Guard Your Grill: Charcoal vs. Gas Grills
Division is human nature. If there is more than one option for anything, then NO ONE will agree on one side. Sometimes, this disagreement can become quite vehement, and one area that gets a substantial helping of this vehemence happens at what is supposed to be a friendly event: a cookout. And the crux of the disagreement?
How you grill your food: charcoal or gas.
This issue can be debated until everyone is blue in the face and half ready to come to blows over the best way to sear a steak, and such emotional discourse won’t help you when it comes time to buy your own grill. You need objective, unemotional facts to help you figure out which is REALLY best for you: a charcoal grill or a gas grill.
To help you figure out the best fuel for your barbecues, just read the following list of pros and cons of both fuel types, and hopefully, these facts help you decide on a new grill better than your impassioned fuel-enthusiast friends can:
Charcoal Grills - the Pros
As soon as you sink your teeth into anything cooked on a charcoal grill, the primary draw becomes evident: that smokey flavor. The food absorbs the aroma put off by the natural burn from the grill, a feature which is lacking from a gas grill.
Also giving charcoal an edge over gas grills is its price. Generally, charcoal grills run only about $50 to $450, and this price range is quite affordable for even the most novice griller.
On top of these benefits, charcoal grills have an edge over gas grills because charcoal grills get hotter than their competition. Greater heat means a better sear on whatever you cook, so of course, charcoal grills are the number-one option if you like a good sear.
Cons of Using Charcoal Grills
If you aren’t confident with handling an open flame, charcoal might deter you. With charcoal, you deal with an open flame that can be hard to control if you don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t want your cookout to become a disaster, and if you’re particularly inept at reigning in a flame, that’s just how one might end.
And speaking of fire: If you want to maintain one, you’ll need to keep the charcoals replenished. So if you’re the “set it and forget it” kind of cook, a charcoal grill might be a little more involved for your liking.
Even if you can handle the busy cooking process, there’s still the after-cooking process. Charcoal grills make a LOT of mess. There’s ash and leftover coal and all other manners of nastiness to clean up after the meal is done. So if you can handle the flames and involved cooking process, you might be deterred by the busy aftermath.
Gas Grills - the Pros
If you’re looking for easy, “set it and forget it” cooking, then gas is the option for you. With gas, you don’t have to set coals, soak them with fluid, light them, and wait for a flame to build up. Just turn a knob, and bam! Instant fire, no waiting.
Gas is also good for the cook who lacks the skills to be a firebender. The heat from a gas grill is even and consistent, meaning no potential for disaster, even for the most inexperienced griller.
And for the cook who doesn’t want to spend all that time preparing a meal only to spend more time cleaning the grill after it, gas grills are the better option. They are amazingly clean, meaning no ashes, no muss, and no fuss!
Cons of Owning a Gas Grill
You’ll notice the first drawback with gas grills before you even put the meat on: They’re COSTLY, ranging from $139 to $5,000. So if you’re not sure whether gas is for you, it might be hard to find out whether it is since you might not want to spend the money on something you might not even like.
And though their clean design is definitely a draw if you don’t want a lot of cleanup after cooking, that design does prevent meat cooked on a gas grill from getting that lovely smokey flavor. If you’re a die-hard fan of that flavor, then gas is absolutely the wrong option for you.
The Bottom Line
Everyone loves a nice cookout. Don’t let the heated debate over the best kind of grill to use put a damper on it. Make the decision for yourself using facts, not feelings. And once you’re settled and ready to have the best grill for you installed, just give the experts at Fireplaces & Stuff a call! We’ll get your new grill set up and ready to entertain in no time! We've been installing fireplaces and selling top quality grills in Longview, TX for decades. You can count on our experts to know their stuff, and help you choose the perfect grill for your needs.