Posted: August 1, 2014  |  Tag: Galley

By: John Temple (in response to more than one query)

Barbecuing: Gas or Charcoal?
Most boats I see when I am cruising have a gas barbecue off the rail, as boaters don’t want to give up grilling when they’re on the water. We have a gas barbecue at home, but we don’t like giving up the flavor of charcoal grilling, so we bring wood flavor into it by wrapping some wood chips in aluminum foil or buying fancier setups that are sold with a small can you put the chips into. The small screw-top can has a hole in the top and releases the smoke. We never barbecue with gas without using some kind of wood chips. To us, it is just not a barbecue with gas and no wood.

All that said, on our boat we use charcoal. We have two round grills on board. One is set up for the port rail outside our deck and the other on starboard. The rails are slanted, and one is set up for each side. But some boaters aren’t comfortable barbecuing with charcoal on board. If that’s you and you still want that charcoal flavor, bring a few types of chips on board and a roll of aluminum foil. Wrap the chips in foil, soaked first if you remember, and poke some holes in the foil. Throw the “wraps” under the grill and cook your steaks, dogs, chicken or fish. The food is so much better this way, and you will get lots of looks as the smoke wafts down the dock.

If you do decide to go with charcoal, a couple of bags can go a long way. And even if you run out, there will likely be places to replenish your stash (depending on where you are cruising). Avoid pure mesquite charcoal, as we find that it pops too much.

Both charcoal and gas grills can be used to smoke your fish. Catch it, clean it, put it in brine overnight and slow cook it for a few hours the next day. It is the best reason not to cruise for a day. Smoked salmon hors d’oeuvres, pasta or omelets and more are delicious.

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