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Charcoal Grills vs. Gas Grills: The Best Product Comparison

When you’re shopping for barbecues, you have a lot of big choices to make. Do you get a steel barbecue or a ceramic one? Should you choose a smaller, portable barbecue, or do you need a large family sized version to feed the whole family?

One of the biggest choices you will face though is not about looks. It’s about fuel. Should you choose a charcoal grill or a gas or propane barbecue? Here’s everything you need to know:

Charcoal Grill vs Gas Grill: Product Comparison

Gas Grill from 846-102
Gas Grill from

When it comes to price, both charcoal barbecues and gas grills have options to fit nearly every budget. Whether you only want a small portable barbecue or a full sized family feeder, you can find them in both of these types, with a price tag to match.

You can get budget friendly gas or charcoal barbecues for well under one hundred dollars, and there are models that go for several thousand at the top end of the spectrum. So, on price, your options are pretty well matched.

Charcoal Grill vs Gas Grill: Heating Time

On this one, the gas grill is the clear winner. All you have to do is turn the knob on the grill to get the exact temperature you want. Whereas with a charcoal grill, you will have to wait for the coals to catch alight and burn down to get the right temperature to cook on. Too soon, and your food will burn. Too late, and it won’t cook through. There’s definitely more of an art to charcoal grill temperature regulation!

Charcoal Grill vs Gas Grill: Flavor

When it comes to food flavor, there’s just nothing that compares to the flavor of smoke in a grill. Which means that charcoal wins this one. Unless, of course, you invest in a smoker box and wood chips. These clever little devices allow you to create wood smoke in a gas grill with very little mess and almost no fuss.

The negative side of charcoal grills’ smoke creation is that if you don’t know how to use them correctly, you could spread a lot of smoke throughout your yard. Which is not really conducive to happy guests!

Charcoal Grill vs Gas Grill: Cool Down Time

The other big plus about a gas grill is that they can be turned off just as quickly as they are turned on. So, when you are done cooking, you can turn the knob and the grill will immediately start cooling down. Charcoal grills, on the other hand, tend to stay hot for a long time after you cook in them, which means they’re not really idea for barbecues in some places. In fact, if you live in a place that is prone to forest or brush fires, chances are you will have fire bans on equipment like charcoal grills during the summer.

Charcoal Grill vs Gas Grill: Cooking Temperature

When you are barbecuing anything, you want to have a really high heat, so that you can seal the food and lock in all the juices. While there are some bigger gas and propane grills out there that can get pretty hot, most can’t come close to the heat you get from a charcoal grill.

If you are serious about real barbecue grilling, then you really should consider getting a charcoal grill. You can always have a gas or propane option for days when you don’t need high heat too. However, charcoal will almost always offer the superior result.

Some of the Best Charcoal and Gas Barbecues

If you’re still not decided about whether to get a charcoal grill or a gas barbecue, maybe one of these models from Aosom will tip the scales.

Barbecue Grill from 846-036
Barbecue Grill from 846-036

Outsunny 48″ Steel Portable Backyard Charcoal BBQ Grill and Offset Smoker Combo with Wheels

This little portable barbecue uses charcoal and has an attached smoker for extra flavor. It is very affordable, and the compact size means that it’s perfect for even smaller yards.

BBQ Grill from 846-002
BBQ Grill from 846-002

Outsunny 20″ Portable Outdoor Camping Charcoal Barbecue Grill with Wooden Handles & Improved Air Circulation

It’s not often that you would describe a barbecue as cute, but this one definitely fits the bill!

Tiny and compact, but with all the bells and whistles you would expect on a much bigger grill, this little barbecue is well made and very affordable.

Outsunny 28″ Charcoal Barbecue Grill Stainless Steel Folding BBQ Camping Grill for Shish Kabob

skewer bbq grill from
skewer barbecue grill from

Simple and durable, thanks to the fully stainless steel construction, this charcoal barbecue gets the job done right no matter what. At this price, it’s perfect for the cabin, the camper, or the backyard – or you can get one for all three of them and take perfect grilling with you no matter where you go!

Outsunny 19” Steel Porcelain Portable Outdoor Charcoal Barbecue Barbeque Grill

Red Portable Grill from
Red Portable Grill from

Small and compact but with all the features you need. This portable charcoal grill has a durable porcelain finish, and shelves on each side of the grill, so you have lots of space for prep and utensil storage. There’s also a roomy shelf below, and the wheels mean this little grill is easy to move exactly where you need it!


True barbecue fans will tell you that there’s no such thing as too many grills. Most will have different kinds of barbecues for different occasions. They might have a gas grill at home, in an outdoor kitchen, but have a porcelain, ceramic or charcoal grill that they use for specific dishes.

Most people who really love barbecue will also have one or more portable or foldup barbecues that they can use when they are at the lake, picnicking or camping.

Whether they are large or small, cheap, or top of the line, there’s nothing quite like a barbecue. So, invest in one (or two!) that you can use to transform your summer this year. After all, no backyard, balcony, camp site or cabin is quite complete without a great barbecue.

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