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Choosing a Clean Burning Barbecue

Updated on July 18, 2010

Choosing a Clean Burning Barbcue

Not every grill is created equal. Gas, propane, and electric barbecues burn cleaner than wood or charcoal equivalent, which releases more carbon monoxide. But keep in mind that gas grills with heating plates, storage racks, and multiple burners can be fuel hogs­, their carbon footprint is bigger than that of a charcoal counterpart. And since gas is a non-renewable fossil fuel, it is best to choose a product that features only what you really need. You’ll also save money in the long run

Charcoal enthusiasts should look for homegrown charcoal that has been certified by the Rainforest Alliance or the Forest Stewardship Council. Charcoal produced from other countries may include wood from sensitive tropical areas and shipping the charcoal results in unnecessary carbon emissions. The cleanest charcoal is lumps rather the briquettes not only are the easy to light but it doesn’t contain any harmful binders.

Recent hybrid grills take advantage of gas or electricity as the main source of heat, but let you add wood or charcoal at the end to flavour your ribs.

Try not to use light fluid when cooking as it releases toxic by-products into the air—and your meat. Instead, use a chimney starter.

Gas Grills

weber grills
weber grills
weber grills
weber grills

Six tips for Choosing a Barbecue

Go for heat 

Choose a grill that gets really hot for true grilling and searing.

Analyze at the layout

A grill with multiple burn areas and a well-designed heat diffuser will top single-burner barbecues.

Know your material

Avoid aluminized steel burners like the plague.

Looks are not the be all and end all 

The outside materials the make up the barbecue box, hood, and frame have slight effect on cooking ability.

Slim down fatty

Choose a grill that has a straightforward and effective way to evacuate grease and cooking juices as many don’t.

Size matters 

Make sure you have ample space for indirect cooking. All your food should fit on about half the overall area of the grill

Spicy Barbecue Chicken Recipe

Spicy Barbecue Chicken


  • 1 (3 pound) chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 (5 ounce) bottle hot pepper sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • First, Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic until tender. Mix in ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, dry mustard, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, stirring intermittently. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Preheat your grill for high heat.
  • Lightly oil grill grate. Place chicken on grill. Brush continuously with the sauce and cook 8 to 15 minutes on each side, depending on size of pieces, until juices run clear.
  • Add a nice salad and baked potatoes to complete the meal!
  • Pull a chair up the table and enjoy!


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    • Kathryn S profile image

      Kathryn S 7 years ago

      Great hub!!! I love bbq'd food but I don't like how I smell after cooking it!!! I will definitely have to try your recipe.

    • Wendy Powell profile image

      Wendy Powell 7 years ago

      Great tip on using chimney starter as opposed to lighter fluid. I'm always leary of whose barbeque I attend for fear of that much-hated lighter fluid marinade!