The battle of gas versus charcoal grill has bedeviled consumers and chefs for many decades. Since the very first LazyMan propane grill entered the market in the 1950s and outpaced the Smiths with their briquette-fueled brazier, there has been a heated debate about whether or not a gas grill is better than a charcoal one.
In the abstract, there’s no correct answer to this big question. You can get affirmative responses to the effectiveness of either type of fuel. Indeed, these responses can be stacked as high as summer corn.
Think of this scenario this way: You can get a better smoky flavor and somewhat an unparalleled crust from grilling over coals or wood. On a Wednesday night, it is quite easier to light a gas grill after exciting softball practice and roasting a bunch of brats for your teammates. So, there are benefits and limitations of each type of Weber grills, depending on what you plan to cook, when, and how long it will take.
One of the top benefits of using a gas grill is ignition convenience. It takes a second or two to turn your grill, and it’s ready for use. Along with the ease of use, here are other benefits of using a gas grill.
- Gas fuel is more affordable compared to charcoal.
- It is easier to clean the gas grill than a charcoal one.
- You can enjoy the convenience of hooking your gas grill up to your home’s gas line for endless cooking fuel.
- Most gas grills come with the necessary accessories, including smoke boxes and side burners. The smokebox adds some form of charcoal flavor even when you’re using a gas grill.
- During the cooking process, a gas grill gives off steam, which, according to some chefs, adds moisture to whatever you’re grilling.
Even with all these benefits associated with gas grills, there are some undesirable aspects as well. First, they are more expensive than charcoal grills. Also, the fact that you must hook your grill to the gas line means less mobility. Other major drawbacks include;
- If you choose to buy a gas tank, there’s a good chance you will find it challenging to move the unit around due to the heavy tank.
- Gas, according to grilling experts, doesn’t burn as hot as charcoal.
- Uncontrolled flare-up could result in a fire hazard.
If you want to grill out while visiting a local park or camping, you might not bring your gas grill along. After all, it can be a bit of a hassle to move the unit around. This isn’t the case with charcoal grills.
Cooking over wood or charcoal is an approach practically as old as humanity. Indeed, any caveman would tell you it’s not complicated. But it is more complex than turning a single knob on a gas stove. You must build, bank, and tend to the charcoal fire. Besides, you will need to pay close attention to the hot sections and the less hot ones.
This form of grilling might not be the most effective way of spending your time on a weeknight. However, on weekends or any time you feel free to focus on whatever you are cooking, a charcoal grill is the best option.
One of the things you can grill over charcoal is steak, as long as it is not too fatty. Pork, chicken, fruit, and other types of food that need to be cooked long enough in the presence of direct heat or smoke can be grilled over charcoal.
Despite all these wonderful aspects of a charcoal grill, one major drawback is the initial waiting time for the charcoal to heat up. It can take about 15 minutes to 20 minutes for the charcoal to reach the right temperature for grilling. Other negative aspects include;
- Charcoal is somewhat messy and might require you more time to clean it up.
- On a windy day, ash can easily find its way into your food.
- For longer cooking sessions, you will need to add more charcoal.
All grilling enthusiasts have strong, opposing opinions about what grill is best. While cost is a major factor to consider, be sure to consider other factors that might influence your grilling option. After all, both gas and charcoal grills have positive and negative aspects.