'Tis the season for summer get-togethers and showing off your new (or simply improved) home. As company gathers and temperatures continue to rise, it's time to start heating up those grills as well. With such a variety on the market you may be wondering how to select a sure-fire winner that will cook any burger or steak to your standard of perfection. Don't sweat it--the article "Grill Smackdown" in Lowe's Summer 2013 publication pits charcoal against propane, highlighting these four important factors for you to consider when making your selection:
1. Light. It can take 15-30 minutes for charcoal to reach the right temperature, while push-button lighting and ten minutes of preheating make propane grills the quicker option.
2. Slow Cook. Charcoal presents an opportunity to show off your grilling precision. You'll need to add more briquets at regular intervals to maintain the fire for slow cook picks such as ribs. On a propane grill, simply set the temperature and get back to the poolside.
3. Fuel. This is all muscle over matter. You'll need to use roughly 3 pounds of charcoal every time you cook. A propane tank weighs about 40 pounds full and will need to be replaced after approximately 90 hours of use.
4. Flavor. In other words, which grill will get you more bragging rights? Charcoal briquets impart a smoky flavor on any meat. Propane won't get you smoke, but it can still put a delicious sear on a steak.
May the best grill win!