Should I Get a Charcoal Grill or Gas Grill?

If you’re looking for a new grill, you’ll probably notice two main options – gas or charcoal. Gas vs. Charcoal. Charcoal vs. Gas grills. We’ve heard it every way possible. It’s an age-old debate amongst grilling enthusiasts around the country, with some swearing you can’t be the authentic taste from a charcoal grill, while others believe that a gas grill is much more convenient and easier to use.

Both grills have their pros and cons, so it’s down to your own preferences when deciding whether you should get a charcoal or gas grill. It’s important to choose the grill that best fits your persona preference, otherwise you might waste money on a product that won’t get much use. 

Let’s see what each type of grill has to offer to see what one is best for you! 

Advantages of a Gas Grill 

One of the big advantages of a gas grill is how easy it is to use. They turn on instantly and will heat up in around ten minutes, with the gas burners being very efficient heat regulators. 

Not only do they retain heat well, they also control it better than other grills, with the ability to adjust the temperature of the burners for cooking at different temperatures. 

There are a few ways to fuel the grill too. You can hook it up directly to your gas line for an endless supply of gas or buy individual propane tanks and connect these to the grill, both of which are usually cheaper than buying charcoal. 

Another selling point is the low maintenance needed for a gas grill. They are very easy to clean and won’t require much scrubbing, which isn’t the case with a charcoal grill, which creates a fair amount of mess when done cooking! 

Also, because each burner can be controlled individually you can create different heating zones to accommodate different cooking methods like direct radiant heat and convection heating. 

Disadvantages of a Gas Grill 

Gas grills are more expensive than a charcoal grill in most instances, especially when buying large models, so if you’re on a tight budget then it may not be suitable. 

They aren’t the most portable grill either and if you connect to a gas line don’t expect much manoeuvrability. This is something to bear in mind if you are tight on space in the yard and need something that can be easily moved around. 

 Advantages of a Charcoal Grill 

Charcoal grills burn at a much higher temperature, making them the better option for direct radiant heating. Because of this, it’s the better option for searing meats, producing a crispy brown surface on the outside of meat and a soft, succulent center. 

They also provide that iconic barbecue flavor, with the smoke produced from the charcoals cooking the food an embedding a smoky flavor into the food at the same time. Searing is also much better on this grill due to charcoal burning hotter than gas. 

Add some wood chunks and you get an even more produced smoked taste to your food, which is why most people want a grill! 

While a gas grill does produce some level of smokiness to the food, it’s nowhere near the same level as what you get from a charcoal grill. 

If you’re looking for a budget friendly grill then charcoal is the way to go, as it’s much cheaper than a gas grill, with basic models starting at around $50. 

They are also much easier to move around the yard, being compact and lightweight, especially compared to a gas grill.  

Disadvantages of a Charcoal Grill 

Setting up a charcoal grill can be difficult, as you need to light the charcoals and wait for them to start burning, which can take some time to get going. 

The charcoals are also quite messy, can get ash in the food, and burn at such high heats that regulating the temperature for cooking can be difficult. 

For instance, you can raise or lower the temperature using a burner like with a gas grill, so getting the right temperature can be difficult and limit what you can cook in some instances. 

It takes some time to master getting the right temperature with a charcoal grill, so a cooking thermometer is recommended to help with this.  

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