Charcoal vs Gas

Charcoal vs Gas. Just as there is conflict in the slow smoking world, here too is disagreement in the world of grilling.

As you know, grilling is cooking with direct heat. But... the source of that heat can come from various hardwoods and charcoal, or natural gas and propane. Needless to say, people have their preferences. And that's what sets up the argument.

Many people prefer to use charcoal. But lots of people also would use gas over charcoal every time. I am not going to argue either side very strongly. I own and use both.

So... let's try to set up some pros and cons of each choice so you can have a better idea of what you want to try.

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Charcoal Pros

May give grilled foods better taste.
Charcoal burns hotter than gas.
More basic and natural.
Preparation is somewhat of a ritual.
Extends the leisure time of grilling.

Charcoal Cons

Takes longer than using gas.
It's dirty to handle.
More trouble to prepare for cooking.
May not be worth the difference in taste.
Cost of charcoal (if you don't have wood).
Takes a certain amount of patients and practice.

Gas Pros

More convenient.
Better temperature control.
Much quicker preparation.
Similar taste.
Gas costs less than charcoal.

Gas Cons

Taste may not be as good as using charcoal.
Gas grills usually cost more than charcoal grills.

This is by no means a complete list. And we didn't even talk about other choices such as electric grills. But it does give you the main points and somethings to consider.

If you want or need the convenience, gas is the way to go.

But if you are one of those people that enjoys the ritual of preparation, has the patience to spend the extra time that dirty charcoal requires, and looks forward to a little necessary practice (in other words "playing with fire")... then charcoal is for you.


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