Charcoal Grill vs Gas Grill (Comparison) Which is better?

It is totally dependent on what types of cooking are going to be cooked. Can you taste the difference? We approached this topic objectively and wrote an extensive article for you, in which we presented the main pros and cons of gas vs charcoal grills.

Which grill is better – Gas or Charcoal? We test out both grills with a few different exposures.

  • In the first test, we use a temp gun to see which pan gets hotter faster.
  • For the second test, we grill two new york strip steaks and do a blind taste test.
  • Lastly, we do a test doing low and slow pork ribs and share our final analysis. Every year, this issue worries many people, especially on the eve of spring.

There are countless articles written in the world, each of which defends the right of this or that grill to be the best. Today we will deliver the final verdict, which may surprise many. We approached this topic objectively and wrote an extensive article for you, in which we presented the main pros and cons of gas and charcoal grills.

I love using gas grills because they are easier to heat and it’s much easier to control the flames with a gas grill than with a charcoal fire. Grilling is not just about lighting a fire.

Bobby Flay

Not only is New York City the nation’s melting pot, it is also the casserole, the chafing dish and the charcoal grill.

john Lindsay

We decided to start with a table to compare the grill’s two types and help you choose the best grill for you.

Difference of Gas Grills vs Charcoal Grills

Difference of Gas Grills vs Charcoal Grills

Charcoal Grill

The most popular reasons we choose a charcoal grill are the unique taste and aroma of smoke and the ability to quickly fry food at high temperatures (this is very important for steaks or burgers).

They are also good for long-term smoking of meat at low temperatures (we mean large pieces of meat – pork shoulder, brisket, ribs). Finally, the durability of the charcoal grills is equally important, as is their low cost. Charcoal grills are some of the cheapest. For $ 100, you can buy a simple grill that will last you for many years

But, that’s not the case. You can get a very lovely, high-performing, and quality charcoal grill for under 200.


  • Produces true smoke vapor with many more tasty flavor molecules
  • often has a larger grilling area due to variations in design.
  • Allow for easier use of charcoal and wood combinations for awesome flavors.
  • Can set up two-zone cooking to allow you to do slower cooking.
  • Charcoal Grills will give that authentic grill taste.
  • Its affordable and usually portable too.
  • The heat that charcoal grills create cannot be met by any gas grill.
  • The flavoring charcoal adds to the food is enhanced for further deliciousness.
  • Charcoal grills are inexpensive and don’t take up much room.


  • Higher risk of fireup which is why they are commonly banned from apartment buildings and balconies.
  • Coals and sparks can escape the grill.
  • Charcoal is dirty to handle.
  • Getting the grill up to temperature takes longer.
  • Cannot change the temperature down rapidly.
  • Produces ash which has to be cooled down, cleaned up, and discarded safely

Note: Charcoal grills require constant cleaning, as ash remains after the charcoal. Before each lighting, the grill must be completely free of ash.

More expensive models have a convenient ash pan that can be cleaned quickly and easily.

Gas Grill advantages

Flavor and temperature. You get a better flavor with charcoal, and you have a better range of cooking temperatures. You can cook low and slow, or you can get raging hot, far hotter than gas. The gas grill prices come from $100, We’ve researched top 3 Burner Gas Grill under $300.

Flavor and the intensity of the heat. A gas grill is faster and you don’t have to wait for the coals to light but it cannot compare to the superior flavor of a charcoal fire.

If you have a side burner on the gas grill you can heat an iron skillet on it and pan fry perfect burgers, fish, and steaks.

The splatter, smoke, and heat are all outside your house. A second advantage is your Fuel in propane tank will last forever!

The chicken does great on the grill. I cook mine on low on top of aluminum foil, kind fry grill it at once. Easy clean-up.


The grill can char and ruin meat real fast, You have to know what you’re doing and the cooking temperature can be very uneven, charcoal grills heat more evenly.

Fatty meat can drip and flame up, charing the meat and removing your eyelashes in the process. Grilling uses up your propane tank real fast. Convenience, time-saving and more convenience. It is no secret that gas grills are very convenient because you can quickly start cooking on them.

All you need to do is just turn on the grill and wait a few minutes. You do not need to control anything from the moment the grill is turned on until the required temperature is reached.

