-constant temperature until the charcoal burns out. As a result, if you are cooking something for a longer period of time you will need to add charcoal during the process. This has a tendency to change the temperature temporarily during the heating phase of the charcoal.
Most importantly, don’t let the temperature change stop you from considering a charcoal grill. The flavor is amazing.
Now, word of advice, stay away from the instant light charcoal and any type starting fluid when it comes to using charcoal. And, here’s why. The lighter fluid and the instant light charcoal (that has been soaked in a fluid to help start) will impart an unpleasant taste in the food that you are cooking on the grill.
However, don’t get me wrong people having using starting fluid or instant light charcoal for years without any harmful effects. I’m just saying that you will notice a better more natural flavor by using a charcoal chimney or an electric starter. Personally, I prefer a chimney.
Here is a pro tip that I discovered. So, when using a chimney to start your charcoal. After you add the charcoal from the bag tear some paper from the bag and add it under the chimney. That is to say, the charcoal bag has a charcoal residue which makes it easier to light.
Don’t Forget the Wood
When it comes to a wood-fired grill, I would like to mainly discuss the pellet grills. There are several out on the market. They tend to be a bit pricey compared to other grills.
And, we have finally reached the top of the flavor scale. To clarify, In my opinion, the pellet grill is by far the best grill I have ever used. I recently traded up from my dual fuel (gas and charcoal) grill after the grates rusted out. And, I must say I am really glad they rusted out. In other words, I had no idea what I was missing.
So, when I traded up, so to speak, I purchased the Pit Boss Pellet Grill, This grill is similar, to the vertical smoker that I have. It is simple to start. Once you have it started just set your cooking temperature and you will maintain a constant temperature as long as you need it, no matter what the outside temperature is.
In short, your grilling season just got longer. That is to say, the best thing about cooking in the winter is the beer stays colder longer. You are welcome.
Although the easy of starting is a plus. However, the flavor that a pellet grill imparts is awesome. To me, this changed my game. I am able to seal in more flavor while adding the smoke taste at the same time.
Here is a pro tip that I have when using a pellet grill. Keep in covered and do not let the hopper get wet. The pellets will disintegrate into sawdust and the auger will be is unable to push the pellets to the flame. (This tip was learned from experience. It took me 2 hours to get the hopper and auger cleaned out after I forgot to cover it up.)
You Need to Accessorize
Have you ever walked down the grill aisle at your local hardware store, or anywhere that sells grills for that matter. The amount of accessories that are available for grilling is unbelievable. That is to say, there is some kind of gadget for any type of food you would like to grill.
Between the tools, baskets, and spices, your kids should never have to ask what would you like for Father’s Day. I am quite sure if they look hard enough they will even find a grilling tie or a pair of grilling socks.
My favorite accessory is the pizza oven that goes on top of your grill. I have had for a couple of years. It fits on most grills and because of the stone inside it gets super hot. You can cook a pizza in about 5 minutes.
Well, there you have it. This is my introduction blog to Grill and Accessories. I look forward to sharing my experience with you as I move forward. Keep looking for my next blog as I will share recipes, reviews, and more tips in the future. Meanwhile, grab a cold beer and throw something on the grill. I promise it will be the most relaxing thing you will do today.
If you want to share your own experience or have comments leave it below and I will respond. You can also sign up to receive my blog straight to your mailbox by submitting your email in the red box.
Chuck is the author of several blogs and websites including ;
Weight Loss is Not a Diet (under construction)