I’m hoping to have a few posts this summer showing several projects we have planned to make our backyard and patio more functional AND pretty. Right now, it’s feeling a bit forgotten. As we made plans and then reconciled them with the budget, we also revisited the Great Grill Debate.
CHARCOAL VS GAS!
My husband is a hardcore charcoal devotee. I definitely appreciate that, but also wish we had a gas option for the speed factor. On a weeknight, it would be awesome to just throw some chicken on the grill without the LONG wait for the charcoal to get ready. Grilling is a rare discussion point that Corey has zero flexibility on. Considering he’s normally so easy going (like letting me paint PINK walls in the master bedroom), I’ve always conceded the grill debate.
Then, when I was at the SNAP conference earlier this year, I found out about a product that had the potential to fill my need for speed with his passion for charcoal. My smart friends at HomeRight developed the ElectroLight (Amazon affiliate link), an electric charcoal starter. They said would get the charcoal ready to grill in record time. As a bonus, it looked a bit like a Light Saber, so I was pretty intrigued.
I’m also naturally skeptical about gadgets. Even though I love all of the other products I’ve used from HomeRight, I admit wondering if it would really be faster. My husband tried it out at my mom’s house one night and everyone was impressed, but I wanted to put it to a real test. We decided to have a race!
We set up equal piles of charcoal in the grill. On the left, we had the chimney starter we always use (and love since there is no lighter fluid required). On the right, I got to try out the ElectroLight, which also is used without lighter fluid. We set up the camera to record the whole thing, and the results were pretty amazing! Here’s a quick time-lapse video showing the race and results.
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While we were still waiting for the chimney-side charcoals to get to the ready point, we cooked an entire huge chicken breast on the ElectroLight side. And that was with the grill OPEN and not holding heat since it couldn’t be closed with the chimney on the left side. Plus, I kind of forgot to have the chicken ready to go as soon as the coals were ready AND I should have used the Electrolight a bit longer to get the coals ready even faster. Even with those slowdowns, the experiment was a total success.
The ElectroLight is the perfect compromise for our charcoal vs gas debate. We get the flavor and experience of charcoal, but in less time. Hooray!
It’s also so much less intimidating to me. I feel like I could grill on my own with confidence, and that has never been the case before. Although, I probably shouldn’t admit that, I might be drafted into the grilling rotation.
I love products with more than one use, so we also tested out the ElectroLight in the fire pit. This little invention is going to be the start of so many relaxing nights around the fire now. It’s so much less frustrating than trying to get a fire going with a regular lighter or matches.
What do you think? Is this a tool you need to add to your backyard arsenal?