Barbecues | Compare gas versus charcoal barbecues

There’s no single image that represents summer better than that of the backyard barbecue; barbecues are fired up, there’s the smell of meat cooking on the grill and a frosty beverage in hand. Having a barbecue allows you to get out from the stifling house and cook outdoors while enjoying the great weather outside. Barbecues provide a fast and tasty way to cook your food and come in a variety of different types to choose from.
Gas Barbecues
Many feel that a gas barbecue is the best kind available. Not only are they affordable but they cook fast and are easy to maintain. Most gas barbecues use propane for fuel and come in many different sizes. You can find table top barbecues that use small propane canisters up to the full sized units that use 20 pound propane tanks. Lastly, there are also natural gas barbecues that hook up to a residential gas line and portable barbecues that can collapse to fit in your trunk; perfect for camping, tailgating or for spending a full day at the beach.
Charcoal Barbecues
While charcoal barbecues may not cook as fast as their gas counterparts, there are many that feel that cooking with charcoal provides a smoky flavor that cannot be surpassed. While much of this comes down to personal taste, it ends up becoming more of an issue at cookout competitions and rib roasts where subtle nuances in the taste and tenderness of the meat are highly scrutinized. Charcoal barbecues use either charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal for fuel, and cannot be used indoors because of the carbon monoxide that is released as the fuel is burned.
BBQ Smokers
BBQ smokers help to close the gap between charcoal and gas barbecues. There are electric or propane powered smokers that use wood chips to bring extra flavor to the meat as it cooks. While purists still tend to favor charcoal with wood chips as the best option, the electric and propane models have the added feature of temperature controls. The controls make it easy to regulate the heat so that the cook can mingle with guests or tend to other things while the bbq smoker does its thing.
Before you buy a barbecue, determine which fuel type you prefer, the features that you want and how much you’re willing to spend; a Weber barbecue is often more expensive than other brands with comparable features, but it’s important to factor in the materials and the warranties that are offered by each company. The burners on most barbecue grills tend to deteriorate the fastest, so any barbecue with a multi year warranty on their parts will tend to last a lot longer than cheaper models with lesser warranties.

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