Pros and Cons of Using Charcoal Barbecue Grills

19 Jan

“So what are the main benefits of charcoal barbecue grills over their now popular gas alternatives?” That’s a common question asked by many entry level grillers and barbecue lovers. Gas grills are one of our favorite grills out there for many reasons, one of which is these are awesome timesavers. If you need to get a lot of grilling done in the shortest amount of time, then you should choose a gas grill.

Choosing a gas grill is no rocket science. Basically, there are just four features you should pay close attention to, and then you’re good to go. For one, choose a gas grill with an electronic igniter, which is easier to control and more reliable than a push-button or rotary starter. Next, choose one with coated cast-iron or stainless steel grates as these help keep even temperature when grilling. You likewise need to check the fuel gauge and the burners’ warranty.

Nevertheless, while gas grills have become very widely used today for their convenience and fast cooking, conventional charcoal grills and smokers still cannot be replaced for their unique cooking characteristics. When it comes to the issue of choosing a charcoal barbecue grill over its gas alternative, we need to both look at the benefits of a barbecue charcoal grills and their effect on our health to weigh out the pros and cons.

Benefits of Using Charcoal Barbecue Grills

Pure barbecue lovers quite often prefer barbecue grill with charcoal burner for its authentic taste and richly infused smoky flavor meat. Steaks, thin slices of meat like bacons, bratwurst, brisket, salmon and other fish dishes also retain their moisture and tenderness due to slow smoke-cooking process that is usually enclosed within charcoal smoking unit.

During this long cooking session, (typically between two hours to even one or two days), fat and unhealthy grease also get their chance to drip out of barbecue – a process which can also be referred to as “meat sweating”. So while preserving moisture and vital nutrition, such as vitamins, charcoal barbecue grill also helps to reduce fat intake and avoid many high cholesterol level related illnesses such as heart decease.

Disadvantages of Charcoal Barbecue Grills

Because charcoal requires burning of wood, it creates hydrocarbon and carbon monoxides which pollute the air. In addition, in 2003, scientists from Rice University after some study found that poly-unsaturated fatty acids as the result of burning charcoals also contributed to the atmosphere pollution in Houston.

Another impact on health is the risk of cancer. Grilling meat from charcoal barbecue grills can potentially produce hazardous carcinogenic compounds, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAA). These chemicals are created when fat dripped from meat come into contact with burning charcoal, then they evaporate in form of smoke and get deposited back into charred parts of barbecue meat. The hotter the cooking temperature is and the longer the smoking session lasts, the higher the risk of food poisoning. This phenomenon can actually happen when you broil and pan-fry meat as well.

So, should you choose a charcoal grill or a gas grill? The choice is yours, but make sure you keep the pros and cons in mind when making your final decision.

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