Differences Between Gas and Charcoal Grills

Charcoal and Gas grills are both essential cooking tools for getting a good grilling experience. But often there is a comparison as to which one is better – Charcoal grill or Gas grill? 

It depends on the person and also it varies from person to person. For the beginners, it might be difficult to assess which is better because they don’t have the experience. In this article, we have combined all the pros and cons of both gas and charcoal grillers, so that you can decide for yourself what suits you more.


Charcoal Grills

Charcoal grills are considered the ideal option for grilling purposes. It is the Charcoal that provides you with the rich and smoky flavor of your food that everyone longs for! But as we know, everything has its own pros and cons, the charcoal grill also has its own set of pros and cons! 

Charcoal Grill


  1. They have a higher temperature than regular gas grills. A charcoal griller can reach a temperature of about 600 degrees Fahrenheit. The high temperature makes charcoal burn more which produces more smoke and flavor to the food as compared to a gas grill.
  2. The high heat enhances the rich aroma of the food. When the charcoal burns more, the smoke is infused more into the meat or veggies giving it a unique taste.
  3. A charcoal grill is economical too. A basic charcoal griller will cost you about 25 dollars and a bit high-end model can be found at around 160 dollars. A gas grill can in turn cost you very much. A normal gas grill starts from 130 dollars and ranges up to 300-400 dollars. 


  1. The charcoal grillers take up a lot of heating time. Charcoal grillers take on average about 15-20 minutes to heat and reach the proper cooking temperature. On the other hand, gas grills take less time to heat up, to be precise they heat up instantly in 5 minutes.
  2. There is an added cost of fuel. The charcoal if it’s a bag of 20 pounds can last you up to 3 grilling sessions. Also, the type of charcoal that is used affects the food taste. So a bag of good quality charcoal can cost you more which further adds up.
  3. The cleaning up of the charcoal griller is tiresome. A gas grill can be easily cleaned up using a brush or scrub but the process is a bit lengthier if you are using a charcoal griller.

Gas Grills

A gas grill is a cooking appliance that is mainly used for outdoor cooking. As the name suggests, it uses gas or natural gas as a fuel in order to cook food. By natural gas, we mean methane, which is pressurized into a liquid form from fossil fuels.

Natural gas is difficult to store and transport so the houses that use a natural gas grill get the gas from underground pipelines. 

Gas Grill

It is a proven fact that natural gas grillers are better and more efficient for grilling than charcoal grillers are. 

Again, similar to charcoal grillers, gas grillers also have their own set of pros and cons which we have discussed below to give you a clearer picture. It will help you make your decision as to what would suit you more. 


  1. Gas grillers are environmentally friendly. They are better for your health as well. Gas grilled food contains fewer cancer cells as compared to charcoal smoked food. So it is definitely safer for your body. The gas grill footprint is about 1/3rd the charcoal grill footprint.

  2. Gas grillers take only a few minutes to start and heat up. It takes about 5-10 minutes only to reach the grilling temperature. You don’t need to wait for the coals to heat up as you do or need to do in a charcoal griller. The temperatures can be easily adjusted from a very low to a very high heat which is a plus point.

  3. The versatility is a feature to note in a gas griller. A gas grill can be used to cook vegetables and also grilled chicken with the amount of smoke it produces. Since the temperatures can be regulated, different types of food items requiring different amounts of heat can be prepared with ease.


  1. A disadvantage of the gas griller is that it takes up a lot of time to set up. A charcoal griller on the other hand can be set up in minutes. This is so because a gas model is a bit more complicated to assemble. Added trouble comes with the hooking up of the propane tank.

  2. Gas grills are very unsafe and one needs to be very careful when handling a gas griller. It must always be checked if there are any leakages or not. A gas grill should be kept at least 10 feet away from your house or any solid structure. Also, make sure that the griller is free from any grease.

  3. The gas grillers are not suitable for traveling and carrying around, while charcoal grillers are. This is so because the gas tanks are highly unsafe to carry around since they can leak and lead to dangerous accidents at any time.

Gas Vs Charcoal: Where Do They Differ?

  1. Taste

    The food cooked in a charcoal griller will have a very smoky flavor and taste while that cooked in a gas grill gives a very clean smoke. However, the smoky flavor of a charcoal grill can be infused while using a gas grill too by buying a smoke box.

  2. Control

    It is very easy to control and regulate temperatures as you want in a gas grill while it is not so in a charcoal griller. The temperature is very easy to set and maintain which makes it easy and versatile to cook a range of food items. In a gas griller, it takes constant attention and experience for regulating the temperature.

  3. Accessories

    A charcoal griller comes with certain accessories like a charcoal griller cover to protect it from the cold chilly winds in the winters. The main accessory needed with a charcoal griller is the wood pellets. Wood pellets come in different flavors and vary according to food. Some of the popular accessories needed with a gas griller are BBQ thermometers, griddles, rotisserie kits, and so on.

  4. Safety

    A charcoal grill is much safer than a gas griller. In a gas griller, there are gas cylinders and propane tanks involved which makes it very risky. It must always be checked that the gas tank is not leaking. There is also a risk of the gas cylinder bursting. So a charcoal smoker is preferred when it comes to safety.

  5. Cost

    A charcoal grill is more affordable than a gas grill. Charcoal grills start from about 30 dollars; the most basic one. They range up to 150-200 dollars. The cost of a gas griller is 300-400 dollars. But the added cost of fuel in a charcoal grill is much more so it can actually outweigh the cost of a gas griller.


Is Charcoal Or Gas Grill Better?

There are no doubt certain points that make a charcoal griller a better option than a gas griller. A charcoal griller is safer and more cost-effective as compared to a gas griller. A charcoal griller is also portable because it is difficult to carry the propane or gas cylinders everywhere. But they have a set of cons too. They can prove to be more costly than gas grillers if the fuel cost is large. The preference of the buyer is the main thing to decide which one they would want – charcoal or a gas griller.

Is There A Taste Difference Between Charcoal And Gas Grills?

Smoldering charcoal creates a taste difference as the smoke particles create the flavor. The flavor becomes stronger with the type of pellet and the flavor of pellet you are using. In a gas grill, there is no such extra flavor of the pellets so the taste can be a little different when compared.

Should I Buy A Charcoal Or A Gas Grill?

Whether you should buy a charcoal grill or a gas grill is totally dependent on what features and what food you want to cook. The charcoal griller is a much safer option if safety is a concern for you. The cost factor, if taken into consideration, would also incline the preference toward a charcoal grill. But again there is an added cost of fuel, and if that is an issue, then it is okay to go with a gas griller. 

Again, food cooked in a charcoal griller can have a little different taste and flavor. On the other hand, a gas grill is very versatile for cooking any type of food be it regular sauté vegetables or grilled chicken. 

So before buying a charcoal or gas grill keep in mind these factors mentioned above. Go for the one which best suits your preferences and situations.


Both gas grills and charcoal grillers are excellent choices to cook food in. For a person who has no idea about what these are and what to buy it may get a little overwhelming as in the first instance, both seem to be identical. Both of them have their pros and cons, so none is superior or none is inferior to the other. The above-discussed pros and cons can serve as a good guide for someone who is confused between a gas griller and a charcoal griller.

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