When deciding between charcoal and gas barbecues, there are a few elements to consider, and the majority of them are simply a matter of personal preference. While a gas BBQ is convenient, there are several things that a gas BBQ simply cannot reproduce when compared to a charcoal BBQ. This Gas Vs Charcoal BBQ guide should help you make the best decision for you.
Food cooked on a gas grill lacks the particular flavour associated with meat grilled over genuine charcoal embers. Some would argue that this flavour profile is part of the reason for barbecuing in the first place. Additionally, some people take pride in their ability to start a fire and maintain it at the proper temperature while cooking.
By comparison, gas barbeques ignite the perfect fire at the touch of a button and are nearly instantaneously ready to grill your meat or whatever else you desire to cook on them. A gas BBQ’s temperature can be regulated precisely, but charcoal frequently creates a mess, not to mention the post-BBQ ash that must be removed from the grill.
Taste studies have revealed that the difference in flavour between meals cooked on gas and charcoal is minor, and that ultimately, the choice between the two is purely personal. The topic to address then is how frequently you intend to use your barbeque, if that frequency will alter over time, and the cost of gasoline.
While a gas barbeque requires a higher initial expenditure, it does wind up costing less to operate in the long run. Our gas and charcoal grills are both fantastic alternatives, and ultimately, you must choose the grill that is appropriate for you!
Gas vs Charcoal BBQ Advantages and Disadvantages
We’ve compiled a list of the advantages and disadvantages of charcoal and gas BBQ so you can make an informed choice about which will be the tastiest choice of the summer.
According to some people, charcoal BBQ is the only way to go. Charcoal imparts a deep, smoky taste that gas, even with an attached smoker box, cannot match.
The advantages of charcoal barbecues include the following:
- Charcoal grills, on average, achieve a higher temperature than gas grills. A steak cooked on a grill needs to be grilled at a 600 degrees Fahrenheit temperature to get a seared surface. This is not an issue with a kettle grill filled with red-hot charcoals, which can reach temperatures of up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. While some gas barbecues can achieve higher temperatures, they are typically more expensive.
- You obtain that delectable, Smokey flavour. Have you ever wondered how charcoal grills provide such flavor? As it turns out, the increased heat is critical. When the drippings from your steak, poultry, or vegetables fall over the hot coals, they transform into flavour-packed steam and smoke that is absorbed by the meat, giving charcoal grilling its delightfully unique flavour.
- They are more cost effective. A basic charcoal barbecue will cost around £20-£30, while a more decently priced model will cost around £100-£150. Of course, higher-end models cost more, but charcoal grills are significantly less expensive than gas grills.
The disadvantages of charcoal barbecues include the following:
- Increased heat-up time. On average, charcoal grills take around 15-20 minutes to achieve the right cooking temperature (not including the time required to ignite the charcoal), but gas grills light quickly and reach the proper cooking temperature in about 10 minutes. Additionally, there are a few various methods for lighting a charcoal grill.
- The cleanup is a little more involved. In comparison to a gas grill, which requires only a short brushing, a charcoal grill must first be emptied of its spent ashes before being washed.
While there is no disputing how convenient gas BBQ are to use in terms of ignition and temperature control, this convenience comes at a cost.
The advantages of gas BBQ include the following:
- They are more beneficial to both you and the environment. It is scientifically established! In terms of health, The Healthy recommends a gas barbecue. Why? Because gas-grilled meats have less toxins than charcoal-grilled meats that have been char-kissed. In terms of the environment, it has been determined that gas barbecues have a carbon footprint around one-third that of charcoal BBQ.
- Push the ignition button and rotate the dial to turn on your gas BBQ. Once you’ve preheated the grill, you can start grilling as soon as the embers have heated. Additionally, you can go from low heat required for bone-in chicken to high heat required for kebobs or steaks without worrying about moving around burning coals. (By the way, here is a comparison of propane and natural gas).
- With a gas grill, you can effortlessly cook delicate items like fruit and vegetables without worrying about the smoke flavor imparted by charcoal cooking.
The disadvantages of gas grills include the following:
- In comparison to a charcoal grill, which is simple to install and connect to a propane tank, a mid-range gas grill requires a little more effort to assemble and connect to a propane tank.
- While safety concerns apply to all forms of cooking, you must exercise special caution when cooking on a gas grill. Properly securing and maintaining a propane tank, as well as keeping a propane grill at least ten ft away from the house and deck, are very important.
To begin, if you use petroleum-based lighter fluid in addition to charcoal, you are introducing a health risk. It emits Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and leaves a petroleum residue on meals and in your priceless lungs!
Because the ordinary bear does use lighter fluid to start their coals, you should conduct some research about various methods of starting your coals.
Consider electric coal starters (usually £10-20) for a more environmentally friendly method of lighting your coals. Additionally, charcoals are a little more unpredictable in terms of flame intensity, which might put you or others in danger of fire and/or burn.
Additionally, charcoal produces carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that is lethal if inhaled directly. To further reduce health hazards associated with charcoal grilling, segregate yourself and work in a well-ventilated location.
