Charcoal Vs. Propane – Which Grill is Best?

Which is best, a charcoal or propane grill? This is a question many cooks have fought over for many years. In the article, “Advantages of a Charcoal Grill Over a Gas Grill” Chris Kirk claims that a charcoal grill is superior. But, in the article, “5 Reasons Why a Gas Grill is Best” Terry Edwards explain why propane is the way to go. While both of these articles are excellent, I feel that an article that gives the advantages and disadvantages of both types will help readers choose the perfect grill for their home.

Charcoal vs. Propane: Price

The first thing you will notice when shopping for a grill is that a charcoal model will be cheaper than a propane model. This is because propane models require much more handling to make sure they work properly. Every piece of a propane grill has to be thoroughly inspected to make sure the gas will flow through the system properly. On the other hand, a charcoal model is merely a vessel to hold the charcoal and a lid. There is an advantage to such a system. You can quickly make your own backyard brick barbeque if you choose charcoal, but there are other things to consider.

Charcoal vs. Propane: Cooking

The first thing to consider when it comes to cooking on a charcoal or propane grill is the heat up time. With a propane model, you simply attach a bottle of gas and light the grill. The grill will be up to temperature in only a few minutes. When you want to heat up a charcoal grill, you have to deal with lighting the charcoal, waiting for it to turn an ashy gray, and then you can proceed to cook your food. This can sometimes take up to an hour.

When it’s time to cook your food, you will find that you can easily adjust the temperature of a propane grill. You will also be able to easily cook foods at different temperatures, depending on the size of your grill. To a certain extent, you can also adjust the temperature of a charcoal grill, but this involves moving all the charcoal to one side of the grill. Even then you may find that the grill is still too hot. You can wait for the charcoal to cool down, but then you risk the charcoal getting too cool before the food is done.

What about taste? Many people believe that charcoal adds a wonderful taste, but propane will give you the same smoky flavor. The flavor doesn’t come from the fuel source. The smoky flavor you taste occurs when fat drips from the meat onto the heat source. The fat causes smoke, which adds the flavor. In other words, when it comes to taste both charcoal and propane add a great flavor.

Charcoal vs. Propane: Cleaning

Cleaning is never fun and I won’t lie. Cleaning both a charcoal and propane grill is a nasty job. Kassidy Emmerson has a wonderful article (“How to Clean Your Charcoal Grill”) that does a great job explaining how to effectively clean your grill. Some of these tips are even useful for propane grills as well. The most important thing you’ll want to remember when cleaning a propane grill is to always clean your grill after each use. If you don’t, the job will be ten times worse when you do decide to clean it. The grease will quickly add up and you’ll find that cleaning the inside of your propane grill will be a nightmare. Getting a panini press with removable plates will save you tons of time cleaning.

I hope this article has made your choice a little easier. For many people, the ease of propane is the sure winner, but other people will also enjoy the tradition of cooking on charcoal. If you need more advice, please see my article, “How to Choose the Perfect Grill”.

Krups FMF5-11 Coffee Maker Review

The Krups FMF5-11 is a 1100-watt coffee maker which can brew up to 10 cups at a time. This machine will also be a beautiful addition to your countertop thanks to its stainless steel finish. You can find the Krups FMF5-11 for a price between $85 and $100. Let’s take a look at some of the features offered by this coffee maker. The Krups FMF5-11 is equipped with a 60-ounce water tank. The water tank has an integrated filtration system designed to remove chlorine so that your coffee tastes greats. The Krups FMF5-11 will also shut off automatically if it detects that the water tank has run empty. The electronic de-scaling indicator will also alert you whenever you need to de-scale.

The Krups FMF5-11 also features a one to three cup aroma switch. This switch is designed to maximum the flavor of your coffee whenever you’re brewing one to three cups at a time. This allows you to choose between light, medium, or rich. You also don’t have to stand around waiting for the Krups FMF5-11 to finish as it will emit an audible signal whenever the brewing process is complete. You can also pause the process at anytime when you want to pour a cup before the process has completed. For those looking for coffee makers on sale then look no further than the Krups FMF5-11.

This coffee maker is packaged with a stainless steel thermal carafe. The double-walled carafe will help the coffee maintain its temperature for longer periods of time. The carafe for the Krups FMF5-11 also features a no-drip spout so that you won’t make a mess when pouring your cup of coffee.

