Gas or charcoal?
Whether you are a rib smokin connoisseur or a total newbie around the barbecue, If you’re buying a grill, your first decision to make is: which type of grill to master and buy. Gas or Charcoal.
Charcoal grills have several upsides:
- Cost: Great charcoal grills can be found for $150, whereas a really good gas grill will set you back at least $500
- Heat: Charcoal grills produce a better sear on meat and poultry as they burn hotter than fuel like propane or natural gas
- Flavour: Nothing quite beats the smell of smoke wafting over a delicious cut of meat, Given the same heat output and cooking time, you won’t be able to tell the difference between meat cooked on a direct zone of a gas grill or a charcoal grill. However, for long indirect cooking of ribs, brisket, tenderloin, large cuts and joints on the barbecue, you will get a distinct fireplace scent and smokier flavour when cooking with a charcoal grill. On a propane grill, the flavour is milder and a bit more bacon-like.
And once you master the techniques, charcoal grills can indirect-grill and outperform gas grills time after time.
Our top choice or charcoal grill is the Weber below its still the most versatile, user-friendly and best-performing charcoal grill we ever tested
The 22-inch Napoleon Rodeo Charcoal Kettle Grill (model number NK22CK-L) is considered one of the better Weber clones available. The pros and pitmasters rate it highly.
Gas Grills on the other hand offer three big benefits over charcoal:
- With one click of a button or turn of a dial, you have instant heat for quick and easy cooking.
- They produce no ash and therefore easy to clean, maintain and cook on.
- Gas Grills make controlling the heat easier and will save you time in reaching your optimal temperature for perfect cooking.
Grill experts will continue to argue and the gas vs charcoal war will always be up for debate for all bbq enthusiasts! On the balance, gas is probably the better choice if you want a quick cook up during the week and need to save time. Cooking thin cuts of meat (3/4 inches thick or less) that only need to be cooked on a direct zone, gas is the simple, quick and easy solution.
However, for me, barbecue is an occasion to be savoured and enjoyed on a lazy afternoon. Barbecue and cooking should combine smoke and flavour with friends and family, nothing quite beats the woozy feeling you get when the combination of smoke and flavour from meat on a charcoal grill hits the senses. Charcoal is an economical choice for any backyard barbecue or tailgating party and with a bit of practice will have you producing simply delicious barbecue every time.