I love to grill. It’s really been just in the past year that I’ve started doing it a lot. Sarah and I bought a nice gas grill last year and we easily used it 2-3x every week. Chicken, vegetables, hamburgers, hot dogs, turkey hot dogs, steaks…it was great. Turn on the grill, throw the meat on, and you had dinner in about 20 minutes.
However, one of the joys of CRW (the largest of two married housing options at Princeton) is that you’re not allowed gas grills. [Thanks to Andrea for letting me know that Roberts-Tennent has a communal gas grill. But they don’t have Air Conditioning, Dishwashers and pets aren’t allowed – so, I’ll let you all be the judge of which housing option would be better for a New Jersey summer]. But there are charcoal grills all over the place. And I mean that – literally. Between our building and the building that faces us, there is a random assortment of around four or five different charcoal grills. We all share them. For example, last night our neighbors made their dinner first, and then we jumped on the grill when they were done. We’re cool like that – we share.
But I hate charcoal grills. Really. I hate them. It takes the charcoal alone 20-30 minutes to heat up and get just right. And then you finally get around to putting the meat on, and it takes much longer than a gas grill. Since we relied on our grill in Atlanta so much, it is making us wonder what we’re gonig to do now. If we’re crunched for time, we can’t just quickly throw a few burgers on.
I know this shouldn’t be as big of a deal as it seeming to me – but when you really first start your “grilling career” on a gas grill – and then have to downsize to a charcoal grill…it’s not fun.
That being said – does anyone like charcoal grills over gas grills? And more importantly, who has the best tips for cooking on a charcoal grill? What about the best tips for getting your coals “just right”?