7 Reasons Why You Need to Buy a Gas Grill
As much as we love the art of cooking on charcoal, gas gets it done.
Despite my love for the dry high heat of charcoal and the aroma of wood smoke, when time is tight I let my charcoal grills cool and I turn to my trusty twenty-year-old Weber Genesis Silver B Propane Grill with a side burner. It’s where I learned to grill pizzas, roast beer-can chickens, and lacquer pork ribs, and it’s also where I played yakitori chef for the first time. Despite baking in the sun and being exposed to the elements year round, it’s served me as well, if not better, than most appliances in my kitchen: Multiple blenders have come and gone, cutting boards split from age, non-stick pans peeled bare, and knives ground down to the pommel, but my Weber simply won’t die. They don’t make my model anymore, but this updated version is even more attractive.
On my old model, I’ve replaced the flavorizer bars and swapped in a new regulator. The task tables have fallen off and the bottom is nearly rusted out (I foolishly didn’t get a cover, but come on, 20 years outside?), and the side burner igniter wire was yanked off by one of my kids over a decade ago, but the thing always lights up, heats up, and gets dinner to the table quicker than my other grills–or stove, for that matter–ever could. Here are seven reasons I love my gas grill (plus some recipes that prove the points!)
The Cedar Plank Is Still the Best Cheat for Instantly Tasty Seafood
My all-time favorite super-easy thing to do on the gas grill is cook fish on a cedar plank. In 8 minutes flat you can have sweetly smoke-scented salmon, tender grilled asparagus, and a slice of toasted bread that is possibly the best and biggest bang-for-buck dinner in history. Don’t stop with salmon; shrimp, scallops, and just about any fish benefit from this treatment.
You Can Make Amazing Toasty Crusty Pizza
Smoky toasty pizza on the grill is its own amazing thing: more flatbread than pizzeria pie, but just as delicious. The obvious hack is buying pre-made dough from your local pizza joint or at the supermarket.
You Can Fry Without Smelling up the Entire House
Thanks to my grill’s side burner, I now do all my frying outside. I remember the first time I cranked up a pot of oil on the side burner, nailed the perfect 360 degrees fahrenheit and fried chicken in the great outdoors and never ever looked back. Even though I have a decent vent hood over my stove, the smell of grease permeates the house whenever I do any deep frying indoors.
You Can Even Roast a Whole Fish Without Smelling up the Entire House
Let other folks fetishize the convenience of a fish filet: The whole roasted fish is my idea of convenience food. Simply stuff it with some fresh herbs and a few slices of lemon and you’ve got dinner for a family of four in 15 minutes. Thanks to my trusty fish basket, I don’t have to worry about skin sticking to the grates, and bonus: no fish smells in the house!
It’s One Big Burner
If your gas grill doesn’t have a side burner, you can still cook in a pan directly on the grate. You can simultaneously sauté and caramelize onions for burgers while cooking the patties over the open flame.
You Can Make Amazing Burgers Without Getting Your Stove All Greasy
Stick a cast iron pan or griddle on the grates and you can smash burgers like they do at Shake Shack, without having to worry about spattering your stove and backsplash. Bonus: You can also use that pan or griddle to make pancakes for a backyard brunch.
You Can Just Hose It off When You’re Done
While I might’ve avoided having to replace a few rusty components on my grill by buying a cover for it, I would much rather look at my gleaming stainless steel grill than monolithic swaths of black vinyl.
Read the Fall 2020 Camping Issue—Free!
To read: Click on the right and left arrows at the edge of the box to turn pages; to make the text larger, click on the fullscreen icon in the lower-right corner (desktop) or in the center (mobile).