Charcoal or Gas: Which is the Best Way to Grill?

Charcoal or Gas: Which is the Best Way to Grill?

by Eric Steinman

In the beginning there was fire, and humans learned to cook on this fire  and…it was good. Some time thereafter there came choices and then, everything  went to hell. The two basic choices were between charcoal and gas, and the  opinions are staunch and fierce. Dubbed “the grate debate,” many BBQ lovers  swear by one or the other (I have never really known anyone whose door swings  both ways on the debate) and will give you a laundry list of reasons why their  preferred method is superior to the other.

So seeing as July The Fourth is upon us, I thought this was a good time to end  the debate here and now. The absolute best way to grill is…entirely subjective.  Obviously, for anyone that has dabbled in the world of gas, gas grills are more  expensive, but far more convenient than charcoal grills. They start up like a  car (with about 10 minutes to fully heat) and the clean up is minimal. Some  swear that the regulation of temperature is far more precise with gas, whereas  charcoal grilling requires more finesse and technique to maintain heat  regularity. However with the primitive nature of charcoal comes other benefits;  namely the taste. Charcoal enthusiasts swear by the superior flavor of food  coming off the charcoal grill (some say meat tastes better on charcoal, whereas  non-meat items do just fine on gas), and many people do agree. Gas grills, while  providing those cool parallel grill marks, just don’t provide that same smoky  flavor that people demand from charred flesh (coincidentally, that coveted  flavor may also be an indicator of carcinogens). Nevertheless, there is no  accounting for taste, but there is accounting for money. While charcoal grills  cost significantly less than their gas-fueled counterparts, the price of  charcoal is significantly higher than the price of propane, used to fuel gas  grills. For gas grills it breaks down to about $1 per hour of grilling  (depending on the volume of gas you purchase and where you purchase it) whereas  the average price for an hour’s worth of grilling is about double or triple  that. And what about the environmental impact of burning six quarts of charcoal  vs. an hour’s worth of propane? Well, I think you could figure that one out.

Still, the argument will rage on as long as there are things to grill. What  is your feeling about gas vs. charcoal? Is the flavor all that different? Is  charcoal antiquated? Is gas a soulless way to grill? Please weigh in and have a  safe BBQ weekend.

8 Dog Safety Tips for the 4th of July

8 Dog Safety Tips for the 4th of July

  • Lisa Spector

July 4th is around the corner, along with the  fireworks that  inevitably  come with this holiday. Almost all humans with dogs in  the United States  declare this day the worst day of the year  for them. Veterinarians say that  July 3rd is usually the most-trafficked  day in their offices, with clients  coming in to get drugs for  their  dogs.  A few years ago, I found a lost  dog on the 4th of July. He was   obviously a well-fed, groomed, and trained dog  that escaped  his yard  when he heard the fireworks. When I called our local  Humane  Society, I  was informed that it is the busiest time of the year for   them, as more  dogs are found wandering loose on July 4th than any other  day of  the  year in the U.S.

Tips for providing a safe July 4th for your Canine  Household:

1. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day.

2. Keep your dogs inside during fireworks, preferably with human   companionship. If it’s hot, air conditioning will help. Bringing your  dogs to a  fireworks display is never a good idea.

3. Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. When scared   of sounds they can’t orient, dogs often prefer  small enclosed areas. (I   once had a dog who climbed in the bathtub during  windstorms.) If your  dog is comfortable in a crate, that is a good option.

4. Keep the curtains closed, and if possible, also the windows.

5. Make sure all your dogs are wearing ID tags with a properly   fitting  collar. (Dogs have been known to become Houdini around the 4th   of July.)

6. Leave your dog something fun to do – like a frozen Kong filled with his favorite treats.

7. Sound Therapy: Through a Dog’s Ear is specially designed classical music  clinically demonstrated to calm canine anxiety issues. The Calm your Canine series has even replaced drugs for  thousands of dogs on July 4th.

8. Desensitization combined with Sound Therapy: The Canine Noise Phobia series includes the above mentioned  music along with progressive sounds of fireworks and positive reinforcement training protocol by Victoria Stilwell.

 

 

Happy Fourth Of July, America!!!

 

 Prayer for the Fourth of July

Gods of liberty, goddesses of justice,
watch over those who would fight for our freedoms.
May freedom be given to all people,
around the world,
no matter what their faith.
Keep our soldiers safe from harm,
and protect them in your light,
so that they may return to their families
and their homes.
Goddesses of liberty, gods of justice,
hear our call, and light the sky,
your torch shining in the night,
that we may find our way back to you,
and bring people together, in unity.