Charcoal and Gas Grill Who will Win in Your Kitchen?
Chicken or egg? Android or iPhone? The question of which grill is better is about the same order. It is very important to decide on the type of charcol and gas grill before buying – the “wrong” technique can spoil the impression of this method of cooking.
Charcoal grill versus Gas grill
Table of Contents
In classic cooking (roasting), most charcoal grills easily “fit out” gas grills, simply because they generate more heat. Some (expensive) gas models are supplied with special burners, which also “know-how” to quickly fry the meat until tender, without leaving any marks from the grate.
However, about 90% of the steakhouses and barbecue restaurants serve gas-grilled food. Basically, they can afford any kind of fuel. But why does the majority choose gas?
The appearance of the steak is everything. You can get the characteristic dark color of meat only with the help of high temperatures. Restaurant grills can heat up to 400-600 degrees, and some of them use firing not only from the bottom but also from the top. Conventional gas grills produce only about 250 degrees, and only a small part comes with one burner, which can “accelerate” to almost +500. It is possible to cook a “restaurant” grill menu at home on such a burner, but the portion will turn out to be much smaller.
Is it worth it to give preference after this “hot” charcoal grill? Take your time. The fact is that we usually grill at a very high temperature. Maybe “restaurant” capacities are not so badly needed?
Many grilled dishes can be perfectly cooked using indirect heating of 100-150 degrees, the whole point is to ensure the correct temperature for a sufficient time. The gas grill allows for excellent temperature control, which is vital for good cooking.
One of the most important differences between gas and charcoal grills is smoke. It is a byproduct of combustion and differs quite widely from fuel to fuel. There is much more smoke from charcoal and it is much tastier.
Can you achieve aromatic smoke from a gas grill? It is possible to put chips in special containers in those installations where there is room for this. To do this, you will need a special metal box, as well as – an understanding of the rules for handling such “additive”.
How will meat differ when grilled on different grills at the same temperature, but with smoke? On coals, a more pleasant, strong and “warm” aroma, a darker color will turn out; on gas, the meat will retain more of its “native” taste and will remain more juicy. Which grill to choose in this case is just a matter of taste.
About the hood
Lightning a charcoal grill can produce an unpleasant petrochemical odor that can seriously spoil the grilled food. In order to avoid such an incident, it is recommended to use a range hood for charcoal grills.
In this regard, there will be no complaints about the aroma of dishes cooked on a gas grill – gas is considered one of the cleanest types of fuel. Many restaurants where you can taste delicious grilled dishes cook on gas, so do not believe in the myth that gas will stink and spoil your culinary masterpieces.
How about usability?
A charcoal grill is fired with matches and various means of ignition, not everyone succeeds in lighting the fire the first time, and besides, you can burn your fingers. The gas grill starts heating with a click of a button.
You can use a special lighter fluid to start a fire faster in a charcoal grill, but the smoke that comes out when burning carries with it all kinds of “chemistry” that can give the meat an unpleasant aftertaste, so this method should be used as carefully as possible.
The charcoal grill takes a relatively long time to heat up, you will need to wait about 15-20 minutes for the surface to reach the desired temperature. The gas grill heats up noticeably faster. But at the same time, charcoal makes it possible to get a higher temperature, thanks to which you can fry the meat until the crispy, slightly burnt crust, which many people like. This is much more difficult to achieve with a gas grill.
It is very difficult to control the temperature in a charcoal grill, and fine-tuning is out of the question, you can change the heating only at the level “and now we will make it hotter” or “now it is necessary to not be so hot.” Catching the right temperature is not easy, especially if you have no experience. A gas grill usually has the ability to set the required temperature using buttons or toggle switches, depending on the model, the adjustment is performed in steps or smoothly.
A professional gas grill allows you to cook several dishes at once, providing everyone with the optimal temperature regime – unfortunately, you cannot achieve such an effect on a charcoal grill.
After the meat is ready, you can enjoy its taste, demonstrating to relatives, friends, and acquaintances what a wonderful cook you are. But sooner or later, the time will come when you need to tidy up the grill. There will be a lot of ash in the coal, which will need to be removed – and messing around with the ash is not so pleasant, it just strives to fly around, get on your clothes, get into your nostrils You just need to wash a gas grill.
So in terms of convenience, the charcoal grill is perhaps inferior to the gas one. Although there are people who believe that striking a match and adjusting the temperature by eye is not only more convenient but also clearer than clicking buttons and turning toggle switches. Again, buttons and toggle switches, they say, have no romance or poetry, but matches and charcoal do.
