Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Always wanted a propane grill

A friend of mine gave me his Coleman propane grill.  After years of using my Weber kettle bbq grill, I longed for a propane grill.  The reason I wanted one was to use it for canning during the summer.  I'd much rather do that kind of cooking outside and this bbq does have a burner attachment.  I could use the house's large propane tank or even the smaller propane tanks for the trailer to fuel the bbq.   I would still have briquettes for the dutch oven to use in the fire pit in the back yard.   My Weber grill went to oldest daughter's house as a gift to son-in-law.
When I got the grill my friend warned me that it cooks differently than briquettes.  When you cook with charcoal the bbq cools down as it cooks so you have to make sure you get it hot enough to start.  With the propane grill it heats up because the heat builds so you need to make sure you watch it carefully and turn down the flame.
Son-in-law and son did the cooking yesterday.  Mostly son-in-law because he was a cook at Denny's when he was younger.  Son just gave a lot of advice.  Normally when son gives advice we tend to ignore it because our sense is better than his.  Not this time, although his reasoning was wrong, the advice should have been taken.  We had chicken, tri-tip, and hot dogs for dinner.  The chicken went on first, then the hot dogs (the kids wanted snacks) and then the tri-tip.  The chicken turned out great.  It was taken off the grill before it was done cooking and put on a baking sheet into the oven on a low temp to keep it warm until the tri-tip was done. 
This grill isn't big.  It had 10 leg/thigh combos on it and couldn't hold any more.  When the tri-tip was put on son made a comment about lowering the flame on the grill so it doesn't overheat.  Son-in-law remarked that the grill doesn't hold in the heat if you turn it too low so he left the flames roaring.
A few minutes later they called me out of the garden.  I could see flames shooting up a couple of feet.  How about if you all move the thing away from the house???  They did that and also took the meat off the grill.  Son-in-law sent oldest daughter into the house to get salt to pour over the flames.  Son wanted to spray my fire extinguisher.  Grandson wanted to know if he should just get the hose.  I just stood there amused and watched them handle this mini disaster. 
Salt was put on it and it cut the flames in half.  They wanted more salt.  I looked at the grill and said no don't waste the salt, just leave it as it's too late.  The grill plate on the bbq melted.  I knew it would.  You see, I did the same thing right after I got the grill.  I melted the right grill plate a bit, now both the left and right were totally destroyed.  It was a hot fire!  Son still wanted to use the fire extinguisher.  No, don't waste it - it costs over $50 to get it recharged.  Had to explain to the eight year old once again why you can't put water on a grease fire.  I think we will do a backyard demonstration to make my point with him.  Yesterday just wasn't the time because there were too many other little ones running around.
 There is a flaw in the design of this grill.  I would never actually have purchased one of these.  After reading through internet reviews I know that it has caught fire quite often. Most complain that the plastic parts melt...stupid to put plastic parts on a bbq anyway.  The problem is that the grease catching part of the grill is just below the burner.  Now imagine cooking 10 pieces of chicken, skin on.  Have a pan of hot melted grease and hold a match 1/2 inch from the grease.  I wonder if it will catch fire?    Since I want it for canning it will still work just fine - just no more cooking meat on it because I'm not buying replacement grills. 
 I still want a "real" propane bbq since I like the convenience of using propane.  I have about 100 pounds of charcoal stored in trash cans. I've also used wood cuttings in the bbq in addition to charcoal.  I think I will go back to my charcoal grill.  Son-in-law...can I have my bbq back?  Yeah right.  I need to go out and get another Weber.

1 comment:

  1. Weber, fire and grease. What else does a person need? We haves used a Weber and then inherited my parents. Son #2 built a bbq to cook's (mom's) specs in ag shop class. We use the Weber top on it now.
    But we are looking at a 3 burner propane cook top. My wife wants to can outside in the summer to keep the house from getting hot. We're looking at Costco and other places for one. Many 2 burners, but 3 helps when canning.