Tag Archives: Barbecues

Caring For Stainless Steel Barbecues

Many outdoor chefs get easily discouraged with their grills, whether they use charcoal or gas, because many of the older grills made of cast iron or other metals which do not hold up under outdoor conditions.

No matter how well-cared for the grills are, the materials used typically succumb to the elements after a couple of years of use. The use of stainless steel barbecue grills has changed that attitude as they are better made to handle the rigors of being outdoors.

Typically, stainless steel barbecue grills are more expensive than traditional cast-iron grills. But, if properly cared for they will last many years longer, making it a worthwhile investment. Maintaining a stainless steel grill may seem like a lot of work, but the resulting efforts are well worth it.

Contrary to what some may believe, a stainless steel grill can not be worn out by excessive cleaning. Remember, the shiny stainless steel surface results from a thin layer of chromium oxide, when combined with oxygen in the atmosphere, presents the shiny surface.

When moisture, sand and dirt accumulate on the surface, it forms a barrier between the oxygen and the chromium oxide, allowing corrosion to form on the surface. Scratches are not a friend to a stainless steel barbecue, but new products on the market enable the owner to repair scratches to prevent them from turning into a grill that requires replacement.

Manufacturers can point to products that work best, such as Scratch-B-Gone, available at many stores that sell stainless steel grills.

Many believe that stainless steel, by its name, will not stain. This is actually a myth and many cleansers and cleaners contain bleaching agents that can cause pitting in the surface if allowed to remain on the steel for any length of time.

To help maintain the beauty of a stainless steel grill, follow some simple tips:

* Do not allow food or beverages, cans or other metal objects to rest on the surface
* Do not use the stainless steel surface as a cutting board
* Do not set hot pans on the stainless steel surface
* Do not use steel wool to clean the surface

To maintain your grill you should always wipe it down after every use and keep it covered when not is use to protect the surface from a build up of dirt and water. These few simple steps will help the stainless steel grill retain its beauty for many years.

Charcoal Barbecues Offer Accesibility and Low Cost

There are a multitude of ways you can barbecue today, with gas fuels, wood chips and propane trying to overtake the number one spot on the bbq fuel lists.

However, because of its popularity due to the accessibility and low cost, charcoal is one of the most common means of fuel used for barbecues throughout the United States. That’s why it has become synonymous with the term ‘barbecue.’

Of course, the charcoal barbecue grill has become a long established tradition, as it almost seems you can’t have one without the other. Some barbecue grills when purchased, even come with a complementary bag of charcoal. This is always a nice free perk but the act of giving the consumer a bag shows the charcoal has come to be referred to as the number-one fuel source for barbecues.

The irony about this in reality is that charcoal’s probable one of the most health-threatening fuel sources employed for cooking. Aside from the plethora of other chemical toxins as pollutants given off, charcoal dispels large concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO). The carbon monoxide, if ingested, can cause respiratory problems and can also cause damage to environmental surroundings. This effect is like hitting two birds with one stone without even trying.

In addition to the above dangers is the fact charcoal does not contribute in promoting flavor in any food cooked except the now-famous charbroil taste. Of course, many people have come to love and desire the charcoal taste every spring and summer. This flavor has also become synonymous with barbecues, hence the notion the term ‘charcoal barbecues’ can be considered a redundancy for those who prefer to cook this way.

Lump coal is an interesting alternative to charcoal, but can give similar results. This material is not processed and is still in raw form, but it emits no (or minimal) unhealthy or damaging chemical residue. The wood component does offer many different flavors, from oak to mesquite to hickory, depending on the type of wood is used.

One benefit however is that lump charcoal burns cleaner than regular charcoal. Lump coal is essentially wood chunks transferred into coal briquettes, so the material provides cooks and eaters the best of both worlds as far as cooking and eating go.

However, the one disadvantage to lump coal is the fact it is not readily accessible and so is a bit higher in cost. The better commodities are usually this way. Still, those who wish to have a charcoal barbecue with lump coal can find it with a bit of effort and research, online or offline.

All in all, if you crave the taste of charbroiled barbecue but are worried both about the environmental disadvantages of grilling with charcoal and the toxins it can possibly infuse into the foods cooked upon it, lump coal is a great alternative.