Which type of grill is better: charcoal or gas? We might never know, but you can always decide which is best based on your specific needs. After all, charcoal and gas grills have a few major differences and it’s smart to do some research before you shop. You’ll have to consider your storage space, grilling time, the flavors you want in your food, and your grilling experience. At Clarks Ace Hardware, we’re here to help you make an informed decision when purchasing grills.
Our stores have the electric, gas, and charcoal grill selections perfect for all outdoor cooking and grilling needs. And when you need to fuel up, visit us for your propane refills in Columbia and Ellicott City.
Charcoal Grills: The Slow Cooker’s Preference
Charcoal grills, as the name states, use either lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes as fuel. Food is prepared on a grill gate with the charcoal located underneath. Typically, wood chips and lighter fluid are used to start up the coals.
Charcoal grills are generally preferred for slow cooking as they require a little more time and attention to use.
Charcoal Grill Benefits
You may find that charcoal grills:
- Have a lower price point – A basic charcoal can cost anywhere from $100-$200, with more advanced models going for upwards of $500.
- Reach considerably higher temperatures – A charcoal grill filled with red-hot coal can reach up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, more than the 600 degrees Fahrenheit required to achieve a perfect sear on your steak.
- Make food tasty – The drippings from your food fall on the red-hot charcoal and turn into flavor steam and smoke. The smoke rises over the food giving it a complex, delicious taste.
Charcoal Grill Challenges
On the other hand, charcoal grills can:
- Take time to heat up – You need patience while operating a charcoal grill considering a charcoal grill takes 15 to 20 minutes to heat up and reach the required cooking temperatures.
- Be hard to control heat-wise – You need some experience to control heat on a charcoal grill, especially if it’s red-hot. You can learn it by watching how experienced persons do it.
- Have an involved cleaning process – Cleaning a charcoal grill can take time. You have to empty the ashes before cleaning the interior and exterior of the grill.
Gas Grills: When Convenience is a Must
There are two types of gas grills: natural gas grills and propane gas grills. These types of grills are efficient and convenient, especially if you are a beginner at barbecue and steak, as they are generally easy to use.
Gas Grills Benefits
In general, gas grills tend to be:
- Safer for you and the environment – Gas grills emit less smoke and fumes, which is better for the planet. Gas grilled food is also healthier for you and your family as the unwanted fats and calories drip from the food you cook.
- Easier to use – Gas grills have a knob that you can use to control the temperatures. You turn the knob to control the temperature from high to low and vice versa.
- Easy to clean – You can easily scrub the grates and empty the grease trap within a short time and without much stress.
Gas Grills Challenges
On the other hand, gas grills can be:
- More costly – Gas grills can be more expensive to purchase and maintain than charcoal grills.
- Less smoky – Your food won’t get that beloved smoky barbecue flavor.
- Heavy and not easily portable, which might be an inconvenience for those looking to travel or go camping.