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Old 05-19-2008, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just learning about this (it really only occurred to me today and you won't believe how guilty I'm feeling!), so please bear with me.

I discovered that my old bbq gave up the ghost sometime over the winter and I want to replace it, I think. I mean, I love to not heat up the house during the summer heat BUT are bbq's really bad? Is natural charcoal better than propane, better than natural gas? What's the best kind to have/use or should I really not purchase a new one? Please enlighten me! Thank you.

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Old 05-20-2008, 02:12 AM
 
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This is a matter of much debate, and entirely depends upon who you ask and what your concerns are. Some say that cooking over an open flame at all is bad, some say that the pollutants from burning charcoal are bad, some say that burning fossil fuels is bad. You really have to make your own judgment call.

That being said, I love cooking over an open flame, and since the first cooked food was over an open flame I don't have a problem with it. I will not use charcoal that has been impregnated with lighter fluid, since the simple fact that I can taste it (lighter fluid) means I'm eating it, and I don't think that's healthy. For the same reason, I won't use lighter fluid on my charcoal, and I only use hardwood charcoal (not lump).

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Old 05-20-2008, 03:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cristeen View Post

That being said, I love cooking over an open flame, and since the first cooked food was over an open flame I don't have a problem with it. I will not use charcoal that has been impregnated with lighter fluid, since the simple fact that I can taste it (lighter fluid) means I'm eating it, and I don't think that's healthy. For the same reason, I won't use lighter fluid on my charcoal, and I only use hardwood charcoal (not lump).
: My thoughts too. Honestly, I'd rather cook outside in the summer b/c every time I turn my stove on my house gets soooo ridiculously hot that we have to turn the AC on and it still doesn't fully help.

I use Cowboy charcoal, it's hardwood lump. It costs the same as Kingsford regular charcoal briquettes.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:29 PM
 
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Most of the world cooks over a fire! I think using charcoal that is not contaminated is important and if you can source some locally then so much the better. In terms of emissions I would be much more worried about how much crap factories are churning out to produce cheap plastics that we don't need! Those are the issues that could make a really difference rather than the odd bbq.

Just my thoughts anyway!

ps I really don't see the point of propane bbq's it seems to defeat the purpose of having a different eating experience.
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:30 PM
 
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we have a propane barbeque, but once we discovered cooking over wood- we havent used it! We use cherry or maple, have a nice little bonfire, let the coals burn down, set the grill over the fire pit and roast away! Veggies, meats, you name it- the best food ever. Wood is the best thing to cook with, then gas, then electric.

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Old 06-16-2008, 03:01 PM
 
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I've read that gas is a lot cleaner, as far as air pollutants, than charcoal. But I agree with hedgewitch that propane doesn't really enhance the experience of BBQing.
Good to know about the lighter fluid I never really thought about it... The Cowboy charcoal sounds good. I wonder if I can get that around here somewhere.

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Old 06-16-2008, 03:59 PM
 
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I've read that gas is a lot cleaner, as far as air pollutants, than charcoal.
yes but gas has the need to be extracted, etc.

If you can get wood locally and use that it is so great- we dont use charcoal or lighter fluid.
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:13 PM
 
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everything has an extraction footprint, i have no idea what that might look like for run of the mill bbq charcoal.

so could i just build a little fire with wood in my weber? i never would've thought to do that. i love bbq but we haven't been for the last couple of years because we weren't sure of the environmental impact, but if i could just do that, that would be great.

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Old 06-17-2008, 02:44 AM
 
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everything has an extraction footprint, i have no idea what that might look like for run of the mill bbq charcoal.
It kind of depends on where it's from. But, Mike Rowe visited a charcoal factory on Dirty Jobs a couple years ago and compared to the extraction of natural gas, hardwood charcoal that is harvested sustainably (not from old growth forests) isn't that bad. So then it becomes a matter of how far was it shipped to get to you?

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Old 06-17-2008, 03:19 AM
 
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We use our BBQ regularly in the summer, but we haven't used charcoal in years. We build a wood fire in the BBQ using scrap wood from our yard. We just light a big pile and then let it die down to coals. Works great, costs us nothing, and keeps us from having big unsightly piles of scrap wood and brush in our back yard.

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Old 06-17-2008, 03:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by laketahoemama View Post

so could i just build a little fire with wood in my weber? i never would've thought to do that. i love bbq but we haven't been for the last couple of years because we weren't sure of the environmental impact, but if i could just do that, that would be great.
That is exactly what we do, have been for years now.

Kris wife to Stew and mom to Joey 8/03 who cares for , 2 frogs and a worm
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