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Which Grill Is Better? Gas or Charcoal?

Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images

Charcoal is true grilling.  It has that nice smoked flavor when cooked properly.  Also, it brings us back to our caveman roots where we have fire and meat.   There’s a special feeling that’s hard to describe that comes from building a fire and cooking your dinner.  With charcoal there is actually a technique to stacking the briquettes.   While you are waiting for the coals to warm up, you can always have a cocktail!  And always be careful that the coals have burned off the lighter fluid.  It’s also sometimes a challenge to cook the food evenly because it’s harder to control the heat.  Charcoal is definitely more of an experience.

Gas grills are just way easier.  I think that’s the only advantage.  If you want the smokey flavor, you can always through in some of those wood chips or something.  I don’t really know, I haven’t used them.  With gas, you turn a knob and hit the ignitor and you’re practically ready to cook.   There’s no waiting for coals to warm up.  There’s no time for a cocktail.  But it’s just so much easier.  And if you are going to try to slow cook something on the grill, it’s pretty much the only way to go.  Ribs are a good example.  If you want to cook ribs properly, you want to take the time to cook them slowly.  The meat is more tender and you can apply more BBQ sauce.  If you are using charcoal with ribs, you have to be an expert, because you have to make sure the coals don’t get to hot, and then you have to add more charcoal while you are cooking.

So with all these things considered, I think we are going to make the switch to a gas grill.  It’s just easier.  I’m going to keep our charcoal grill just in case I miss the experience of “true” grilling.

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