Nothing can beat the feeling of coming home after a long day and preparing a delicious meal on a grill with your family. Everyone has their unique way of barbecuing on different types of grills to get the best results. However, the most common types of grill options available in the market are a gas and a charcoal grill.
We understand that everyone has their reasons to use gas and charcoal grilling techniques. But you’re new to grills, you might get confused and often wonder – which type of grill is best for you? Is there a right grill choice for preparing delicious BBQ recipes?
Instead of guessing which type of grill to choose for your next cooking session, you need to go through the following list of pros and cons of both gas and charcoal grills. After reading the benefits and drawbacks of both these grills, you can easily make a well-informed decision for choosing the best grill for your summertime barbecuing sessions.
According to some hardcore barbecue lovers, charcoal is the only way to grill. This is because it offers a rich, smoky flavor to the BBQ food even with an attached smoker box. However, the gas grill cannot meet this flavor requirement.
Pros of Charcoal Grills:
* Charcoal grills can easily reach higher temperatures compared to gas grills. Usually, a grill is required to reach at least 600-degrees Fahrenheit temperature to get a nice sear on meat. This won’t be an issue with a grill filled with burning charcoals, as it can easily reach a temperature of up to 700-degrees Fahrenheit. Although some gas grills can reach higher temperatures, they generally are quite expensive.
* Using a charcoal grill, you can get the perfect smoky flavor on meat or veggies. Have you ever wondered how charcoal grills offer so much flavor? Well, the higher heat of the charcoal grill is the reason for attaining this smoky taste. When drippings from meat, veggies, or steak fall on the burning coals, they quickly turn into flavorful steam. And the smoke coming from this goes back into the meat and result in the perfect taste that people expect from charcoal grilling.
* Charcoal grills are quite affordable. A basic charcoal grill usually costs you around $25 and a moderately priced charcoal grill is priced at $150. The higher-end models do cost even more. But charcoal grills are still far less expensive compared to gas grills that generally cost between $130 to $300.
Cons of charcoal grills:
* Takes longer to heat up: The charcoal grills usually take around 15 to 20 minutes to reach their proper cooking temperature. On the other hand, gas grills can instantly light up and take only 10 minutes to attain the right cooking temperature.
* Fuel price adds up: While a 20-pound propane gas cylinder offers you around 25 days of full cooking time, a 20-pound charcoal bag yields only three grill sessions. Moreover, the type of charcoal used for cooking can also change the taste of your food. Plus, a clean-burning lump/hardwood charcoal could go up for around $35 to $40 for just a 20-pound bag.
* Cleaning a charcoal grill is quite troublesome: Unlike a gas grill that needs simply a quick scrub using a brush, a charcoal grill needs to be fully emptied of the used ashes before starting the cleaning process. You also need to follow the correct grill cleaning tips, as mentioned in the grill’s user manual or instructed by the charcoal grill supplier.
There’s no doubt about the fact that how convenient gas grills are in terms of better temperature control, quick heat up, and cooking. But all this comes with a price.
Pros of gas grills:
* Gas grills are good for the environment: It’s proven scientifically that gas grills are great in terms of health, as well as for the environment. This is because gas grilled meats include fewer carcinogens compared to charcoal-grilled meats. When it comes to the environment, gas grills have only one-third of the carbon footprint than that of charcoal grills. Hence, these grills are good for your, as well as the environment’s health.
* Instant start-up and temperature control: Just with a single push at the ignition button or turning a dial, you can easily start your gas grill. After quick preheating, your grill is ready for preparing food. On other other hand, charcoal grills need more time for heating up – as it depends on coals to heat up first. With gas grills, you can even go from the low heat temperature for the bone-in chicken to searing hot for steak or kebabs without stressing about moving around hot coals.
* Versatile: Using a gas grill, you can cook various delicate foods, like vegetables and fruits without burning them or overpowering your food with an excessive smoke flavor that often comes with the charcoal grilling. According to some expert grillmasters, you must use the gas grill for preparing shellfish and fish because you still attain amazing grilled flavor without adding extra smoke. But if you still need smoke flavor, you can add a smoke box for the smoky taste.
Cons of gas grills:
* More assembly time: Unlike the charcoal grill that is easier to set up, a mid-range gas grill is complicated to set up, assemble, and attach to a propane tank.
* Portability: While many portable gas grills are available in the market, it would be very difficult and dangerous to tow a big gas grill around to a beach or a park.
* Safety is a concern: While certain safety precautions need to be taken in any type of cooking, you need to be extra careful whenever you cook with a gas grill. You need to make sure that the propane tank is properly attached to the grill without leakage. Plus, your gas grill must be ten feet from your house and deck, as well as the grill must free from grease.
Which Grill is Better? How to Decide?
After reading the pros and cons of both charcoal and gas grills, you may have become aware of which particular features you want in your grill. If you like smoky flavor and won’t mind spending extra money on buying charcoal bags, you can go for the charcoal grill. But if you prefer quick grill time, the gas grill is a great option for you.