Taste the meat not the heat

Looks like Hank was right all along. I never preferred charcoal much myself.

Charcoal purists will try and tell you that their preferred fuel leads to better flavor. This is, well, nonsense.

Your food doesn’t know what’s creating the heat below it, and once charcoal is hot, there aren’t any aromatic compounds left in the coals. According to the food science bible Modernist Cuisine, “Carbon is carbon; as it burns, it imparts no flavor of its own to the food being grilled.”

The characteristic flavor of grilled food comes from the drippings, not the fuel. When those drippings hit the heat source below, the oils, sugars, and proteins burst into smoke and flame. That heat creates new complex molecules that rise in the smoke and warm air to coat the food you’re grilling.

Nothing in that process relies on charcoal.

Intellectual Ventures founder, former Microsoft CTO, and barbecue world championship-winning chef Nathan Myhrvold has spent millions trying to understand the science of food and cooking. He’s serious about his meat, and as he argues in Modernist Cuisine, the real debate among the faithful “shouldn’t be about which charcoal is best. It should be about whether charcoal is necessary at all.”

Grilling Over Gas Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Charcoal | Wired Opinion | Wired.com

This is why science is not always the answer.
Charcoal grilling is not just cooking over charcoal. I have several different wood chips varieties to choose from. Adding Hickory to pork BBQ adds flavor. Sure, you could do similarly, with gas, but I like the charcoal. TO me, it is just easier.
I use a “chimney” to start my coals, and add what ever wood I choose. If need to extend the time, I can add more. I hate cooking away, and the fire goes out, because the gas is empty.
I have a 300 dollar gas grill. I have a 59 dollar charcoal grill. I get good results with both. Why spend the extra?
But, when a big family event comes, I use both.

When the fat from the meat drips on the charcoal, you get the smoke flavor (because you get smoke!). I suppose it works the same way with the “artificial” briquets. Also, I know a lot of people put apple twigs on their charcoal, say it gives a good flavor. I’ve also heard that the burning of apple wood gives a pleasant aroma, too, but I never noticed it.


Bingo! … (on three cards)

/Big Grin … I will say that the blend of:

  • Hickory chips
  • charcoal
  • the fat drippings from the pork or beef

produces a magnificient flavor and smell that is impossible to produce when one blends: Hickory chips + a gas flame + the fat dripping from pork or beef.

Also the Hickory chips do not “lay” as well and do not smolder and smoke the same when thrown on a gas flame, as they do when laid on top of red hot charcoal.

My big charcoal grill pours out huge billows of delicious smelling Charcoal-Hickory-Chip smoke and can be smelled half-mile away, the neighbors drool like aged
bulldogs while the salavia drips off their chins as they say, “Jack is out there in his backyard grilling again.” … lol …

Besides, wasn’t there something in the news about the people who grill with gas only? Didn’t studies show that the-gas-grillers-only-people
were 10 times more likely to be kidnapped by aliens and taken to their home planet for psychological observation? … lol …

:freaked: … Leave them thar gas grills alone folks, you are being watched by :alien:'s every time you fire that thing up!

[quote=“Jack_Hectormann, post:4, topic:40049”]
My big charcoal grill pours out huge billows of delicious smelling Charcoal-Hickory-Chip smoke and can be smelled half-mile away
[/quote]Back in the days when I used to grill (am too unsteady to do it now), I used to soak mesquite chips and throw them on the hot coals.

Plus, I’d brush on a garlic marinade so frequently, that that would contribute to the smoke also.

Plus, that was in the days that I drank myself stupid . . . haven’t had a drop of the dew now in 15 years or so.

So, there I’d sit out by the grill, close to where we grew our beef stake tomatoes so I’d be looking at the ripening tomatoes too, just drinking, looking, brushing, and smelling the aromatic smoke. It was so hypnotic and pleasant (the booze enhanced it all), that I did in fact literally become hypnotized.

My wife would holler out every half hour or so, “Is it ready yet?” I’d say, “Just a few more minutes . . . BTW, can you pour me another Cap’n Morgans (rum) and coke?”

She would dutifully do so, bring it out, and say “It looks done to me”.

Finally, she’d bring one out one time and exclaim, “Hey, the meat is all shriveled up!”

And I’d say (more like slur out at that point), “Just a few more minutes”, and throw some more soaked mesquite chips on and brush on some more garlic on the meat . . . what was left of it.

Bottom line, I was so fond of the smoke aroma, that I just kept “cooking” and drinking AND SMELLING 'till the meal was ruined. Of course, by that time I wasn’t hungry anyway, and pretty toasted myself.

That smoke aroma always got me. Instead of eating, I just wanted to continue smelling it.

/GREAT BIG GRIN … Ha …now that was a good read!! … lol …

… Ya gotta send that to somebody else that grills out a lot and who maybe has NOT yet said goodby to **“the Creature” …lol … …they’ll get a good laugh outta that little mini-essay, you could title it The Aroma And Cap’n Morgan Trumps The Meal Every Time!

I too have soaked wood chips to increase the smoke.

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪

**Nickname for whiskey