Charcoal Barbecue vs. Gas Barbecue

by Jessica Jones

Jul 28, 2023 2 minute read

Charcoal Barbecue vs. Gas Barbecue

Happy August! We are way over the halfway line of 2023 already – where did all those months go?

The aroma of sizzling meat and outdoor grilling have long been synonymous with delightful gatherings and lazy summer afternoons. But when it comes to choosing the right barbecue for your backyard, the age-old debate between charcoal and gas barbecues still rages on. Both options have their loyal supporters, and each offers distinct advantages. In this article, we'll weigh the pros and cons of both charcoal and gas barbecues to help you choose the one for your family and impress your friends!

The Charcoal Barbecue

There's a certain romance and nostalgia associated with traditional charcoal barbecues. Your parents were probably the one who taught you how to light the charcoal, wait for the perfect temperature, and watch the glowing embers to come into being.

Charcoal grills are known for their ability to infuse a rich, smoky flavor into the food, which many food enthusiasts consider unmatched. The high heat generated by charcoal grills also allows for excellent searing, perfect for creating those desirable grill marks.

On the downside, though, charcoal barbecues take longer to heat up compared to gas barbecues. Additionally, maintaining a consistent temperature can be challenging, requiring more skill and experience. Oh, and no one forgets about cleaning up a charcoal barbecue, because it’s a truly pain-staking chore…

The Gas Barbecue

Gas barbecues, on the other hand, offer convenience and ease of use. Just like most kitchen hobs, with the push of a button, they provide instant heat, allowing you to start cooking almost immediately. Temperature control is precise, making it easy to achieve consistent results. The absence of charcoal and ash also means minimal cleanup, making gas barbecues a very popular option.

However, some purists argue that gas grills lack the smoky flavor that charcoal imparts. While gas barbecues can create a sear, they may not reach the same high temperatures as charcoal grills, affecting the overall taste and texture of the food.

Considerations for Your Choice

Here, we have combined a checklist to help you make your mind up on the two options (or simply settle the argument once and for all among your family and friends)!

Flavor Preference: If you prioritize that traditional smoky flavor and are willing to invest time and effort in mastering charcoal grilling, then this might be the choice for you. On the other hand, if you seek a more straightforward, convenient grilling experience without compromising on taste, gas barbecues would be the better option.

Time and Convenience: Consider how much time you can devote to grilling and the level of convenience you desire. Charcoal grills require more preparation and cleanup time, whereas gas grills are quicker to start and easier to maintain.

Budget: While both charcoal and gas barbecues come in a range of prices, charcoal grills are generally more affordable upfront. However, over time, the cost of charcoal can add up, making gas grills more cost-effective in the long run.


At the end of the day, the choice between a charcoal and gas barbecue boils down to personal preference, lifestyle, and cooking style. If you value the classic ritual of grilling, the unmistakable smoky taste, and don't mind investing time, a charcoal barbecue is your best bet.

On the other hand, if convenience, quick start-ups, and easy temperature control are your priorities, a gas barbecue is the way to go.

Both gas and charcoal barbecues can deliver mouthwatering results, and ultimately, the most important aspect of it all is to gather your loved ones, fire up the grill, create happy lasting memories and enjoy delicious meals. Pick the grill that suits your needs and enjoy the sizzling delights of outdoor cooking while the warmer weather lasts!