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Charcoal Versus Gas Grills: The Definitive Guide

Great article! For a long time I lived in an apartment where only gas was allowed, and I always felt very limited in what I could do with it. When I moved into my house, I immediately ditched the gas grill for Weber kettle grills. Now I have a broader range of techniques at my disposal and the food generally turns out better. However I often miss the convenience of firing up the gas grill and plopping on a couple of sausages or a bell pepper, no tools required other than a pair of tongs.

One point I might argue in favor of charcoal though is temperature control. Gas definitely has less of a learning curve. But it is absolutely possible with a charcoal grill to set-it-and-forget-it using the "snake" method, in which you evenly arrange briquettes around 3/4 of the perimeter of the kettle, light one end, and use the vents to set the temperature and burn rate. It works astonishingly well and is repeatable. I can hold a constant 250F for 6-7 hours, or 400F for 1 hour if I want.

In contrast, I never had that level of control with my gas grill. The temperature was much more variable which I think was due to the lack of a good seal - each gust of wind would suck all the heat out. Or maybe my grill just sucked.

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Fish Sauce?

I love fish sauce and I love Stephanie Izard. But Three Crabs fish sauce is the most vile stuff I have ever tasted. Easily the worst brand out of dozens that I've tried in my lifetime.

Win a Serious Eats Edition KettlePizza Baking Steel Combo for Father's Day!

Sausage & mushrooms. I asked to confirm, and his excited response was "Why, are you ordering pizza?" Thanks for getting my dad's hopes up.

Ask The Food Lab Anything, Thanksgiving Edition 2013

Ideas for vegetarian-friendly stuffing/dressing that won't be too disappointing for the meat eaters? Eggs and dairy are ok.

Get Your Dim Sum Gateway Drugs at Chiu Quon Bakery

Great place, although I've found that the Chinatown location is more consistent in terms of quality. They'll sell you almost any of their dim sum items still frozen - I keep a bunch of their lo mai gai (sticky rice in lotus leaves w/ chicken and Chinese sausage) in my freezer at all times.

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

Blue cheese. I love blue cheese, but on a burger it completely obscures every other flavor, particularly the beef. I don't get it.

TGI Fry-Day: Salt & Pepper Shrimp from Silver Seafood

Absolutely eat the whole thing - provided the shrimp are fresh and fried properly. In perfect fried shrimp, every part of shell including the tail should be as crisp as the tempura batter, and the stuff inside the head should have an intense shrimp flavor. Bad fried shrimp can be pretty gross: shells are chewy and the head tastes like, well, rotten shrimp.

The Best Buffalo Wings in Chicago

I preferred when it was called "House of Wing." For some reason the sign made me chuckle every time I saw it.

Lunch in the Loop: Chicken Planet

Yeah definitely looks like Chicken Hut, right down to the weird salsa and fluorescent yellow rice.

The Over 21 Club: Sun Wah BBQ

If you want to change things up you can request duck noodles instead of the fried rice - I slightly prefer the noodles. And their other food is indeed awesome. Give the Mike's Chicken a shot.