Enterins the world of propane grilling

Well, summer is coming and after years of micro-bbqing on sad little personal-sized charcoal grills I finally took the plunge and bought myself a big ol’ three-burner Brinkmann propane BBQ. Got it for less than $200 at Target, so it’s not top of the range but seems like it will serve its purpose.

I also picked up Basic Grilling for Dummies (which comes with a set of bbq tools, neat) which I intend to read up on, but since I know we have some keen grillers here in the QT3 community I was wondering if anyone would care to chime in with some personalized tips of their own.

This will be my first experience with propane because frankly I am sick of charcoal, it’s a pain in the ass. Gas just seems much cleaner and easier. How much cooking do I actually get out of a regular (I guess rougly five-gallon) tank? Does a long day’s cookout pretty much drain it, or is it good for more than that?

I have been tempted by the various bbq add-ons, such as the wood chips in the little cast iron box that you throw on the grill for extra smoky flavor, and those cedar planks for cooking salmon on. It’s a whole new world, I tell you.

Bring on Memorial Day!

EDIT: Why oh why can we not edit the titles after they’re posted?

As they said in Grosse Point Blank, “It’s like special torture!”

I don’t have a grill of my own, but I will say that my dad makes salmon on those planks and it is MMM MMM GOOD. So I recommend those.

Definitely get the wood chips, try and find different smoky flavors…I have a little portable that doesnt take wood chips and I miss them dearly.

My dad has an egg http://www.biggreenegg.com/ which works great but there is soooo much smoke flavor it is a little overwhelming, especially being used to the gas grill for the past many years.

Wow, timely thread – I was just gifted a gas grill about an hour ago by friends who are moving away, and I’ve got very little barbecuing on my resume. Continue with the tips – I reckon I can get results between “bloody as hell” and “burnt to a crisp”, but I’m missing all the subtleties. Looking forward to experimenting with wood chips this summer.

You CAN edit titles after posting, but it requires you to click on the “Go Advanced” button after you’re in Edit mode. Then you can do all kinds of funky stuff like give an edit reason, and change the title.

Enjoy!

WOOT! Thanks! Although it still doesn’t change the title of the thread on the index pages…

You can get quite a bit of grilling out of one of those propane tanks.

To me, the real flavor of food is in the seasoning of the meats and not in the smoke of the grill, so find a combination of flavors you like and let your meat marinade in that for a while before grilling. Depending on how strong you want the flavor, will be the longer the marinade. For stuff like burgers, I usually just brush them when I put them on the grill.

I personally suggest Dale’s seasoning, though I’m not sure how readily available it is in your area.

Yeah, I noticed that. I think that it’s locked in if other people post in your thread, but you can do a full on title change if you do that Advanced edit before anyone else posts. I think this because I’m pretty sure I’ve done a title change that ended up being properly corrected in the index.

Dale’s looks pretty good, I guess I am going to have to see what I can actually find in my area…

hell, next time I go to the store I’ll pick some up and mail it to you.

If you grill out say, every weekend during the summer and once every weeknight, I’d be suprised if you ran out of propane from a standard size tank during the summer. You might, but they last a while. Just make sure you close the valve at the source every time you finish grilling so nothing leaks out.

My setup is similar to yours, Gary, but it’s 4 burners plus a side burner. I assume you also have a warmer rack on top? That’s useful for buns (a tip: don’t put them in too long . . . a minute a most) and things like veggieburgers.

I got a little metal plate with holes in it (like a griddle, I guess, but with 2.5 mm holes) that’s really nice for grilling things like onions and other things that could clip in between the grill rack. It has an edge on one side so you put it up against the side of the grill on one side and the edge prevents anything from falling off the side.

Also, I like the porous bricks you can put in the gas ranges. The fat and such drips off and builds up on these over time, adding to the smokiness of the grill over time. Haven’t tried the mesquite chips yet, they seem expensive, as I assume they are one-time use only and then they burn up.

Happy grilling!

For steaks on propane grills, there’s something almost mystical about soy sauce sizzling over the top of a steak. I get a special high off of that.

The only downfall of any propane grill experience I’ve had is running out of propane. The little tanks typically have no meter on them, so there’s no direct way of seeing how much you have left. Getting about 20% of the way through cooking something on the grill only to have it run out of gas is it’s own sort of frustration hell.

A neighbor let me in on a secret: If you’ve got gas heating in your house, call the gas company and have them install an outlet on the wall that’s closest to your deck. Then, you just plug the grill right into the outlet, and you’ll never be carting those little white tanks around again. I don’t personally know if there was a charge for installing the outlet (I’m betting there was) or how much it was.

One of the best things about grilling on your new grill is the taste. Even without seasoning, your food is going to taste a world better without the lighter fluid/charcoal taste mixed in with everything.

Highly recommend the chips. We went to gas quite some time back. You’re right about the convenience and there being less cleanup. It’s also nice to be able to fire up the grill and get the flesh right on it, as opposed to charcoal which always took like 45 minutes to get to the right temperature for me. And, you get better control over the temperature too.

Anyway, as I said above, the convenience is nice but I do miss the flavor you get with charcoal. Some good wood chips can help with that.

As far as how long the bottles last: I’ve been getting a little more than one grilling season per bottle over the last six years or so. That’s on a standard size grill, cooking three or four times a week during the summer and fall and a couple times during the winter.

The cedar planks for salmon are awesome. Make sure you soak them in water the night before though. Gives them a longer lifespan.

A good silcone brush for marinades and sauces.

A grill basket for stuff that’ll fall through.

Bamboo skewers. Not as prone to burning the fingers and mouth as metal.

Aluminum foil. I love tossing various meats and veggies in a big square, fold into an envelope or Hershey’s kiss. Grill for easy to eat and clean packages.

Always clean the grill when it’s still warm. Get a good grill cleaning set.

I go through about 2 5-gallon tanks a year. Come summer and nice weather, almost every dinner is grilled outside.

One all-important tip for grilling: always clean the grill thoroughly before cooking.

Aside from that there just isn’t much to know. BBQing low and slow with smoke or cooking entire turkeys, etc, well there’s more to that but lets get serious here-- you aren’t gonna do that. You’re grilling up burgers, hotdogs, chicken breasts, and steaks. Turn on high and cook steaks on direct heat until 125F internal.

To find out how much propane is left in your tank, nuke up a mug of water to boiling and drip it over the tank’s side. It’ll feel cold at the line where gas starts.

I’ll take you up on that! Thanks :-)

I’ve seen lots of cool bbq accessories at the store. Some stick-on propage gauges that tell you how full the tank is (you pour some hot water onto the gauge to get a reading), and a wire frame for making beer can chicken - I guess you put the can in the center of the frame and stick the chicken over the can, held in place by the outer part fo the frame, and you can make a chicken with the taste of your favorite beer. That seems like fun and the kind of thing I would try.

Those are cool. Does anyone know how they work?

Beer can chicken is really good, although I don’t know why you’d want or need a frame. Just shove a beer up the chicken’s ass (“It’s Giuliani Time!”) then stand it upright.

Well, some folks (not me) are concerned about the inking on the can and the can itself in the body of chicken meat you’re going to eat at high temperatures.

Probably the same kind of fags that worry about Teflon coating.