Charcoal vs Gas Grill Debate: 7 Points to Consider . Charcoal Drawbacks. Is there an experiment or observation you’d like to see us do with our high-heat probes? It takes a while to get the temperature up, so you will need some good prep time before you can actually start grilling the meat. Deciding how much charcoal to use is more of a “by feel” kind of thing. Charcoal fires can reach up to 800°F. From temperature ranges to fuel costs, there’s a lot to consider. We’ll have to look for a gas barbecue so we can efficiently cook lots of delicious food for our guests to enjoy. The same temperature range is possible with charcoal grills. It can get hotter than standard gas grills. With proper use and maintenance (more on that later), you aren’t likely to run into many problems. Below we’ve compiled a thermal profile for several types of grills and a smoker so that you can better understand what to expect from—and how to set up—your grill this summer! You can dial the amount of propane being used up or down depending on what temperature you want to use. But with our thermal tools and information, you can make that choice with greater confidence. Electric grills typically are the cheapest to operate, and you never have run out to the store for more fuel. To see how the actual heat of these grills performed, we heated our natural-gas grill to high heat on the left side, leaving the right side turned off as if we were preparing for a reverse sear or two-stage cooking. Charcoal grills are known for flare-ups caused when fat from the food drips on the hot coals. Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. #Heating/Cooking Temperature:-The most important factor which makes cooking possible with smokers and grills is the temperature. They are famous for steady heat, due to their thick ceramic walls. Gas Grill Benefits . However, charcoal is a more expensive fuel and may cost more in the long run. Charcoal grilling temperature Another feature that you will appreciate of charcoal grills is the fact that you can produce as much heat as you want for cooking your meals . Yes! The internet is full of questions about cooking with gas grills, and it might be because gas grills are the first grill that many—though not all!—people use. That might lead to a slightly decreased temperature. For example, the highest temperature a gas grill gives ranges between 450 °F – 500 °F which implies the fast cook. Even with the lid closed, the two-zone cooking differential is still apparent in the thermal image: The kettle is the most iconic grill in America and with good reason. Charcoal vs. gas grill: which is hotter? ... Charcoal vs Gas Grill - Top 5 Pros and Cons Compared. However, they are able to maintain a steady temperature for a long time. The Basic Thing to Consider. If you want high, high heat, charcoal is the way to go. There is also a lot of personal preference involved, both with taste, ease of use, and cost of both the grill and the fuel (charcoal or gas). For example, does a single layer of coals on a 14″ Smokey Joe have the same temperature profile as a 22″ kettle (all other variables being equal)? Some of these smokers claim to be able to sear your food as well as smoke it, which would be great for things like reverse searing a tri-tip. We also use the same weight and brand of lump charcoal (4.4 pounds or 2 kg), often from the same bag. Among the most common questions that come up when it comes to grilling are questions of grill type. It's easy to achieve your ideal grilling temperature, even with charcoal. Charcoal grills take longer to preheat and it is not very easy to change the temperature quickly. One of the big advantages is the type of combustion. To learn about the heat profiles of each grill type, we used high-heat probes at grill level and two inches above grill level, taking data for each cooking environment. Plus no having to watch over the thing to be sure it's finally out afterwards. A grill has to reach a temperature of at least 600 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve a nice sear on your meat. Your mileage may vary significantly depending on make and model and how you have it set up. Many purists claim that the flavor imparted from charcoal is the only way to grill. Temperature Range A charcoal grill can operate from extremely low to searing (+1200° F) temperatures. Egg shape or kettle? Charcoal grills give that unmistakable flame-grilled taste with or without searing. Home Test Kitchen Cooking with Gear & Gadgets. BBQ Battle: Gas vs Charcoal Price Range Gas. Best Gas Grill: Our Test Kitchen staff recommend the Weber Genesis II E-335 Gas Grill ($950) for its durability and top-of-the-line cooking power. For success with a charcoal grill, prior planning is paramount. While gas grills won’t create that trademark charcoal char, they can still cook meats to browned perfection without producing some of the chemicals released by burning charcoal. With so many delicious grilling recipes to cook up this summer, you can’t go wrong either way. Hi-Temp Flexible Ceramic Fiber-Insulated Probe, Does the reverse seat work for ground beef. But with a charcoal grill, you must monitor the temperature constantly. Still, the edge has to go to charcoal for its pure simplicity. In fact, that approached the range that many wood-fired pizza ovens burn at, and is why grilled pizzas work so well on a kettle grill. My husband and I just moved into our new home, and we’re looking for a way to cook food for a housewarming party we want to throw once we get completely moved in. But only by 15-20 minutes of