Gas or Charcoal?

Discussion in 'The Smokehouse' started by yooperdave, Jul 6, 2017.

?

Grilling

  1. Gas

    6 vote(s)
    18.8%
  2. Charcoal

    26 vote(s)
    81.3%
  1. yooperdave

    yooperdave

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    13,324
    Likes Received:
    57,421
    Location:
    Michigan's U.P.
    Looks like charcoal by about 4 to 1....more if you would like to add wood votes to the charcoal category.
     
  2. FatBoy85

    FatBoy85

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Messages:
    3,608
    Likes Received:
    10,738
    Location:
    Lakewood Washington
    Why not all 3 for a multiple choice answer? I know I used chips on a gas stove for flavor a few times. I just use charcoal and wood because the charcoal is a starter.
     
  3. yooperdave

    yooperdave

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    13,324
    Likes Received:
    57,421
    Location:
    Michigan's U.P.
    After all, charcoal is a derivative of wood, no?

    Good enough.
     
  4. FatBoy85

    FatBoy85

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Messages:
    3,608
    Likes Received:
    10,738
    Location:
    Lakewood Washington
    I disagree. You miss the point that volatile unconsumed gasses from hardwoods contribute to flavor foods while charcoal is just a byproduct of wood without such gasses. Some of which are specific and create flavors that are unique and cannot be replicated by simple briquette.
     
  5. yooperdave

    yooperdave

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    13,324
    Likes Received:
    57,421
    Location:
    Michigan's U.P.

    Thanks.
     
  6. Eric VW

    Eric VW

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    Messages:
    13,950
    Likes Received:
    59,087
    Location:
    Wytheville
    Careful now....:zip:
     
  7. SKEETER McCLUSKEY

    SKEETER McCLUSKEY

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    2,378
    Likes Received:
    10,237
    Location:
    Taconic Range Berkshire County
    :rofl: :lol:
     
  8. jtakeman

    jtakeman Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Messages:
    8,516
    Likes Received:
    34,757
    Location:
    NW CT foothills
    Charcoal, With a chip box for added smoke flavor. Sometimes hickory chunks soaked overnight. Hard to beat that charcoal/wood flavor!!
     
  9. fuelrod

    fuelrod

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,328
    Likes Received:
    5,806
    Location:
    Western Maine
    Me too!:D
     
  10. Mwalsh9152

    Mwalsh9152

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    5,227
    Location:
    Pelham NH
    I don't cook with charcoal a lot. Just when I want to cook rubbed chicken, or when I occasionally cook a steak. I normally use gas for convenience.

    Last week the heat from the charcoal was terrible, had to finish on the gas.

    A little research and I realized that I needed to change my brand. I threw out the remainder of the year old kingsford, and bought a bag of a royal oak. Wow, what a night and day difference! Wish I switched sooner
     
  11. BHags

    BHags

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2016
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    753
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Who has year old kingsford? I'm on about my 20th bag this summer!
     
  12. Mwalsh9152

    Mwalsh9152

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    1,027
    Likes Received:
    5,227
    Location:
    Pelham NH
    Lol like I said, I only use it occasionally. Though, the Royal Oak is ready to cook on much quicker too, and doesn't smoke the house out when it's getting going, so it might start getting used more now
     
  13. gbreda

    gbreda

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,164
    Likes Received:
    23,027
    Location:
    Central NH
    Royal Oak is all I use for the past 5 years or so, heck its ready to cook within 10-15 minutes and always easy to light. High heat grillen or low and slow bbq, it gets the job done in a good way. Prior to that I was trying the "better" lump but all I got were issues.
     
  14. BigPapi

    BigPapi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Messages:
    636
    Likes Received:
    3,365
    Location:
    The hills of Western MA
    They both have a place in my rotation. I do prefer the flavor of charcoal for most dishes, but the time isn't always there, nor the space. Cooking for a crowd or doing the whole meal is worlds easier on the big Weber Genesis. I can throw down three steaks, eight sliced potatoes, and peaches for dessert all at once on the gas grill and have dinner on the table in 20 minutes. Sadly, not so on the kettle grill. Could I get a bigger charcoal grill? For sure. But I'll have to be retired to reap all the benefits. :) One of these days!
     
