BBQ Recipe Secrets

Who Else Wants To Know the Difference Between Gas and Charcoal?

Choosing between gas and charcoal makes a difference

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

The debate between charcoal and gas grilling rages on. Ask any barbecue expert, even those who only think they are an expert, and you'll get a lecture about why gas is better than charcoal, or vice versa.

Here's an explanation of the differences between charcoal and gas grilling.

The Argument For Charcoal Grilling

Grilling with charcoal is more traditional. It takes more skill to successfully get the coals ready for grilling without either getting them too hot or not hot enough. The main reason many people prefer this type of grilling is that it gives a smoky flavor to the meat.

Cooking on a charcoal grill is a bit messier, since there are ashes. It generally takes lighter fluid to get the coals started, but if you don't let the fluid burn off, the food may taste like lighter fluid. Let it burn too long and the coals become too cool to finish cooking your food.

Where you plan to cook is also important. Charcoal grills should not be used in small or covered areas.

Charcoal grills are usually the cheapest. For those who want to get started in barbecue grilling, but don't have a lot of money to spend, this is an affordable way to get a grill.

Did You Know... Turning meat often doesn't keep it from sticking? This actually makes meat drier by lowering its temperature and extending the cooking time. Your best bet is to get the grill to the right temperature, put the meat on to sear, and then only flip once to evenly cook it.

The Argument For Gas Grilling

Cooking on a gas grill is certainly easier than a charcoal grill. Most have a push button start, so you can just flip a switch and let it warm up just like an oven. They heat quickly, and there's much less mess.

On the other hand, gas grills give much less smoky flavor than cooking over a charcoal grill. Because there is no actual smoke, the difference in BBQ flavors is noticeable.

Those who prefer gas grills sometimes use specialty woods to get the smoky flavor.

If you have a smaller area for your grill, like a small patio or covered porch, then a gas grill is a better choice than a charcoal grill.

Gas grills are usually quite a bit more expensive than charcoal grills. It's a matter of paying extra for the convenience of instant heat.

Hopefully once you learn about the pros and cons of cooking over gas or charcoal, you will know which grill is the best for you.

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