Although I can scarce afford it, I couldn't hold out any longer. So I went out and bought myself a Weber grill. I managed to find their 18 1/2 inch tabletop model for fifty-five bucks.
Mind you, we are not talking about a gas grill. I don't believe in gas grills. I grill over charcoal.
White hot coals give you a temperature of about 1600 ° F. A gas grill, at best, will give you half of that heat. And with a gas grill you don't get to do fun things like soak hickory chips in water and spread them over the coals to impart a hickory-smoked flavor on your meat.
With a charcoal grill, I am the Master of Steak. My grilled steaks can make a strong man weep. I make a sort of paste out of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ground green peppercorns, and fresh rosemary. I marinate the steaks in this, and then when the grill is at its hottest, I put them on, turning them frequently after the initial sear so the heat moves up through the meat consistently. I like my steak grilled black on the outside (and the sugar in the balsamic carmelizes wonderfully well) and bloody on the inside.
And what better accompaniment than a warm salad of grilled vegetables, finished with olive oil, balsamic, and some nice goat cheese.
A gas grill just doesn't measure up. Imparting no flavor whatsoever, it takes longer and it's harder to judge what kind of action your getting. When forced to use a gas grill, I usually end up having to close the cover so that you're actually roasting. And that's much easier to do in an oven.
Not to mention barbecue, which you can't really do effectively on a gas grill. At all.
And now, I'm off to fix some Fourth Of July steaks for my dad. My hickory chips are soaking now.