The Krups FMF5-11 is equipped with an LCD display. The display is illuminated to make for easier viewing. There is also a clock that can also function as a timer. You will appreciate the simplicity of the control panel. Another feature you will appreciate is the size of the Krups FMF5-11. It only measures 10 x 8 x 13 inches and has built-in cord storage to save more space.

If you can’t live without your morning cup of coffee, then you should consider buying the Krups FMF5-11. The unit is equipped with a 60-ounce water tank with an integrated filtration system. The Krups FMF5-11 also features an aroma switch so that you can get maximum flavor when brewing smaller amounts. The included stainless steel thermal carafe will also help keep your coffee hotter for longer periods of time.

Chickens on the Bus – Travel Adventures in Jordan

I started getting nervous when my seat-mate grabbed a piece of my shirt in her beak and pulled. The bus trip from Maarka to Amman in Jordan would, in many other countries, be a simple commute from the suburbs to the city. But in Jordan, you never know who – or what – will be seated next to you. On that particular day it was a loosely made, and poorly fastened, crate of squawking chickens. Let me first say that I have a few phobias, and one of them is to birds. I don’t mind the kind of bird that sits in a tree and sings, but birds that swoop at your hair or peck at your feet, or offer a good hard bite from a bill that is allegedly for talking – well, they can send me into full panic mode. I know it’s not rational, but the definition of a phobia is, after all, an irrational fear.

The chickens belonged to an Arab woman of indeterminate age; she could have been anywhere from 30 to 70, swathed in her robe and scarf. Few women in Jordan wear a veil, so I could see her weather-worn cheeks, and the smile crinkles around her mouth. But before I noticed those, I noticed the chickens. I saw her get onto the bus with the crate in her arms, and I knew, immediately, that she would sit next to me. I was wrong. She sat across from me. The chickens sat next to me.

I tried to edge discreetly toward the window, away from the crate. The chicken lady patted my leg and said something long and incomprehensible in Arabic. In all fairness, almost anything would have been incomprehensible, because my Arabic was limited to greetings, yes, no, thank you, how much, and a few numbers. But she clearly wanted to talk. I let her, although I could barely hear her over the chickens. As I watched them from the corner of my eye in mounting horror, they began to push against the side of the crate nearest me, and each time I scooted over an inch, so did those chickens. Their beady little eyes watched me greedily, until one bird, braver than her sisters, stuck her head out of the crate and latched onto my shirt. The chicken lady and a small group of grubby children who had approached to watch burst into laughter as the chicken pulled the button off my cuff and it vanished into her crop. For my part, I just tried not to scream.

Satisfied for the moment with a button, the chicken drew back into the crate and the hens all had a good cackle. I checked my watch and tried to estimate how much time was remaining on this trip, and wondered if I’d be able to reach downtown Amman if I got off on the next stop and found another bus. We were about five minutes into the trip, and I doubted it. I took a sip of my best travel mug 2017 and continued looking at the chicken lady.

The chicken lady reached across and grabbed a lock of my hair and gave it a good tug. Like chicken, like owner, I guessed. She clucked her tongue, again remarkably like the birds, and then smoothed her hand over my hair. Another burst of Arabic came from her, but by her face I guessed she might have been admiring my hair, so I blushed and said, “Shukran!” (Arabic for thank you). She looked startled, so apparently I had mistaken her attempt. I tried again. “Salaam Aleikum!” (a greeting, literally “peace be with you,” I think). Her look changed to one you might give a particularly stupid student. We were clearly too far into our one-sided conversation for me to offer greetings now.

I surreptitiously checked my watch again. Another two minutes had passed. Two of the children came forward, pushing themselves in between me and the chicken lady, and added their observations on my hair, along with some of the dirt from their fingers. I smiled and nodded, feeling like a bizarre and out-of-context bobble-head. It was going to be a long trip.

