Gas or Charcoal

Charcoal on a Weber for me.

I wonder if this preference has any correlation between the type of audio gear we listen to (Tubes- solid state and digital- analogue). Purest versus the practical.

FWIW... Although I use charcoal only, I don't have a turntable (yet).
Weber gas grill for ease and convenience, charcoal cheapo grill for best flavor and texture. I use the gas grill about 90% of the time.

My system is all tubed but I use CD 90% of the time. I guess I'm lazy most of the time.
If your tube equipment gets hot enough you can roast a chicken part right on a tube or transformer. I like to add a little lemon as a conductant.
Charcoal for me, too. Had an "Aussie" until we replaced it this year with a Weber. Have a gas grill rusting away in the yard as well, it doesn't seem to compare.

All tube system as well.
Like yourself and Joe, I use a Weber with charcoal. My question goes a bit deeper, I use charcoal briquettes, is anyone using lump charcoal? Now that would be purist in my book.
Gas for this fatboy! Tube amps, SS preamp.
Now we wait for that one cornhole who will say
"whats bbq got to do with audio?"
Charcoal, no lighter fluid.
weber with lump charcoal...but there are two kinds of lump - the fast burning and slow. the slow burning coals are really good for smoking. I smoked a lake trout for 3 1/2 hrs a couple weeks ago and added a handful of coals only once!
And definitely no lighter fluid - you can buy those little chimney lighter thing-a-ma-jigs that work perfectly.
Now for audio...Tube Phono/Tube pre/Gainclone amp...vinyl for critical listening, computer based for casual...
so yes, there may be a correlation :)
Marty, I normally use lump charcoal. It's easier to light than the normal briquets, tastes better, and so long as you don't skimp (as my wife tends to do), you get to use it a second time. In my experience, based on how long a bag lasts me, it also costs a lot less. Nowadays, you can even find it in the big home improvement stores as well as half of my local supermarkets.

The one drawback I've noticed with the Weber is that the lower grate that holds the charcoal does a pretty poor job with it, though, as a lot of the charcoal is small, and simply falls through the cracks. That being said, the benefit of having the lower grate is that my grill lights almost twice as quickly as with my old grill due to the airflow below. So, with my old grill, the charcoal sat right on the bottom of the grill on a grate, and while it took longer to light, none could escape.

My buddy John McAlpin (you might see him chime in here) and I were at a barbeque at Slipknot1's last week, and he turned me on to the lump charcoal that come in briquets. So long as I can easily find it, and the price isn't too bad, I'll give it a shot.

Thanks for the guidance I have wanted to give it a shot and I think that you have given me the "all clear".
ok, for viridian: i use gas at home. when i cook with the guys at work, i use half matchlight and half mesquite.
that way, you get the fire rolling quickly, but the mesquite will burn for 7 hours, then you get the tast from
it, too! anyone have a bib?
BOTH! I'm surprised that I don't have 2 grills. I've got both tube and ss systems...
My barbequing technique is a hyrbid. I have a Weber gas grill with a hard wood adapter that takes the place of about one quarter of the grill surface. The adapter is essentially a rectangular box with perforations on the bottom to allow access for the fire and the top has a hinged lid for loading in the hardwood. All of the walls of the adapter have numerous holes to allow the smoke to escape. You get hardwood/charcoal taste with the convenience of a gas grill.

My system is entirely solid state and I do not yet own a turntable.
It's Weber charcoal grill/Chimney lighter/soy ink newspaper for me because it's "real" System is all tubed and analogue dedicated because it also is "real"
I rub two sticks together and only use the finest twigs I can find in the backyard.
"Real" Charcoal, not those petroleum filled, machine made briquettes! I was at a friends and he had a Webber kettle that has a propane burner to start the charcoal. That was pretty neat and not expensive.

neither. i don't barbecue. try to avoid it. too much meat or chicken not good for you. isn't it just ducky to be different ?
charcoal (weber, chimney lit coals) & tubes glowing. grilled salmon is one of our favs. thanks, i'm gonna have to check into the natural lump briquettes charcoal. a buddy of mine uses the "egg" cooker w/the natural stuff & swears by his setup.
Charcoal on a weber, chimney lighter and plain charcoal. Charcoal gives you time to have a beer while its getting hot and another while the meat is cooking. Gas is too fast.
sorry, to clarify my reference above to the egg cooker, it's called the "big green egg" grill/smoker....
OK, I guess I'm hybrid also. My weber has a gas lighter that I put a chimney thingy on top of to get it lit.

