Fun post over at Wired which discusses the plain truth: charcoal grills are awesome.
Of course, even food cooked on a gas grill gives off aromas---all food does. But food grilled over a charcoal flame has a special one: guaiacol.
Guaiacol is an aroma compound produced when you use heat to break down lignin, the resin responsible for holding strands of cellulose together to form wood. “It has a smoky, spicy, bacony aroma,” Sacks says. “In fact, the flavor that most people associate with bacon is largely degraded lignin.”
Translation: Cooking over charcoal makes your food taste like bacon. Let me repeat that: blah blah charcoal blah blah BACON.
So if you have two identical steaks, cooked at identical temperatures, for the same amount of time, where the only difference is that one is cooked over charcoal and one is cooked over gas, what will be the end result? The charcoal-cooked steak will taste more like bacon.
Case closed, indeed. 🥓