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.
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Pros And Cons Of Gas Grills
- They light up immediately so you can begin cooking within minutes.
- Control the temperature easily by adjusting the knobs.
- Cleanup is comparatively minimal – simply turn off the grill and scrape away anything left on the grate.
- They arent infused with that delicious smokey flavor that youll taste with charcoal grills.
- They can be more expensive than charcoal grills.
- Fuel tanks can be more costly than charcoal briquettes.
In the end, both types of grills offer advantages and disadvantages. If youre looking for something cheaper that offers great flavor and dont mind a bit of cleaning, charcoal grills are the way to go. If youre interested in convenience and grilling quickly, then gas grills are for you. Bonus Tip Grill Storage: Regardless of the grill you choose, your new equipment is an exciting purchase that you and your family will enjoy for years to come. Protect your latest investment with a weather-resistant cover and properly store it in a safe location when not in use. For added safety, keep an eye on your grill with a CPI Outdoor Camera.
Whats The Fight About
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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How Does A Gas Grill Work
On the inside, the gas grill is a bit more complicated than the charcoal grill. The gas grill uses natural gas or propane gas to fuel the fire. The gas grill comes with heat plates to distribute the burners heat, minimizing flare-ups and preventing burner damage. Even though getting it to run is more complicated than the charcoal grill, the gas grill is easier to handle.
Smokey Flavor & Taste
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.
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Comparing Gas Grills To Charcoal
For those who love to grill, the debate over gas grills versus charcoal grills creates frequent arguments that sometimes become more heated than the grill itself.
If youre ready to purchase a grill, youll need to decide between a propane gas or a charcoal grill before you buy you cant go back and forth between the two heating sources inside a single grill unit.
Choosing between propane and charcoal grills is not easy. Ultimately, a gas grill is easier to use and generates far less mess than a charcoal grill. However, some people just love the traditional smoky flavor that charcoal grilling creates for food.
Diversified Energy: Your Propane Company
If youve chosen a propane gas grill over a charcoal unit and also use propane for other cooking appliances, or have your outdoor gas grill hooked up to a gas line, you can rely on Diversified Energy to provide the propane you need.
Diversified Energy is a leading East Coast propane supplier, offering delivery, installation, and repair services for propane products, gas lines, and storage tanks throughout NC and parts of PA, SC, and VA. An automatic home delivery system is available to its 25,000 customers. Come join the Diversified Energy family and get cooking.
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Pros And Cons Of An Electric Grill
While many people are going to focus on the cons of electric grills, we here at LTB believe in giving things a fair shake. Were going to look at the pros first and finish up with the cons.
- Few restrictions: for many people electric is the only choice. Apartment or condo rules prohibit or restrict what many people can do, leaving an electric grill as the only viable choice. Well, they could always not grill, but come on thats not really a choice at all, is it?
- Can be difficult to get enough heat to cook well on: how much heat it generates is going to be a function of design more than anything. Check out the overviews of some of the better electric grills listed above.
- Heating up can take some time: if youre used to the near immediacy of gas, this can be frustrating. Not so much if coming from a charcoal background.
- Cooking times can, well, take some time: Pretty self-explanatory and we dont want to beat a dead horse, here. Rather we want you to know what youre getting into.
- Dont expect authentic grilled flavor: somewhere between a little and a lot of the flavor of food cooked on gas or charcoal comes from the heat and flame. While some of these little devils pump out an impressive amount of heat, the flame just doesnt exist but come on, you knew that already, right?
How To Start A Charcoal Grill
How to Light a Charcoal Grill with Lighter Fluid
Lighter Fluid Safety: Always remember to store your lighter fluid properly when not in use. Keep the container sealed tight and away from flammable materials and heat sources.
Lighting a Charcoal Grill with a Chimney
To some, chimneys can feel like the safer alternative to lighting charcoal without using lighter fluid. If you decide to use a chimney, follow these steps:
- Add coals to the chimney so that it is full but not overflowing.
- Place starters like newspaper, paper cups, or wood chips underneath the chimney.
- Light the starters from the bottom of the chimney.
- Once you see flames at the top of the chimney, carefully flip it to pour out the coals.
- Cover them with the grate once the coals turn white, and youre ready to cook!
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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.
Charcoal Vs Gas Grill Also Known As The Great Debate Our Simple Pros And Cons List Will Help You Decide Which Grill Is Best For Your Family
Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to charcoal and gas grilling. Which type of grill is the best? Is there a correct choice for whipping up amazing grilling recipes? 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.
