Now that the weather is warmer, more of us are turning the great outdoors into our kitchen by grilling our favorite foods. There are a lot of choices for fuel, but the most common by far is a propane grill.
Why a Propane Grill?
Propane gas is sometimes called LP-gas, or liquefied petroleum gas. Propane is non-toxic, colorless, and almost completely odorless. That smell you detect when lighting your grill is the additive safety feature which has been added into the gas so that you will notice if there’s a leak. Almost all of the propane in use today has been produced in North America and propane produces very few carbon emissions when burned. Now that you know a bit about propane, let’s talk about why it’s so popular as a grilling fuel choice.
Propane is easy! With charcoal grills, you have to prep the coals and wait for them to heat up before you can cook. There’s also the issue of lighter fluid, which can be stinky. However, with propane, the cooking is simple. You just turn the switch and whoosh! You have your flame ready to go. You also don’t have to handle the sooty clean up left behind by charcoal. Just turn off the flame, brush the grate, and you’re ready for the next meal. Propane tanks also last a while, so you can run to your local Brinkmann’s for a refill knowing you’ve got many meals coming out of that one fill up. Plus, most propane grills store the tank right inside so you don’t have bags of charcoal to store away.
A propane grill will give you a steady heat. With a propane grill, the heat is determined by how high you set your burner. Want high heat? Turn it up! Want a lower, slow burn? Just turn the burner down. Charcoal grills are more unpredictable and may die out before you’re done with the cooking.
Most importantly, TASTE! That smoky flavor that people talk about with referring to charcoal grills is largely imparted on steaks and chops, but proper seasoning ensures that even these cuts will taste delicious on a propane grill. Further, it’s vital to be careful with charcoal that you don’t use too much lighter fluid, because traces of it will end up on your food, and no one wants butane for dinner. For delicate flavors like chicken, fish, veggies, and fruits (yup, you can even grill fruits like peaches and pineapple for a delicious treat,) grilling with propane is a great choice.
Finally, there’s the environment to consider. Charcoal briquettes can release up to 105 times more Co2 into the air than propane, as well as volatile organic compounds (or VOCs), which can cause a number of health problems including cancer. While propane grills burn a non-renewable fuel, it produces far fewer carbon emissions and only generates 5.6 pounds of Co2 per hour vs. the 11 lbs. per hour of charcoal.
These are just a few of the reasons that people choose propane for their outdoor grilling. So the next time you’re out looking for a new grill, consider a propane model. You’ll be getting the ease of use, ease of cooking, great taste and you’ll even be doing the environment a favor!