Let's talk grills and grilling


I wouldn’t use charcoal briquettes with accelerant under any circumstances. I can taste it, it’s nasty. Chimney starter is not exactly difficult to use.


I found Stubbs 100% all natural charcoal briqettes at Lowes and gave them a try. Had been using just lump charcoal. We had a lot of people over for the weekend and grilled chicken, burgers, and some ribs. Added some wood chips on top for some extra smoke, and everyone raved at how good everything was. Very nice smoke flavor, none of the “additive” tastes. I think that will become our “everyday” charcoal. Might go to some special lump charcoals (maybe) if we’re going to do something special (but who knows.)

I did get really frustrated with the various lump charcoals we tried with how much of the bag was really small pieces.


Second that - I found that chimney starters worked well, avoided the taste of lighter fluid.


Exactly right-- lump burns faster and hotter, but is completely inconsistent. The important bit is you don’t want to burn anything other than actual charcoal. Briquettes obviously use a binder to form the charcoal powder, but it’s just food-safe cornstarch, which is fine.

If you really want to maximize flavor, you can grill over wood. Just let it burn down to embers before cooking, and always use untreated hardwood. That’s how they grill meat in argentina. You can start wood in a chimney starter too.


Yeah, for wood smoke/taste I think the best bet is to use briquettes and then put wood over the briquettes. That way you get the consistent burn of the briquettes and that campfire wood smoke.


Like a casserole or a paella. (They also contain repeated letters, like a BBQ. IT ALL FITS!!!)


Well, I just grilled some chicken breasts using Stubbs 100% all natural charcoal briquettes, after several times with lump charcoal. I’m sure it has more to do with my lack of skill than the difference in the charcoal forms, but it was much easier this time. Lighting them in the chimney starter was very no hassle, they got the grill to the temp I was shooting for very easily and quickly, and kept it there for the time to grill the chicken. I tossed a few wood chunks (not charcoal but rather hickory wood made for smoking the grill) and got a very nice smoke flavor in the chicken. Was able to get them nice on the outside and the target temp on the inside very easily. The last couple of times I’ve struggled, using the lump, to keep an even temp and get the chicken like we like it on the outside and cooked but not dry. Again, I’m sure if I just spent more time experimenting I’d get there, but these seemed to make it easier.

FWIW we just switched from gas to this nice charcoal grill not very long ago, so I still have a learning curve. Didn’t have the confidence to try blackened tuna steaks today (especially since my wife wants it much more done than served in restaurants, so cooking instructions online are usually not directed at what I need to try to do.)


Smoked some pork tenderloin the other day. It was a bit too dry, but the next day it made excellent sandwiches.


Thread re-ignition!

I need some help resurrecting a grill. I only really know how to grill with charcoal, so I’m looking for pointers on how to properly bring back a gas grill that’s been down for a couple of years.

Here’s a couple of pictures of what I’m dealing with, equipment-wise (ahem):

I’d appreciate any advice those of you who use gas grills can give me with this. I need to get it running for my girlfriend’s birthday party this weekend.

Thank you in advance!



It looks to be in good condition. I find that the main point of failure on a gas grill that stays outdoors are the burners. That would be the things under the actual grill grating in the last picture. They can corrode and rust away. They are also easy to replace. As well those grates need a good cleaning with a steel brush. Assuming that the burners are okay, hook up a bottle of gas and grill away.


Thanks for the tip on that, Rich. I would not have thought to look at them. Luckily we live in a place with minimal rain, as we live in a desert. Still, I’ll give them a look today and try to determine whether they need replacing.

I was worried I’d need to replace it. I’ll try cleaning as you suggest first.



Might as well try the brush if you have one. If they’re badly rusted then replacing them is certainly the way to go. Good luck!


Also, rodents love to live under the grill, around and beneath the burners. Check for droppings, empty snail shells, that sort of stuff.


I did check. Thanks for that thought. We’ve had a rodent problem around here in the past. I think the bigger issue is spiders. Spiders. Yikes.

This is what the burners look like.

I think they’re okay. I’m going to go and get a brush and some vinegar now.



You might want to get a toothpick or a safety pin and poke the holes. Just to make sure they aren’t clogged. Like with baby spiders. :)



Nice! Our grill gets used during the off season as a vacation home for rodents. The grill top is down, a waterproof cover is on it, and it’s the perfect dry space for the fuckers. I have no idea how to stop them from squirming their way in. :(


This is a dumb question:

How do you know what size propane tank to get for the grill? Do they all come in one size? Do you buy a tank and get it refilled, or…I don’t know…how does that whole propane thing work?

I was at two hardware stores today and there were not helpful at all.

On a positive note, cleaning the grates seemed to go well. Even if it took a long ass time, and still needs more work, I can see how this will work out.

Thanks again for your help and advice.



Propane tanks come in a number of different sizes, but the most standard one holds 20 lbs (max) of propane. That’s the one that you can exchange at almost any hardware store and also many grocery stores and gas stations. I’m surprised your hardware stores couldn’t get you a tank.

I don’t understand your question about how it works. You get said tank. You bring it home and hook it up to your grill. You open the valve, turn the gas knobs, and hit the igniter or use a lighter if your igniter doesn’t work. Burn meat.

When the tank runs out, go exchange it.


Thank you, Stepsongrapes. I know it sounds silly that I don’t know how it works, but I’ve literally never done this before. I can build a real fire, and a charcoal fire (by build I mean that I never use lighter fluid). So your simple breakdown helps me a lot, because I am nervous about blowing something up.