Choosing a new grill is an exciting decision. There are a lot of choices which leave you asking what kind of grill should I buy? The two most common options you will see are gas or charcoal grills. Choosing one over the other depends on your budget, lifestyle, cooking preferences and tastes. We’ll go over the main differences to help you narrow down your search and get you grilling.
Charcoal grills are famous for the particular smoky flavor they give food when grilled. Some say you cannot get this same flavor with a gas grill. Charcoal grills tend to have options for direct and indirect heating while cooking. Charcoal grills also come in a variety of sizes that make them ideal for camping or tailgating. They also tend to cost less to run than gas grills and charcoal is widely available. Charcoal grills tend to be cheaper to purchase than gas grills with small charcoal grills starting around $100 while entry level gas grills start at $500 or more.
A charcoal grill start requires more time to heat up compared to gas grills. A frequently asked question is how long does it take for charcoal to be ready? It takes about 20-30 minutes for a charcoal grill to heat up and using lighter fluid to expedite the process can pose health risks. Using a charcoal grill also leaves the griller guessing at the temperature of the grill so investing in a grill thermometer may be an added expense. Lots of ash residue is a byproduct of charcoal grilling which makes cleaning up more of a hassle for some.
The main advantage to gas grills is the efficiency of heating it up. It only takes a few minutes to heat the grill up before it’s at the right temperature for grilling. If you wonder how to turn a gas grill off, simply turn the knob and shut off the gas. Temperature is also much easier to control on a gas grill because each burner is usually controlled by a dial.
As far as flavor goes, some prefer the taste of food cooked on a gas grill because it preserves the natural flavor of the food, while others prefer charcoal because of the smokiness it adds. Gas grills don’t need lighter fluid to ignite so this is a plus when considering health risks. Gas grills are often easier to clean since you just need to scrape the grates after each cooking session. This is more simple compared to charcoal which requires removing the ash.
Gas grills tend to be much more expensive to purchase than charcoal grills. Depending on how often you grill, the cost of replacing your propane tank can quickly add up. Generally, gas grills tend to take up more space than charcoal grills making them less than ideal for small spaces. To keep your grill running better for longer, more maintenance is required for drip pans, grates, and burners.
The charcoal vs gas grill debate has been around for a long time and each method has their ups and downs. Ultimately, it comes down to preference of cost, flavor, time and budget.
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