Q: Charcoal or gas, which is better?
A: That is the subject of a raging debate that’s not likely to be decided anytime soon. But the two different types of grills certainly have their strong suits.
Gas is generally more convenient. The fuel, either from a propane tank or natural gas line, is less of a hassle than charcoal nuggets for most outdoor cooks. Gas grills also heat up faster, so they may be suitable for spur-of-the-moment throw-downs or entertaining larger groups in a hurry. They’re also easier to fire up and to clean up than charcoal varieties.
The controls on gas offer the griller more precision in manipulating the heat, though learning to “read” the heat on charcoal is certainly a bragging right of its own. At the end of a session, the gas grill can be cranked up for cleaning, which isn’t the case with charcoal.
Charcoal lovers counter that gas just can’t compare. For starters, it doesn’t get as hot. Charcoal converts also swear by the flavor, saying that the unique smokiness is not replicable on gas, period. Charcoal grills also tend to be less expensive, so they’re more accessible for the everyday consumer.