It’s an argument as old as the grill itself: Which reigns supreme? The gas or charcoal barbecue. Champions of the charcoal grill will wax lyrical about the incomparable flavour that comes from cooking over open coals, while the other side will celebrate the control and convenience that comes with gas.
Obviously, there are pros and cons that come with each choice.
So, if you’re looking at some backyard home improvements and you’re in the market for a new “Q”, we can help you out by running through some of the pros and cons of charcoal and gas barbecues.
While you can have good cooking control on either gas or charcoal barbecues, it’s much easier to control the heat with gas. Gas burners offer fairly precise temperature control at the turn of a knob.
With charcoal barbecues, you can control the heat, but it requires more attention, as well as skill and experience. With charcoal, you need experience handling coal, knowing how much is necessary to get the desired heat, and you also have to pile it up and spread it around to be able to control the heat around the different areas of the barbecue.
In this case, gas is the clear winner. Gas Q’s heat up and cool down very quickly compared with charcoal. Charcoal barbecues, on the other hand, can take up to 40 minutes to heat up to the kinds of temperatures necessary to properly sear meat. Constant attention is also required to maintain and control the heat level.
It’s straight up science that food tastes better when grilled over charcoal. Most people think that it’s the burning charcoal that gives off the smoky flavour. But that’s not quite the case. Charcoal briquettes are primarily carbonised wood, which means they burn very hot and very clean (giving off very little smoke). Because charcoal burns much hotter than a gas grill, it helps to release the drippings from the meat. These are loaded with fats, oils, sugars and proteins. As these drippings hit the hot coals, they are vaporised and rise back up to coat the meat with that extra flavour.
Gas grills generally don’t burn hot enough to vaporise the drippings. Instead, these drippings just cause smoke or extra flames, which either burn the meat and lead to a charred, bitter flavour.
Gas barbecues are generally the safer option. Charcoal grills have a higher fire risk due to the possibility of coals and sparks escaping the grill and the constant handling of hot coals.
That said, gas is not without it’s risks as well. When it comes to gas grills, you need to ensure your gas bottles are in good condition and always within their operation dates. You should also regularly inspect all gas hoses and connections to ensure they’re not damaged.
It’s important to remember that regardless of whether you choose gas or charcoal, you’re dealing with fire, so it’s important to bear safety in mind and make sure you always have a fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies.
What’s the verdict?
When it comes down to making a choice between a gas and charcoal grill, it really depends on how you like to cook. If you want something convenient that heats up quickly and doesn’t require constant attention to deliver steady heat, then gas is the way to go.
If you like to take a little more time with your cooking, really pay attention to what you’re doing and be rewarded with that glorious smoky flavour, then its charcoal all the way! Read more blogs..