Summer is two seasons away but for serious grillers, anytime is the best time to fire up the grill. Two of the most popular types of grills are gas and charcoal grill and we know the debate over which grill is better can get heated among connoisseurs.
We’ve already reviewed some of the best gas-powered grills in the business but what about the charcoal grill? Is the former superior to the latter? Is the taste difference distinct between these grillers? If you’re wondering which of these grills to get and you’d like to know more about each product, our in-depth buying guide should help you narrow down your options:
Advantages and Disadvantages
Most grill purists believe that grilling should be strictly done using a charcoal grill, with the majority of grilling connoisseurs saying the taste difference between charcoal and gas powered grills is significant. But is charcoal grill really superior to gas grills? Traditional grillers love charcoal grill partly because of the ritual of tending the fire and manning the ‘que.
Advantages of Charcoal Grill
Charcoal grill burns hotter than standard grills and this is critical when cooking. The hot temps can reach up to 700 Fahrenheit so charcoal grill can sear thick steaks and come out pink on the inside and browned on the outside.
Distinct Smoky Flavor
One of the most important factors to consider when buying the grill is the taste. And the reason why most purists prefer charcoal grill is the distinctive smokiness that a charcoal grill lends to cooked food. Because charcoal grills are powered by charcoal, the smoky flavors add depth to the taste of the grilled food, something that’s hard to replicate with a standard gas-powered grill.
Charcoal grills are more flexible in terms of sizes, some are so compact that they can be used indoors and outdoors. On the other hand, gas grills are typically bulky and heavy so they are not the best choice for outdoor cooking.
Manning the barbecue is a skill and it takes time to master the art of coming out with perfectly cooked grilled foods using a charcoal grill. Using a charcoal grill requires a good eye for doneness and keen ability to tame and tweak the fire. The ritual of grilling the old-fashioned way is often times more important than anything else for connoisseurs.
Basic and high-end charcoal grills – even those that come with all the bells and whistles – are more affordable than their gas-powered counterparts. As far as price points go, the charcoal grill is the most economical choice.
Disadvantages of Charcoal Grill
Dealing with charcoal is a dirty job. Apart from using gloves, shovel, and tongs, cleaning up the grease, grime, and ashes after grilling can be a pain for most people.
Longer Cooking Time
It takes a while to set up all your gears to start grilling and even more time to cook the food. That’s because the temperature is harder to control with a charcoal grill. For the uninitiated, the longer cooking time is enough to discourage them from using a charcoal grill. There’s also the risk of uneven cooking or food being burned to a crisp because the temp is hard to control.
Charcoal grilling means keeping an eye on the grill at all times, controlling the temperature, and taming grease fire to keep your food from being burned or worst, burning your house down.
Advantages of Gas-Powered Grill
Let’s face it, a gas-powered grill is so easy to use, even those who are new to grilling won’t have a hard time setting up the fire and grilling the food. Compared to a charcoal grill, gas-powered grills are infinitely easier, faster, and more convenient to use.
With just a flip of a switch, you can control the temperature, allowing you to cook meats, poultry, and fish perfectly with a gas-powered griller. There’s no danger of your food being burned to a crisp because the temperature controls of a gas-powered griller are precise, offering more flexibility in terms of how you want the end results to be.
Using a gas-powered griller means never dealing with a lot of ash and this will do wonders to your cleanup routine. If you hate the cleanup after cooking, opt for a gas-powered grill.
Disadvantages of a Gas Powered Grill
On average, gas-powered grills reach a temperature of 450°, which is not hot enough to sear a thick slab of meat without overcooking the insides.
Gas-powered grills are more expensive than charcoal grills. And apart from being expensive, gas-powered grills require more maintenance so this will add up to the initial cost of purchasing this product.
No Smoky Flavor
Because gas-powered grills do not require charcoal for cooking, grilled foods do not have the distinct smoky flavor that charcoal grilled foods have.
Gas VS Charcoal Grill: Which is the Best Choice for You?
As you can see, charcoal and gas-powered grills have their own advantages and disadvantages so your choice will depend on your preference. If say, you’re a traditionalist who lives for the ritual of old-school grilling and you crave for smoky meats, then get a charcoal grill. On the other hand, if you’re after convenience and precision, a gas-powered grill is the best choice.