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Charcoal (Homer) v. Propane (Hank)

Over at Fark, there's a thread about gas grills v. charcoal grills. We have a charcoal grill. There's just something about burgers cooked over a pile of red hot coals that make them more savory than anything grilled over propane. The smell of a charcoal grill is the smell of summer. It's just not right any other way. You can keep your expensive gas machines with all their trappings. Give me burning embers, lighter fluid and roasting marshmallows over the the simmering remains of the fire any day over your dangerous, expensive propane. This is about more than how you grill. It's Homer v. Hank Hill. v. Are you a Homer or a Hank?


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Michele asks, are you a Homer or a Hank? Of course, this is about charcoal vs. gas grills. Homer means you get charcoal, while a Hank is a propane guy. I've done both over the years, and while I prefer charcoal, right now I have a propane. Prett... [Read More]


Homer. definitely Homer. when i was a kid the job of building a pyramid of briquettes was mine, mine, mine. no one else was allowed to touch my sacred bag of charcoal.

it is a burden to me that now that I am no longer a kid there is a gas grill in my household.

Big Time Homer.
"Stand away from the grill, kids, I don't want you getting Agarn."
"What's that mean, uncle Red?"
tosses match
"I don't want you getting Larry Scortched."

We started out as Homers, however, we grill out SO much that it got too damned expensive....so now we are Hanks..

We BBQ about 5 times a week....

Anyone that uses a propane grill would probably also think orange martinis are a good idea, and deserves to be ridiculed. Shunned even.

Currently a Homer, but...

I need to, at the very least, get a turkey cooker and a bigger grill. My 18" Weber is great until we have 4 people over, then it's totally swamped. My radiant cooktop stove is just a little underpowered for boiling 5 gallons of beer. So I need the turkey fryer for homebrew, and a bigger grill for hosting.

A propane grill is looking good, especially since I'm getting the fryer so I'll have to get a gas cylinder. I generally prep food on the weekends, and have steaks and other grilling items handy in the freezer, lightly seasoned and in one of those vacuum-sealed bags. I pull tonights dinner out to thaw in the morning. Going from "the coals will be ready in an hour" to "OK, the grill will be hot in 10 minutes." seems like a heck of a deal to me.

Homer. Always trust the fat guy when it comes to food.

Like everything else in life, the way that takes more work tastes (and smells) so much better. I prefer to be a Homer, but I'm usually a Hank. :(

I hate the visual this admission brings to mind, but here goes...I'm both.

We not only have a nice gas grill, we also have a small camping grill that we use when we want to bbq hot dogs or something else that would taste good with a bit of charcoal flavor.

When you turn on the stove in my kitchen, even if the ac's on, it becomes unbearably hot in my kitchen, so I find myself firing up the grill more and more the further we get into summer. The gas grill is great for avoiding a hot kitchen: takes very little time to fire up. But I will use the charcoal grill---it just all depends upon what I'm cooking. If it's something like pork chops, the gas grill works much better and doesn't destroy good meat like a charcoal grill would. My favorite way to prepare pork chops is to put a little olive oil on the chops, salt and pepper them, then chop up a clove of garlic, shove the garlic into the fat on the chops and sprinkle the chops with rosemary. Tastes wonderful, but if you cooked them on a charcoal grill, you get the opposite effect: bleech. There's no way in hell I would put a good cut of meat on a charcoal grill: but if it's just a hamburger or a brat, yeah, no problems.

Usually Hank here, too, for the same reasons as Dr. Mike. During the hot summer months we cook almost exclusively outside (we even slow cook the Christmas turkey on the grill).

It's kinda like tent camping vs RV. Hubby and I (former scouts) have always tent-camped. But you know, as we both get older and the set up and tear down seem to be a bit more annoying, we are eyeing rv's with less derision and more envy.

Kathy.... YUMMM! Oooo... hey all, what's your favorite BBQ recipe (or most unusual thing you've BBQ?)