As many cooks love to cook over charcoal to further improve the flavour of their feasts, this is a path that should be avoided. To avoid some of the toxic carcinogens and HCA’s, it has been customary to marinade meats for 30 minutes or longer before cooking with charcoal to lessen the unfavourable effects absorbed into the dish. It may actually eliminate up to 90% of the toxic substances ingested that have been linked to cancer. 10% is still more than I’d like to play with. On rare occasions, charcoal makes an excellent base for flavourful dishes.
Gas grills are significantly healthier. There are no known substances that are absorbed into your diet, save for the risk associated with HCAs (when food is cooked at high temperature). However, the temperature control feature on gas grills enables you to completely avoid this risk.
Gas grills retain the same benefit as charcoal grills in terms of leaving a leaner cooked food. However, while utilizing a gas barbecue, there are fewer physical risks and significantly fewer health problems.
Gas Grill is more healthful than a Charcoal grill. Certain precautions can be taken to mitigate the health concerns associated with charcoal grilling, such as marinating and using other methods to light the embers. However, there are just too many elements that make actively cooking with charcoal a health hazard. If used sparingly, grilling with charcoal is usually fine. If you are a grilling fan, you must own a gas grill. You give yourself with a greater product in general, but particularly when it comes to your health.
Charcoal BBQ cleaning
Charcoal grills are the easiest to care for, and if you treat yours well, it will be your go-to cookout option for years to come.
Whenever you grill, disinfect the cooking grate. Use a wire barbecue brush to scrape before adding food on the grill, when the embers are at their hottest. Any food scraps from your last cook will be reduced to carbon and will simply release from the grates.
Some people dislike using wire brushes out of concern that a stray steel bristle will wind up in their food. Wadded-up aluminium foil is useful in this instance, and can be used to clean your grates.
Wipe away any remaining dirt from the grates using a clean, moist towel (held in place with tongs), then treat lightly with vegetable oil.
After each usage of your grill, discard the ash. It’s better to wait until it’s entirely cool before attempting this, as hot embers can hide in the firebox. You can dispose ash in a compact metal garbage can with a cover. Then, when it’s completely full and completely cool, dump it in the garbage.
If your grill is extremely gunky, it’s time for a thorough cleaning. We’re talking about gloves and hot, soapy water—and possibly some degreaser as well.
Before you begin scrubbing, remove as much dried ash as possible with a brush or vacuum (a shop vac works well for this). Rinse your grill and lid, both inside and out, with a hose to remove any remaining ash. Now, begin scraping (with gloves on). There are three things you’ll need: hot water, a plastic scouring pad, and soap or degreaser. To clean the firebox and grates, wash the grates and firebox well with hot soapy water, then rinse thoroughly and dry thoroughly. If you use a degreaser, ensure that it is food-safe.
Spray the degreaser on and then wait around 20 minutes for it to penetrate the muck. And after that, use your scouring pad to remove the tough stains, and then use hot water to rinse.
Since charcoal grills lack sensitive electrical or mechanical parts, they do not require the same level of care as other grill models. Having said that, as previously stated, you should definitely keep your grill out of the rain. If you need to store it for an extended period of time, protect it from the elements by keeping it in a garage, shed, or covered area. If you lack that kind of room, then certainly, you should cover it. Before storing the grill, ensure that all coals and ash have been fully extinguished.
Gas BBQ cleaning
Whenever you grill, make it a practice to inspect the grease pan and collecting tray beneath the firebox on a regular basis. Don’t worry, if this becomes full, you’ll have to scrape grease off your grill. Cleaning with your hands and knees on concrete is not enjoyable.
Check for grease accumulation on your burner hoods (the metal plates that lie directly over the burners). This cooktop is purpose-built to screen the burners from dripping grease so that the surface of the stove won’t get covered in grease or smoke.
Clean the hoods with hot, soapy water and a scouring pad if necessary (this shouldn’t be often). Make an extra effort and look into burner ports while you’re at it. If you notice any ports that do not have a flame coming out, turn off the burners and close the propane tank; then use the grill’s small wire poker to empty them out.
Deep cleaning and upkeep
Clean your barbecue well before storing it for the winter. Use a plastic scouring pad and a couple gallons of hot, soapy water to remove the grease pans, burners hoods, and grates. The same method is to be followed inside the firebox and the lid. Rinse and dry all components thoroughly before reassembling. Removing the battery from the igniter can help prevent corrosion from forming.
To keep your barbecue clean and safe from the elements, invest in a grill cover or store it in a garage or shed. Even if you don’t want to invest in a dedicated barbeque cover, you may use a plastic sheet to cover your grill. It’s preferable to nothing! Cover your grill when not in use and when it has cooled completely.
Gas Vs Charcoal BBQ, The Conclusion
Both charcoal and gas BBQ have their advantages and disadvantages, but only you can determine which is ideal for your family and lifestyle. With so many delectable grilling dishes to choose from this summer, there is no way to go wrong.