Barbeque Guide: Gas vs. Charcoal

by admin on January 11, 2013 · 7 comments

Charcoal vs Gas

The humble BBQ stirs something innate in us. The whole concept of cooking meat over an open fire, outside is an attractive prospect and one that would be glorious to endeavor in all year round. However, though most of us would agree that barbequing is one of the most enjoyable ways to cook, there is still much debate on which is the best way to barbeque.

The debate to whether we should use gas or coal has raged for a long time and needless to say will continue to do so for a long time still. The whole idea of turning a fire on with the flick of a switch is one that’s very attractive; however charcoal users vastly prefer the idea of starting a fire from little and see it as the true way to barbeque.

It’s up for you to decide on how you want to cook and all we can do is show you the ups and downs associated with each method.


Pros of Gas

Instant – As we’ve mentioned gas is instant and takes the pressing of a button and little else, meaning you can cook in minutes. It’s also easily controllable which gives you more ability to cook food the way you want and gives you confidence.

Clean – Gas is cleaner in two ways. It’s a cleaner burning fuel and produces fewer emissions. It’s also a lot easier to tidy up after the barbeque as there are no hot embers or coals left around. It uses the same fuel as your garden heater.

Versatile – Buy a top of the range barbeque and watch as it heats sauces, enjoy its side burners and use its rotisserie for meat roasting.

Flavor – Once upon a time this was a major factor, however the addition of smoker boxes has eliminated this charcoal benefit.


Cost is the main downside here and they do cost more than the charcoal equivalent. However, there is more choice and a wider price range. Be aware that extras such as smokers push the cost up further.


Pros of Charcoal

Smoking – This is natural on a traditional charcoal based barbeque and comes from the fuel. There’s something just nice about the whole process in a world of instantaneous.

Cost – The charcoal Barbie is lower in price than the gas equivalent and can range from only a few pounds to hundreds.

Flavor – The flavor of a charcoal barbeque is amazing and though gas can now achieve it with smoke boxes and accessories. It comes as natural to a charcoal device.

Cons of Charcoal

Time – Charcoal does take a period of time to heat up, meaning you have to wait if you’re hungry. It must also be cooked on when the coals are at their peak heat, otherwise you’ll have missed out.

Heat – Unlike the gas equivalent, the heat is not controllable and it can fluctuate which is a problem for cooking meats.

Cleaning – When all is over you have to clean the barbeque and this can be a pain in the neck. You have to scrub the grate, remove the ashes and clean the food stuffs, which can take time and effort. It also must be left to cook before it can be cleaned.

It’s your decision and all we can do is to offer you an impartial look at which is the best fit for your home.

Cormac Reynolds writes this article for Patio Heater Hire and loves cooking, barbequing and the great outdoors.

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