warm-up time. It is very hard to tell how much heat a gas grill will deliver because the manufacturers only tell you BTU, British Thermal Units, used. Gas devotees will tell you that this produces a flavour just as fine as charcoal, but then it does not explain why people make a great deal of money supplying packs that you just burn on a gas barbecue to try to create a far more “woody” flavour. (We are aware that these grills can achieve much higher temperatures without the diffuser plate!) Good question! If you want high, high heat, charcoal is the way to go. Probes were placed over the flame and in the “cool” zone. Below, we’ll discuss some of the thermal characteristics of these grills, but we will not be going into specifics on grill brands or models. Kirk, Pellet Grill vs. Charcoal Grill. But with beef like that, be sure your indirect heat is nice and gentle. If so, let us know in the comments! With the gas grill, control is a piece of cake. Gas grills have a similar responsiveness as gas charbroilers, and these grills are often equipped with a thermometer to monitor the temperature inside the grill for more precise cooking. Some models can reach considerably higher temperatures, and the direct heat makes them better for searing food. In meat-loving circles, few topics get argued more intensely or more often than charcoal vs. gas grills.Stumble onto any barbecue or carnivore-centric message board, and you’re sure to bump heads with any number of gas-fiends and charcoal-fanatics.The problem – as with most of these debates – is that one isn’t actually better than the other. We started with the lid on, then with the lid off, then with the coals moved to one side for indirect cooking with the lid on. Charcoal is also more portable than gas grills. Which Grill is Better for Steak? Gas - It has a smaller range of temperatures compared to charcoal grills, most of them reach temperatures of up to 500-550 degrees F. Plenty of cheaper models won’t be able to reach temperatures high enough for searing. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. The grill grate in this grill was 3.5″ above the surface of the single layer of coals. Moving the coals to one side and recording the temperature data on the other side shows a perfect grill-roasting temperature around 350°F (177°C). I want to cook a blend of Kobe/angus beef which needs low heat to melt the fat. The best models are often expensive. Our probes 3.5″ above the charcoal bed had much higher temperatures than those only 2″ above the gas elements themselves. Which type of grill is the best? ‘With charcoal grills you can cook directly but often you can also use them like an oven to slow cook. Are they really that different? We also ran it at searing temp with the lid open to see if what the temperatures would be like at the surface and 2″ above it. Just use the valve and alternate the gas output. Any thoughts. Before owning her small business, she obtained a Yoga Teacher Certificate and has taught both yoga and meditation off and on throughout the past ten years. The real reason to buy a charcoal grill is that charcoal can get hotter than standard gas grills, and heat is what you need to get steaks and lamb crisp on the outside and red or pink on the inside. The ease of dial-controlled temperature is an appealing feature for many cooks. Charcoal vs. Gas Grill: The Breakdown Charcoal Grill Pros. Earlier this summer, I finally did the unthinkable and got myself a gas grill. I hope that helps! The main thing that differentiates these two types of grills is the fuel that they run on, obviously. For gas barbecues you don't need to adjust the position of the grill, because the temperature is set with adjustable knobs. A propane or gas grill definitely heats up much faster than a charcoal grill. Make sure they don’t cross any direct-heat zones and try to keep them from laying across grill grates, which can conduct the energy to them far more efficiently than air. Charcoal vs. gas grill and beyond: Your guide to different types of grills . You can do this by increasing the number of briquettes in the cooking device and opening up the air vents to increase circulation within the grill. As we have established, charcoal grills are better at reaching those high temperatures, and controlling the temperature can be more of a struggle. Within those two families, things break down further. People often think of gas grills as automatically being more expensive than charcoal grills, but that is simply not true. Gas vs. Charcoal Grill: Things You Need to Know When Buying a Grill. We think you probably do too, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have questions about it, and this post is going to try to answer some of them. The data shows that the reputation for consistency is well earned. Some models offer maximum temperatures of 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Generally, charcoal smokers are able to deliver higher temperature compared to pellet grills. There is no residual taste in the result. For example, the highest temperature a gas grill gives ranges between 450 °F – 500 °F which implies the fast cook. Gas grills are more expensive! Charcoal grills typically cook up to 500F. Sadly, that camera only has a heat range up to 626°F (330°C), so we couldn’t really show the full range of temperatures in many of the grills. But what more can we do? Gas vs. Charcoal. Natural gas versus propane gas grill cooking temperatures often give off the same levels of temperature reach as the chart above but are often quickly attained than a charcoal grill.