Charcoal vs Propane

Charcoal vs Propane

Whether I am cooking dinner for the family or planning an all out cookout.I put some thought into which grill I will use. Some of you reading this won’t have an opinion and are looking for suggestions. Those who do, a handful might agree with me. So here is mine YOU SHOULD OWN ONE OF EACH.

close up photo of man cooking meat
Photo by Min An on

Pros to cooking with Charcoal

To me grilling with charcoal is more of an event than just making dinner. I get to build a pyramid, spray the coals and soak some mesquite. Just like my dad showed me when I was a kid. Some things just taste better and just wouldn’t feel right otherwise. My favorites on charcoal are country style ribs, chicken on the bone and big homemade hamburgers. I also like how you can roast ears of corn in foil pouches directly on the coals after they die down a bit.

Cons to cooking with Charcoal

Cooking out with charcoal tends to take a little more time, like I said it’s an event. There is also a learning curve when you start out. You’re going to have to time it just right depending on what you are cooking. If you start cooking too soon after lighting your coals it might be too hot but if you wait too long your coals might burn out. Adjusting temp with the air vents will take some practice too and if not closed when not in use the bottom might rust out. Some people don’t like the smoke and you’re going to have to deal with some soot and disposing of ashes.

cooking meat in a griller
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

Pros to cooking Propane

I love my propane grill. You can cook anything, and to be honest it’s the one I use the most. With propane It just takes less time, just get it warm and start cooking. Most propane grills have a side burner or 2 for making your side dishes. They offer better heat control and temps are adjustable. Whether you want a hot sear, reverse sear, or low and slow it’s just a turn of the knob. Just to get ahead of things you can roast corn too.

Cons to cooking with Propane

The biggest con to propane is at some point you are going to run your tank dry right in the middle of cooking. Not a problem if you have 2 tanks and keep the extra full. They are more likely to flare up if cooking really greasy foods or don’t keep it clean. You are going to have to be sure to clean the grease tray and I always line it with foil and add some rock salt. I have never been able to get a smoky flavor that I love. Depending on the model they can be a little heavier and difficult to move.

Well needless to say it is going to be a decision you have to like for a while. If just starting out I would say that propane would be a better choice. It’s fast and easy. If you have the funds a combo would also be a great choice, giving you the best of both worlds… or like me you can start a collection.

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