Day 1

The Flame


It's the grate debate. Purists will argue that charcoal is the only way to go, but it does take a little more time and prep work. If you want more control, than a gas grill--which readies in ten minutes and offers steady heat--might be for you. Here are some options, no matter which camp you fall into.

Choosing a Grill
1. Charcoal

Pro: Distinct flavor and the chance to play with fire.

Con: Messy and more time consuming.

Cooking area: 269 sq in.

Weber One-Touch Gold, $120, at DrillSpot

2. Gas

Pro: Quick starting and consistent flame control.

Con: Large and expensive.

Cooking area: 634 sq in.

Brinkmann 5-Burner, $299, at Home Depot

3. Portable

Pro: Nimble enough to take to the game, beach or park.

Con: Less space = smaller steaks, less burgers.

Cooking area: 269 sq in.

Charcoal: Notebook Portable, $48 at A + R Store (192 sq in.); Gas: O-Grill 3000, $175, at Amazon (225 sq in.)

The Coal

Sure there are all sorts of artisanal hardwood lump coal options out there. But it's hard to argue with the lasting legacy of Kingsford's sure fire briquets. Just like Dad used to use. $10 at Ace Hardware

Heat Gauge
The Barbecue Bible

Steven Raichlen, author of "The Barbecue Bible," and other grilling guides, recommends checking the coals' heat by "holding you hand about a half beer can high over the grate and counting."





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