The big debate in our house this past couple of weeks has been gas vs. charcoal. I know, summertime is rough for us. I grew up with charcoal...matt grew up with gas. It all started when our (actually matt's parent's) old gas grill died. We've been using it, and loving it...for they gave it to us when we made our big move from colorado to oregon. But in light of its death...we needed a new one. As far as budget goes- that's a no-brainer...charcoal grills are loads cheaper. But you do have to purchase briquettes. However, for some reason I really dislike trading in gas tanks...and that does cost money. So we researched and discussed the pros and cons of both. I like the real BBQ, smokey true flavor that charcoals give...I love the smokiness in the air, I love how you can smell a BBQ a whole neighborhood away. It just feels great (...despite the carcinogens I try not to think about). Its an experience. Gas grill...it's easy, it's quick, and it's great for cooking many items...all at once, with a variety of temperatures.
Matt is the cook in our house, he is far better at making all things taste good, so he was the one who had the most say in the matter. After one afternoon searching for BBQ books for my dad's father's day present at barnes and noble (we ended up with weber's time to grill, and weber's real grilling for us...FYI). The books emphasized charcoal over gas, then matt agreed we could give it a chance.
I started searching for cute charcoal grills... I found this incredible one. Its ceramic! And kind of looks like a big pickle or toad. Yeah, its about $850. No wonder I liked it.
Instead, we decided on the ol' circular weber grill...nothing fancy... and matt LOVES it. I mean really loves it. He was so happy basking in the smoke-filled backyard. I think he just felt like a man...doin' his manly thing. Just like I think he feels when he makes a campfire out in the woods. Then we tasted the barbecued half-chickens...phenomenal. We hadn't had this great of food since the big cook-out at our wedding hosted by our dads and lots of briquettes. So, we are officially a charcoal family.
We didn't want to waste the hot briquettes...such a shame to waste all of that heat. So, I made a cobbler! Strawberry and rhubarb from our neighbor's yard. It was amazing. Just a cast iron skillet- and using the indirect heat from the coals piled on one side- just perfectly easy. I will be making dessert each time we cook outside now. Nice excuse right?!