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In the eternal debate of gas vs charcoal grilling, Mike Mikulsky, an editor at Wired, comes down decidedly on the side of cooking with burning propane. Much of his reasoning derives from the inherent convenience that comes from cooking with gas.

Mikulsky disdains the argument advanced by the champions of cooking with charcoal that it imparts a better flavor that gas. He contends that once the charcoal is heated, the heat that it imparts is the same as any other source and does not emit the smoke that is said to impart meat with that special flavor. He argues that the flavor of grilled meat is caused by drippings of fat, which sizzle and smoke when they hit the bottom of the grill. It has nothing to do with whether the heat source is charcoal or gas.’

The main argument for using gas grills is convenience. With a charcoal grill, you have to spread the charcoal, anoint the coals with lighter fluid, strike a match and set the coals blazing. The wait for the fire to die down and coals to be covered with ash, glowing, hot, and smoking, can last 20 to 30 minutes. Then there is the extra cleanup afterwards.

Cooking with gas, it is so argued, is quicker in that all that one has to do is turn the grill on and lay out the meat. The time it takes to grill meat on a gas grill can often be half what it takes to do the same on a charcoal grill. Thus time is saved and one can enjoy one’s dinner far quicker than otherwise would be the case.

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