The Everlasting Debate on Gas & Charcoal BBQ Grills

That everlasting debate about which BBQ grill is better – charcoal or gas has been around for ages (and now we have electric BBQ fans joining this debate too!). It all started back in 1960s when the first gas BBQ grills appeared on the market.

The first thing that distinguishes a gas grill from a charcoal one is the fact that you can set if off very quickly indeed, without having to put any effort into lighting it all up and waiting for the charcoals to get all ashy. And of course with gas grills you won’t get all dirty dealing with all those piles of charcoal and then the ashes. The gas grills run on gas (obviously!), which is stored in special tanks or bottles, which can be used somewhere where there is no gas supply. The tank is connected to the grill with the help of provided special easy to use equipment. And there we go! The grill is ready! You open the vent to let the gas in, switch the burners (usually by pressing electrical ignition button), warm up the grill to the required temperature and start grilling all your yummies!

Of course, when using a gas BBQ grill you must remember about safety measures. You should never lean over the grate when it’s on, even if it is covered. And perhaps this will seem like a strange tip to you, but the grill should never be used as a heater (yes, yes… there are stories…)

In fact using a gas BBQ does not require any special knowledge or skills. It can be easily maintained – all you need to do it clean the grilling pannel itself and remove the left over fat from the tray, which is always placed at the very bottom of the grill. As you can see, it’s just like cleaning your regular oven in the kitchen, apart from one thing – here you will enjoy cooking results a lot more!

Just like charcoal BBQ grills, gas grills come in different sizes – from relatively small portable ones (like Weber Q models) which can be used for go-away barbecues, to some serious aggregates such as Weber Genesis E-320, which has many temperature settings allowing you to cook for a big crowd. Apart from the standart grilling grate, it also has a separate burner placed on one side. This additional burner may be used for preparing a marinade or some yummy sauce, or whatever you can think of! If you decide that you don’t need the additional burner, you just cover it and turn it into an additional little table. One more advantage of the stationary grill is that precious space underneath the grill, where you can store the gas tanks and all those plates and glasses which don’t fit anywhere else.

Perhaps the main advantage of a gas grill of such class is the availability of three main burners. Each burner has three different settings – L (low), M (medium) and H (high). By setting different temperature levels on all three burners you can create any temperature regime you like, which gives you an unlimited control in cooking process.

Let’s get back to that gas/charcoal debate. The gas BBQ fans insist that gas grills are easier and faster to start up, while charcoal guys smile and say: “Well, maybe you are right, but with a gas grill you will never get that smokey aroma, which makes your BBQ a real BBQ!” “Well, we will add some dry thinnings to get that aroma!” – reply gas BBQ fans. “Sure, sure… why don’t you use deodorant…” – we hear those sarcastic charcoal guys.

I’m afraid we will never see the truth in this debate. But I will tell you this – once I met a guy who has been selling BBQ grills and accessories for years and this is what he told me. When I asked him which grill he has in his own house, he said: “I have three grills: one big gas grill – for BBQ with friends; one charcoal grill Weber Performer – for quiet home BBQs; and one little portable charcoal one – to go away for a picnic”. I guess this is the only right decision!!! And what helps is that the choice is great nowadays and we can all make that right decision.