Now that it is grill season again, you have the choice of either gas or charcoal. You may be using a gas grill, but you may be considering a charcoal grill to use on the weekends. It is easy to turn on the gas valve, hit the ignite button and instantaneously have a fire.
But maybe you think something is missing! Maybe it’s getting your hands dirty arranging the charcoal, the time standing around watching the coals get hot or even the smell of the charcoal burning. Whatever it is, there is something nostalgic about grilling with charcoal.
Yeah sure there is more clean up, you have to get rid of the used up coals. And then there is always the possibility that the coals will burn out in the middle of cooking. That wouldn’t happen with a gas grill unless you let the gas tank run out.
But there are also a lot of benefits to grilling with charcoal, which leads us to this article. Let’s look at the pros and cons of grilling and charcoal and figure out how they affect the style of cooking.
We put the question of gas vs. charcoal to a couple of professional chef friends who had opposite positions. Although their preferences were different, they both came up with great reasons why they choose their style.
One chef listened and then said, “Yes, charcoal grills are more work and what type of grill you use will depend on your lifestyle and the amount of time you have available, but in the end you can’t compare gas grilling to charcoal grilling. Forget about it, charcoal wins hands down.”
When we asked why he was so enthusiast toward charcoal he said, “Because with charcoal, you add more flavor and you can make a hotter fire and heat is your friend.”
The other chef we spoke with favored a gas grill for the convenience and felt you could achieve the same great tasting food by various cooking methods, food prep, and the use of woods for a smoky flavor.
Who’s right? There is no right answer and it really just depends on personal preferences. It really depends on your life style and how often you plan to use the grill. Look at the list of benefits for both gas and charcoal to see which fits best into your lifestyle.
Benefits of Gas and Charcoal Grills
- Push Button Convenience
- No messy charcoal to deal with
- Easy to start
- Control temperature with a dial
- Control temperatures for longer periods of time
- Can still use wood for smoky flavor
- Wind is not a factor
- More heat
- Hotter grill
- Flavor from charcoal
- More intense smells
- More hands on experience