Traditional Charcoal Barbecues, Gas or Electric Grills? Taste or Convenience?

You also have to ask yourself what type of grill you want. Will you be entertaining for a large group of people, or just for your family? Do you want a quick burger or pork chop once in a while, or are you planning to use your barbecue frequently throughout the summer? There are many kinds of grills out there. Some of them are as little as one hundred dollars and others can cost thousands. Here’s a breakdown of the different grills that are available. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages.

Traditional Charcoal Barbecues

Dedicated users will feel this is the only grill to use when barbecuing. Inexpensive and portable, a charcoal grill cooks great food. Your meats will have a delicious, smoky taste that will delight your guests and you can add some wood chips to experiment with different flavours. Mesquite and hickory are the best choices for steaks; while apple and cherry are more suitable for pork.

There are some drawbacks to charcoal grills:

  • Charcoal is messy! There’s lots of soot and the bags are heavy. When barbecuing you’ll have to put up with smoke and this can be a hassle. Therefore, if you live in an apartment building it wouldn’t be practical to buy one of these grills.
  • It takes anywhere from a half an hour to forty-five minutes for the grill to get hot. This can be a problem if you want to cook something in a hurry.
  • If you’re cooking for a dozen people or more that means you’ll need a bigger grill, and that means more charcoal — and more smoke.

Should You Buy a Gas Grill?

The biggest advantage is that a gas grill will be ready to cook when you are. All you have to do is turn it on, and it gets hot quickly. Expect to pay more than you would for the charcoal varieties, but at least there wouldn’t be much for you to clean up afterwards. Using a natural gas grill is a great choice. When it’s connected to your home’s gas line it will never run out of fuel. It’s cheaper too.

However, there are a few things about gas grills that could make them less desirable:

  • Gas grills can’t burn wood or charcoal, so the smoky flavour that people love about barbecued foods will be lost.
  • If your grill runs on propane the tank will have to be refilled when it’s empty. This could be embarrassing if you’re in the middle of a dinner party.
  • Unless you have a gas line that’s conveniently located in your house, a natural gas grill will require a new line to be installed. Don’t try to do this alone. You’ll have to call the gas company and get them to do it for you.
  • Gas grills are easy to store, but they are not so portable.

Using an Electric Grill

This grill can solve some of the problems that come with charcoal and gas grills. No fuel is needed, there’s no smoke and it’s quick and easy to cook something. What could be better than preparing a meal on an electric grill and having to do minimal cleaning after you’re finished? Plug it in, turn it on and you’ll be all set. They are great if it’s raining because you can cook inside. You can’t do this with a charcoal or gas grill.

Electric grills can be less ideal for other reasons:

  • You can’t take them to the beach because there are no electrical outlets.
  • These grills are much smaller and cooking for lots of people isn’t a simple task.
  • Electric grills are not as easy to find in stores.

Choose your grill carefully and have a great time barbecuing this summer.