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High-end charcoal vs gas grill opinions wanted - completing outdoor kitchen.

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    High-end charcoal vs gas grill opinions wanted - completing outdoor kitchen.

    The upside of learning to cook is that my wife is more tolerant of BBQ expenditures. A couple of weeks ago I sold my old gas grill, which was fine but bought before I had any idea what I was doing and wouod never have bought today.

    So here's the deal. I have a pellet smoker, a flat top, and a Kamado, I have room and permission for one more device, and I want it to be one I keep forever. So I want to go high end, whether charcoal or gas. I'm super interested in the Hasty Bake charcoal grills, but I have a solid Kamado and while they're not exactly the same thing, they're both charcoal fuel devices. So I am thinking seriously about a high-end gas model instead. In that category I'm thinking about he Napoleons - prestige or prestige pro series.

    Any thoughts, recommendations? I've read all the site's content on grill types and pros and cons, but his boils down to: should a back yard kitchen have a gasser in its arsenal, or is there a good argument for going. With a second charcoal device?

    #2
    Given your current arsenal of cookers, and if you are pleased with how they perform I would argue to go with the Napoleon 500 (with sear and rotisserie options). If, however, you find one or more of your current cookers limited or deficient in some manner, the decision gets more complicated. Frankly, MCS will push you to Dicken's Dilemma: "More sir!"

    Comment


      #3
      Don’t think about duplicating fuel. Fuel is just how you get the heat. Think about duplicating purpose. Using your examples, is there something you can do on a Hasty Bake that you can’t do with what you have now? Or, is there something you can do on a Napoleon Prestige that you can’t do now?

      I have a kamado and a kettle. If I were to add something, it would be a gasser. It’s different enough that I would find specific jobs for it. If I were to add another charcoal source, it would be more a matter of deciding what to use today, or simply having more cooking area on a given day.

      Comment


      • LA Pork Butt
        LA Pork Butt commented
        Editing a comment
        + 1 and I would add the following. I have 2 Kamados, a Jumbo Joe and an inexpensive gasser. Smoking and roasting on the Kamados are excellent, but grilling is more challenging for me. That’s where the Jumbo Joe and the gasser come to the rescue.
        Last edited by LA Pork Butt; June 14, 2020, 08:29 AM.

      • pjlstrat
        pjlstrat commented
        Editing a comment
        Amen LA Pork Butt, I just can not get my self to load up the Primo, wait to get it crankin, just to sear a steak......then it stays hot for 9 days!!!!!!!!

      • Dan Deter
        Dan Deter commented
        Editing a comment
        Excellent advice, its the way I look at what I want to add to my arsenal.

      #4
      I have a Smokin-it electric smoker, Weber Kettle and a gasser. The gasser is a Bull built gasser sold by Lowes under a different name. I really enjoy having it because I use it in different ways, and I also have a side burner built in to my cook area next to it. This provides me what I need to cook outside for whatever it is. In the summer, I rarely cook inside because I can use the gasser with my cast iron skillets if needed, can grill meat on the gasser when needed and use my CI griddle on the gasser as well. In my mind, it’s nice to have for what I use it for. Plus, it’s nice to turn the knob and have fire and be able to put meat on a few minutes after.

      You mentioned Getting another charcoal cooker - in the type of cooking you use, would it provide you additional ways of cooking? Or is there a cooker out there that could provide you the same style of cooking as a Hasty Bake plus others? I know the M Grills can do that, but are higher priced. But it provides the charcoal fuel option as well as wood if wanted...but you may not want that. I only mention M Grills because I’ve thought about what would my next cooker be and I’ve compared the Hasty Bake and the M1 as options if I were to ever add one of these.

      Hope that helps - it may not, but just things to think of.


      Comment


        #5
        I vote for a nice gas grill. I've not looked at the Napoleons extensively, but what I will suggest based on my experience with my Weber Genesis II is that if you ever think you want a rotisserie, get one designed with that in mind - I know Broil King offers some with nice rotisserie packages, and I am sure Napoleon does as well. The Genesis II I have has too little vertical clearance, as well as no dedicated rotisserie burner for browning, and the rotisserie was the biggest waste of money - too bad my kids got it for me for Father's Day because I asked for it, at least it was their money, haha. If I was getting a Weber gasser and cared about the rotisserie options, I would look at the Summit series.

        If you didn't have the kamado and the smoker, I would vote for a high end charcoal grill, with my vote being for a Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center rather than the Hasty Bake. But you already have the kamado, which can grill and smoke, and you have the pellet smoker, which can smoke, so there is too much overlap. I think you have too much overlap with the Hasty Bake as well.

        The nice thing with the gas grill will be quick cooks where you don't have time to setup the kamado for direct grilling, for searing (either front or reverse sear) when using the pellet smoker, although you can probably do that with your flat top. There are times a gas grill with a lid is preferable to a flat top in my opinion. And one with a side burner will let you boil and cook stuff in a pot as well.

        Get at least a 4 burner gasser, so that it is big enough to flip burgers for a large party, and to do indirect/direct zones if you decide to do something like reverse sear steaks entirely on the gasser - something I do quite often, when I don't have an extra 30-45 minutes to setup and get a charcoal grill going.

