Food cooked outdoors on a grill or in a smoker can brighten one’s weekend. Even apartment dwellers who have a balcony or a porch can enjoy the taste of outdoor barbecue (of course, if allowed by management). However, as a recent article in Grist notes has stated, the environmentally-friendly outdoor grill master has some options. In fact, here are a few tips for an eco-friendly outdoor grilling experience.
Charcoal or Gas?
Outdoor grill cooks will argue endlessly about whether charcoal or gas makes food taste better. However, if you want to do some eco-friendly outdoor grilling, gas wins hands down from an environmental standpoint.
Unlike gas, charcoal pumps all sorts of pollutants into the atmosphere, including particulate matter and volatile organic compounds. Both of these pollutants are directly dangerous to human health, especially to people with breathing problems such as asthma. Charcoal emits ground-level ozone, which helps to create smog.
Finally, charcoal grills release far more greenhouse gases than gas grills, about 11 pounds per hour on the average as opposed to 5.6 pounds per hour for gas-fired grills.
What About Electric or Pellet Grills?
You should also consider an electric grill, especially if your electricity provider generates energy from environmentally-benign sources such as wind or solar power. Pellet grills are a great compromise since they use compressed wood pellets that burn more efficiently and lack some of the noxious ingredients that charcoal has.
As a bonus, a pellet grill will give your food some of that smoky taste prized by outdoor grill masters.
Other Grilling Tips
If you cook on a charcoal grill, use a non-petroleum-based lighter fluid. Also, choose a grill with vents that can be closed when you’re done cooking. Closed vents help you smother the fire, shortening the time it emits pollution.
Meats of all kinds taste great when kissed by fire, but you should consider grilling veggies as well. Vegetables make for a healthier, more balanced meal.
Some Unknown Facts
During the summer months especially, gas grilling is friendlier to the environment than using your oven. The oven heats your apartment, making your air conditioning work harder. Also, outdoor grilling is better than going for takeout. You don’t have to hop in the car and burn gasoline if you cook your burgers at home.
Western National Property Management is proud to offer you residential living experiences near a wealth of local food sources. Contact us to learn more about how our properties can support your environmentally conscious lifestyle.