Gas vs Charcoal Grills

Gas Grill vs Charcoal Grill

Table of Contents

What Is The Difference Between Gas and Charcoal Grills

The age-old debate of gas grills versus charcoal grills is ongoing among grilling enthusiasts. The main difference between them is that gas grills use propane or natural gas, and charcoal grills rely on burning charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal. Each type of grill boasts its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Pros and Cons of Gas Grills

If you value convenience, a gas grill may be right for you. Just know that you’ll miss out on the smoky flavor associated with charcoal grilling.

Pros of a Gas Grill

A gas grill has many advantages:

  • Heats up quickly, usually within 10-15 minutes
  • Offers precise temperature control, allowing you to cook a variety of dishes with ease
  • Easier to clean, as there are no ashes to deal with after grilling
  • More environmentally friendly, as they produce fewer emissions than charcoal grills
  • Convenient, with features like side burners and storage space for cooking utensils

Some popular gas grill brands include AOG, Bull, and Firemagic gas grills.

Cons of a Gas Grill

Gas grills also have some drawbacks:

  • Can be more expensive than charcoal grills, both upfront and in terms of fuel costs
  • Lacks the authentic smoky flavor that charcoal grills provide
  • Can be less portable due to the need for a gas tank
  • Requires a dedicated gas line or propane tank, which may not be available in some locations
  • Potential safety concerns with gas leaks or improper connections

Pros and Cons of Charcoal Grills

Charcoal grills are beloved by many for the rich, smoky flavor they impart on food. They’re typically more affordable than gas grills but can be challenging to control regarding temperature.

Bonus: Click here to read 10 tips for grilling with charcoal

Pros of a Charcoal Grill

Charcoal grills have their own set of advantages:

  • Imparts a rich, smoky flavor to food that many grill enthusiasts love
  • Tends to be more affordable than gas grills, both in terms of initial cost and fuel
  • Can reach higher temperatures than gas grills, allowing for better searing
  • Highly portable, making them great for camping or tailgating
  • Offers a more interactive and engaging grilling experience

Some popular charcoal grills include Big Green Egg and Firemagic charcoal grills. 

Cons of a Charcoal Grill

Charcoal grills also have some drawbacks:

  • Takes longer to heat up, sometimes up to 30-45 minutes
  • Temperature control can be more challenging, requiring experience and skill
  • Generates more ash and requires more clean-up after use
  • Less environmentally friendly, as they produce more emissions than gas grills
  • May be restricted in certain locations due to fire hazard concerns


Both gas and charcoal grills have their respective pros and cons, making the decision a matter of personal preference. If you value convenience, quick heating, and precise temperature control, a gas grill might be the right choice. Click here to shop for gas grills. 

On the other hand, if you prefer a rich, smoky flavor and enjoy the interactive experience of grilling, a charcoal grill could be your perfect match. Click here to shop for charcoal grills. 

Ultimately, the best grill for you depends on your preferences, budget, and grilling experience.

FAQ About Gas and Charcoal Grills

It depends on personal preference. Gas grills are convenient and offer precise temperature control, while charcoal grills provide a smoky flavor and a more interactive experience.

Gas grills heat up quickly and offer precise temperature control, making them more convenient for cooking various dishes.

Generally, charcoal grills are cheaper to operate as charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal tend to cost less than propane or natural gas.

Pros: rich smoky flavor, affordability, high heat for searing, portability, engaging grilling experience.

Cons: longer heat-up time, challenging temperature control, more clean-up, less environmentally friendly, potential fire hazard restrictions.

Gas grills can be more expensive, lack the smoky flavor of charcoal grills, may be less portable, require a dedicated gas line or propane tank, and may have safety concerns related to gas leaks or improper connections.

People prefer gas grills for their convenience, quick heating, precise temperature control, and ease of cleaning.

Charcoal grills impart a rich, smoky flavor to food, which many grill enthusiasts find more appealing and authentic.

Charcoal typically provides a better smoky flavor, while propane offers a cleaner taste, although the flavor might not be as pronounced as with charcoal.