The chickens and I had the same destination: the markets, or suks, of downtown Amman. I was hoping to buy. I expect the chickens were intended for a butcher, and it couldn’t come too soon for me. The chicken lady continued our one-sided conversation through the entire trip, as I murmured things like “Mmm-hmm” and “Oh really?” knowing that she probably couldn’t hear me over the squawking and clucking anyway. The chickens periodically attempted further assaults on my clothing, and I lost a few pieces of my sleeve and a little bit of blood when an over-enthusiastic hen beaked me. Pecked me. Whatever. When the bus finally pulled to a stop at the depot in central Amman, the chicken lady stuck her hand into the crate and, pulling out a fresh brown egg, handed it to me with a smile. She refused my offered gift (a ball-point pen), and gave me a wide warm smile before once more smoothing my hair, then leaving with the chickens.

On a different day, I returned to the depot from my shopping excursion to find that it was no longer there. No signs, no buses, no nothing. I was appalled. I didn’t know where to go; I didn’t speak the language, and I really had to pee. There were a pair of public restrooms still there, but there were no little man and woman figures on them such as you see in the U.S. and Europe, and the labels were in Arabic, of which I read even less than I speak. Believing that it could cost my life if I used the wrong one, I waited, legs crossed, until a pair of men went into one. Just in time I went into the other, and for once didn’t mind squatting over a hole in the floor. At least there weren’t any chickens there.

When I emerged I noticed a 10 or 11 year old boy who had been hanging about before. I walked up to him and said, hopefully, “Bus?”

“No bus, lady,” he said. Jordanians actually mean “lady” when they say it, so I was not offended.

“Where bus?” I asked, feeling like a refugee from a Mel Brooks movie.

“I take you,” said the boy, taking my wrist and tugging. I didn’t have any better ideas, so I went with him. He led me through a couple of dingy winding streets, while I tried to convince myself that he was not the head of a band of white slavers, until we reached the brand new bus depot. “Bus!” he said, with a full sweep of his free arm. And buses there were. I offered him a dinar (about a dollar American) and a pen, but he shook his head. “No, lady, I help free.” His smile was an echo of the chicken lady’s, and I was suddenly very glad that I was in Jordan.

At least I was until I got back onto the bus to Maarka and met a goat. But that’s another story.

Lenovo G570 43349KU Review

For anyone who has never used or heard of Lenovo, this is a Chinese computer manufacturer that exceeds the standards regarding business ThinkPads. The Lenovo G570 43349KU does not fall into this category, it being a great consumer laptop than can please a large variety of users, if you’re looking for the alternate category then see the asus k501ux-wh74 review.

This particular model is very durable, with a classic black exterior design and brushed-metallic look which gives it a modern element. Both the keyboard and the touch pad are highly reliable and can be used for everything from gaming (of course a mouse is recommended) to office “chores “. The 15.6 inch display offers everything that can be expected from a modern laptop, with high resolution and a Blue-Ray drive. Regarding the built-in speakers, they pack a lot of volume, but the quality of even the best laptop speakers will never satisfy the more pretentious audiophiles.

Another important feature that makes this laptop ideal for businessman is the long battery life. With up to 250 minutes of unplugged usage, the Lenovo G570 43349KU has great specifications for its price range, and most importantly, for a model that is not designed as a business laptop, but as an overall achiever.

Even if the first impression might be that this is a budget laptop, actually, it has a great balance between value and quality. With its 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5-2450M processor and 4 GB Ram, it can easily stand up to the more expensive Acer or HP laptops and its 500 GB Hard Drive (at 5400 rpm0 is as much as you can expect (or ever need) at this price range.
Other specifications include: Windows 7 installed as a default operating system, a VGA video port and 4 USB 2 ports (that really make a difference for anyone who uses a lot USB powered devices) that are more that what a regular Toshiba Satellite has to offer.

To conclude, the Lenovo G570 43349KU is an affordable notebook that exceeds its price tag. It delivers very good performance for everyday tasks (mostly due to the state of the art Intel processor), a lot of hard disk space to store plenty of music, photos or movies and a long lasting battery. Even if the developer is not as well known as other IT manufacturers, the Lenovo G570 43349KU is one of the most balanced products available on the market today, and will perform satisfactory no matter what your needs as a computer user are.

Texas vs. West Virginia Family Predictions

Welcome back to the Longhorn Family where a bunch of Longhorn fanatics try to make sense of the headache that is Longhorn Football.

Now, if youre wondering Who the heck are these people whose opinions I read every week? Well wonder no LONGER. Head on over to the Meet the Fam page to get to know the crackpots of the Longhorn Family!

