Which is Better Charcoal or Gas Grills?

Which is Better Charcoal or Gas Grills
Spread the love

There is plenty of speculation on the subject of which is better charcoal or gas grills. Each grill has its unique qualities and its ups and downs for certain factors.

But the simple question exists when buying a new grill, which type of grill is better? Charcoal grills vs gas grills will always be a hot topic in the grilling world, and really when it comes down to an answer, it is all about personal preference.

But they are two different types of grills that are vastly different and can achieve some very different results when used correctly. Keep reading the article to learn the differences between gas and charcoal grills and which one may be the best fit for you.

Note: most links in this article are Amazon.com Affiliate links, see Affiliate Disclosure, thank you.

Charcoal Grills

Charcoal Grills

Most old school grillers will say charcoal grills are the best specifically because that’s what they know to be true. Charcoal was around first and is still used widely today. There are a few things charcoal can provide that propane just can’t.

Functionality and Capabilities

A charcoal grill will usually be able to gain higher temperatures than most gas grills, which are imperative for searing meats and cooking food faster than average. They will also provide a rich smoky flavor from the charcoal that propane cannot achieve without the help of an additive like wood chips or a marinade.

The downside is that even though it can reach high temperatures, it will take a lot longer to get there than with a gas grill.

Equipment and Fuel Costs

As far as most charcoal grills go, they are relatively cheap and one of the more affordable types of grills all around. They can be easily acquired for less than 100 dollars. But when it comes to the fuel, it’s the opposite side of the spectrum.

A bag of charcoal may cost 20 bucks and only be able to allow you to grill once or twice. It can get expensive, to say the least.

Safety and Cleanup

Cleanup for a charcoal grill can be quite intensive and not nearly as easy as cleanup with a gas grill. You will have to scrub and clean the grates, dispose of the ashes, dump the water pans, and somehow deal with the carbon on the inner grill. They are pretty safe, though, and easy to use, as long as it is done correctly.

Check out our Charcoal review with Detailed results.

Propane Grills

Propane Grills

The appeal to gas grills is that they are effortless to use and convenient. Using one of these grills does make the process much easier from start to finish but will have a few downfalls in the long run.

Functionality and Capabilities

While most gas grills will not reach extremely high temperatures like a charcoal grill will, they will be able to heat up very quickly. A charcoal grill could take 20-30 minutes before it is ready to start grilling, while a gas grill is ready in just a matter of minutes with the press of a button.

Gas grills are all about ease of use and functionality, but they lack flavor compared to charcoal grills.

Equipment and Fuel Costs

When purchasing a new gas grill, the cost will be substantially higher than if you bought a charcoal grill. Gas grills do not come cheap, and even the cheap gas grills will still be a couple of hundred bucks.

But when it comes to fuel, it is very reasonable. A propane tank will cost anywhere from 20-40 dollars and should last you all summer or a total of about 8-16 hours of grilling time, depending on your cooking temperature.

Safety and Cleanup

Gas grills are usually much safer than charcoal grills and much easier to clean. They have extra added safety features and automatic valve shutoffs that protect the machine. But these need to be monitored and kept up to code for them to work; otherwise, it could be a significant problem for you.

The Masterbuilt Gravity Series Charcoal grill and smoker is our top pick. It comes in two sizes, the 560 and 1050. Read our reviews or check out the reviews on Amazon.


Click here to read our article Masterbuilt Gravity Series 560 Digital Charcoal Grill Smoker Review

Click here to read our article Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 Digital Charcoal Grill Smoker Review


Deciding which is better charcoal or gas grills, can be a tough call. We hope that we have provided you with all the information you need to make that decision a little easier.

When in dought, start small and move up. After you have increased your skills and know which aspects of each grill type are most important for using your grill, your decision will be easy.


Which grill is healthier to cook on, charcoal or propane?

It is not unhealthy to use either grill. But some people think that charcoal grills put off more carcinogens when they grill that can be harmful to you. There is no reliable proof of this. Char, as it is referred to in the barbeque world, is highly sought after.

What grill should I choose if I can’t decide between the two?

We like to start by purchasing a Weber charcoal kettle grill, and if you are not happy, move to a gas grill. These grills are affordable and versatile, so your initial investment will not be a waste.

If you still cannot decide, try getting a grill powered by gas and charcoal. They can switch between the two or use both at the same time. These grills are very expensive, though, and it is usually best to buy them separately.

Check out the price on Amazon.com