BBQing with a gas grill
I have been a long time fan of grilling and making (as in cooking) food outside of the house. Preferably using hot coals, which makes you feel like your ancestors back in the stone age. At least kind of. Last year I changed up my gear and made a move towards a gas grill, the Weber Q 320. For some this might seem like a step back, but for me this was a nice move, this post will describe why I think so.
Switching to a gas grill
So you might be wondering why I am switching to a gas grill when I was previously happy with my charcoal grill. There are two main reasons: Time and smoke. Time mainly because it takes time to get the coals hot enough for grilling, preparing the grill and cleaning out the ashes after grilling. Smoke because (although a lot of people say good coals don’t smoke that much), while lighting the coals in the chimney, they create a good amount of smoke, might just be for ~10 minutes, but that smoke made all of our neighbors move indoor on a nice summer day when you would expect everyone to be outside. Occasionally I still go back to the coal grill but that is mainly for special events when we do want to smoke some ribs and/or a turkey.
With the gas grill things got a lot easier. It’s on the terrace, I go out, turn on the gas light it up, go back inside and wait for a couple of minutes. Once it reaches the desired temperate (which I can monitor from inside) I go back out and put on whatever we had planned for grilling. Once the food is done you turn off the grill, go inside to consume the food. Once done you go back out turn the grill to full heat, wait ten minutes, then go back and scrub the grill surface off with a steel brush (not sure if that’s the correct translation) – and you are done. Once or twice a month you should clean out the grill, replace the dripping pan with a new one and clean the inside a little. Check the manual of the grill before using any liquids or grill cleaners for cleaning! Then you are done. I get that the cleaning argument might not be valid for everyone as they say you can handle your coal grill the same way, I think it’s easier (as in less hassle).
No low temperature smoking (for me yet)
As mentioned above I go back to the charcoal grill when I want to smoke something, but sometimes you just want to make some low & slow meat on the gas grill. It works, definitely. I have made ribs 4 times this year so far, 3 times on the gas grill. Only once on the charcoal with added smoke. The downside is I didn’t get the smoking part in. So while the ribs were awesome and delicious add some smoke flavor to them was nearly impossible on the Q320. There is a so called smoke box that you can use but is mainly made for the flavorizer bars in larger Weber grills. I tried putting the water soaked wood chips on the grate directly but the heat was too low at 125 degrees celcius (around 250 F). The chips just did not want to start giving some smoke. I have read of people adding a hot charcoal to a package of wood chips to get some smoke, but I have not tried that yet. Seems to work for others though.
More BBQ food pictures
Here is collection of what I have grilled on the gas grill (among other things). Still a big fan and kind of amazed by how much you can use the Q for:
Equipment and Resources
When it comes to equipment I rely on the Weber stuff. So I won a small Weber One-Touch Original that is now like 3-4 years old. Still rocking and giving me great results. The other and main grill I am using is the previously mentioned Weber Q320 Gas Grill that is always ready and gets fired up at least once every two weeks. I also own a pretty decent set of accessories for grilling, including a meat thermometer, an injection to get taste into the meat and other several things. The last addition was a present from a Canadian friend who brought a Weber Burger paddy maker. I guess you can just use your hands for making the paddies and they turn out great but it is a nice addition and makes the paddies at least all the same size.
As grilling the same stuff over and over again gets boring I frequently check a couple of resources for new ideas an recipes and techniques for q’ing. I have to say that I probably have never ever made a recipe I found in the same identical way as recommended by the author but haven taken the input and combined with my ideas and executed the way I though it was right. And so far I was not disappointed. Following is a list of resources I am using:
- Google Plus Community We Love BBQ
- Google+ Commuinty Texas BBQ
- THE BBQ PIT BOYS – also check their channel on Youtube BarbecueWeb
- The Schwarzwald Texaner Black Forest BBQ (German)
As for recipe books I have a vide variety, but only two related to BBQ:
The Weber Grill Bibel (German) which is targeted at all kinds of meats and grilling in general. On the other hand the Barbecue Cross Roads book covers a lot more on the background of BBQ history in the South West of the USA and the history behind a couple of restaurants. It also includes some really nice recipes, though I have only used one or two of them yet.
Do you have any questions regarding what kind of grill you should get and/or need recipe recommendations for a certain meat/event, let me know and I’ll try to help. Also let me know what kind of grill do you use? Do you have any special recipes that you want to recommend/think I might like and need to try?