In August 1998 we took the girls and spent 2 weeks camping (tents!) in Yellowstone. We preped long in advance because hubby and I are not "beanie weenie" campers. Our fave meal of the trip ... for us it was starting the camp fire about 3 in the afternoon so the hardwoods had a chance to burn down to glowing embers... was a butterflied leg of lamb marinated in olive oil, fresh garlic, cracked black pepper and fresh chopped mint.

Kathy, I like your prep of pork chops and will use it! Thanks for sharing.

oops... I forgot above..add to ingredients to my lamb marinade..red wine and lemon juice. :-)

Oh, Darleen...that leg of lamb sounds marvelous. Mmmmmm.

Do give the pork chops a try. I find that center cut chops (relatively thick) are the best. Make sure they're not too lean...you need the fat otherwise the garlic effect doesn't come out quite so well:) Take your time while grilling...it is SO worth it.

The "No Blood for Charcoal" sign made me crack up.

I was definately raised in a charcoal family, and I think that's how I'll always be. Everything's just more flavorful when grilled over the burning rocks. Especially stuff like swordfish.

Lump charcoal, not briquettes, lit in a chimbley (you can make one from a coffee can if you are cheap) not with petroleum distillates. I'd sooner hook up the air conditioner in the kitchen than grill outdoors over propane.

just got myself a brand new weber homer-style, and i love it. i don't have the time to use the damn thing nearly as often as i'd like, and i'm still working on learning how to drive it, but nothin cooks dead critter better.

210, 220 - whatever it takes.

I've got two gas grills - one big one with a side burner and a small standard one; A Weber charcoal grill, a really old rusted out Weber I use for actual barbecuing and not just grilling, and then there's my smoker. So if I'm cooking for a large group at least two are going, usually the big gas grill and the new Weber. If I'm setting something up for a party I usually smoke the meat a day before. If it's just me and a guest I use the little grill, and then for BBW'n nothing beats the old Weber.

The old Weber is my favorite. The legs rusted off it about ten years ago, that's when I got a big ass clay drain pipe - the 18" square type nearly two feet long - filled it with sand about half way up and fitted the grill to it. Now I can pack the lower level with charcoal and I use a diffusion plate to keep dissipate the heat evenly so I can BBQ for about 4 - 5 hours on one bag of charcoal. It's sweat. throw in a drip pan and some wood chips and it's a decent smoker too.

And I swear it's a genetic thing with the men in our family, my dad has nearly the same setup as I do without the old Weber - he has an BBQ made from an old oil furnace, it takes about 400# of charcoal and we can do whole hogs or beef quarters on it. My brother is the same but he doesn't have the homemade BBQ setup yet. He's been trying but my sister-in-law thinks two grills and a smoker is enough. Silly woman.

Hmm, that should be BBQ'n, not BBW'n - not that there's anything wrong with BBW'n, if your into that sort of thing...Ok, I'll stop now.

Personally a Hank, but if you watch the episode when Kahn moves in, you'll notice that Hank loves the burger Kahn gives him, which is cooked on a charcoal grill.

Modean: You are a HERO!
BUt if I drop a wrong match, then your ...

Charcoal all the way, baby. But I don't "stack briquettes" or use lighter fluid. I use a chimney. Pour charcoal into the top, stuff some newsprint in the bottom, light the newsprint, walk away. In a little while the charcoals are ready to dump out and start cooking those tasty burgers (and brats and steaks).

Gotta be charcoal. Used to have a Weber, then a couple years ago I splurged on a New Braunfels Smoker. Love it.

If you're cooking burgers, charcoal is the way to go, and the old round Weber can't be beat, cause it doesn't flame up.

But if you like rare or medium rare steaks, propane and propane accessories baby. You sear em for a couple of minutes, maybe three on each side, and there you have it.

Definitely HOMER!

Propane? What the hell is that?

Was a Hank, now a Homer, as soon as we can afford it am going back to being a Hank.

As much as I love the smell of real charcoal cooking real meat, it's just too much of a waste to fill the Weber full enough to cook something when there are only three of us to cook for. And cleaning up the ashes is just a royal pain in the butt.

These days you can buy a little iron box to put your hickory or mesquite chips in and then you put the box in the gas grill and you still get good smokey flavor.