But: conventional gas grills cannot reach temperatures as high as coal ones. The cost of a good model of a gas grill is higher than its “charcoal” sibling. However, compared to a charcoal grill, it is much easier to achieve and maintain the correct temperature in a gas grill.

Compare Prices of Gas vs Charcoal Grill

Charcoal grills

When it comes to price, the charcoal grill outperforms the gas grill. The price of a grill starts at about $100-$1000, best charcoal grills you can purchase are the most popular in the USA. Other countries of the world model Kettle (grill in the form of a pot) – these are simple grills assembled from several parts.

In the middle price segment (from $200- $400 ) there is a fairly large selection of grills for every taste and color. 2 Burner Gas Grill under 300. We recommend looking closely at the models of the most famous brands – Broil King, Weber, CharBroil, Kamado Joe, Napoleon.

The price for more expensive models reaches $200- $400, for such a price you will get a functional, reliable, and beautiful grill. An example of a beautiful and functional grill is the Kamado Joe brand (the so-called ceramic egg grill).

Gas grills

The cost of the basic and cheapest models starts at $100. Unfortunately, a decent grill is quite difficult to find for the price.

The cost of really good and functional grills starts from $200, and the most advanced models cost from $200-$400 (such models have a large work surface, they are more reliable and have a variety of useful additional functions).

Dish Taste

Charcoal Grill

When burned, charcoal emits smoke that affects the taste of food. The meat develops its characteristic smoky flavor, which is the main reason for choosing a charcoal grill. With enough practice, it can also be used as a smokehouse.

If you plan on cooking large cuts of meat at low temperatures, then you need a charcoal grill, as the smoked meat will acquire a rich flavor and aroma.

You must remember that the choice of charcoal is of great importance. It is best to opt for a lumpy wood corner made from real wood chunks.


When burning, the grill practically does not emit smoke, which, accordingly, does not in any way affect the taste of the cooked food. Gas-grilled food tastes radically different from charcoal-grilled food. You can add smoke using a special smoking box, in which you need to put wood shavings.

If you use plates – evaporators during cooking, then on contact with heat, the fat or marinade will evaporate and circulate the meat and saturate it with a rich taste.

The 4 Burner Gas Grills is ideal for cooking delicate and delicate foods and aromas, as the smoky aroma of a charcoal grill can overpower their natural smell and taste.

You should be aware that smoke has little effect on the taste of quick grilled foods (hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks). The difference is only felt when you cook food for a long time and at low temperatures.


Charcoal Grill

The charcoal grill benefits from the minimum and maximum temperatures. You can use it as a meat smoker at low temperatures or reheat it to 37 ° C, which is great for grilling steaks and hamburgers (natural lump charcoal must be used to reach this high temperature).

The temperature that the grill can “give out” directly depends on the quality of the coal used. Fortunately, most foods are cooked at lower temperatures.

However, the charcoal grill quickly reaches the high baking temperatures and is good at keeping the low temperatures at which the meat can be smoked for a long time.


Compared to a Charcoal grill, it has a smaller temperature range, as a rule, the maximum temperature is 260C – 280C. Many cheap grill models cannot produce heat. These grills are good for foods that are cooked at medium temperatures.

There are gas grills equipped with a special sear box. Thanks to it, the grill quickly heats up to high temperatures.

If you want your grill to heat up quickly to the highest possible temperature (even higher than a charcoal grill), then you will have to pay a pretty penny for a good model of a gas grill.

Some are convinced that only the charcoal grill creates the true taste of barbecue. Agree – this whole process of lighting, roasting, and monitoring the temperature makes you feel like a creator and guru of grilling.

On the other hand, if you want to cook an excellent steak or any other dish quickly and without unnecessary movements, a gas grill will suit you best.

Temperature Control

Charcoal Grill

We have to admit that controlling the temperature in a charcoal grill is not an easy task, especially for beginners. You need to learn how to properly adjust the ventilation holes.

Remember, the more air that enters the grill, the higher the temperature inside. Likewise, if you reduce the airflow of the grill, the temperature will begin to drop. Other factors affect the temperature, such as the quantity and quality of the coal used. The temperature inside the grill can also be affected by the weather.

