|Americana The Swinger|
Then I got married and now we are trying to save money so we're cooking at home, or rather my wife is cooking. Except we were living in Arizona so we don't want to use the oven any more than we have to, and my wife doesn't like having anything to do with meat (except eat it), so I get to grill the meat on our charcoal grill.
Our first grill was one of the ubiquitous clam-shells, stamped out of sheet steel, that you see at every big box retailer (very similar to the photo above except the lid was a faded, rusty green). It was kind of chintzy with these flimsy aluminum legs, but it worked very well for a very long time. We got it because my wife's roommate was on the verge of throwing it out and I said 'No!, I'll take it'. Being steel, residing out-of-doors and subjected alternately to blazing heat and drenching rain, it eventually gave up the ghost.
|Weber Kettle Charcoal Grill|
|Master Forge Propane Gas Grill|
Now some people like to cook, like to handle knives, like to chop things up, but I ain't one of 'em. Besides, I paid good money for that fat, fat is an essential part of your diet, and the fat needs to be cooked, just like the meat. I'm going to eat it, and if I can't cook it on the grill, what good is the grill?
Now we come to the essential difference between a charcoal grill and a propane grill. You can restrict the air flow on a charcoal grill. Closing the lid and air vents when you are done cooking is how you 'turn it off' when you are done. While you are cooking, you can close the lid and open the vents and the fire will get enough air to burn, but there won't be enough air to support those burning-fat-conflagrations that are so damaging to your food supply.
Gas grills are wide open and have no air control because the last thing you want with a flammable vapor is an enclosed container, well, unless you are a cast iron, internal combustion engine, but I don't know anybody who uses their car's engine to cook.
So I wanted a better grill, one that:
- burned charcoal
- has a lid and
- vents for air control and
- the grill height can be adjusted.
I looked and I looked and the American Swinger (shown at the top) is the only one I found that met all my criteria.
I would have also liked to have a built in ash receptacle that would hold an entire seasons worth of charcoal ash, but I could not find one.