Cooking without electricity shouldn’t be reserved for power-outages!
Most Americans grill at some point in the year, but have you ever considered grilling year-round?
Sustainability is the goal here at the Morristribe, so let’s take a look at how sustainable these fuel sources are.
Propane is the number one choice of fuel among most who enjoy grilling, perhaps because propane grilling offers a number of benefits.
* Very simple to control temperatures and regulate over a long period of time.
* Simple to start.
* Propane is clean and easy to clean up after.
* Can still use wood for enhanced flavor.
However enjoyable propane might be, the fact remains that it isn’t sustainable for most of us. Living sustainably implies that we are able to provide for our own needs. I cannot grow or create propane, making me dependent upon a provider. I could possibly barter for it, but being a petroleum-based product, which would likely be in short supply in an emergency or crisis situation.
If sustainability is what you are pursuing, there’s nothing wrong with “practicing” on propane to increase your outdoor cooking skills. Just remember, in a crisis, the supply of propane will be very limited.
One cannot establish the sustainability of charcoal without first understanding how it’s made. I watched a number of videos on the process of making wood into charcoal, most of which looked quite hazardous.
Yet, all of my research begged the question, “Why bother to make charcoal out of wood when you could just burn the wood???”
Granted, benefits of charcoal have more to do with the aromas and flavors than anything else. It certainly isn’t sustainable, as far as I can see.
Once again, enjoy charcoal if that’s what you want to do, but remember that in a crisis, you may or may not be able to obtain it.
Grilling over a wood fire is more challenging than grilling over charcoal. Wood burns hotter than most charcoal and as a consequence, burns faster. Wood also stays in the ‘hot coals’ stage for a shorter period of time than charcoal.
Most professional grillers and chefs in grill restaurants use wood rather than charcoal as their fuel of choice. There is a reason for this as it is a lot easier to manage a charcoal fire and charcoal is also cheaper than wood. The distinct tang that comes with grilling with a flavorful hardwood, such as Mesquite, cannot be obtained with charcoal. (Source)
Then there is the question of sustainability….wood is extremely sustainable! It grows everywhere! Whether you live in the city, suburbs or country, there is always scrap wood of some type available for little or nothing.
Hickory, pecan, oak and mesquite are the most desirable woods to cook with and offer the most flavor to your food.
Excited about the prospect of cooking more with wood?
Tomorrow: Camp fires, fire pits, Dutch ovens and rocket stoves!