Q.I am a vegetarian but still love to grill (veggies and pizza, now that brats and chops are a matter of the past). My charcoal grill is too small for more than two people’s meals. Should I buy a gas grill? Is either less polluting than the other? Should I simply give up and cook indoors?

Christine H.
Kirksville, Mo.

A.Dearest Christine,

What is it about cooking outdoors that makes food taste so extra-delicious? Is it a connection to our caveman ancestors, roasting their mastodons over an open fire? A throwback to the hot dogs and pool parties of childhood? The competitive juices that flow from having to battle backyard flies and bees for your meal? Whatever it is, our love for the BBQ seems universal. My nose tells me so every time I step out in the evening between Memorial Day and Labor Day.