Comparing charcoal to gas grills

Both types of grills have their supporters, pros and cons

Stock image. Pixabay (Pexels)

With summer and Father’s Day around the corner, that means peak grilling season is just about here, if it isn’t already.

Those who are searching for a good Father’s Day gift might be looking at grills as an option, but might not know which one is best to purchase.

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There are two main types of grills, those being charcoal and gas. Charcoal grills rely on burning coals to heat, while gas grills rely on a hookup to a natural gas line or a propane tank to heat up.

Here are the big differences, and pros and cons, of each type, according to Taste of Home.

Charcoal grills

Those who prefer charcoal grills feel it’s the best option for the following reasons:

  • Flavor. Charcoal grills can give a rich, smoky flavor to foods that gas grills don’t. Drippings from various foods can fall on hot coals, and then turn into flavorful steam and smoke that goes right back into the food.
  • Cost. A decently-priced one might only set you back roughly $200, while a basic one can likely be found for under $100. Good gas grills can range from $600 to $1,000, roughly. However, it should be noted that a 20-pound bag of charcoal will likely last three grilling sessions, while a propane can tank might provide around 25.

However, there are some drawbacks to charcoal grills. One, they take longer to heat up compared to a gas grill. Two, it can be a mess to clean up afterwards with all the ashes left behind.

Gas grills

For those who like gas grills, they have these advantages:

  • More versatile cooking. If you’re not cooking a steak or other kind of meat that is better with a smoky flavor, then gas grills are a better option. Foods such as fish, fruits and vegetables are examples of what is better to cook with a gas grill. Meats that require lower heat are also easier to cook on gas grills.
  • Easier heating. With the flick of a button, gas grills can be turned on and it takes less time to reach a desired temperature compared to charcoal grills.
  • Easier cleanup. It often takes a quick brushing to clean up a mess on a gas grill.

In addition to being more expensive and not providing the rich, smoky flavor that charcoal grills provide, gas grills can also be harder to assemble upon purchase. You also have to be more environmentally conscious to make sure there aren’t leaks in valves, connections are secure, and a grill is far enough away from a house.

It’s all about who’s doing the grilling

So, is there a type that’s better to buy? Not really, as both have their pros and cons. It all depends on the preferences of the person doing the grilling or the person you are shopping for. But both can get the job done and produce a great barbecue for summer. Happy grilling!

About the Author

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.

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