10 Best Charcoal Grill
Charcoal grills: pros and cons
Many charcoal grill fans would be happy to know that all gas grills are suddenly gone. But they have certain reasons for such an attitude – in certain aspects, charcoal for grilling is better than gas:
- Heat. A charcoal grill heats up to a higher temperature than a gas grill without special burners. A high temperature (sometimes you can get 400 degrees or more) is what you need if you want the roasted meat to remain red or pink inside.
- Pleasant aroma. A charcoal grill will give your food a distinct, pleasant smoke smell.
What are the disadvantages of charcoal grills:
- higher fire hazard
- coal is very dirty
- the grill heats up longer
- high bursts of flame may appear
- it is very difficult to accurately control the temperature
- cools down for a long time
- you need to carefully monitor so that there is no soot
- you need to remove the ash after each cooking.
Most of these unpleasant moments are easy to eliminate if you know a few secrets. Careful handling will reduce the risk of fire hazards, and proper storage of fuel will eliminate the problem of raw coal. Some models of grills are equipped with a pull-out tray to remove soot, and an indirect cooking method will help protect the meat from high flames.
10 Best Gas Grill
Gas grills: pros and cons
The first half of the 90s became a turning point – gas grills surpassed coal ones in sales, and now 60% of sold grill installations are gas grills. It’s not hard to guess why this happened.
Gas grills are loved for their convenience and ease of temperature control, and for the fact that they:
- start-up and heat up in 10-15 minutes
- keep the temperature stable
- cool down quickly
- most models heat up to 250 degrees, some up to 500
- do not have flares
- allow you to use several temperature zones for cooking different products at the same time
- the set usually has a spit
- has more accessories
- easy to clean.
Why don’t gas grills like:
- burners need to be rinsed under pressure every few months
- fuel is more expensive
- most models do not have woodchip drawers to create a smoky aroma
- the gas is explosive
- gas grills are more expensive.
The most important aspect of cooking is heat control and regulation. In order not to miss and not overcook the meat on the grill, it is enough to use a thermometer-probe (the most accurate) or other types of electronic grill thermometers. This advice applies to both charcoal and gas grill.
Is there a difference in taste?
Any foodie knows that the taste of food depends on how it is prepared. This also applies to grilled meat. The main difference between the two cuts of meat that are grilled using different fuels will be that one of them will have a much stronger smoke flavor.
Obviously, this flavor will appear in meats cooked on a charcoal grill, because the gas does not smoke. Is this good or bad? To be honest, this question is subjective and depends on the personal taste preferences of a particular person. So everything is simple:
- if the smack of fuming charcoal in meat seems obligatory for you, your choice is a charcoal grill
- you are better off using a gas grill if you don’t want the smoke to annoy you
- if you don’t care, then there is no problem, your choice is the gas grill.
A charcoal grill with fewer parts is a more economical option. A gas grill is more convenient but more expensive than a coal one. Therefore, you need to decide what functionality you need from the grill.
The charcoal grill is fired with matches, paper, dry ignites, starter, and various other means for ignition, not everyone will want to do this, moreover, with this type of grill, it is easier to burn yourself. To start the gas grill, simply click the button (control). Gas grills are ideal for people who prefer lightness and flexibility in their cooking. One of the main advantages of gas grills is that it is easier to avoid burning or the formation of a black charcoal crust on the food during the grilling process. This happens due to the fact that in a gas grill you can easily and quickly adjust the temperature and heating rate, due to which you have complete control over the cooking process. There is no need to look for coal or wood, and this is also a good reason for many when choosing a grill. With one click, your grill will be ready to use in a few minutes.
If you do not have a large car and a few friends for help, then transporting the gas grill to the yard, to the park, or to the countryside is another headache, of course, if it is not a portable gas grill. Therefore, charcoal grills are considered more mobile and compact grills, if this is not a portable gas grill.
- for a summer cottage (country house) – absolutely any grill is suitable for the backyard of a house or summer cottage: gas, coal or wood, mobile or stationary
- apartment – the best option for an apartment is a compact electric grill
- grill for a large company – a portable stable gas or charcoal grill is suitable for company outings.
- restaurants – mainly industrial gas grills of the built-in type are chosen for restaurants
What to choose in the end?
Both types of grills can be used successfully. A charcoal grill is the best for red meat and smoke-flavored dishes. A gas grill is best for poultry, vegetables, pizza, fish, and bread.