The barbeque grill is the most important tool of any outdoor cook. They allow the individual to prepare many of their favorite foods while enjoying the outdoor environment. While any griller will agree that cooking outdoors is one of their favorite ways to make food, there is often a difference of opinion when it comes to which type of grill gets the job done best. For an answer to this question, it comes down to the individual and what they are looking for in an outdoor cooking experience.


When it comes to preparing food, what factor is more important than how the food tastes? If you find a charcoal grill user, they will usually have reason why they believe that charcoal makes for a better taste and the same can also be said for gas grill users. The truth is that, for the most part, there is little difference in regard to most foods. And this fact has been demonstrated by way of blind taste testing. Most barbequed food doesn’t spend enough time on the grill to get a significant smoking effect and even with time, a lot of foods have been treated with marinades and rubs that will mask much of the smoking flavor.

That being said, there can be some difference depending on what you are cooking and how you intend to cook it. Steaks can turn out better with charcoal because this type of grill can achieve a higher heat. Cooking methods that require more time like smoke roasting will also have better results on a charcoal grill. With a charcoal grill, the user does get more smoke and they can add some wood to the charcoal to enhance the flavor.


For convenience, the gas grill wins in almost every category. A propane grill is easier to start than a charcoal grill and it heats up faster. On top of that, the gas grill is also easier to clean when you are done cooking. You don’t have to wait for the coals to burnout and you don’t have to take care of things like ash disposal.

The only point where a charcoal grill wins in convenience is the annual maintenance. Both require a good annual cleaning, but a gas grill has more components that need to be checked and cleaned annually. With a charcoal grill you don’t have to check the fuel lines and the burners and, essentially, there are just less parts that could potentially fail.


This is another category that a lot of barbeque cooks would give to the propane grill. The propane grill is typically more versatile just for the simple fact that they can come equipped with more accessories. Some gas grills come with a range style burner for cooking sides or warming sauces and they even have models that come with a rotisserie attachment. On top of that, it is also easier to achieve multi-zone cooking on a gas grill. With two independent burners, the user can setup two heat zones for different types of food. A charcoal grill can do this, but it is harder to manage the coals in a way that designates two exclusive heat zones.

Both gas and charcoal grills have their own advantages when it comes to cooking great food, but most of the flavor difference will come from the person doing the cooking. If you are looking for convenience and versatility, the gas grill is probably the right way to go. But if you have the time to master the skills of charcoal grilling and the added smoked flavor is important to you, then you should probably go with a charcoal grill. At the end of the day, the type of grill that is best for you will depend on your personal preference.