Charcoal vs. Gas Grills: The Heated Debate

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Jan 7, 2016 7:41:05 AM

Charcoal GrillThe only question more highly debated than, "Which came first: the chicken or the egg?" is, "Which is better: gas or charcoal grills?"

Grillers since the dawn of time have argued over whether charcoal or gas is really the best way to barbecue, and we’re here today to give you the lowdown.

Match Up of The Year

Let's talk cost

Generally, gas grills are more expensive than electric or charcoal grills, but the propane tanks that run them are very cheap to buy and refill. Conversely, charcoal grills themselves are very cheap to purchase, but the added costs of charcoal and lighter fluid add up in the long run.

The pros of charcoal grills

Charcoal grills get far hotter than gas grills, and all that heat adds up to a steak that is nice and crispy on the outside, and perfectly medium rare on the inside. (That’s what we here at Unlimited Outdoor Kitchen call the RIGHT way to cook a steak!) And not only will your steak be cooked to your exact liking, but it will have the authentic taste of grill smoke that comes from the original heat source.

The cons of charcoal grills

Unfortunately, when you commit to a charcoal grill, you're also committing to cleanup and giving up on temperature control. With a gas grill you can just turn a dial to raise and lower the heat, but with charcoal it’s hard to tell exactly what temperature you’re cooking at.

The pros of gas grills

The obvious reasons to go with a gas grill are convenience and ease of use. There’s no easier way to cook than flipping a switch or turning a knob to light your grill. Too hot? Turn the knob. Too low? Turn the knob. it's so easy! Gas grills are even easier to start and clean!

Grilling with gas is also extremely safe thanks to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). The NFPA states that only grill cylinders with an overfill prevention device may be exchanged or refilled. Because of this, the cylinder is unable to be filled up more than 80%, which can create a potential fire hazard.

The cons of gas grills

As with everything, you get what you pay for. Inexpensive gas grills won’t always give you the taste you’re looking for because of the heat restriction. The more you pay for a gas grill, the higher quality it will be; the higher the quality of the grill, the less you have to worry about heat restrictions. Quality grills will evenly heat the outside of your food without overcooking the inside. To put it simply, an average gas grill can't give you the crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside steak a charcoal grill can.

Our verdict? It’s really up to you and your preference! The right grill for you will depend on what you like and what you want out of your grill. Regardless of which you prefer, we can custom build a barbecue island to your exact taste. Click here to request your free estimate, or give us a call at (888) 747-4554, or contact us online to learn more about our outdoor kitchens, pizza ovens, or pergolas.

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Topics: Grills