What is your BBQ fuel of choice?

Starting the Smoker Fire
Starting the Smoker Fire. Regarding BBQ Inc.

It is the age old question of outdoor cooking: Charcoal or Gas? Of course, there is a lot more to this question. Do you prefer lump to briquette? Do you know what the difference between lump and briquette is? Do you care? Anyway, there are a lot of fuel options these days. So, this week's questions is:

What is your BBQ fuel of choice?


March 27, 2008 at 12:58 pm

(1) Leroy Brown says:

I would love to see an article on the differences between the different kinds of fuel options such as the difference between lump and briquette, etc.

Also, I just HAVE to say I don’t really see gas grilling as really grilling at all. Since the gas-grillers must be going for convenience (at the expense of flavor), pan frying is the ultimate in convenience. They even have grill frying pans now. 

April 15, 2009 at 6:01 am

(2) Kyle says:

I use mostly hardwood, a mix of oak and whatever the woodman brought (it’s smooth barked), and bolster the production of coals with hardwood charcoal if I’m in more of a rush. I never use briquettes, because I don’t know what’s in them, and therefore, don’t trust them.

Incidentally, neither gas nor electric are popular in Italy, which is where I am. We’re traditional.


April 15, 2009 at 2:54 pm

(3) NMC says:

These people are largely not doing barbecue at all.

I prefer hickory and have cooked with other hardwoods (oak, even dogwood). Gas? jeez.

April 16, 2009 at 9:37 am

(4) Debbie says:

I am buying a new gas grill as we speak (the store is putting it together).

What I want to know are a few tips on upkeep of the grill. There has to be a better way of cleaning than those metal brushes. How much lava rock should you put in, keeping the interior/exterior of the grill in good shape. I don’t want to keep buying a new grill every couple of years. Thanks

April 29, 2009 at 8:57 am

(5) BrianBBQSauce says:

I am a propane guy. When the kids get a bit older I’ll probably transition to a slower, lower form of heat…

April 14, 2010 at 6:02 am

(6) phil perrin says:

While I use my propane grill mostly, I also have a charcoal grill and a charcoal smoker. These get used fairly often.

April 14, 2010 at 7:54 am

(7) Mike says:

I love use propane mainly and add wood chips for the real smoked flavor. I do use natural lump charcoal in my off-set smoker and end up adding wood chips as well.

April 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm

(8) opnorty says:

I almost think this should be a question of ranking the options. In my case, it really depends on the situation. For a quick burger on a weeknight, gas is my only option given there are 3 hungry kids waiting when I get home from work. On the weekends, you can’t beat a good steak over lump charcoal. That combines the best of both worlds – somewhat convenient, just great flavor from the real wood. When we are camping, it doesn’t get any better than a good meal over a campfire (hardwood).

I understand why people have an issue with gas. If you choose not to use gas, then fine. That’s your opinion and choice. In my case, the other option is to cook in the house. Even cooking over propane is far better than in a frying pan on the stove. That still heats up the kitchen, has a bunch more cleanup, etc.

I have also seen people make food worse by cooking over charcoal or wood. These are the yahoos out there that use a can of lighter fluid to get things started. I would much rather have a gas fired cooked steak than one that tastes like lighter fluid. To each, they're own.


May 26, 2010 at 11:43 am

(9) charles says:

I only use lump charwood. To start it I crumple up one sheet of newspaper, put a cap full of vegetable oil on it and use a chimney.

The advantages are huge, I don’t have any petroleum product taste. I can control the heat level by adjusting the vents. There is zero flare ups. The food has a fantastic smoky flavor too.

Why charwood VS charcoal briquettes? Easy, the briquettes are made with limestone, when the briquette ashes over it turn white, this is the stone in the product. It makes the bags quite heavy and leaves a huge pile of ash after a cookout. Charwood leaves hardly any ash, I can bbq many times before the little ash catcher starts to fill up. Charwood bags are really light weight too. I could easily hold 5 of the bags if I needed to.

Charwood lights fast too. I’ll never use anything else.

As far as propane goes, what a joke, the flavor is poor, your using a fossil fuel, flare-ups are a constant hassle, the equipment is costly and a pain to deal with. No serious outdoor cook would use propane, it’s embarrassing.

May 12, 2011 at 11:58 pm

(10) Barbeques says:

I just picked up a new Weber Genesis BBQ and can’t wait for the grilling season to start again!

April 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

(11) BigCoop71 says:

I think a better survey would have given a more accurate response if the question of what is grilling vs. what is BBQ-ing were specified. There is a HUGE difference.

Me, I like lump charcoal with pre-soaked apple wood on top, gives that something extra. MMM…..

April 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm

(12) freedom grilling says:

I enjoy cooking with pecan. I got an entire tree given to me about 1.5 yrs ago and that is all that I have been cooking with. I made my own propane burner out of 1/4 pipe and use it to start my fires.

I even make my own charcoal out of the hot coals which it comes in handy for starting. Wood all the way for me and go green!!!!

April 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm

(13) Shadows says:

Nothing beats Lump and real wood.

April 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm

(14) abacosean says:

I agree with most, It’s Hardwood Lump Charcoal and Hardwoods. After that, it’s not BBQ it's Grilling.

April 24, 2013 at 11:55 am

(15) Jerry Harrar says:

Watched “How it’s Made” on the cable last week, there was a segment on charcoal briquettes. Showed that the basic component was powdered coal! It blew me away. No thanks! Jerry H.

April 25, 2013 at 9:45 am

(16) tommy says:

Ever since I bought my Jim Bowie from GMG I prefer pellets. The food has a great taste and always comes out perfect.

April 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm

(17) tomg says:

I find that lump charcoal is very versatile. Excellent for a great sear and flavor for a steak and then as the main heat source for my side fire box BBQ cooker. I like putting soaked wood chips on the coals when I smoke ribs and whole chickens. I do not like the briquettes anymore as there is too much ash and the flavor is not as clean.

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