Home Lifestyle Charcoal vs Gas Grill: Which One Grills It Best?

Charcoal vs Gas Grill: Which One Grills It Best?

15 min read
charcoal vs gas grill

When you’re shopping for a new grill, your purchase will come down to one question. You’ll ask yourself, “What’s the difference between a charcoal vs gas grill?”

What you’ll discover is that there are a ton of options and features that each grill offers.

Americans spend more than ever before grilling at home. Between grills and accessories, you could spend thousands of dollars on a new grill and grilling toys. This is all in pursuit of the perfect meal.

How do you know which grill is right for you? Keep reading for a comparison of charcoal and gas grills and how you can find the right one for you.

What are the Most Important Aspects of Grilling?

When you’re shopping for a grill, you probably have visions in your head as to what you can do with it. You probably dream of entertaining your friends and serving up the sweetest chicken wings off the grill alongside a juicy steak.

The right grill will go along way to making those dreams of incredible food a reality. Here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when you’re picking your grill.

Heat Management

To get meat super tender and juicy, you should cook it at a lower heat for a longer period of time. You also want to get those beautiful grill marks, which means the grill temperature of the grill needs to be high.

You need to be able to control the heat of your grill accordingly. Gas grills make it easy to adjust the level of heat in the grill. You just turn the knob and that’s it.

It’s not easy to do with charcoal grills. You have to learn how to create a two-zone charcoal fire and master the timing of spreading the coals for even and high heat.

Grill Maintenance

For your new grill to last a long time, you need to make sure that you maintain it. That requires you to put in the work to maintain it.

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Some grills will take more work to maintain than others. How do charcoal and gas grills compare? With charcoal grills, you need to wipe down the grates after every use.

You also need to empty the ash that builds up over time. That can be a very messy step for grill owners.

Gas grills also require that you clean the grates well after every use.

You need to clean out the inside periodically so great doesn’t build up and block the gas vents. When comparing charcoal vs gas grills around maintenance, gas grills usually win.

Safety Tips

You’re playing with fire, so there will be some risks when you’re grilling. With gas grills, you have to manage propane.

Charcoal has its own risks because hot coals could pop and fly outside the grill.

With both types of grills, maintenance is an important part of safety. When you leave grease on the grill and grates, you’re increasing the chances for flare-ups. You could lose total control of the flame in a moment.

Comparing Charcoal and Gas Grills

How do charcoal and gas grills match up? Let’s take a look at some of the features and results that you can get with each grill.


You’d think that because you’re putting the meat directly over a flame, it’s going to taste amazing. That’s not always the way. The type of grill will greatly influence the end result.

Charcoal grills win in this category hands down. They create enough smoke from the charcoal (as long as it’s not oversaturated with fuel) to flavor the food.

Some gas grills come with a box for woodchips to create that smoky flavor. You can experiment with different types of chips and figure out the best types of wood for you.

Range of Features

Gas grills have way more features than a charcoal grill. This Royal Gourmet Grill is a basic gas grill, but it still has a side burner. It also has a bottle opener and a seasoning basket.

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Other grills have the ability to attach a rotisserie, which is perfect for roasting a chicken over the grill.

A typical charcoal grill has a drip pan, grilling grate, and a thermometer on the hood of the grill. The thermometer is usually inaccurate and it’s not near the meat, which is where you really need it.


Since gas grills have so many features, you can expect to spend more on the grill. Charcoal grills do cost less, and some tabletop grills can be purchased as low as $30.

Which Should You Buy?

As you can see in this comparison, a gas grill is great for some things, and a charcoal is great for others.

Which one should you buy? If you want that smoky flavor and you’re willing to learn what it takes to build the perfect charcoal flame that allows you to manage heat, then go for a charcoal grill.

With a charcoal grill, you’re putting in a lot more work in the hopes that it pays off in superior flavor.

Gas grills are a better choice if you want something that is much easier to manage and control. There are also many more features and accessories that are available with gas grills. You have side burners and you

Some die-hard grillers split the difference and have one of each. They use the charcoal grill for grilling meats and the gas grill for grilling fish, fruit, and vegetables.

Charcoal vs Gas Grill: It’s a Tough Choice

When it comes to buying a grill, you have a difficult choice in front of you. When you compare a charcoal vs gas grill, you have to keep your preferences and needs in mind.

You’re going to have to prioritize what’s the most important thing to you. You could go out on a limb and get one of each. That would settle the debate once and for all.

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