Are Gas Or Charcoal Grills Better

Smokey Flavor & Taste

Gas vs. charcoal: Which grill is right for you?

The best reason for cooking with charcoal is its reputation for great taste when grilling thicker meats. Some people love charcoal grills because of the smokey flavor that you can get in the meat you are cooking. For example, a thick piece of meat cooked slowly on a charcoal grill will get a lot of extra flavor from the smoke. This is different from a gas grill, because of the exposed coals. You can also use wood chips, healthy charcoal briquettes or other flavored cooking fuels on charcoal grills, for added and variety of flavor that will rival any steakhouse. As a result, some grill aficionados swear by charcoal grills for better taste on steaks and other thick red meats. If youre mainly looking for this type of great, authentic taste, then a charcoal grill could be your best bet.

What About Grilling And My Health

Some barbecue fans arent so worried about their health, figuring they are here for a good time not a long time. But for those who are concerned about being around for a long time as well, there are some factors to consider.

Char is a known carcinogen, and cooking with a charcoal means a lot more char ends up down your gullet.

Its not just the black crunchy bits on the surface of your food that you need to worry about. Meat cooked at high temperatures produces some of the compounds in question.

As we have established, charcoal grills are better at reaching those high temperatures, and controlling the temperature can be more of a struggle.

While controlling the temperature of a gas grill is easier, if you get a good enough gas grill you will still be capable of grilling at temperatures that give a good sear , so grilling with gas is not completely off the hook.

There needs to be more research done on just how many of these compounds need to be ingested before our health is significantly compromised, so it might not be time to panic just yet.

In the meantime, if you cant give up grilling over coal but are concerned, perhaps put a limit on how many times you eat meals cooked over coals per week, or consider grilling with a combination of gas and charcoal.

It may just be a good excuse to buy both a gas and a charcoal grill.

Wrapping it up

Or, perhaps you just need one of each

Benefits To Using A Gas Grill

One of the biggest benefits of a gas grill is that you dont have to wait on the charcoal to ignite. Many people who use gas enjoy it for the convenience. They can simply come home, turn it on and theyre ready to go. Along with the ease of using a gas grill, here are some other benefits you can expect from your purchase:

  • Gas fuel tends to be cheaper than charcoal.
  • It can be easier to clean up than charcoal.
  • You can hook your gas grill up to the gas line in your home for endless cooking fuel.
  • Some gas grills come with accessories such as side burners or smoke boxes. Using a smoke box can help you get a charcoal flavor from using a gas grill.
  • When cooking, gas grills give off steam, which some cooks say adds moisture to any meat youre preparing.

Gas grills are simple and easy to use. As long as you make sure to turn off the gas after use, they can make cooking pretty easy. Some gas grills are designed to use gas fuel as well as charcoal, so you can switch between the two. Keep in mind these grills tend to be expensive. Word of caution, if they arent expensive, they may not be good at handling different types of fuel.

Even with all of the benefits gas grills offer, there are some undesirable aspects as well.

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Food Cooks Fast And Evenly Over Gas

Gas grills give you more control over cooking time and temperature.

After the initial assembly of a gas grill, theres no prep time. Open the valve to let the propane flow, open the grill lid and press the starter button, and the flames appear. Close the lid to preheat the grill for a few minutes, and you’ll be cooking in no time.

Controlling the heat on a gas grill is much easier than on a charcoal grill. Simply turn a knobmarked low to high like your indoor rangeand watch the flame flicker or grow.

Many propane grills don’t get as hot as their charcoal counterparts, so there’s less of a chance of burning food.

Pros Of Charcoal Grills:


These grills are inexpensive, roughly $100-$300.

The flavor is excellent, and the food tastes better than on a gas grill because theres more control over the temperature.; For example, you can put as much charcoal as you want to achieve your desired heat output.; With gas grills, youre pretty much stuck with whatever temperature is recommended by the manufacturer.

They have been popular since the beginning of grilling, and most grill masters use charcoal in their backyard preps to achieve some great tastes.; Even restaurants that pride themselves on their culinary skills use charcoal .

Wood chips/chips are easy to obtain, and they give a nice smoky flavor.

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The Advantages Of A Kettle Grill

A kettle grill has a spherical top and bottom, and the design has been around for years and continually tweaked. A kettle grill allows air to circulate below the coals, allowing for better burning, and provides an easy way to clean ashes. The spherical top holds heat while putting the handle away from the hottest area. It is generally a large charcoal grill, making the kettle grill the ideal backyard grill for a family.

