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Grilling: Charcoal Vs. Gas Grills

As the light Spring months descend upon us and the grills start coming out in earnest to nearly every backyard and deck, the age old question resurfaces of which is better: gas grills or charcoal grills, and why? What it really comes down to is a few key characteristics that each offers the consumer. What your individual priorities are such as cost, taste, energy consumption, etc in a grill determines which type of grill would be best suited to you. In this article, we'll discuss some of the most important aspects of gas and charcoal grills below to help you find your way to the right type of grill.


Many people opt for a grill depending on the convenience attached to it. Is it easy to turn on? Does it take awhile to cook? In terms of how convenient it is to cook, gas grills win out. With the gas grill, you turn on the gas knobs, push the igniter button, and presto: the cooking can begin within about ten minutes. With a charcoal grill; however, though it is fairly simple to light the charcoal briquettes, it does take on average about 30 minutes to get to a medium grilling heat. So, depending on your lifestyle and how often you use your grill, you may have the time or may not.


Maintaining your grill, as is the necessary of all your worldly possessions, is also a factor to consider, when deciding upon a gas or charcoal grill. Hands down, the gas grill is easier to clean up..Many people just let the previous meats, veggies, fish burn off before grilling again, and perform once in awhile washing. With charcoal grills, however, the mess is more pronounced, and typically requires cleaning maintenance much more often than a gas grill.


Now when it comes to taste, this is where the playing field levels a bit; as many people report that fish, steaks, burgers, and everything else they choose to grill taste much more smoky and flavorful on a charcoal grill as opposed to the gas grill. This would make sense as your food is burning directly above the charcoal briquettes, and therefore take on the rich smoky flavor of the bricks; whereas gas flame doesn't offer any smoky char-taste unless you cook your food longer.

Fuel Economy

When it comes to the fuel economy of your grill, it's also important to recognize the varying convenience of the fuel/grill choice. The gas grill operates on a propane gas tank that-depending on the frequency of your use-can last a whole summer without needing to be replaced with another. Charcoal briquettes, on the other hand, take no time at all to use; so you must be prepared to make frequent store visits for bags of charcoal, if you are an avid griller. In the course of a summer, a gas grill propane tank will last you longer in relative comparison to the trips you would have to make to replace your charcoal briquettes; making the charcoal fuel economy more expensive.


When it comes to barbeque grills and pricing, the range is pretty wide. Typically, gas grills range from $150 to upwards of $1000. Charcoal grills, on the other hand, range from $50 to $450. So, again it comes down to how much you want to spend, and what conveniences-if any-you require in a grill.


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