And, although I don't have a turntable, I have lots of tubes to keep things real.
lump hardwood charcoal, chimney start
Wow! and I was gonna buy a new grill soon.. was looking at the GAS Weber's at Home Depot.. now I'll have to look into those charcoal units! IM LEARNING SO MUCH FROM THIS THREAD.
oh yeah: Rega P-9 table, Benz silver Ref MC, Benz Lucaschek SS phono, custom passive "pre", SS power amp: Eagle 4.

So maybe Tubes = charcoal, SS = gas?
yes Xie, coal is the way to go, unless you really don't like cooking and 'get into it' - it definitely leads to better food, but there is the whole Zen aspect as well (like Vinyl!)
Xiekitchen, gas is not something to dismiss out of hand. Like anything else, you should base your decision on your priorities.

For example, my wife wants to barbeque all the time, so at some point, I'll replace our gas grill with a new one, and use that in the winter. It's basically light it, and cook. With charcoal, you need to dedicate 20 - 30 minutes to getting it going. If you don't have the requisite patience, it's not for you.

OK, forget what I just said, HERE's how to light a charcoal grill I've got to give this a shot. I mean, what else are you supposed to do with a propane tank?
Trelja... Now that's a component with a quick burn in. Is that the equivalent to a cable cooker?
Never gas, always lump (!), never fluid (!!).

Starter chimney is a good tool, but lately I tend to use a propane weed burner -- though much smaller than the one in the vid Trelja links to! Small ones that screw on a plumber's propane tank can be readily found for 30 bucks or so. Great for starting (less messy and faster than chimney), and also for perking up coals that have died down (handy for me, since I often do larger cuts with indirect heat, and that takes time). Recommended, but observe all safety precautions!

Digital only, and solid state except for tubes in CDP. Guess my purism is local to grilling.

John, how long does your propane weed burner take to get the coals all ready for cooking?

I think I might have to invest in one of these, and I'll use it to kill some weeds while I'm at it...
I tend to be a charcoal guy myself. It's a lot easier to find charcoal at the last minute than finding propane if you find the tank empty.

I also have been experimenting with using oak, maple, and applewood hardwoods too. We burn a lot of wood in our wood stove all winter, so we have a ready supply. Charcoal and wood require some prep time before cooking, that's true, but I hate the propane hunt. Maybe a nice grill with a permanent connection to natural gas lines is the way to go...
XL Big Green Egg with mesquite, hickory and other lumps charcoals and hardwood chunks (unburned for smoking meats) of apple, pecan, hickory, mesquite and whatever else I can find. It is my opinion that if you haven't tried a big green egg, do so. Especially the folks that like smoked fish, it does it even better on the EGG!

I have a mix of both types of components, but in a few days I will only have four mosfets in the signal chain.

You can go a couple of ways: pile the coals in grill, or use your starter can. Faster with starter can, easier in grill. Takes a minute or two of torching, and then ten minutes or so to burn down, depending on how much torching you do. Somewhat faster than newspaper method -- perhaps not "dramatically" -- but much more reliable. A nice thing about the torch is that you can hurry the coals along at any point if you need to. If I recall, my unit is 30k BTU -- presumably higher BTU units faster. But I've never found mine to be too slow, and the price is right.


I've seen permanent installations off natural gas; very convenient, and probably not much of a hassle to do, though I'm not familiar with details. One could also have a "hybrid" set up, with a gas jet to start your wood or coals. I think some nice smokers, like the Big Green Egg, are easy to configure this way.

Now, for a turkey frying thread!

Webber and hardwood charcoal, no lighter fluid. Tube pre and SS amp. For added flavor try marinating a steak in a good high alochol 9% plus Imperial Stout or Old Ale for about 6-8 hours before cooking. Or try using a good strong IPA with some chicken. For a great inexpensive steak try a Chuckeye Center Eye Steak ask your butcher, pretty much a Ribeye for half the price.