Grilling should be easy and delicious, and leave you with no pots and pans to wash. Food looks and tastes better, with crisp grill marks and a hint of smokiness. But having a little inside knowledge can make a huge difference between a great dinner or one that comes out leathery and dry—or scorched black on the outside but still raw on the inside.
In my time as the executive editor of the Tasting and Testing Team and the resident gadget expert at America's Test Kitchen, I’ve tested both gas grills and charcoal grills. As such, some people have asked me which I prefer. I see the benefits of both styles, and have used both many times with great success, but I have a small preference for charcoal and the flexibility it allows the cook to control heat and smoke. I’m more of a DIY person, and I like playing with real fire. (But it’s really up to you which grill you choose.)
Of course, you can get great results with either charcoal or gas grills, but there are a few things we've learned through our testing at America's Test Kitchen about how the two methods differ and what you need to know to grill like a pro. With a little knowledge of how each type of grill works, you can enjoy better cooking results and great food every time. Here's some advice on cooking with charcoal grills. And be sure to check back tomorrow, when I'll be discussing gas grills. Happy grilling season!