Gas or Charcoal?

The ever standing questions still stands: Gas or Charcoal? Though either can get the job done, many chefs swear by one or the other. What’s the right cooking technique for you?Cal Flame Outdoor Kitchen

Here are some pros and cons, first for charcoal:

Pros: Most professional cooks prefer charcoal grills. It gives a deeper smoky flavor, and, used properly, it produces a clean heat with a high temperature. Cooking over coals gives a seared crust, and once you’ve got it, you can move the meat to a lower-heat area to finish cooking. Some charcoal grills have a “gas-assist” feature that helps light the charcoal but uses the charcoal for cooking.

Cons: It is time-consuming to light the fire and wait for the coals to burn to the right degree. Like, say, 2-year-old kids, coal fires can be unpredictable and messy to clean. The charcoal may need to be replenished during the cooking process to handle long, slow-barbecued meats.Food-on-grill-1024x807

And now for gas:

Pros: Gas is convenient, easy to use and quick to light, and gas fires have an even heat. Longing for that smoky flavor? You can create it by allowing the juices and fat to drip onto the stones and briefly catch fire (be vigilant watching for a bonfire when cooking chicken with skin on). The fuel supply can be used over and over again and is easy to replace.

Cons: Most gas grills won’t burn as hot as a charcoal grill, although a few high-end gas grills hit the heights of heat. Drippy fat or no, gas doesn’t quite give the level of smoky flavor that charcoal grills do.

Cal Flame BBQ offers additional add-on features to increase the flavor and intensity of your barbecued meats. From rotisserie baskets, to sear zone burners and smoke trays, Cal Flame makes sure that each and every meal grilled on a Cal Flame is the ultimate feast!Charcoal Helper Tray 

Super Bowl Green Grilling Tips

Super Bowl is this Sunday, which means time to dust of that ol’ grill of yours. Below are some helpful “green” grilling tips from Cal Flame so you can grill your favorite meals and appetizers this weekend without harming the environment.

Gas vs. Charcoal

  • Although it doesn’t offer the same flavor as charcoal, the cleanest, most energy-efficient grilling option is gas grills (natural gas or propane), with electric grills coming in a distant second.
  • The demand for natural gas and electric products certainly has environmental impacts, (offshore drilling, hydro-electric dams and coal-fired power plants), but these two options still offer the cleanest, most energy-efficient way to burn fuel.
  • Wood and charcoal burners pollute the air with tiny particles of soot that can contribute to chronic lung and heart problems.

Use Organic Meats & Produce

  • Look for free-range meats that have been grass-fed or produced using certified organic feed.

Use Eco-Friendly Briquettes

  • Briquettes or lump charcoal are NOT completely earth-friendly because burning either of them can cause pollution.
  • Producing wood-based lump charcoal can contribute to global warming and/or deforestation.

Dispose of Ashes Properly

  • Wood ash is alkaline. It can be used in the garden as a fertilizer, but only if you’re trying to neutralize very acidic soil so apply it with care.
  • Charcoal ash contains chemical residues which are harmful to plants and should be disposed of in the garbage.

Light Your Fire without Fluid

  • Chimney starters and electric probes are good alternatives to lighter fluids, which emit harmful
  • VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) when lit. They are inexpensive (usually $12-$15) and provide a fast, reusable, pollution-free alternative for lighting up the grill.

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