If it is windy outside, the temperature fluctuations could be large. The most important thing is to check the amount of charcoal in the grill frequently.


When it comes to temperature control, a gas grill outperforms a charcoal one. A gas grill does not have the same temperature control problems as a charcoal grill.

You don’t need to worry about fuel type, airflow, or weather. Temperature control is extremely simple – you set the desired temperature and you’re done. All you need to control is the gas level.

Time Ignition

Charcoal Grill

It all depends on which method you use, but in general, charcoal takes longer to ignite. An important and very useful ignition tool is the charcoal starter, which must be purchased if you plan on purchasing a charcoal grill.

Based on general preparation, lighting a charcoal grill can take up to 30 minutes to reach the desired temperature.


And in this category, the gas grill wins. If you have limited time and want to grill your food, then the gas grill is a great choice.

The principle for starting a gas grill is the same as for a gas oven. All you need to do is turn the grill knob, wait 10 minutes and you can start cooking. Just 10 minutes is enough for the grill to reach the right temperature!


Charcoal Grill

When it comes to smoking meat, the charcoal grill is second to none. Of course, smoking requires certain knowledge and the choice of the correct smoking method.

When smoked, a lot of smoke is emitted, which greatly affects the taste of food. You can smoke meat at low temperatures for several hours.

It all depends on what method of smoking you use. This requires learning about indirect smoking methods on the charcoal grill.


It is possible to smoke on a gas grill, but the result will not be as impressive. Also, you will need additional tools: a smoking box and wood shavings or wood chips.

Before starting smoking on the gas grill, it is best to read the instructions in detail. We have written a special guide to smoke with wood chips, we hope this article will be useful to you.


Charcoal Grill

To a large extent, the time is taken to clean depends on the grill model. More expensive models have a convenient ash pan that can be easily cleaned.

It is also necessary to clean the grate on which you are cooking from time to time.


The gas grill is designed in such a way that grease and condensation drain into a special drip tray.

As a result, all you have to do is change the tray (if you are using a disposable one) or clean it. Simple, fast, and easy. And, of course, sometimes you need to clean the grill itself.


Charcoal Grill

The grill is easy to assemble in a fairly short time. Most models can be assembled in half an hour. For very simple models, you just need to remove the packaging


Compared to a charcoal grill, a gas grill is slightly more complex. It can take up to several hours to assemble.

During assembly, you may need professional help. Broil King grills are delivered to customers semi-assembled – assembly according to the instructions usually takes less than an hour.

Maintenance and Storage

Charcoal Grill

Basic models consist of a few simple parts and are easy to assemble.

Of course, the grates need to be replaced from time to time, but don’t worry – they are quite inexpensive. Inexpensive grills there is a gas ignition, in our opinion, this is the only expensive part that can be replaced in the event of a breakdown.

For 10-15 thousand or a little more, Buying a Charcoal Grill with all the necessary functions, which, if properly maintained, will serve you for many years.


Gas grill maintenance is more complicated and expensive. One of the most expensive parts that can break is the burner.

Also, over time, the grille will need to be replaced. A good gas grill that will last for many years costs several times more than a charcoal one.

To store your charcoal and gas grills, you need to purchase a cover that will protect your grill from harmful external factors such as sun and rain.

Thanks to the cover, you can extend the life of your grill by several years.

Which Grill to Choose Gas or Charcoal?

These are two different grills, each with its pros and cons. If you have money and a spacious courtyard, then grab both grills – you won’t go wrong.

However, if you choose between the first and second options, then you should carefully weigh the pros and cons and analyze the information detailed in our article.

If a person enjoys the charcoal grilling process, from lighting the coals to controlling the temperature, and loves to quickly fry meat or smoke slowly, then a charcoal grill is suitable.

The main plus of the charcoal grill is the amazing aroma that the meat gets after roasting or smoking on charcoal.

A gas grill is convenient and simple. If you want to cook quickly, don’t want to mess with charcoal, and waste precious time, then a gas grill is for you.

When cooking on a gas grill, you don’t have to worry about many of the things that are important when cooking on a charcoal grill. The gas grill is great for quick-frying sausages, sausages, wings, or hamburgers.

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