One of the most often debated issues when it comes to grilling is gas versus charcoal. Both sides swear by their favorite method of grilling, and both methods of grilling have their advantages and disadvantages. So which type of grill is better?

The charcoal grill has the advantages of having less expensive grills, and charcoal can produce hotter heat. Charcoal also allows the meat to be smoked naturally adding lots of natural smoke flavor to the meat. Another advantage to using charcoal grills is that they tend to be more portable allowing you to grill your food while on a picnic.

Some of the disadvantages of the charcoal grill include a lot of ash to clean up. The heat that a charcoal grill produces can be difficult to control which can result in an uneven cooking time. The price of the charcoal is a lot more expensive then the price of gas. This generally makes the long-term cost of using a charcoal grill to be very expensive when compared to a gas grill.

Charcoal grillCredit: Nathan F

Another thing that you might not know about charcoal grilling is the fact that the smoke which is produced tends to decline as the charcoal gets ashed over. When this happens there will be very little difference between the two types of grills as far as taste is concerned. Most of the smoke that you see after the charcoal has ashed over is generally made from meat drippings dropping onto the hot charcoal surface and burning.

Also keep in mind that if you are grilling your meat fast and with high heat then you will minimize the amount of smoke that the meat is able to absorb. In order to maximize the amount of smoke that the meat absorbs you need to grill the meat slowly using low heat.

Gas grills have several advantages of their own. First the heat they generate tends to be far more stable allowing for a more uniform cooking time. This makes cooking meat a little easier for those who are new to the fine art of grilling. It is also faster and easier to adjust the grilling temperature of a gas grill then with a charcoal grill.

In the past gas grills could not reach the same cooking temperature that the charcoal grills could which limited what meats that you could cook on them. Today however, it is possible for some of the newer gas models to reach temperatures as high the charcoal models. Because of this new development, the advantage the charcoal grills used to have over the gas models has basically vanished.

One of the biggest disadvantages of gas grills is the price of them. The cheaper models start around in price as the mid end charcoal grills. On the other hand the price of fuel for a gas model is a lot cheaper which means that the cost for using them will go down the more you use them.

Gas grillCredit: USCPSC

Since the gas models are larger and not as nearly as portable as the charcoal variety, you will be stuck using them at home instead of being able to take them with you when you go on trips. If you are not concerned about taking a grill with you on trips then this will not be an issue.

Another advantage that the gas grill has is that they tend to be a lot cleaner to operate and clean up after you are done using it. Charcoal dust can rub off of the charcoal, and when you are done grilling, you still have to clean up the ashes. These are things that you don’t have to mess with using a gas grill.

Of course if you just can’t seem to make up your mind there is an alternative to both of those grills. I’m talking about a duo gas and charcoal grill. This hybrid grill has a gas grill on one side, and a charcoal grill on the other side. This type of grill gives you the best of both worlds.

This grill will let you grill your meat just the way that you like while using the method that you enjoy using. If you are grilling hot and fast use the gas, if you are grilling low and slow use the charcoal.