OK, so I had a brief respite from my grill lust when I got the BBQ/smoker, but after a few days the gas grill lust returned. The smoker is good for the weekends, but I'm hungry and tired when I get home from work. I wanted to be able to throw some meat and veggies on the grill and eat within 30 minutes.
I got lucky on Craigslist - the full story is posted on my other blog. Suffice it to say I am now the proud owner of a brand new Char-Broil Red infrared gas grill. I like it pretty well so far. There are settings for high heat (clean/preheat) sear (for steaks, etc), grill, and BBQ/smoke.There is a U-shaped pan so grease never drips directly on the flame. That's good for me since I was always having grease flare-ups in my old mini-grill. I think the pan also serves to radiate/diffuse the heat so stuff cooks quickly and evenly. There were mixed reviews on the grill and the infrared. A lot of people really like it, and Consumer Reports gave it a high rating, but some people got lemons or were die-hard BBQ or gas grill snobs. Anyway, so far my grill isn't a lemon (knock on wood) and I'm always open to new technology, so I'm happy.
Last night I cooked some chicken breasts* and zucchini. The zucchini was a gift from the lady that sold me the grill. The chicken cooked in about 10 minutes, and the squash took 15. As it was cooking, it smelled really good, like a rotisserie chicken. That was a good sign. My old mini-grill always was pretty smoky due to the flare ups. At five minutes I took a look at it. It looked done on that side so I flipped it. At ten minutes it was done. I let it rest while the squash finished. Anyway, the chicken was really good - it was fully cooked but not charred on the outside, and it stayed very moist inside, even though I hadn't brined or marinated it. The squash was better than usual, but not perfect. I've never had much success with grilled squash. All in all, I was pretty pleased with my first attempt. I'm looking forward to cooking other stuff on it.
* this is my standard quick meal, so it's a good test.