Charcoal Vs Gas Grill: Which is Better To Get?

Are you getting a grill and don’t know which one to get; a charcoal or gas one? These two are the most popular on the market, however, they are quite different in usage and cooking results.

To help you find the best grill for cooking needs, I will present to you both grill characteristics. Read on to understand the unique features of each of these cooking devices and why you should pick one type over the other.

Pros and cons of charcoal vs gas grill

The main difference between these types of grills is the fuel they run on. Gas ones primarily run on either liquid propane (LP) or natural gas while charcoal grills use coal as fuel. 

grilling meat

Grilling fuel

How easily you can access these fuel is the first thing that will determine the type of grill that you can get as there is no use getting a charcoal grill if coal is not readily available in your area.

If you are thinking of getting a gas device, you should make sure that you can easily refill your propane tank when you run out of gas as it can get quite frustrating when you run out of fuel in the middle of a cookout and the nearest refill station is miles away.

The grill whose fuel you can access easily is definitely the best. Let’s now break down the features of both types to help you make the best buying decision when it comes to cooking grills.

Charcoal grills

These grills are what grilling purists refer to as the best cookers for the simple reason that they add flavor to the meals that are being prepared. They produce smoke that rises to the food that is being prepared, thereby adding a tasteful smoky flavor to the meals that are being prepared.

When the coal is heated up properly, the heat produced will burn fat off your steak which then drops to the burning coal. This results in the production of smoke which settles on the food that is being cooked on the grates.

Charcoal grilling temperature

Another feature that you will appreciate of charcoal grills is the fact that you can produce as much heat as you want for cooking your meals. You can do this by increasing the number of briquettes in the cooking device and opening up the air vents to increase circulation within the grill.

Some of the steaks that are cooked are quite tough and it is only with a charcoal grill that you will be able to cook them up properly as some grills may not have the capacity to generate a lot of heat. 

These grills also have a grate that you can raise and lower seamlessly to increase or reduce the proximity of your dishes to the burning flames. They, however, aren’t without their limitations, and here are a few that you might consider.

Charcoal grill cons

Here are the limitations of charcoal grills.

Lack of a control knob

Most of these cooking devices lack a control knob and this makes regulating the cooking temperatures somehow difficult. Your meals could, therefore, end up getting charred or overcooked and this may ruin your lunch.

Most are not portable

Charcoal grills are usually heavy and bulky and this makes moving them around difficult. This limits your cooking adventure as you may not be able to take the unit with you to your outdoor adventures.

charcoal grilling
Charcoal grills are harder to clean

There will be a lot of ash to be cleaned up after cooking your meals with this unit. Some of them have an ashtray that collects all the used up ash but most models lack this vital feature and this leaves you with a lot of cleaning to do afterward.

Gas grills

Gas grills are a lot more convenient than charcoal grills thanks to the presence of a temperature gauge and a control knob. You can, therefore, monitor the cooking temperature and adjust it to suit your cooking needs.

Lighting a gas grill

Starting it is very easy since all you have to do it to flip a button and you are good to go, something that is not possible with charcoal grills since you have to wait for the coal to heat up before you can get some cooking going.

Light and portable

They are usually light and portable and this makes them ideal for adventurous grillers who are always out. There are, however, not without their limitations which we will discuss below.

Gas grills cons

Here are the limitations of gas grills.

You can’t use them to smoke your meals

This feature is exclusive to charcoal grills and, therefore, you will not be able to attain a smoky flavor in your meals if you cook them on this type of unit.

The best models are pricey

If you want a gas grill with the latest features, you should be prepared to pay a little bit more.

Does charcoal taste better than gas?

Charcoal tastes better because you use briquettes or wood as fuel. At gas grilling, you use gas as a fuel. Charcoal is natural fuel for cooking so it gives more flavor to the food while gas doesn’t. Charcoal or wood from different fruits gives that special flavor that people like to use to increase the dish flavor.

What is the healthiest charcoal to use?

You have different types of charcoal to choose from but I recommend lump coals as they are natural without any additives as in charcoal.

Is grilling with charcoal bad for your health?

Cooking on briquettes causes potentially cancer-causing compounds polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). First are the result of meat fat dipping on the hot briquettes that causes smoke. Do you want to know a healthy way of cooking? Consider the next tips from WebMD that will show you how to grill in a healthy way.

Which is healthier gas or charcoal grill?

Are you enthusiastic about grilling but you worry about your health? Can you get sick of harmful chemical compounds caused by cooking at high temperatures? If you eat a lot of grilled dishes you can get disposed to these chemicals.

However, which is healthier gas or charcoal grill? Charcoal grilling is more harmful since the food can get easily burned. Meantime, when you cook with gas you are able to control the temperature easily since it has a temperature gauge control knob. Cooking on gas also doesn’t cause any smoke since you don’t burn the briquettes or wood.

If you will decide for a charcoal model, don’t worry about the chemicals since you just have to watch on the heat and turn your steaks to not burn them.

Is propane better than charcoal?

If you want to cook fast then it is better to use propane than charcoal grilling. Charcoal grilling takes time as the coals must get gray for you to start cooking. In gas cooking this is much easier, you open the fuel, set the temperature, and start your cookout.

Propane grilling gives more moisture to the meat while you must be careful while cooking on coals. It is more clean cooking so it is better for the environment than charcoal. However, if you are looking at that smoky taste of the food you won’t get it by using gas.

Which grill is better?

If you don’t know which grill to get, charcoal or gas grill, it all depends on your preference. If you value convenience when cooking, then you should get a gas one but if your value substance, then charcoal grills are the way to go.

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