Top 5 Grills

Gas vs Charcoal Barbeques: Which is best?

Gas BBQ vs Charcoal BBQ

The age-old gas vs charcoal grill contest is often considered to be one of the biggest debates among grilling fans. While everyone has their own opinion about which is better than the other, none is wrong or right on this one. 

But before going to your local hardware store to purchase a grill, let’s compare and see their differences and also look at what to consider before making a purchase.

Napoleon RogueXT 525 Coyote S-Series Weber Summit Grill Saber 670 40 inch Weber Genesis II S-335
Rating
5.00
5.00
4.77
4.73
4.71
Cooking Area (sq in)
805
805
769
897
669
Max BTU
48,000
55,000
60,000
32,000
60,000
Ease of Set Up
5/5
5/5
4/5
4/5
4/5
Price Range
$$$
$$$$$
$$$$$
$$$$$
$$$
best 5 gas grills

Advantages of a gas grill 

 

  1. Gas grills are very convenient and easy to use. Once you press the ignition switch and turn on the dial, the grill immediately ignites to life, unlike charcoal grills which need more time to heat up. 
  2. Cleaning a gas grill is easier than cleaning a charcoal grill. Handling a charcoal grill can become a messy business with all the scrubbing and ash disposal as opposed to a gas grill which only needs to be wiped down after grilling meat
  3. They accurately set temperatures with precision and they are faster to cook with. The real benefit of regulating temperature is being able to decide how hot you want the grill to be based on what you’re cooking e.g. high temperatures for searing steaks
  4. The best gas grills produce steam which is said to enhance the content of moisture in the meat being prepared. This happens when drippings from what you’re cooking hit the flames below & are vaporized, making smoke and steam. 
Best Gas Grills 2021

 Disadvantages of using a gas grill

 

  1. Gas grills don’t have the uniform cover of heat that charcoal grills provide. Because of this, manufacturers have added extra technologies such as ceramic plates and lava rocks to compensate for the uneven heat distribution.
  2. They are not the best for smoking because it is hard to impart the charcoal smoky taste to your meat. Most lids for gas grills don’t seal properly, so most of the smoke gets lost and you will have to add more charcoal to get the smoky taste.
  3. The intensity of the heat of a gas grill is less compared to that of a charcoal grill. When it comes to searing, most charcoal grills outdo gas grills because they produce a lot more heat.
  4. Gas grills are significantly more expensive than charcoal grills. Their mechanisms are more complicated as well as their assembly. You cannot compare the cost of fuel for both types of grills because they are almost the same.
Portable Kitchen Weber Original Kettle Weber Original Kettle Premium Weber Master Touch Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050
Rating
4.81
4.76
4.72
4.72
4.40
Cooking Area (sq in)
301
363
363
443
1050
Burger Count
12
20
17
17
18
Ease of Set Up
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
Price Range
$
$
$
$
$$

Advantages of having a charcoal grill

 

  1. Quality charcoal grills provide a uniform hot blanket of heat that is perfect for searing meat. You can sear meat in high temperatures, large cuts can be slow-cooked, ribs and briskets can be cooked indirectly or placed directly on hot charcoal.
  2. Charcoal grills are considerably cheaper to purchase and maintain than gas grills. Parts of a gas grill that need regular maintenance include; burner shields, burner tubes, thermometer, and propane regulators. Charcoal grills only require routine cleaning, removing the ashes, and oiling the charcoal grate.
  3. They are easier to move around than gas grills and lots of people love the smoky flavor charcoal grills provide. Gas grills can be heavier to carry around and their propane tanks can be a hazard if not properly handled.
  4. Charcoal grills produce a tastier smoky flavor to your meat. The nice smoky taste is achieved particularly when you close the lid of the grill and let the meat cook with charcoal that is not completely lit. You can also add wood chunks to the grill which have specific flavors such as cherry or hickory.
Best Charcoal Grills 2021

Disadvantages of a charcoal grill

 

  1. Handling charcoal can be a messy affair and it will need a thorough cleaning after. You have to clean up the ash left on the grill after using the grill. By using a shovel, tongs, or gloves, you will not need to physically handle the charcoal.
  2. Charcoal grilling tends to be more laborious because of the long starting time and the occasional addition of wood. Charcoal tends to lose its heat especially over long cooks which is the reason for adding more wood.
  3. Charcoal grills are just that. They don’t have any extra features. They are not like gas grills which come with extra features such as rotisserie kits, infrared sear burners, barbecue thermometers, grill cleaning, and cooking tools.
  4. Controlling the temperature of a charcoal grill is tougher than that of a gas grill because it requires you to increase or decrease the flow of air by adjusting the grill vents. Gas grills have heat regulators which make it easy to manage the amount of heat in the grill.  There are some great guides on how to use a charcoal grill.

What to consider when choosing between the two

Weber Summit Grill Center Night Lights
Weber Summit Grill Center Night Lights

Ease and convenience: For those looking for convenience and ease then the gas grill would be the best choice because you won’t have to take the extra time to light up the charcoal grill. You only need to flick the switch and the barbecue is on.

Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 Grill Size
Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050

Flavors: For the people who want to feel the flavors and have the fun of playing with fire, charcoal grilling is the way to go. As the meat cooks in the grill, it absorbs all that thick, tangy, soothing taste of the smoke, producing an all-natural and unique smoky flavor.  

best 5 gas grills

Safety: Always be extra careful when using your gas grill. The propane tank should be correctly attached to the gas grill to avoid any leaks and the grill should be mounted not less than ten feet from your house. Why? To prevent any house fire that may be caused by a propane tank explosion.

Napoleon Rogue XT 525
Napoleon Rogue XT 525

Cost: An individual with a low budget can go for the charcoal grill since their prices range between $50 and $450. Gas grills on the other hand are quite expensive because the initial purchase cost ranges from $150 to $5,000+ depending on the features they have.

Coyote S-Series 30
Coyote S-Series 30

Ease of controlling temperature: With a simple turning of a knob, you can adjust the temperature of a gas grill. Charcoal grills have damper controls that allow you to regulate the amount of oxygen coming in thereby producing the high intensity of heat in the grill. Which means what?  That it is more difficult to maintain & control the desired temperature of a charcoal grill.

Weber Master Touch Easy Cleaning
Weber Master Touch Easy Cleaning

Ease of maintenance: It is easier to clean and maintain gas grills because they don’t experience soot build-up and you don’t have to clean the ashes leftover on a charcoal grill. Charcoal grills need to be scrubbed more regularly than gas grills. Learn how to clean a gas grill.

Weber Original Kettle Premium
Weber Original Kettle Premium

Appearance: This is mostly a tie because there are dozens of good-looking gas and charcoal grills to choose from. Grills come in all kinds of designs such as stainless steel or beautifully colored porcelain enamel. They also come in colors such as cobalt blue, teal, and bright red.

Weber Summit Grill Center Propane Gas Grill
Weber Summit Grill Center

The verdict

Both gas and charcoal grills have their advantages and disadvantages however only you can decide which of the two types of grills is best for you and your family.

There are countless grilling recipes out there and you cannot go wrong either way. So whichever of the two grills you decide to buy, it will be a great feeling to invite your friends over for some delicious food that you’ve cooked yourself.

Read here safety tips for gas and charcoal grilling.

best 5 gas grills