Cookin' With Gas

For backyard cookout convenience and "insurance" against power outages, here's an inexpensive way to start cookin' with gas.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
May/June 1980
Add to My MSN

Cookin' with gas on "Le Grille" gave our staff a chance to put it through its paces and enjoy a picnic!

Content Tools

Related Content

Day in the Life of a Wood Gas Driver, Part 1

Ever wondered what its like to drive around using wood as fuel? Tag along with Chris as he fires up ...

Smoked Peaches Recipe

Smoked peaches make a great stuffing or sauce for grilled chicken or pork.

On Lambing Loss and the Cycle of Renewal

HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Maine dairy farmer Dyan Redick recounts a poignant start to lambing seaso...

Flame-Licked Fingerling Potatoes Recipe With Romesco Sauce

This grilled Fingerling Potatoes Recipe is the perfect side dish for your backyard barbecue.

Just about everybody loves a cookout, but broiling over charcoal can have some real drawbacks. You've got to wrestle with bags of sooty briquets . . . handle — with caution — the smelly and dangerous lighter fluid (that often ends up flavoring your food) . . . and then wait, as the young'uns clamor, for the coals to reach the proper stage for cooking.

Therefore, in terms of convenience, cookin' with gas on a propane grill is a pretty attractive alternative to charcoal. The fuel used in such devices is safely enclosed in a compact container . . . the burners light — and stay lit! — on a single match ... and the fire is ready for broiling almost immediately. The problem with the convenient cookers has always been price: The least expensive gas grills usually cost well over a hundred dollars, and many sell for twice that amount.

So, when we noticed an ad in MOTHER EARTH NEWS for a barbecue grill that offers all of the advantages listed above and still sells for under $80 (shipping included), we decided to order one of the units and check it out. Called "Le Grille," the compact broiler has a 220-square-inch cooking surface ... comes with a sturdy base that adapts to three heights (9 inches for tabletop placement, and 18 or 30 inches for backyard cooking) ... is 100% cast iron . . . runs off a standard one-pound propane tank . . . and includes a free adapter for using an even more economical 20-pound fuel container.

You needn't sacrifice that smoky charcoal-broiled flavor when you cook with Le Grille, either. As you probably know, the aroma and taste that we associate with outdoor cooking is caused by the vaporization of fats dripping down onto the glowing coals. The propane grill gets the same effect with a tray of lightweight volcanic rocks that's positioned above the gas flame. As the "coals" get hot, the dripping fat is transformed into the familiar—and delicious—"charcoal" smoke.

What's more, the propane grill isn't just a convenience item. One MOTHER EARTH NEWS staffer was mighty glad there was a gas cooker in the house last winter, when a sudden ice storm brought down wires and made the electric range about as useful as wings on a pig! He just placed the grill in the fireplace and opened the damper ... lit a match and turned a knob . . . and soon the aroma of sizzling lamb chops filled the chilly darkness. A good hot meal can really make a difference in your outlook when the power is off and ol' man winter is howlin' up a storm! (Of course, when you're using any open-flame appliance indoors, always provide ventilation to maintain breathing oxygen for you and yours.)

Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.