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Urban BBQ: Grilling in the City
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Image: Kettle Grill There's something about the warm days of summer that draws us to the barbecue grill. Perhaps it's the desire to spend more time in the fresh air, and certainly a day in the outdoors has a way of stimulating the appetite. Maybe it's that barbecues create an instant party atmosphere. Whatever the reason, there's no doubt that outdoor grilling is more popular than ever, at least according to the Barbecue Industry Association.

While those living in suburbia probably give little thought to firing up their high tech gas grills or jumbo brick barbecues, how can urban dwellers satisfy their char-grilled cravings? It's easy to do, and it doesn't involve liquid smoke!

First, if you're residing in an apartment, condo, or townhouse, be sure barbecues are permitted. If you're fortunate enough to have a good sized deck or patio, you'll be able to use a full-sized unit, such as Weber's popular kettle grills. If your outdoor area is limited, there are good quality, small propane grills as well as the time tested hibachi to suit your needs. Either way, you'll find the results to be satisfying.

Personally, I find that charcoal grilling yields better results; however the advantage to gas grilling is that it produces less smoke, which will certainly please your neighbors in tight quarters. For a good overview of the pros and cons of gas versus charcoal, stop by Barbecue'n on the Net. In addition to the run down on both cooking methods, you'll also find tips for other techniques such as adding wood chips to enhance the smokey flavor.


Quick Find:

Looking for a special place to take Mom this Mother's Day? Here are some resources!

BBQ Association
BHG Cooking School
Brick Barbecues
Cooks Online
Fiery Foods
The Grilling Guru
National Champions
Weber BBQ

• Never ever use your outdoor barbecue grill indoors.

• Avoid clothing that hangs (such as apron strings, shirt tails).

• Never leave a lit grill unattended.

• Keep water handy to spritz flare-ups (an old fashioned water gun works well for this, but any spray bottle will do).

• For charcoal grilling, allow 35-45 minutes to heat up the grill. Gas grills will need about 15-20 minutes to preheat.

• If using wood chips for flavor, soak in water approximately 30 minutes and toss onto coals a few minutes before adding foods to the grill.

• Spray grill with non-stick cooking spray.

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