Okay, here are our scientific tests.
1. “Good Housekeeping,” the great women’s magazine, did a blind taste test, and found that diners couldn’t taste the difference between burgers and skinless chicken breast when they were grilled over gas or charcoal. The COULD, however, tell the difference with a steak. Their theory was that the difference was cooking time – that the steak, cooked longer, had more chance to get smoke flavored.
2. BBQ Dragon performed the same test, and found that our testers could always tell the difference between food cooked on the gas grill and food cooked on the charcoal grill. We believe the difference is that our gas grill wasn’t new, it had the typical baked-on fat and grease sediment that most gas grills have, and definitely imparted more of a burned fat taste than burned wood. HOWEVER, two of our chicken breast fans like the burned fat taste of the gas grill better. Our theory: skinless chicken breast needs fat so badly that even burned fat is better than none, or, people who prefer chicken breasts to steaks have bad taste.
3. Consumer reports found that infrared burners “didn’t perform any better than standard burners.” But they continued by saying that some of them “can get too hot.” Idiots! That makes it BETTER. Consumer Reports clearly doesn’t know how to grill. BBQ Dragon result: Infrared burners are better because they get HOTTER. If you can afford them, buy them.
4. We also checked the temperature on three grills: A Char-broil two burner, a Weber Q 100, and a Char-Broil 4-burner with outdoor stove side, and none of them got over 650 degrees Fahrenheit, after 15 minutes of pre-heating. Our Weber Kettle charcoal grill measured 850 degrees after the charcoal was spread out and covered with white ash. And when we scraped it up and fanned it, it reached 1200.
5. Some statistics from the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue association:
a. Consumers say an easy ignition system (58 percent) and large grilling surface (53 percent) are the most important features of a gas grill, followed by ease of cleaning (39 percent), ability to heat up quickly (37 percent) and temp gauge/heat indicator (31 percent).
b. Sixty-nine percent of households that own a grill own a gas grill, followed by charcoal (47 percent) and electric (7 percent).
c . This year, meats, including burgers (84 percent), steak (83 percent), hot dogs (82 percent) and chicken parts (74 percent), top the list of the most popular foods prepared using a grill.
d. The male head (63 percent) most often makes the decision to cook, lights the grill (77 percent) and cooks (72 percent) on the charcoal/wood grills.
e. Gas and charcoal grill owners view color of grill as a major factor in a purchasing decision, with 27 percent and 32 percent respectively, a ten and nine point increase respectively from 2009.
f. When entertaining and cooking outside, electric grill owners use their grill an average of 14 times a year, charcoal grill owners 13 times a year and gas grill owners 12 times a year