We did a survey to find out what type of grill our members enjoy using for their summer cooking. The results are in: 51.43% prefer a gas grill, 25.71% prefer a charcoal grill, and 22.86% use both. Charcoal vs. Gas has been a debate for many years, but when it comes to which one is best, it’s all about the food that is being cooked and a personal preference in taste.

First, let’s talk about the searing of meats, such as steak. A good sear makes all the difference when it comes to your tasty meats, and in order to get that awesome sear, the temperature of your grill needs to be hot. Hot as in 900 to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit! In this case, charcoal is better than gas. There are sear burners for gas grills, but those are usually small and can only fit one to two steaks. If you’re having a BBQ with friends, you’ll definitely want more room than that to make sure there is enough meat for everyone. So, in the case of the sear, you’ll probably want to go with a charcoal grill, unless you are cooking for two, then the sear burners will do.

Another big difference with a gas grill vs. a charcoal grill is the evenness of what is being cooked. A gas grill allows you to control the temperature much easier than a charcoal grill will allow. Let’s say you’re cooking hamburgers for your cookout and some people like theirs medium, while others prefer well-done. When using a charcoal grill, it’s much harder to get the temperature exactly where you need it. Nobody wants an overdone, or underdone burger (depending on taste), so when it comes to making sure you have the correct temperature, the gas grill is your friend. Although, you must take into consideration the temperature outside because that can raise or lower your temperature by a bit. When it’s crazy hot like we see here in the Midwest sometimes, the temp will be elevated, but if it’s a bit chilly with a nice wind, your temp will be lowered. It’s easy to account for environmental factors, as long as you know what your gas grill does in these temps. Basically, getting to know your gas grill and how much the temp is affected by the weather will make it easier to control and perfect the temperature you’d like to use.

Now let’s discuss the taste of the food you are grilling. While using a charcoal grill, sometimes you’ll smell something that isn’t quite appetizing as it heats up, and that smell gets into the food being cooked. Some claim to love this flavor, while others won’t use charcoal due to the taste. However, there are ways to fix this! Using a charcoal chimney or an electric charcoal starter, can help to diminish that petrochemical taste from your food. So, don’t be scared to use the charcoal because you’ve had a bad experience with taste, just make sure to use one of the items mentioned to combat it.

This is not an all-inclusive article on gas vs. charcoal grills. There are many things to consider while deciding which one works for you best. Overall, it appears that having both options at your home is the way to go. Happy Grilling!