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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Our New Outdoor Charcoal - Gas Combo Grill

Grilling has always been a fundamental way of cooking for us.  I don't recall a time of ever going without one.  One of our first purchases as newlyweds was an outdoor charcoal grill.  It was a simple, assemble it yourself round grill with a half shell hood.  We've had full sized grills for the house, firepits with grates, and table-top grills for camping.  When we bought our first house we splurged and bought a propane grill.  We continued to use propane and occasionally charcoal until we went to a natural gas grill when we moved to a semi-rural location.  Our next move was to a rural location where we continued to use a natural gas grill.   Natural gas makes a lot of sense for an outdoor grill as there is no worry about running out of fuel.  This move was to a urban location so we opted to go with a dual fuel outdoor grill.  It's a real beauty!

Nexgrill Charcoal and Gas Combo Grill
Of note, each grill fuel (eg. wood, charcoal, natural gas, propane) have pros and cons.   Grilling using wood or charcoal takes a bit more effort but the results are well worth it.  Charcoal is the preferred fuel for steaks and burgers!  My husband prefers propane over natural gas as propane burns hotter giving better grilling results.  I spotted the Nexgrill charcoal - gas combo grill in the Canadian Tire flyer a couple of months ago.  He bought that model the same day, brought it home where it sat in the crate in the garage until we moved it to the new house where it sat in the crate on the deck for a week and a half before there was enough of a break in the rain to put it together.  About half-way through the assembly process it decided to rain again but he was able to finish the assembly the following morning.

This model has 36,000 total BTU on the propane side (larger hood).  The smaller hood is charcoal with an adjustable charcoal tray.  There is an electronic ignition on the propane side.  Rather that use lighter fluid (environmentally unfriendly) he opted for an electric charcoal starter that starts the charcoal to red hot in about 8 minutes with the fire ready to cook on when the charcoal is nearly covered with grey ash (about 20 minutes).  Each grill compartment is equipped with a thermometer gauge.  The top is stainless steel that will prevent some of the rusting issues we've experienced with previous outdoor grills.  There is no side burner with this grill

pork loin chops cooking on the grill
As with any change in cooking fuel, I relied on tried and true for the first meal.  The reason being is there is a bit of an adjustment in cooking times with propane running hotter than natural gas.  We've been grilling mainly with natural gas for the past almost 10 years so know we will have to reduce the grilling time for propane.

Pictured are the pork loin chops in the propane grill compartment with camp style potatoes and niblet corn.  The grill performed nicely, much as expected running a bit hotter than natural gas.  We experienced no problems at all.  I can't wait to try the charcoal grill compartment!

Our simple meal was cooked to perfection with beautiful grill marks on the pork loin chops.  A little Diana's sauce and black bean salsa (a generous gift from our guests that night) finished off the chops.  We enjoyed the meal with our friends at the dining area of the deck.  It was a wonderful meal spent with good company.  I'm sure there will be many more to come so I'd best get working on dealing with mosquitoes!

The mosquitoes are bad in the evenings here but what we have found worse are the yellow jackets attracted by the ripening peaches.  My husband was stung on his palm while assembling the outdoor grill and I was stung the same day on the palm side of a finger while picking a peach.  The yellow jackets were swarming the peach trees, doing considerable damage.  I knocked the damaged fruit from the tree, picked what I could and within a day the yellow jackets were gone.  They never did bother the pear tree.

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