Plenty of grill space and easy cleanup make this Weber kettle grill an easy pick for backyard charcoal grilling. Weber

Simple but well-thought out, the original Weber Kettle Grill has been evolving and improving since 1952. The 22-inch-diameter grate holds 13 hamburgers at once and is hinged to make it easy to add more charcoal during cooking. One touch of a handle dumps ashes into an oversized catcher so you can keep the grill clean.

Cons Of Pellet Grills

Nevertheless, pellet grills do have a few cons that you should keep in mind before investing in a pellet vs. charcoal smoker:

  • More expensive than charcoal grills
  • Slightly higher fuel costs
  • Some people are not happy with how hot pellet grills get, as they cant achieve the higher temperatures achieved by most charcoal grills, particularly kamados, which can make searing less effective without special attachments or additional features on the grill
  • Require electricity to use

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Best Charcoal Grills As Reviewed By Professional Editors

If you are looking for a grill for your great barbecue, consider the charcoal grill. Because, the taste of the food from the charcoal grill is also much better. In this best charcoal grills review, we also take a look at the top 10 grills on the market now!

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Whats The Fight About

Is Charcoal Grill Better than Gas?

As you would expect, the main difference between gas and charcoal grills is the fuel used.

But what are the actual differences for you as a home griller?

Heres a basic run down:

As you can see, gas grills have some nice perks:

  • Gas grills are quick and easy to use, just twist the knob to ignite and change temperature
  • You can find a gas grill to suit most budgets
  • Higher end grills come with enough features you wont need to step foot in your kitchen again.

Charcoal, on the other hand, requires a little bit more technique;to light your charcoal and maintain your desired temperature.

  • Once you know how to keep your charcoal grill at the right temperature, however, these grills are made for searing, and will reach high temperatures with ease
  • Youll need to do a bit more work to clean and maintain a charcoal grill
  • In return you get mouth watering, authentic tasting food every time, without the need for expensive extras

Now you know what the gist of the argument is about, read on to learn whats fact and whats fiction in the charcoal vs gas debate.

Related; It doesnt have to be one or the other! Check out our guide to the best gas charcoal combo grills.

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What Food Are Gas Grills Best For

If you buy a basic gas grill without all bells and whistles, they will perform best grilling thinner cuts of meat such as burger patties, wings and sausages. When cooking thin cuts of meat, the lack of smoke flavor isnt noticeable at all.

If you are able to fork out for a more expensive gas grill, the skys the limit. With the addition of smoke boxes, rotisserie kits and searing zones, you can cook just about anything beautifully.

Now you know why both grills have their rabid fans.

But you might still be wondering:

If I can only choose one type of grill, is gas or charcoal best for me?

Read on to discover how these grills compare across 4 key categories.

Temperature Control And Management

Learning to manage the temperature of charcoal grills takes time and involves arranging the pieces of fuel, tweaking vents to control airflow, and a few other variables.

But youll still need to learn the cool and hot zones on your model, the best configuration of temperature settings across all burners, and be comfortable with adjusting the gas flow.

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Should You Get A Gas Grill Or A Charcoal Grill

Trying to select between gas and charcoal grills is not a simple process. It really boils down to personal preference for most people. The smoky flavor and quick sear of charcoal grilled food may be preferable for you. Or you may appreciate the precise temperature control and lack of mess found with a gas grill.

If you dont have a personal preference, think about how youll use the grill. For those who want portability in a grill above all else, a small charcoal grill can be taken anywhere. Propane grills are harder to take to a tailgate party.

If you need a huge cooking surface to handle big barbecue parties, the propane gas grill is a far better selection. And if that big group is hungry now and hates to wait, the gas grill allows you to start cooking immediately, which means youll be eating in less time, too.

Kyle Schurman is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Cons Of Charcoal Grills:


The process to start the grill is quite annoying because you have to light the coals up, wait for them to get hot enough, and then put your food on there .

It takes about 30 minutes or so before you can start cooking.; You also have to keep your grill in check by opening/closing the vents and putting more charcoals if its running low on heat.

Charcoal grills run out of fuel faster than gas grills . This is solved by investing in something called The Minion Method.; Its a way of using one charcoal briquette to start another and keep the fire burning.

You put your lit charcoals onto unlit charcoals until they catch fire.; It works for me all the time when Im grilling steaks or anything that takes roughly 20 minutes to finish.

They require more effort to maintain because you have to keep your grill running and monitor it every few minutes.

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How Charcoal Grills Work

Basic charcoal grills have three main components: the grill support, charcoal container, and cooking surface. More sophisticated models have since been developed, with some having additional tiered cooking surfaces as well as a hood to cover the grilling surface.

