Grilling With Charcoal vs. Gas: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

by Jeanine Asencio 12:41 PM, May 23, 2017

Aired September 4, 2017

Sun’s out, buns out!

Hot dog and burger buns, that is! ;-)

It’s time to take the kitchen outdoors and grill to your heart’s delight. But before you do, read on for some grilling tips from a chef who has a passion for barbecue -- Marc Murphy!


How to Grill Thin Meats (think chicken + salmon)
Spread out the coals evenly over the bottom of the grill so you get an even distribution of heat all over the grill. Marc says it's great to do this when you’re cooking thin meats like chicken breasts or salmon.

“It’s going to be like direct heat going right at it,” says Marc.

READ: Getting Ready to Fire Up the Grill? Make Sure You Read These Tips From a Master Butcher FIRST

How to Grill Steak and Bone-In Chicken
Move all of the coals to one side of the grill. Start cooking the steak or chicken on the side with the coals just to get those nice grill marks, and then move it over to the side without coals to slowly finish cooking the meat.

How to Grill a Duck/Chicken/Turkey With Indirect Heat
With this method, you’re basically turning your charcoal grill into an oven by placing your food on an aluminum pan.

“You want the drippings!” says Marc. “But you don’t want the drippings to cause flare-up.”

Hence the aluminum pan. Smart!

How to Grill Using the “Snake” Method
As you’ll see in the video above, Marc arranged the charcoals in a semicircle and then put the lid on it. By lighting just one end of that circle, the charcoals will slowly burn -- so if you want to start cooking something but want some more time having fun in the sun (don’t blame ya), by the time you get back, that big piece of meat you were cooking won’t be ruined because of the slow burn.

“The wood chips, if you want, soak them in a little water and you scatter them around and they burn slower,” says Marc. “It’s going to cause more smoke and get more smoke inside of your meat.”

READ: Save Money This Grilling Season with 7 Tips


How to Grill With Indirect Heat
Place your flat meats and veggies directly on the grates -- but make sure you’re not grilling meat that’ll give off a lot of fatty drippings because that will lead to flare-ups!

“That flare-up sort of gives that acrid flavor,” says Marc.

How to Grill With Direct Heat
THIS is where you should be grilling those meats that give off lots of yummy drippings. Grab a disposable aluminum roasting pan and place your juicy/fatty meats in there to cook. It’ll save the pan drippings (to turn into gravy later?!) and prevent that unpleasant taste flare-ups give off.

Now get grillin’!

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