Gas vs. Charcoal Grills

 

Information About Choosing a Gas or Charcoal Grill

 

      Most of us know that both gas and charcoal grills are great for cooking and grilling just about anything from veggies to seafood.  However, when it comes down to the choice of using gas or charcoal, most people usually find themselves in either in one camp or the other.  If fact, a little less than 70 percent of grill owners choose to purchase a gas for its ease of operation and heat control, while the other 30 percent are likely diehard charcoal fans.  Either way, they both have their pros and cons and strengths and weaknesses.  Here we’ll compare the two and make it easier to make the though choice between a gas or charcoal grill.

 

Cost

 

      Comparing the cost of purchasing and operating a gas or charcoal grill is certainly a challenge.  To start, gas grills can cost anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 times as much as a charcoal grill of similar quality.  At the same time, most gas grills have far more features and accessories than your standard charcoal grill.  So in the end you get what you pay for, but when choosing gas it’s usually a bit more expensive.  On the other hand, if you choose to go with propane or natural gas, operating your grill will cost you significantly less in the long run.  This holds true especially with natural gas which costs about 55 cents for every hour of use, while propane will run about 1.75 dollars per hour on the average 50,000 BTU gas grill.  Charcoal, however, will cost about 4 dollars for the same time period, depending on the type of coals you prefer.


Gas vs Charcoal Grill ImageEase of Use

      Usually in the gas vs charcoal debate this is where almost everyone can agree that gas is the clear winner.  With a gas grill there’s no stacking up charcoal with sooty hands, using lighter fluid, or waiting 20 minutes for the coals to heat up.  Plus, you never have to replenish coals to keep the fire going and there’s much less to clean up afterwards.  With a gas grill, it’s easier to grill on a weekday evening, so they generally get more use from their owners.  The bottom line is that gas grills are much more convenient and easier to use.

  

Cooking Performance and Taste

 

      When it comes to cooking performance and taste most grilling enthusiasts have strong opinions about gas and charcoal grills.  The charcoal fans will say that you can’t get the kind of temperatures and flavors from gas grills that you can from charcoal.  One day this may have been true, but not today.  With all the enhancements in gas grills over the last few years, you can really get a great end result.  With smoker trays and infrared burners, gas grills has never tasted so good!  The ability to sear steaks on an infrared burner better than on a charcoal grill is a major plus for gas grills.  After all, there is a reason why the majority of high end steak houses use infrared to cook their meats.  In addition, with charcoal grills, it’s hard to keep a constant heat for slow roasting or much less trying to rotisserie something.  Plus, if you’re not yet convinced, gas grills are much better for the environment and your health.

 

      Overall, the choice between gas and charcoal really comes down to personal preference.  If you like to grill on a regular basis, end up with great tasting food, and not fool around with stacking and cleaning out charcoal, then a gas grill is probably a perfect fit for you.

  

Gas

Charcoal

Pros

  Lots of features and accessories

  Generally higher quality

  More Convienent and quicker

  Gas grills are easier to use

  High heat infrared burners

  Consistent wide range heat control

  Cleaner and healthier

  Less clean up afterwards

  Fuel is less expensive

 

Cons

  No traditional charcoal flavor

  Grills are more expensive up front

Pros

  Cheaper up front cost

  Traditional charcoal flavor

  Easier to smoke certain foods 

  A little more portable

  Fun to play with fire

 

Cons

  More time consuming

  Stacking and lighting dirty charcoal

  Clean up  

  Uneven heating and control 

  Constant rebuilding of coals

  Hard to cook certain foods


 

 



 

 

 

 

 

  

 

   
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