        Comment


          #6
          I don’t really care for gas cooking so I’m a bit biased here, but I’d probably look into a charcoal cooker where you can change gears quickly if it calls for it. Slow N Sear is coming out with a kettle that looks interesting. I have a Weber kettle, KJ, WSM, and a flattop and it’s nice to be able to fire up something for lunch on the Weber while the KJ is chugging away at smoking temps. Or cooking dinner when I’m also planning for an overnight cook. I have the WSM around for extra capacity and to play around with really and I just got the flattop this week, so I’m still playing with it and seeing how it fits into my cooking rotation.

          Comment


          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            Oh, it'll fit in, Brother...
            Ya'll be amazed at what ya can do on that flattop...

          #7
          If you ever entertain guests or just want easy evenings with the family then a 4 burner gasser should be part of your outdoor kitchen.

          Comment


            #8
            A nice big Santa Maria grill with a rotisserie and a pile of hard wood

            Comment


            • Beefchop
              Beefchop commented
              Editing a comment
              This is my vote. Either a nice gasser (since he's got the other bases covered with the kamado and pellet cooker) or go balls to the wall with a wood fired Santa Maria.

            #9
            For convenience’s sake, I say go for a nice gas grill. We got home from vacation last night and I didn’t feel like messing with the Kamado, so i lit the genesis and was at 550 degrees in less than 15 minutes and ready to go.

            I think with your kamado and pellet cooker, you can already do anything that a high end charcoal grill can do. If you didn’t get a gasser, I would say get something unique like a wood fired Argentinian style gaucho grill.

            Comment


              #10
              I also suggest a nice gasser with side burner and quality rotisserie. Reference jfmorris comments on this above. I too have a Weber Genesis and as he points out, the rotisserie is very limited. A gasser is so versatile. And if the mood or situation calls for it, so easy.

              Comment


              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Razor my favorite way to cook chicken on my Performer is to light a chimney of charcoal, and once it is lit, I put down about another 1/2 chimney worth on the charcoal grate, cover it with the lit coals, and rake it out on the grate. I then put on the cooking grate and the full set of Grillgrates, and direct grill the chicken with all vents wide open. The kettle tends to settle around 350, and the grill grates block flareups and prevent burning.

              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Razor I can cram 4 split chickens on the kettle easily with the full grate available, so its my favorite way to cook chicken for big family get togethers.

              • Razor
                Razor commented
                Editing a comment
                jfmorris my buddy just cooked 4 chickens this past weekend on his 22” WSM. Left the whole second rack open!

                I’ve been using my GG more like how you say and using the baskets less and less. Love the kettle and all the options it provides. We cook year round on it here in Pittsburgh and even with that I could continue to experiment with different styles for another 3 or 4 years. 😂

              #11
              I consider my kamado my main charcoal grill although I have kettles too. Then I have a flat top and to round it out a good gas grill. I want a gas grill for speed and for fast cooks where charcoal will impart nothing. That's why I chose to have a gas grill as one of my 3 built-ins. However, I could see moving the kamado out to the overflow area and replacing it with a Hasty Bake one day. But I would not replace the gas grill for the aforementioned reasons.

              Comment


                #12
                It sounds like what you are missing is the ability to do things like cooking Santa Maria or Argentine style, rotisserie cooking, direct really high heat searing, and general purpose daily grilling.

                Naturally, I would normally advocate for the Hasty-Bake, but I’m not sure that’s the right solution here. I would not spend the money for a Hasty-Bake Gourmet if you are not going to use it generally for everything. That’s just me.

                Maybe you want to consider this

                https://grillsandcookers.com/products/braten-1000

                Comment


                • EdF
                  EdF commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That is a thing of beauty!

                • ecowper
                  ecowper commented
                  Editing a comment
                  EdF it's on my list of things I want in my backyard, but probably won't have because it would cost me a fortune.

                #13
                Thanks all! I have been thinking as I’m reading . . . I think the gas arguments are pretty compelling. There are some limitations to what a kamado can do but they could be addressed with a kettle or a PK grill at a fraction of the cost of that really becomes important. I’ve read every post and found this helpful. Thank you all.

                Comment


                • jfmorris
                  jfmorris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yes - the kettle is probably one of the most flexible cookers out there, with the most accessories available, and the entry price is cheap. But while it will heat up faster than your kamado, you still have 30-40 minutes startup time with charcoal. I can be grilling in 10-15 minutes with my Genesis gas grills. And they hold more than anything other than my offset when used as a charcoal grill. I probably use the Genesis for all cooks that I don't have time or space for on the charcoal cookers.

                #14
                I have a gasser and use it almost as much as my charcoal grills. Fifteen minutes to cooking temp. Look at Broil King and Napolean or the high end Weber so you can add the rotisserie. Buy the rotisserie when you buy the grill. There is nothing better than chicken, turkey, a pork loin, or a prime rib done on the rotisserie.. A ham is pretty good also, but is hard to balance. Also some of the Broil King and Napolean grills have a chip box with a seperate lighter to provide good smoke to the grill or you can buy a chip box and place it on the grill to get some smoke. This is what I do.

                Good luck on your decision.

                Comment


                • smokin fool
                  smokin fool commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Agreed, my gasser gets the majority of work around here as my family wants dinner now not in an hour....I do love them but they pee me off!!!!
                  At my nephews on Sun, he has the Weber Genesis with the built in smoke box and burner for smoking. Plus his wife's a vegan....what a lucky guy....

                #15
                This is a great thread. REALLY helpful to me at this moment!

                Thanks to all contributors!

                Comment

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