There’s nothing that says summer (and America! Go America!) better than spreading glowing charcoal embers over the bottom of your grill, ready to toss on the grate above them massive quantities of pork, chicken and beef.
Ahh. It’s lovely to just think about it.
But science wants to shit all over your enjoyment of life. Because according to them, grilling with charcoal is detrimental to the environment. Via PolicyMic:
Swiss researcher Eric Johnson compared the environmental impacts of cooking with gas and charcoal in a 2009 study. While cooking with charcoal emits up to 11 pounds of carbon dioxide per grill session into the environment, for example, grilling with propane emits just 5.6. To put that in perspective, one session of grilling with propane, he found, emitted enough carbon dioxide to drive a small car 8 miles. Cooking with charcoal, on the other hand, put out enough CO2 to drive the same car a whopping 22 miles.
Producing charcoal is an even bigger culprit, releasing almost twenty times as much carbon dioxide into the air than propane. It’s also extremely inefficient.
Unlike propane, which you turn on when you start cooking and shut off when you’re done, charcoal gives off massive amounts of heat before and after you’re finished the actual cooking. Additionally, charcoal briquettes tend to be used for a lot of “low-and-slow” barbecue, meaning they’re burned for longer periods of time than gas, emitting even more CO2 into the atmosphere.
So basically, if you choose your enjoyment and fucking flavor town over propane, you are actively sabotaging any future humanity may have on this earth.
BUT. Fuck it. I’d rather have a great steak than a perfect planet. It’s the little things, after all.
[Charcoal grill via Shutterstock]