Gas vs. Charcoal BBQ Grills - The Pros and Cons

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BBQ grillGas vs. charcoal BBQ grills is a more common option for travellers and grilling enthusiasts. BBQ grilling is a popular and delicious way to cook meats and vegetables, but with so many grills available, it cannot be easy to decide which one is best for you. In this post, we'll compare two of the most popular types of BBQ grills - gas and charcoal - to help you decide which one to choose. We'll go over the pros and cons of each type and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Pros of Gas Grills


One of the most significant advantages of gas grills is their convenience. With a gas grill, you can turn on the burners and start cooking immediately without waiting for the grill to heat up. This can be especially helpful if you're rushing or cooking for a large group.


Gas grills allow more control over the temperature, as you can adjust the flame to achieve the desired heat. This is particularly useful when cooking foods that require precise temperatures, such as fish or vegetables.


Gas grills are generally easier to clean than charcoal grills. There are no ashes or charcoal remnants to deal with, which can save you time and effort.

Cons of Gas Grills


One of the downsides of gas grills is that they don't impart the same smoky flavour to the food that charcoal grills do. While you can add wood chips to the grill to enhance the taste, it's still not the same as cooking over charcoal.


Gas grills are typically more expensive than charcoal grills, as they require more components, such as a gas line, burners, and propane tank.


Gas grills require regular maintenance, such as cleaning the burners and checking the gas lines for leaks. Failure to maintain your gas grill properly can result in dangerous gas leaks, which can be hazardous to your health and safety.

Pros of Charcoal Grills


One of the most significant advantages of charcoal grills is the unique smoky flavour they impart to the food. This flavour is due to the charcoal and wood chips burning and smoking, and it's hard to replicate with any other cooking method.


Charcoal grills are typically less expensive than gas grills, as they don't require as many components. Charcoal is also cheaper than propane, so you'll save money on fuel costs.


Charcoal grills can be used for more than just grilling. You can use them for smoking, roasting, and even baking, making them a versatile cooking tool.

Cons of Charcoal Grills

Time and Effort

Charcoal grills require more time and effort to use than gas grills. You'll need to wait for the charcoal to heat up, which can take up to 30 minutes, and you'll need to monitor the grill closely to ensure the food doesn't burn.


Charcoal grills are more difficult to control than gas grills, as the amount of charcoal and airflow determines the temperature. This can make it challenging to achieve the precise temperature needed for certain foods.


Charcoal grills can be messy, with ashes and remnants left behind after each use. You'll need to clean the grill after each use, which can be time-consuming and messy.
Ultimately, the choice between gas and charcoal grills comes from personal preference. If you're looking for convenience and ease of use, a gas grill may be your best choice. On the other hand, if you're a BBQ enthusiast who values flavour and versatility, a charcoal grill may be the way to go. Ultimately, both grills have advantages and disadvantages, so weighing these factors and deciding which is most important to you is essential.

Tips for Choosing the Right BBQ Grill

If you're still unsure which type of grill to choose, consider the following factors:

  1. Your Budget: Gas grills tend to be more expensive than charcoal grills, so consider your budget before making a decision.
  2. Your Cooking Style: Consider what foods you like to grill and how often you plan to use the grill. Gas grills are more versatile and better for examining a variety of foods, while charcoal grills are better for achieving that classic smoky flavour.
  3. Your Living Situation: If you live in an apartment or condo, a gas grill may be a better option, as they tend to be more compact and require less space. On the other hand, charcoal grills need more space and can be more challenging to use in smaller living spaces.
  4. Your Lifestyle: Consider how often you plan to grill and how much time you devote to maintaining the grill. Gas grills are easier to use and maintain, while charcoal grills require more time and effort.

When choosing between gas and charcoal grills, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. The best grill depends on your preferences, cooking style, and budget. Hopefully, this post has given you a better understanding of the pros and cons of each type of grill and has helped you make a more informed decision. Remember to weigh the most important factors and choose the grill that best fits your needs.

Other Factors to Consider in Comparing Gas vs Charcoal

1. Cooking Methods: Gas vs Charcoal

The type of grill you choose can affect how you cook your food. Here are some cooking methods that are unique to each type of grill:

Gas Grills

  • Direct Heat: This method involves cooking food directly over the flames, which is excellent for searing and browning.
  • Indirect Heat: This method involves turning off one burner and cooking the food on the other side of the grill, which is excellent for cooking significant cuts of meat.

Charcoal Grills

  • Smoking: This method involves cooking the food at a low temperature, with the smoke from the charcoal infusing the food with flavour.
  • Rotisserie: This method involves cooking the food on a spit, which rotates slowly over the charcoal. This is great for cooking significant cuts of meat or whole chicken.

2. Fuel Types: Gas vs Charcoal

The fuel used in your grill can affect your food's flavour and cooking time. Here are some things to consider when choosing a fuel type:

Gas Grills

  • Propane: This is the most common type of fuel used in gas grills. It's convenient and easy to use, but it doesn't impart any flavour to the food.
  • Natural Gas: This is another option for gas grills, but it requires a gas line to be installed, which can be costly.