Since weve gotten that out of the way, be sure to register for our site for exclusive privileges like commenting and creating forum posts/topics (Yes Trent, Im aware that most people probably will not be utilizing this feature, but I still think its cool that we have forums, okay). Thanks and Hook Em!

Here we go:


What do you think about the Horns bowl prospects?

Mama Madden  At this point wouldnt it be one of those bowls that no one watches?


Dad  Very tenuous.  Obviously must beat WVA, TT or BU.


Cousin Chris  50-50, this week is essentially a determinant. If we lose then chances are very alike but if we win theres a slightly increased chance. But, then again, if we make a bowl its gonna be another trophy to hide in the back of the shelf

Blake  Obviously its not looking very good. But the Horns have been inconsistent all year. Which Longhorn team will we see these last 3 games? Will they have it all put together? At the end of the day, Im a believer in Charlie and I think he gets the job done, one way or another.


Ammaw  Less than 50% thanks to that senseless loss to Iowa State.  Boy, how we needed that game!


Trent  I give them a 40% chance to make a bowl. Weve been terrible on the road this year, but when their backs are against the wall, this team seems to respond. If they beat West Virginia, I think theyll get it done, thats a big IF.


Uncle Tim  Since the West Va. Game is early, I think UT can win that one.  But they won’t.  Then beat declining Tech for almost a bowl.  I ONLY care about the bowl because we desperately need the extra month of practice.  Can you imagine this crappy team missing out on that and somehow we are supposed to drink the Kool-Aid again for next season?


Uncle Dean  Shakey. Youngsters got to learn to overcome early adversity.

Were about 7 point underdogs to WVU. What will the score be of the West Virginia game?

Mama Madden  Texas wins 34-27


Dad  Hopefully Texas 35; WVA 34.  Keep in mind that WVA’s 4 losses are to BU, TCU. OU and Oklahoma State


Cousin Chris  I think we win 25-23, a two point conversion is all that separates this one. Hopefully, we can establish a ground game in this matchup or perhaps see what Heard can do in the air if we call the right plays. Also a DEF TD is in the cards.


Blake  Lets do this. Texas 23 WVU 20.


Ammaw  West Virginia 31   Texas 24   Hope I’m wrong.


Trent  If you look at the data, we lose this game. We simply have not shown up on the road. However, I think thats why we eek out a win this week. The team will be ready to prove we can show up on the road. Also, I think West Virginias QB gives us a few gifts. The dudes not very good.


Uncle Tim  They score 31 or more every game.  We score 0 or more every game.  They beat Tech at home last week for confidence, home again while we travel and are tired. I am NOT back on board with this team because they beat Kansas, I need to see beat W Va. And Tech too and give Baylor fits like K St. did.


Uncle Dean  WVU 31, Texas 24

Tyrone Swoopes or Jerrod Heard? Is there even any controversy brewing here?

Mama Madden  Heard. He did a good job against Kansas. Loved the first offensive play! Swoopes has been playing well, but seems to be enjoying his new role.


Dad  I liked the mix against Kansas, but Go with the hot hand.  Heard threw the ball well against Kansas—The real issue is that we need ALL the receivers to catch the ball.  If the seniors (Daje and Marques) are not getting it done, let’s not do a Mack Brown and play the seniors out of loyalty.  Put the best player on the field.  Case in point, Strong’s comments about whether DeShawn Elliott would play against WVA after 2 picks last Saturday.  Why wouldn’t you give him some playing time?  He’s got better hands than half of our receivers.


Cousin Chris  Heard is the man for the job, simply as that.


Blake  Swoopes definitely has some newfound confidence, AND it seems like defenses find it much more difficult to defend against the Swoopes package. Id like to see the offensive efficiency stat of that offensive package. I dont necessarily think that there should be a controversy, but go with whats working in the game, ya feel?


Ammaw  No.  They both have a good attitude, both contributing.  It’s  working well, so far so good.  I think Swoopes likes it that he is sent in to “save the day.”


Trent  No. Swoopes looks great as a backup because theres no pressure on him. When things start to go bad in the starting role, he would regress to the Swoopes we saw last seasonmentally fragile. Heard has a tougher, winning mentality and is able to make things happen even when the O-line breaks down.

