Gas or Charcoal for Your Summer Barbecues?

20140711Time outdoors, fresh and flavorful food, family and friends are all things to love about summer barbecues. What we don’t love? Side effects like hazardous smoke and carbon emissions. What options do grillers have, and how does their environmental impact stack up?

The two traditional choices are charcoal or gas grills. At our Store, we also sell solar-ovens, which are a combustion-free alternative for cooking foods at 250-300°F.

If you’re going for flames, pillow-shaped charcoal briquettes are a combination of materials that release a ton of carbon emissions when burned, as well as dangerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Avoid these, and definitely don’t breath the smoke. Lump charcoal made from hardwood with no additives is a better alternative for those who prefer the taste of charcoal barbecue, and burning lump charcoal is carbon neutral.

Gas grills are more efficient, burning cleaner with fewer carbon emissions, and better air quality for grillers and their neighbors. They are the best environmental option, after solar-ovens. The downside is that they burn non-renewable resources, and the grills themselves are more expensive.

When you do grill, pile on the vegetables, it’s one of the more delicious ways to eat them! Check out our farmers’ market for your bbq bounty. One of our staffers recommends farmers’ market peaches, grilled and eaten with vanilla ice cream.

Check out the full article, with links to the research behind it, here.

[Photo by Mike McCune on Flickr]

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