Thursday, December 7, 2023

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Is Barbecuing Good For the Environment?

When it comes to cooking inside or outside, there is a lot of energy necessary to properly prepare food. However, many people question if barbecuing is actually sustainable or not. The good news is that yes, it can be.

Firstly, when we think about barbecue, we need to immediately discuss the variety of grills that exist today. There are charcoal, wood, electric, and Hank Hill’s personal favorite, propane. Each one brings something unique to the table in terms of taste.

And the same is true when we take a closer look at emissions. For example, unsurprisingly, using a charcoal grill is the worst option you can choose. In just two hours, a charcoal grill can emit as much as driving a car for 26 miles!

Even worse, charcoal doesn’t have an off button. Once you start grilling, it’s going to continue after you are done. Thus, you are actually emitting far more than you need.

That said, grilling is a popular activity, so there are sustainable options available.

What About the Other Grill Types?


Okay, so charcoal is definitely not sustainable and should be avoided just like regular coal, but there are a lot of options.

Let’s start with Wood Pellet grills. These are actually one of the most sustainable options we will be looking at. Wood pellets don’t use a lot of energy to produce, and most manufacturers employ sustainable techniques.

And when it comes to taste, grilling and smoking with wood is the top choice among enthusiasts.

Electric grills are another sustainable option to consider. You won’t need anything other than an electrical outlet. And they don’t produce any harmful fumes like every other option. This actually gives them a unique advantage because you can grill inside your own home.

Rain will not deny anyone BBQ again.

Last, but certainly not least, is the most popular option today, propane. A propane grill is actually 105 times more environmentally friendly than charcoal. That said, it’s still a fossil fuel, so sorry Mr. Hill, propane is not a sustainable option.

Overall, you can rest easy if you are grilling with a wood or electric grill. And to a certain extent, even propane is an okay option.

Barbecuing Is Negligible, At Least In the Grand Scheme of Things

The truth is while there are more sustainable options when it comes to BBQ, it’s ultimately negligible. As long as it’s not charcoal.

If you are not using the grill to cook your meal, you are going to use an oven, which runs into a similar set of problems. Even if you use electric grills and ovens, your probably getting that power from fossil fuels. Thus, it doesn’t really matter how you cook.

Either option is going to have an emissions problem for the average American. What’s more important is actually making sure the energy and fuel we use come from more sustainable options like solar and wind.

Thus, making sure our renewable energy sector grows is critical to being more sustainable.

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Robert Giaquinto

Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.

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