It’s that time of year when we think about firing up our grills and taking in that unmistakable aroma that sets our taste buds to come alive! Living here in the Charleston area we are lucky to be able to grill outdoors year round even if it is a bit cooler to do so during the winter months. But, come spring time you will see and smell those grills being used in mass! So, if you do grill….which do you prefer? Charcoal or gas? That is the big debate between those that grill. Some people choose one camp over the other. Then, there are those grilling gurus who have both!

I was raised on Long Island and in the summer my parents grilled out every night. Charcoal it was and Dad had a sure fire way to ignite those charcoal briquettes until they were glowing. We ate our dinner out on the patio and the aroma of grilled food still brings me back to those wonderful days. Then years later came the convenience of gas grills and of course people switched over for the ease and time efficiency in our busy lives. But, we missed that charcoal aroma and the practice of grilling over a charcoal fire.

Lifestyle has a lot to do with your choice. Some folks have a basic human need to make a fire; they enjoy the hands-on experience of lighting charcoal. Some even like a challenge of charcoal grilling in cold, wet or windy weather. Waiting for the charcoal to reach cooking temperature is half the fun for these folks (not to mention the after dinner s’mores roast over glowing coals). And the portability of the smaller grill is a must for grillers on the go….Coleman has a great one which I own. The legs come off and fold into a heavy weight carry bag… even can be converted to a wood burning fire container. Pretty nifty!

Other folks want convenience and a quick ignite for last minute grilling. A gas grill allows them to instantly “fire it up” anytime and get down to cooking. Adjusting temperatures is as easy as turning a knob. Gas grills are inexpensive to operate, offer easy cleanup (the residue will burn off during preheating) and offer no resistance in inclement weather.

The debate between charcoal vs gas heats up when discussing flavor though.  Charcoal fans insist the smoke from the coals best flavors a barbecue. Gas folks claim that quick cooking is the tastiest. Debate on! As long as it doesn’t involve politics or religion I say happy grilling!!