The Most Delicious Debate

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Home and Garden

Charcoal vs Gas Grills

Why is it always a competition?

The charcoal versus gas or even electric debate has been discussed decade after decade since the 1950s.

We truly feel it’s a preference thing.  In fact, it shouldn’t be a versus, but a more inclusive “and”.  Charcoal and gas grills both have their rightful spots as being king of their respective thrones.  They both serve different purposes while achieving a similar result, although the tastes are incomparable.

Charcoal grills typically used to dominate this discussion but as technology has advanced over the years, gas grills have improved a great deal.

The conversation about indirect and direct heating comes into play too with grilling.  Direct heating means to cook food directly over the charcoal or gas flame.  Direct heating is the fun and exciting kind of cooking that produces crispy sears and sexy grill marks.  Direct heating is the most common when it comes to grilling, due to the quick-fire nature and the crispy texture it dishes out.

Indirect heating can apply to grilling too as indirect heating means to place the food adjacent to the heat source.  You can grill whole chicken and ribs and even baked potatoes in indirect heat.

Convenience and ease of use plays a big factor in deciding which is best but even then, folks typically don’t want to miss out on the smoky flavor of the charcoal grill.

Both grill types have their pros and cons and we will take a look at which grill is ideal for what and examine the pros and cons of each.

 

bbq grill

 

 

Charcoal Grills

Pros:

  • The flavor. Charcoal grill flavor and taste is simply unmatched.  Charcoal grills produce a delicious, rich and smoky flavor in your meats and vegetables alike.  The charcoal and fire create smoke that can’t be replicated, or you can use wood chips in place of the charcoal.  Either way, you are getting extra flavor and deeper taste profiles you can’t get from a gas grill.

As the drippings from your grill contents hit the coals or wood chips, steam packed with flavor rises back up through the food, creating an extremely unique taste you can only get from the charcoal grill.

  • Charcoal grills are less expensive than gas grills. Use those cost savings to stock up on grill tools like tongs, a grill brush, and high-quality steaks!
  • When it comes to heat, Charcoal grills can reach extremely hot temperatures. You need these high temperatures to achieve beautiful sears for steaks.  While you can achieve grill marks with lower temperatures, capturing the perfect crispy sear is the cornerstone for a great steak.

 

Cons:

  • Charcoals grills tend to have a lengthy heat up time.
  • A bag of charcoal will yield you about three grilling sessions on average while a similar size propane tanks can last up to a month!
  • Cleanup for a charcoal grill can get messy. While you want to clean it regularly and prevent clean up from being so tedious, emptying charcoal bits and used ash isn’t the cleanest hobby.

 

grill

 

Gas Grills

Pros:

  • Gas grills are super convenient. Gas grills are the preferred choice on a weekday night after taking the kids to soccer practice.  They have a much quicker startup time as opposed to charcoal grills.  Simply press the ignition button and turn the dial. Voila!
  • The temperature control for gas grills are similar to your indoor kitchen. You can change the temperature setting for different meats without having to locate heat zones on charcoal grills.  Sometimes you may not want smoky baked potatoes and mangos.

 

Cons:

  • Safety is a major concern with a gas grill. Always perform a safety check prior to grilling.  Inspect the propane tank closely for leaks and rust.  Your grill needs to be free from grease and a fair distance away from your home as another safety precaution.

In our humble opinion, you can’t go wrong either way.

Just make sure you season and cook the food properly because both of these grills will do their jobs!

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