At the risk of stating the obvious, charcoal grills use charcoal as their fuel source. It is created through an intricate process that heats the wood to high temperatures in an oxygen-free sealed steel or clay box.

Youre probably wondering: Why go through this hassle instead of just burning the wood directly on the fire? Well, the answer to this has everything to do with the moisture content present in freshly cut wood.

Watery wood doesn’t make for a very efficient energy source. It also has a host of volatile hydrocarbons which evaporate when it is heated. This explains the smoke you observe when burning wood.

As you can imagine, having to deal with the stinging eye-pain and uncontrollable coughing triggered by clouds of smoke can make the entire grilling affair unpleasant, to say the least. Not to mention the increased risk for respiratory problems that may develop if you make this a habit. Not only does charcoal-fire give off an infinitesimal amount of smoke, but it also burns hotter than wood, which makes it ideal for barbecuing.

Charcoal Vs Gas Grills: Comparing Common Grill Fuel Types

Everyone has their preferred grill typesome enjoy the smokey flavor and deep sear marks of a charcoal grill, while others gravitate toward the precise temperature control and rapid cooking time of a gas grill. Comparing charcoal vs gas is an age-old debate that professional chefs, amateur cooks, and resident grill masters have debated for years. We are all entitled to our own opinion, but this battle of the flame got us thinking about the unique and distinctive features of each grill type and how they differ.

We know that charcoal briquettes give off that traditional backyard barbecue taste, whereas a gas grill allows you to pick up on the natural flavor of your ingredients so you can taste the meat and not the heat. Barbecue conversation typically revolves around whether you want cheese on your burger, but the real debate is deciding which fuel type is the best.

Sometimes, its as simple as letting your taste buds answer for you, but every grilling enthusiast should know the difference between both grill types. Thankfully, the experts at Albert Lee came up with a sizzling pros and cons list for charcoal and gas grills so you can make a confident culinary decision.

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Masterbuilt Gravity Series 560

Important specifications

  • Item Dimensions: 24.65 x 54.13 x 51.97 inches.

Product highlights

The Masterbuilt gravity charcoal grill smoker combo is like a pellet grill. But it is running on charcoal!

This best charcoal grill to buy combines a charcoal hopper with smart technology that allows you to set the temperature. Set the fire starter block. Then close the door and monitor when the grill reaches the desired temperature. And automatically controls it for you.

An internal fan controls the flow of air to the burning coal. Which controls how quickly the coals burn to settle at the desired temperature. And as the coals burn and turn to ash. They fall out of the hopper, down through the grate into the ash compartment. And gravity causes the fresh coals to fall and ignite, keeping the fire going.

Todays Best Deal:


  • Capable of the wide temperature range.

  • Smart digital control.

  • Short warranty time.

Bottom line

At 24.65 x 54.13 x 51.97 inches, this best wood charcoal grill weighs 147 lbs. So it’s not entirely sturdy, but carefully built and should last for many years. It has two fixed castors and two swivel lockable castors, making it easy to move and lock in place.

For cleanup after cooking, there’s a removable ash drawer that you simply take out and empty. A greased pan that catches dripping water and is easy to remove and clean.

Pros Of Charcoal Grills

Gas Grill vs Charcoal Grill – Which is Better?
  • Higher temperatures: Charcoal grills typically reach higher temperatures than gas grills and allow you to achieve those distinctive sear marks on your meat.
  • Smokey flavor: The high heat produces that succulent, smokey flavor, and any drippings from meat or veggies that fall onto the coals turn into ultra-flavorful steam that is transferred back into your food.
  • A more affordable option: Charcoal grills are more affordable compared to most gas grills. Charcoal grills start around $40, whereas most freestanding gas grills start around $200 to $300.

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Charcoal Versus Gas Grill: Which One Is Better

For the sake of your cookout guests, don’t screw up your burgers.

Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to charcoal and gas grilling. But is there a correct choice?

Rather than guessing which to use at your next cookout, weve rounded up the pros and cons of charcoal and gas grills so you can make a well-informed decision for what will be the tastiest choice of the summer.

Should You Get A Charcoal Grill Or A Gas Grill

The answer is clear: charcoal for flavor, gas for convenience.;

The prices are similar. The decision depends more on what is important to you.;

Do you prefer a grill thats easier to handle? Go with the gas grill. Do you want to have the full grilling experience? Go with the charcoal grill. Do you want to enjoy a barbecue on the weekends with your whole family? Charcoal grill. Do you think youll only use the grill occasionally with one or two guests? Gas grill.

Juan Sebastián Torres;is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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