  15. Dakota Hoarder

    Dakota Hoarder

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    853
    Location:
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Gas for quick and convenence. But when I have time it's definatly over the fire pit with some green fruit wood. Best smoky flavor ever!
     
  16. savemoney

    savemoney

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Messages:
    9,522
    Likes Received:
    36,250
    Location:
    Chelsea Maine
    good to know, thanks for sharing.
     
    Mwalsh9152 and NortheastAl like this.
  17. Timberlake0377

    Timberlake0377

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2015
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    208
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I didn't want to start a new thread since my question is related to this topic. When cooking with wood, is there an age limit to the fuel used? I recently went to a BBQ store looking at a stick burner offset smoker and the sales guy was pretty much poo-pooing that style because of the larger amount of wood they use. I had told him I wanted something I could use as a grill as well as a smoker so reverse flow styles were out and he had a good point about using less wood in a larger grill/roaster style (I was looking at Meadow Creek grills). He brought up how expensive a bag of hardwood chunks they sold were (a regular feedsack for $30 or so) and a typical 8-12 hour smoke could use a whole bag. Anyway as a fellow hoarder, sourcing hardwood for the occasional long slow smoke would not be an issue but I didn't feel like going into that at the time. But when I told him I didn't need to worry about buying their chunks because I had a fireplace and therefore some wood I could use for it, he said most firewood was too aged and dry for proper smoking. I said, well most of mine is 2 or so years along, he immediately shook his head and said no way, it's too old. You need to use wood no more than 6 months to a year old because it has more sap and moisture that adds to the flavor (yes, sap). So my question is, does anyone know if greener wood has any advantages to good cooking smoke or if using well seasoned wood takes away from the flavor? I know my seasoned oak/hickory/maple smells damm good in the house as it's burning in my Lopi insert and it still gives off smoke. I wanted to call him out on this silly idea, but was on my lunch break and just wanted to look at the grills before I left since it was quite a drive. So what do you wood cookers all use or prefer?
     
  18. Grizzly Adam

    Grizzly Adam Technical Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Messages:
    13,781
    Likes Received:
    31,850
    Location:
    Lakota, Iowa
    I am BBQing primarily on 3 year old maple, still tastes like maple even with all that sap dried up... What happens when you cook down sap? It concentrates in flavour, becomes syrup, then sugar. All that leaves is the water. I also have some 30 year old oak from a barrel that was at the inlaws-- when I smoke over it the food tastes of oak. Go figure. I think someone wants to be an expert and is talking out of his arse.
     
    yooperdave, gbreda and VOLKEVIN like this.
  19. VOLKEVIN

    VOLKEVIN

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    2,153
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
    Good Lord, where do I start...where do these sales people come from? I feel as though we need waders to go into that store to not step waist deep in the salesman's bull-squeeze. As a self proclaimed charcoal/woodburner for grilling and smoking, AND own a large barrel with offset firebox, I am very confident in saying that well seasoned oak, hickory, or the occasional peach or pecan is just the ticket. The trick is to have a 5 gallon bucket nearby, and soak your wood for a couple of hours before putting into the smoker. It will release some moisture into the cooking atmosphere, and slowly as it dries out and cooks, the wood will release a good long smoke. If you just throw very dry wood in, it catches fire quickly but doesn't give the long smoke. Since you have a good wood supply, don't buy anything from the store unless you just want something exotic like a fruit wood or a small bag of mesquite chips if you're grilling steaks. Happy smoking and grilling!:grizz:
     
    BHags and gbreda like this.
  20. Grizzly Adam

    Grizzly Adam Technical Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Messages:
    13,781
    Likes Received:
    31,850
    Location:
    Lakota, Iowa
    If you control the air correctly you a great smoke duration from dry wood. I can smoke for hours at a temp low enough to leave the food raw. This is how I do hams, for instance. With wet wood I can't do that.
     
    swags and VOLKEVIN like this.