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Charcoal Grills vs. Gas Grills – Which One Should You Choose?

Deciding whether to acquire a charcoal grill or a gas grill is can be overwhelming. You have to deal with the cleaning process – you need to get rid of the used coals after cooking. In addition to that, the coals burn up in the middle of the cooking process. This would not happen when you are cooking with a gas grill, although there would be some times that you could not determine why the food takes long to get cooked until you find out that you run out of gas.

On the other hand, there are also numerous benefits you can get when you grill with charcoal. Let us check out the pros and cons of charcoal grilling and find out how it can affect your cooking. We will not approach electric grills but it is something you should check out sometimes.

Charcoal grills may not offer the same level of convenience like the gas grills. However, it has one benefit that other methods of grilling does not have – the smoke flavor. The meat sears quickly with the dry and hot heat of charcoal, generating a caramelized exterior, crusty, and smoky taste.

Obviously, grilling with charcoal needs more attention and time compared to gas. From lighting and building the coals to waiting for them to get hot and monitoring the flame. Since you cannot dial down the temperature of the white coals, it is a good tactic to leave vacant spaces on the lower grate (the areas without coals). These vacant areas allow you to control the temperature better. It also allows you to cook food first on the hot spots before you transfer it to cooler areas to finish cooking.

Charcoal grills are also cheaper then gas grills, though the cost of the coals will accumulate through the years. Charcoal is very portable than gas tank. A bag of coal can be easily put to the car and taken to the beach.

And let us admit it – there are possible dangers with charcoals. Playing with fire is so enjoyable, but be careful.

Gas grills have the apparent of being convenient. You just turn on the knob, and you will have a very controllable heat source. Gas grills are run by propane gas that is stored in refillable tanks.

Gas grills are clean and fast. You do not have to worry about the coals, no lighting, stacking, smelling starting fluid, and waiting for the charcoals to get red. When the dinner is done, there is no mess to clean. Turn the switch off, use a metal brush over the grate, and cleaning is done.

On the technical aspect, the gas burns clean, but it does not affect the flavor of the food.

For more information, you can read our top propane gas grills by clicking the link.

The debate over gas and charcoal is something that you should get involved with. The basic that that you only need to understand is the convenience and taste. Let’s talk about several considerations:


You should know that the more convenient a grill is, the less smoke flavor you will get. The electric grill is the easiest to use but it does not have a genuine fire taste, while wood fires provide you with the best taste, and they are the hardest to work on.


The best taste of food is acquired through smoking, which is from the original source of heat, wood. When you use an electric grill, you will have a very little taste of smoke. In fact, most electric grills add nothing to the flavor of the foods. On the other hand, the simplicity of pushing a button and grilling cannot be beat.


Talking about the taste, a certain study was made in which people are given steak and hamburgers cooked on a charcoal and gas. Nobody could determine the difference between the gas and charcoal on the  hamburgers, but they could determine the difference on the steak. The steak that was grilled in charcoal had more distinct smoky flavor.


To determine what kind of grill to buy, you should find out where the grill will be placed. A small covered area or patio is not ideal for a large grill. Electric grills does not produce flames, and are safe in small spaces. On the other hand, gas grills produce flames and need to be placed away from any structure to prevent fires. Charcoal can be ignited by electric starter, and can be used with no open flame.


One thing that you should also consider is how you plan to grill. If you want to cook steaks and chicken breasts with no hassle, then a gas or electric grill is right for you. This is perfect when you go home after work.


Gas grills will cost you a lot of money compared to charcoal, with charcoal being the cheapest. If you are on a tight budget, then you should opt for charcoal grills. On the other hand, charcoal is an expensive source of fuel. You can spend 5 bucks per cookout on a charcoal, while you can spend only 0.20 bucks per cook on a gas grill. Therefore, charcoal will not save you money in the long run.

The Verdict:

In general, any determination of what is the best comes down to the factors of practicality, taste, cost, and convenience. If you have a small area, then large grills will not work. Great grilling can be acquired in either gas or charcoal.