Friday, July 29, 2011

Are you a charcoal griller or do you use gas?

This week, I cooked my 15 year anniversary dinner out on our gas grill.  During our entire marriage, we've only had one charcoal grill.  That was a few years ago when we decided to try something different when our old gas grill gave up its ghost.  So, we went to Walmart and found a $50 charcoal grill and brought it home.  We had family over, so hubby stoked it up and singed his eyebrows and the front of his hair.  Well, that was the end of that experiment!  After that, we were both a bit too fire shy to try it again.  So, we went back to having a more easily controlled and (for us) reliable gas grill.

Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal Smoker & Grill
We really like the look of stainless steel.  Our grill now is a stainless steel gas model.  Stainless lasts a long time and in our climate, we definitely needed to buy something that would stand up to the humidity and not rust out.  Did you know you can buy a stainless steel charcoal grill?  I thought that you could only get a charcoal grill in a square box like shape that just looks so drab.  Some even look a lot like gas grills, so if aesthetics are something you're looking for in a grill, a stainless steel charcoal grill is definitely something to consider if you're a master of charcoal grilling.

Brinkmann grills come in many options, including a gourmet smoker and grill model.  Though I'm not a fan of smoked meat, I know people who are.  A model such as the one pictured to the left might make a good gift since it is under $100.  This model converts to a charcoal grill, giving the user a dual use, something that appeals to the frugal side of me.  If I can buy one machine to do many different tasks, then I do.  I don't have the shelf space for redundant machines.  

Though I'm no grill master, I do know that it's important to have good grilling accessories.  Funny story:  When we first moved to Virginia, the rental house we secured had some issues with its gas line (as in we could have been blown sky high!)  Our landlord at the time wasn't as speedy as she should have been to remedy the situation.  The sad fact is that I had to learn how to cook on the grill outside, since that was our only other choice other than the microwave.  I felt like a pioneer woman trying to figure out how to cook eggs and other non-typical grilling foods out there (she graciously provided a propane tank; that was something that our moving company would not ship as part of our move.)  Hamburger helper is something I distinctly remember cooking over our grill.  There was also chicken stir fry once (I used microwave rice).  With all that cooking I did over the grill,  I could totally have used this grill accessory, since it would have saved some wear and tear on my copper frying pan.

Camp Chef 24 Inch Reversible Cast Iron Grill and Griddle

A rotisserie to add to my grill would be awesome and I'd love one of those hotdog rollers if I could find one.  There's more to grill accessories than just a meat thermometer or burger spatula!  

For now, we plan to stay a gas grill family.  Thankfully, I haven't had to prepare anything other than the traditional grilling fare out on our grill since that time when we rented, but I suppose it is a good thing to learn how to actually cook a meal on a grill that doesn't involve just sticking hamburgers and hot dogs on to cook.

Just for fun:  What's the weirdest item you've ever grilled?   
Please leave a comment letting me know what it was and how it turned out.  
Take a look at these 37 weird things other people have grilled for inspiration.
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