Save Money in this Sunday's paper

The GRATE grillin' debate

Writers Eric Frazier and Kathleen Purvis try to answer this age-old debate: Which is better gas or charcoal?

Charcoal grill

Purvis: Do I have to rake this over the coals again? Yes, world, I am a charcoal girl. I love the purity of it. I love the simplicity of it. I love the flavor of it.

Gas grill

Frazier: I love going to the big-box home improvement stores this time of year. Row upon gleaming stainless steel row of new barbecue grills.
What is this – a backyard cookout or a hardware store? There’s so much grilling equipment out there, you can get carried away. Skip those fancy sets of tools, and go with a few well-chosen basics. Most are cheap – and one handy tool is even free.

Chicken breasts, one the most popular things to grill, should also be one of the easiest. But many people overcook or undercook them.

Barbecue is often referred to as a primal experience. And there’s nothing more primal than pork rib tips: short, meaty sections of rib that are attached to the spare ribs. Ask a butcher to cut off the rib tips for you; or buy 2 full spare ribs racks and use a cleaver to remove the tips.

In the summer, grilled salmon is my favorite protein for a dinner salad.

Charred, tender yet crisp, grilled asparagus captured a flavor that, if I were in charge of the vegetable’s PR, I might call Springtime’s Essence.

Everyone, maybe even members of Congress, can agree that food tastes better outdoors.

Increase your home’s living space by expanding outdoors. Savvy outdoor makeover tips place an entire new outdoor “family room” well within reach of even a modest budget.

In ancient times, our parents would dissolve a sugar cube with bitters, and add whiskey, ice and a twist of orange zest. That was an Old Fashioned. When in Rome, they did as the Romans did, sipping aperitifs concocted from brightly colored liqueurs and soda.

There are the practical benefits as well, such as networking to find a plumber or a babysitter – and of course someone who can lend you a cup of sugar in a pinch.

You got game? We sure do!

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, just five or more sunburns over a lifetime will double your risk of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

Summer is almost here and the scent of charcoal is in the air.

CharlotteObserver.com