Show Your Love for the Earth and Barbecue with Eco-Friendly Grilling

By John Rose, August 19, 2016, Green

Get Your Green Grilling On!

My wife pointed out earlier this month that it’s been seven years since we moved to Texas. In this time, I have relished the wonderful barbecue that this state has to offer, but I have to confess – I’ve never developed any grilling skills. I am, therefore, ill-equipped and under-qualified to write a blog for you about grilling.

Show Your Love for the Earth and Barbecue with Eco-Friendly Grilling | Bounce Energy Blog

Who doesn’t love a bit of grilling on a lovely summer afternoon?

However, what I AM good at is green technology – it’s my true passion. And that makes me over-qualified to share what I have learned recently about eco-friendly and green grilling.

Wait a Second – I thought grilling was already greener than cooking on my stove.

Show Your Love for the Earth and Barbecue with Eco-Friendly Grilling | Bounce Energy Blog

Gas grilling – like cooking on your stove inside the house, but so much better.

I hate to break it to you, but while burning charcoal may have delicious results, it also releases compounds into the atmosphere that are known to be harmful to our health. This includes volatile organic compounds (VOCs, known to be carcinogenic) and fine particles that can irritate those with respiratory conditions. Charcoal grills also release twice as much carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere as a gas grill. But while a gas grill is technically greener, it’s far from the greenest option available.

But I thought charcoal grilling tasted better than gas grilling.

Show Your Love for the Earth and Barbecue with Eco-Friendly Grilling | Bounce Energy Blog

I mean – cooking on a charcoal grill might look cool and deliver old-school flavor, but it’s not great for the environment.

You’re not alone. The thought of leaving charcoal behind makes many barbecue aficionados a little anxious, since many grill masters swear by it because of the smoky flavor it imparts. Here’s my first recommendation: Consider ways to use less charcoal by increasing the efficiency of your grill.

The simplest way to do this is to switch to a ceramic grill instead of a metal grill. Metal conducts heat very efficiently, as anyone who has accidentally touched a hot metal pan or grill lid can tell you. But while this makes for an excellent material to cook food ON, a metal outer frame will also conduct much of the heat generated by the charcoal AWAY from your food. Ceramic grills are much less conductive, meaning more of the heat goes into the food and, as a result, you will use much less charcoal for the same result.

But that’s still charcoal. I thought we were going to talk about green grilling.

Show Your Love for the Earth and Barbecue with Eco-Friendly Grilling | Bounce Energy Blog

Editor’s Note: I can personally attest that steak from a wood pellet grill is yummy.

If you are truly open to greener fuel options, consider a pellet grill. These grills use compressed wood pellets as fuel, usually produced from waste wood with no additives. As a result, they tend to burn much cleaner and greener than charcoal and leave little residue apart from a little ash.They are also available in many “flavors” of wood, so those who miss the true charcoal taste can still achieve it while grilling green.

Most pellet grills do require a small amount of electricity to first ignite the pellets and then to deliver them consistently to the grill to ensure a constant temperature. So, if you are committed to green grilling, I recommend you purchase an electricity plan powered by 100% renewable energy sources like wind and water – because using coal-generated electricity is no greener than that charcoal stove we started with!

Much better! But is there an even more eco-friendly grilling option?

Show Your Love for the Earth and Barbecue with Eco-Friendly Grilling | Bounce Energy Blog

You’re already grilling outside, so why not take advantage of the power of the Sun as it beams down upon you?

Absolutely! My favorite green grilling method relies SOL-ely on the power of the Sun, and considering the scorching heat of Summer 2016 across the country, this seems highly appropriate. Lucky for us, several companies sell solar grills and ovens that require nothing more than the food you put in them and the great outdoors.

Even better – while these grills do use solar energy, they are even efficient enough to work in cloudy weather. They don’t rely on solar panels to provide power, as they take the energy directly into heating the food. Not only is this technology super-green, but it has amazing potential to be used in areas where electricity is not available and fuel is expensive.

My wife doesn’t know it yet, but I’m pretty set on developing my grilling guru skills on one of these!

Do you have any green grilling tips and recommendations for our readers? Share with us in the comments!

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