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July 13, 2013

Gas or charcoal?

Grilling Over Gas Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Charcoal

Grilling on a holiday like the Fourth of July, when you've got the day off, is easy. You can take your time; pull out your artisanal hardwood charcoal; light it in your chimney starter; build a perfect two-level fire; and lovingly tend your rib-eye, or your chicken breasts, or your pork ribs.

Fourth of July is hobby grilling.

But what about the 22nd of June, or the 12th of August — when temps are in the 80s and all you want is to be in your backyard with a beer and a hunk of meat to cook? Instead, it's 6 p.m., you're at the office, the kids need to eat by 7, and you still have to go to the store.

This, my friend, is why a gas grill rules.

Grilling Over Charcoal Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Gas

It's a beautiful day. The family's in attendance, side dishes and beer in tow. Your sister-in-law brought a trunk full of Super Soakers. It's BBQ time. Time to kick back in the yard and fire up the … stove?

Hmm, that doesn't sound terribly exciting, does it? But that's basically what you're doing when you cook out on a gas grill, which is powered by the same largely flavorless fuel as your kitchen stove.

True fact: Cooking on a gas grill is more convenient than cooking with charcoal.

It's also a lot less special. And, scientifically speaking, it creates less flavorful food.

To understand why, you first need to understand that flavor and taste are not the same thing. "Within flavor, we have taste compounds and we have aroma compounds," says Gavin Sacks, associate professor of food science at Cornell University. "Our brains just aren't designed to decouple them."

Posted by joke du jour at July 13, 2013 10:02 AM

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