If we have the right offensive system, Heard will put it all together. Its just obvious to me. Not sure Norvell is the right fit w/ his inconsistent play calling.


Uncle Tim  Does not matter, neither is the guy for long.  Next year yes, but after that I got 3 years of Westlake QB!  Buchelle  (sp?) putting up mediocre numbers in HS, not counting on him.


Uncle Dean  Better not be. Its on the coaches  to put the guy out there best suited to beat the other teams scheme. Of course Trey Holtz showed a great spark in those 2 plays last week. Did you see the excitement on the Horns sideline!!!  What a QB trio we have!

Is Charlie Strong getting the program back on track? Are you a believer yet?

Mama Madden  Good golly he is taking us on a roller coaster ride. I want to believe, but need more consistency to be sure he has what it takes.


Dad  I thought so after OU but Iowa State was problematic.  He has to save himself and get rid of Watson.  The uncertainty about the offensive coaches has already lost us one recruit.  If Watson had done what he said he would do at the beginning of the season, maybe this isn’t an issue.  Watson cannot get his head out of the pro mindset.


Cousin Chris  I think so. He attracts good, disciplined players and is still trying to fully establish his idea of a football team on both sides of the ball. Maybe needs some better minds around him and less extracurricular distractions.


Blake  I believe in Charlie. He needs a guy that breathes offense to come on board.


Ammaw  No, but we’ll know more after this game.  Let’s see how well prepared they are to defend against the run.  Iowa State game we knew how exceptional a runner Warren was, but he ran right through us.  If they can’t do a better job on Smallwood it’s Goodbye Charlie.


Trent  Im a believer if hes able to bring in a savvy offensive mind in the offseason who will bring in an establish spread system. Otherwise he will fall victim to Muschamp Syndromeinability to coach offensive side of the ball.

Charlies done well w/ recruiting, team building and the defense for the most part. Offense is the clear weakness and missing component.


Uncle Tim  Conflicted.  Athletes everywhere, playmakers very few.  Finally see Newsome after so many games – why just now?  McNeil gets no play time, Joe no play time, Vacarro NEVER plays.  The better they produce the more they are ignored.  Keep playing Hill and Boyd no matter what, just like Mykelle. Produce on the field man, produce!


Hope he takes Miami job.


Uncle Dean  He deserves another year. But with these Miami rumors increasing I am afraid McCombs and Hicks may have already sacked him and are gearing up a big replacement.

How do you think Texas basketball fares this year under new head coach Shaka Smart?


Dad  He doesn’t have his exact players yet, but we should be better in a tough conference. If we could go 23—9 it would be good and get us in the NCAA tournament, round 2.


Cousin Chris  Ideally, we lose to Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight as UK goes on to win another Natty over UNC in the final.


Blake  Were gonna wreak some havoc, for SURE. Hard schedule though. Our home schedule is stacked. Look for me during the UNC game Dec. 12th. Ill be going ham.


Ammaw  Very well. He has such a cute personality all revved up, cant wait to get started. Should be fun. What is that on top of his head?


Trent  I think Smarts setup for big success. Love the guys philosophy and heart. I predict they will make it to the Elite 8 before losing.


Uncle Tim  GREAT!!  They are a player or two away, but already seeing results against Tarrelton State….


Uncle Dean  Horns Shaka the World!
Hey I should trademark that!
Trent youre the marketing guy find out how we can make some teeshirts and report back to me ASAP.

Any additional comments?


Mama Madden  It is scary attending football games with Trent who is constantly videoing you from mere inches away. On a positive note, he is fun to watch with because he is a fountain of information.


Dad  Bedford needs to start better.  Kansas OC had him in first half.  This seems to be a trend.


Cousin Chris  You either die a Morty, or you live long enough to see yourself become a Rick.


Blake  Oklahoma State is going to lose to Iowa State.


Ammaw  Please include your grandfather, father in your prayers.


Trent  I vlogged the TX-Kansas game, including Mama Madden spilling her entire extra-large coke three rows down from her seat on Donta Foremans big touchdown run. Heck of a blunder. Also, Heard for Heisman 2017.



Uncle Dean  Limit future answers to one short paragraph max.

21 needs to be ahead of 32, that guy could juke and run. Needs to hold onto ball though.