Charcoal is the best grill to use if you have the time. It gives you spectacular flavors that electric and propane grill can’t. There are some very common misconceptions about charcoal grills though; the biggest being the use of lighter fluid and "match light" charcoal. Several taste tests have been done on the subject and I have tried it myself. People say that lighter fluid doesn't affect the taste of the food, but it does. The best thing you can do is pick up a Chimney Starter to light your coals. You can find these at just about any place that sells grilling supplies. You simply fill the top 3/4s up with charcoal and put a little paper in the reservoir in the bottom and light it. After about 20 minutes your coals are white hot and ready to go. When it comes to cooking with charcoal, there really isn't much you can't do. This high heat cooking process will give you wonderfully flavorful meats and vegetables. Indirect heating from charcoal grills allows for baking, poaching, roasting and braising some of the best barbecue you can imagine.
There are two main downsides to charcoal grilling. The first is cooking time. It can take up to a half an hour to get a charcoal grill up to the proper temperature. This isn’t a downfall if you have something to do to pass the time, such as “tailgate with your friends.” The other con is that there's a large amount of super hot coals at the bottom of the grill. If left unattended, it is extremely easy to have a flair-up and ruin the flavor of whatever you are cooking. The upside to charcoal is most definitely the flavor. Nothing comes close to replicating the classic grilling taste like high quality charcoal. The ability to do some smoking on the grill is a plus as well. You can do this by adding soaked wood directly to the coal. So if you have the patience, time and a love for top-notch barbecue then charcoal grills are the way to go. Now that you have the facts about charcoal grills, ask yourself: is a gas grill right for you? If not, you should take a look at an electric grill!
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