I thought what some call "gas assist" is really just gas powered charcoal lighter not meat to be used during the cook
Bruce,OK, guys. My first attempt at charcoal grilling in probably 15 years and I was only a very occasional coal burner before that. I had the opportunity to do this on my $100 Summit Charcoal Grilling Center. I picked it up a week ago and plan to rehab and resell it, but I wanted to be able to say I have actually cooked on one.
So, lets begin. I am now convinced I did not use enough charcoal. I used Kingsford and combined with my lack of experience using coal and the sheer size of this grill, I wound up mistakenly going light on the charcoal. So, I fired up the gas assist....What a great invention. So after running the gas for 4 or 5 minutes, I spread out the coals and let the grill get up to 400. Then I got to work putting on the Buffalo Chicken Wings. It was a great thing to have the extra grill space of this grill. I had about 8lbs of wings and it was a tight fit. No way would my Genesis have handled that. After I put the wings on, I never did get it back to much over about 350, but that was plenty to get them done. Just not as "crispy" as I can normally get them on the Genesis. This was clue #2 that I didn't have enough coal. After they were fully cooked, I coated them with the Buffalo sauce and put them back on. This is where I really felt the mistake of not enough coal. I like to sear the snot out them for a few minutes each side to get the sauce to glaze on. But that wasn't happening at 300 degrees and a good foot from the coals to the cooking grate. Anyway, they came out fine. The wife loved them and says they are better than when I do them on the Genesis. But, she just likes the grill. She calls it the "Hair Dryer" grill because she thinks it looks like the 1950's hair dryers when the lid is open. I personally did not really taste a difference. Maybe if I had some Genesis wings to eat side by side I might taste a difference, but I just didn't notice any special smoke flavor or anything like that.
So anyway, back to the ease and familiarity of my Genesis. But, if I ever do decide to get back into coal burning, I will definitely get a Performer with the gas assist. Wish me luck on the rehab and flip on the Summit. I am anxious to get started on it.
5:38pm, I have had the gas assist going for a couple minutes.
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This is 5:40pm and I can see white at the bottom of the coal pile.
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This is 6:00pm and the coals are ready to do their thing.
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This is 6:28pm and the wings are getting close to needing sauce View attachment 36480
All Done and ready for the table:
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Here are the coals after I was done cooking. Definitely looking a bit thin.
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Picture of the $100 grill after I got it home.
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I agree Bruce I've had a gas assist performer for many years and 5 minutes is the max I run it. After that you're just wasting propane.Joe,
I admittedly have little experience with coal burning and this was the first time that I had ever used the gas assist system. But, I would back you up on that assertion. I lit it and almost immediately the smoke started rolling and I could tell it was working, but after 4 or 5 minutes, I really couldn't hardly even see any gray on the coals. I don't know how long I left it on, but it did seem to not progress like I thought it would with the flames blowing. When I finally turned it off, I could just barely see some gray on the bottom coals so I went in to prep the wings and 10-15 minutes later, I came out to find a pile of coals with gray all over them. I do also think there is a diminishing return with the use of the gas assist with 5 minutes being nearly as effective as 10 minutes of use.
I am now convinced I did not use enough charcoal.
Not a single interior shot! The wood work does look good though. Maybe $300 on a good dayI didn't know that we're all sitting on gold mines.....
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