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Drawbacks To Using A Gas Grill
One of the main drawbacks to using a gas grill is that they tend to be more expensive than charcoal grills. They also have a few other things going against them:
- If your grill is hooked up to your gas line, it yields limited mobility.
- They can be difficult to move around with the heavy tanks.
- Uncontrolled flare-ups can create a fire hazard.
- Gas doesnt burn as hot as charcoal.
If you enjoy grilling out while camping or visiting your local park, you may not be able to bring your gas grill along. It can be a bit of a hassle to move around.
Charcoal Pros And Cons
Charcoal purists are vehement and border on snobbery. They who would never ever never own a gas grill. They claim it is the flavor, but for me, a lot of it is the thrill of playing with fire and the ritual.
The real reason to buy a charcoal grill is that charcoal can get hotter than standard gas grills, and heat is what you need to get steaks and lamb crisp on the outside and red or pink on the inside. Charcoal grills typically cook up to 500F. If you use a lot of coals or if the coals are raised close to the cooking surface, they can cook as hot as 700F. When I get my hands on top quality lamb or beef, I use bricks to raise the charcoal grate on my Weber Kettle to within 1″ of the meat and the result looks and tastes as good as anything you can get at Morton’s . My favorite charcoal grills have a crank that let you raise and lower the charcoal bed.
On the down side: Charcoal is dirty to handle it can be hard to light it takes about 15 minutes longer to get up to temp there can be flare-ups that can burn the food and that is a health risk it is hard to tell what temp you are cooking at the temperature cannot be turned down rapidly during long cooks it slowly loses heat and you need to add more charcoal charcoal grills rarely have rotisseries and there is a lot of ash to clean up after.
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The Drawbacks Of Gas Grills
The biggest downside to owning a gas grill is not being able to bring it while on the go. Gas grills lack portability. However, there are travel-sized grills, but even they are difficult to bring on the go. In fact, travel size grills are often considered dangerous.
If someone is going to buy a travel-size gas grill, then they should choose a lightweight model. Theyll also want to make sure it is equipped with safety mechanisms. Finally, they should choose a travel-size grill that has far more positive reviews than negative reviews.
It doesnt matter what type of cooking someone is doing, there are safety and cleaning precautions they should follow. However, a person needs to be extra careful when they are cooking food on a gas grill. If they arent, then they can potentially start a fire.
A good safety precaution to take is to ensure the propane tank is properly attached to the grill. Not only that, but the gas grill shouldnt be too close to the home. Finally, its a good idea to ensure a gas grill is free from grease each and every time its going to be used.
Another con is the amount of time it takes to set up a gas grill. Assembling a gas grill can be time-consuming, due to having to attach a propane tank to it. Charcoal grills on the other hand are quick and very simple to assemble.
Charcoal Gas Or Electric Grill: Which Is Best
The debate over charcoal versus gas can get heated, and adding newer electric grills in to the mix only fuels the fire. The one simple thing you need to know is that choosing the best fuel typecharcoal, gas, or electricfor you is primarily a matter of taste and convenience. Beyond that, a few other factors can help you make the right decision.
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Grilling Over Gas Is Objectively Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Charcoal
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Grilling on a holiday, when you’ve got the day off, is easy. You can take your time, pull out your artisanal hardwood charcoal, light it in your chimney starter, build a perfect two-level fireand then lovingly tend your rib eye, chicken breasts, or pork ribs. Holiday grilling is hobby grilling.
But what about the 22nd of June, or the 12th of Augustwhen temps are in the 80s and all you want is to be in your backyard with a beer and a hunk of meat to cook? Instead, it’s 6 pm, you’re at the office, the kids need to eat by 7, and you still have to go to the store.
This, my friend, is why a gas grill rules.
Look, I like cooking on charcoal too. It has one indisputable advantage over gas: It gets much hotter. Glowing coals are at a temperature of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit while gas burns at around 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit, there’s very little radiant heat from the flames.
Charcoal purists will tell you their preferred fuel leads to better flavor. This is nonsense.
And radiant heat is what’s really cooking your food on a grill. That’s why gas grills use some sort of surface to create radiation, whether it’s lava rocks or ceramic plates or the “Flavorizer Bars on my Weber. These surfaces are heated by the gas flame, creating the radiant heat generated naturally by charcoal.
Nothing in that process relies on charcoal.
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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