Charcoal vs. Gas Grills

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Gas Grills: Pros and Cons


  • Convenience: Quick and easy to set up. Just turn on the gas and hit the ignition switch and you have instant fire. Temperature control is a snap, too: Just use the knob to control low, medium, and high heat. Heat stays consistent throughout cooking. Due to the precise heat control, gas grills are well-suited for barbecuing and grill-roasting. These techniques require low-indirect-heat cooking over a long period of time.
  • Cleanup: With no charcoal there are, of course, no ashes and coals to dispose of. Plus the temperature controls allow you to blast-heat the grill surface after cooking, leaving charred bits that can easily be wiped off.


  • Flavor: Even though food will get nice grill marks and become charred, it can lack that rich smoky flavor that only a charcoal grill can give.
  • Cost: The gas grill is far pricier than its low-tech counterpart, ranging from $300.00 to $1500.00.
  • Space: Takes up more room and it can be a little daunting to deal with a gas tank.

So which is better? Which one to choose? Some families ultimately purchase both. In the end, there may never be an answer to the Great Grill Debate -- it comes down to space, lifestyle, time, and flavor. But rest assured we can all agree on one thing: Whether the burgers and chicken you're serving were cooked on a charcoal or gas grill, it is vitally important to wear a chef's hat and "Grill Sergeant" apron.


Originally published on, May 2008.


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