Charcoal Grills

  • Charcoal: This is the most common fuel used in charcoal grills. It imparts a smoky flavour to the food, but it can be more challenging than gas.
  • Wood: Wood chips or chunks can be added to the charcoal to enhance the flavour of the food.

3. Maintenance: Gas vs Charcoal

Both gas and charcoal grills require maintenance to keep them in good working order. Here are some tips for maintaining each type of grill:

Gas Grills

  • Clean the burners regularly to prevent clogs and ensure even heating.
  • Check the gas lines for leaks regularly to prevent fire or explosion.
  • Cover the grill when not in use to protect it from the elements.

Charcoal Grills

  • Clean the ashes after each use to prevent clogs and ensure proper airflow.
  • Oil the grates before cooking to prevent sticking.
  • Store the grill in a dry place to prevent rust.

4. Environmental Impact: Gas vs Charcoal

The type of grill you choose can also impact the environment. Here are some things to consider:

Gas Grills

  • Propane is a non-renewable resource and can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel than propane, but it requires a gas line to be installed.

Charcoal Grills

charcoal bbq grill
  • Charcoal is made from wood, which is a renewable resource.
  • Charcoal can produce more air pollution than gas grills, but some eco-friendly brands are available.

5. Safety: Gas vs. Charcoal BBQ Grills

Both gas and charcoal grills can be safe when used properly, but there are some safety considerations to keep in mind:

Gas Grills

  • Check the gas lines for leaks regularly to prevent fire or explosion.
  • Never use a gas grill indoors or in an enclosed space.

Charcoal Grills

  • Use long-handled tools to avoid burns.
  • Never add lighter fluid to hot coals, as this can cause a fire or explosion.

6. Versatility: Gas vs. Charcoal

Gas grills are generally more versatile than charcoal grills. Here are some reasons why:
  • Temperature Control: With gas grills, you have precise control over the temperature, which makes it easier to cook a wider variety of foods.
  • Accessories: Gas grills often come with various accessories, such as side burners, rotisserie kits, and smoker boxes, which can expand your cooking options.
  • Quick Start-Up: Gas grills can be started quickly, which makes them ideal for impromptu grilling sessions.

Versatility Limitations

  • Temperature Control
Charcoal grills require more skill to control the temperature, making it more challenging to cook certain foods properly. You have to be mindful of the amount of charcoal you use, the airflow, and the position of the grill grates. For beginners, achieving the right temperature for different foods can be challenging, especially if you must cook at a low and slow temperature for an extended period.

  • Smoking Capabilities
Charcoal grills are known for their smoking capabilities. However, they require more effort than gas grills to get the perfect smoky flavour. 
You need to set up the grill with smoking wood, and the amount of smoke produced depends on the amount of timber and the airflow. Additionally, it can be challenging to maintain a consistent smoking temperature with a charcoal grill, which can be a disadvantage for those who want to smoke meat frequently.

  • Cleaning
Charcoal grills can be messy, especially if you're using lump charcoal, which tends to produce more ash than briquettes. Cleaning the grill grates and the ash catcher requires more effort than gas grills. You need to remove the ashes frequently. It is for preventing airflow restrictions that can impact the temperature and the flavour of the food.

  • Limited Grilling Space
Charcoal grills typically have a smaller grilling space than gas grills. This can be a downside if you're cooking for a large group or want to grill multiple items at once.
Despite these limitations, charcoal grills are popular among BBQ enthusiasts due to their ability to ideally produce a rich smoky flavour and sear meat. You can learn to control the temperature and get the perfect taste with practice and patience.
The choice between a gas and charcoal grill comes from personal preference and cooking style. Gas grills are easy to use and convenient, while charcoal grills offer a unique flavour and smoking capabilities. Consider your needs, budget, and cooking preferences before making a decision. Remember that no matter what type of grill you choose, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the experience of outdoor cooking.

Hybrid Grills: The Best of Both Worlds

If you're looking for a compromise between the convenience of gas grills and the flavour of charcoal grills, you may want to consider a hybrid grill. Hybrid grills use both gas and charcoal to give you the best of both worlds. They have a gas burner for quick heat-up times and ease of use and a charcoal grill for smoking and flavour. Hybrid grills are a great option if you want the convenience of gas but don't want to sacrifice the taste of charcoal.


Choosing between gas and charcoal grills involves weighing the pros and cons of each type, as well as considering your personal preferences and lifestyle. Considering the factors discussed in this post, you can make an informed decision and choose the grill right regardless of which type of grill you choose; it's important to remember that the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the cooking experience. With the right grill and some delicious ingredients, you can create excellent meals that your family and friends will love.
Both gas and charcoal grills have pros and cons, and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference. While gas grills are convenient and easy to use, charcoal grills offer superior flavour and smoking capabilities. Understanding the limitations to the versatility of each type of grill gives an informed decision, and choose the grill that's right for you. Contact us now for the best options.