Advantages of a Charcoal Grill Over a Gas Grill

The spring season is here for everyone in the United States with summer quickly approaching. With the warmer weather here to stay, the American family starts to see a lot of their cooking leave the confines of the home and move to the outside cooking area of the grill master. The ultimate tool for the grill master is the grill, and the first decision a potential grill master has to make is what type of grill they want to use. The two options are gas and charcoal, and in this grill master’s opinion the charcoal one is the better option for traditional outdoor cooking.

The first reason for preferring the charcoal option over the gas option is rather primitive. Primitive indeed actually, it’s because it’s more natural to cook over the fire of the coals than it is by turning a knob on the grill to start it up. By using charcoal you get to see the large flames as you start your charcoal either using a chimney starter or through the use of lighter fluid. With a gas grill, you might as well be inside the house because all you are doing is basically cooking on your kitchen stove out on your deck.

Another reason for favoring charcoal grills is the broad range of temperatures you can achieve. A gas grill can not give you a temperature any higher than it’s “high” setting. Meanwhile with charcoal you can arrange your charcoal to increase the cooking temperature for your cooking surface. Do you want a very high temperature? Move the coals close together and make a pile of them to amplify the heat. Do you want a more even temperature over your cooking surface? Spread the coals evenly under your entire cooking surface. Do you want areas to be hotter or colder as you cook? Just move the coals as your meat is cooking. The flexibility is much greater with a charcoal grill than a gas grill. Keep in mind you can adjust the dials on a gas grill, but you can’t move where the heating elements are.

Yet another reason to favor charcoal cooking is the more natural flavoring it imparts. Many proponents of the gas grill will tell you that gas is odorless and flavorless, but in the end when you are grilling, you want that “grilled flavor”. This is something that charcoal will provide for you. It is true you can purchase smoke boxes and woods to use in your gas grill, but if you are going to go through that many steps, then you should just go ahead and cook over charcoal to begin with.

So, if there are these advantages to using a charcoal grill, then why do so many use gas grills? Well one of the reasons is convenience. As mentioned above a gas grill is like taking your stove outdoors. If you don’t want to worry about adjusting heat levels manually and really would just like a simple way to cook outside then a gas grill is for you probably. Overall though, gas grills are considerably more expensive than charcoal grills so you are paying for that added convenience. Another concern is some feel that gas grills are safer. Sorry, but it’s probably a lot safer to have charcoal stored in your back yard than it is to store a flammable substance like propane which is an explosive. Another common criticism is the clean up. Yes, it is a little more work to clean a charcoal grill. Remember though, grilling is about getting back to that primitive nature of man and fire. Primitive man really wasn’t too concerned about the clean up required of their grilling area when deciding what to have for their meals.

Grilling involves quite a few personal decisions. The biggest and most important is the choice of the grill you will use. As this article has pointed out there are quite a few reasons for choosing to cook the natural way over charcoal as opposed to using a gas grill. The choice is yours to make, but hopefully the information in this article has made you a more informed consumer.

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