charcoal bbq vs smoker which is better

Grilling Up a Debate: Gas BBQ or Charcoal – Which Is Better?

Last Updated on February 6, 2023

When it comes to grilling, the age-old debate of gas bbq or charcoal which is better rages on. Some swear by the convenience and ease of use that a gas grill offers while others are passionate about the flavour only achieved by using charcoal briquettes. But what really sets these two apart? We’ll take an in-depth look at both options to compare their advantages and disadvantages so you can decide for yourself which type of BBQ is best suited for your needs – whether that’s cooking up delicious meals for friends and family or having one eye on sustainability.

Table of Contents:

Gas BBQs: Pros and Cons


Gas barbecues are incredibly convenient. They require no charcoal, so you don’t have to worry about buying or storing them. You also don’t need to wait for the coals to heat up before you can start cooking – just turn on the gas and get grilling. This makes them great for spontaneous BBQs when you want something quick and easy.


Gas barbecues are generally more expensive than charcoal models, but they can be a good investment in the long run as they’re cheaper to use over time. Gas is usually cheaper than charcoal per unit of energy produced, meaning that your fuel costs will be lower with a gas barbecue compared to a charcoal one. Plus, there’s no need for additional accessories like chimney starters or firelighters – all you need is some propane or natural gas.

Environmental Impact

When it comes to environmental impact, gas barbecues tend to come out ahead of their charcoal counterparts. Charcoal produces smoke which contains pollutants such as carbon monoxide and particulate matter; these can contribute significantly to air pollution if not managed properly. In contrast, burning natural gas produces far fewer emissions than burning coal does – making it an environmentally friendly option for outdoor cooking.


cooking dinner outdoors

The taste of food cooked on a gas barbecue is often said to be superior compared with that cooked on a charcoal grill due its even heat distribution and ability to cook at higher temperatures without producing smoke flavours that could overpower delicate ingredients like fish or vegetables. However, this isn’t always true – some people prefer the smoky flavour from traditional charcoal grills which adds depth and complexity of flavour that many find hard to beat.

Gas BBQs offer convenience and control, but they can be more expensive than charcoal grills. However, charcoal grills may have their own advantages that are worth considering – let’s take a look at those next.

Key Takeaway: Gas barbecues offer convenience, cost savings and a lower environmental impact compared to charcoal grills. However, some people may prefer the smoky flavour of charcoal grills for their BBQs.

Charcoal BBQs: Pros and Cons

Charcoal barbecues are a classic and popular way to cook food outdoors. They offer a unique flavour that many people prefer over gas grills, but there are also some drawbacks to using charcoal. Here we’ll look at the pros and cons of charcoal BBQs so you can decide if they’re right for you.


Taste – Charcoal barbecues give your food an unmistakable smoky flavour that is hard to replicate with other methods of cooking. This makes them ideal for dishes like steak, burgers, or ribs where you want the full-on barbecue taste.

Cost – Charcoal is generally cheaper than gas in terms of fuel costs, making it more economical overall when compared to gas grills. It also doesn’t require any additional equipment such as tanks or lines which further reduces its cost relative to gas models.


Time and Effort – Lighting up a charcoal grill takes longer than turning on a gas model and requires more effort from the user in order to get it going properly. You need patience and skill in order to light up your grill correctly without burning yourself or wasting too much fuel in the process.

Environmental Impact – While not as bad as wood fires, charcoal still produces carbon dioxide emissions when burned which contributes towards global warming and air pollution issues around the world. If environmental impact is important for you then this should be taken into consideration before deciding on whether or not a charcoal BBQ is right for you.

Convenience – Gas grills tend to be easier and faster than their charcoal counterparts, largely due to not requiring lighting up with matches or lighters every time they are used. Additionally, most modern models come equipped with features such as temperature control knobs, side burners, rotisseries etc., all designed for convenience.

Charcoal BBQs have many advantages, such as a smoky flavour and an affordable price point. However, they also require more effort to light and maintain. Now let’s look at which type of BBQ is best for you in terms of health benefits and convenience.

Which is Better for You?

When it comes to barbecuing, there are two main types of grills: gas and charcoal. Both have their pros and cons when it comes to health benefits or drawbacks.

Smoke Production:

Gas grills produce less smoke than charcoal grills, which can be a plus for those who don’t want to inhale the smoke while cooking outdoors. Charcoal produces more smoke due to incomplete combustion of fuel, meaning that some carcinogens may be released into the air while cooking with this type of grill.

Carcinogens Produced by Burning Fuel:

While both gas and charcoal release some amount of carcinogenic compounds during burning, studies show that gas releases fewer carcinogens than charcoal does. This means that if you’re looking for a healthier option in terms of reducing your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, then opting for a gas grill is probably the way to go.

Fat Content Of Food Cooked On Each Type Of Barbecue: When it comes to fat content in food cooked on each type of barbecue, studies suggest that food cooked on a gas grill contains slightly lower levels of fat compared with food cooked on a charcoal grill due to higher temperatures achieved by the former. So if you’re trying to reduce your intake of unhealthy fats from grilled foods then using a gas BBQ could help achieve this goal without sacrificing taste or flavour.

In conclusion, when deciding between these two types of barbecues for health reasons there are several factors to consider such as smoke production, carcinogen production and fat content in food cooked on each type. All of these should be taken into account before making a final decision.

Ultimately, the choice between gas and charcoal BBQs is a personal one. But if you’re looking for an efficient cooking option that’s easy to control and offers good value for money, then a gas BBQ could be the best choice for you. Now let’s take a look at which type of BBQ is better for the environment.

Key Takeaway: Gas grills are healthier than charcoal grills due to less smoke production, fewer carcinogens released and lower fat content in food cooked on them.

Which is Better for the Environment?

Gas BBQs:

Pros and Cons

When it comes to environmental impact, gas barbecues have a few advantages. First, they are much more energy efficient than charcoal grills since the heat is produced directly from the burner rather than having to wait for charcoal briquettes or wood chips to burn down. Gas barbecues also produce fewer emissions than charcoal grills since they don’t require burning fuel in order to create heat. Finally, gas barbecues can be used with propane tanks that can be recycled when empty, reducing waste compared to disposable charcoal briquettes.

Charcoal BBQs:

Pros and Cons

cooking with charcoal

Charcoal grills may not seem as environmentally friendly as their gas counterparts but there are some benefits worth considering. Charcoal grills tend to use less energy overall due to their lower temperature output and shorter cooking times compared with gas barbecues. Additionally, many brands of charcoal briquettes now come in recyclable packaging which reduces waste associated with using them for outdoor cooking activities. Lastly, because of its low smoke production level during cooking time, a well-ventilated area will help reduce air pollution caused by burning fuel on a regular basis when using this type of barbecue grill.

Which is Better For The Environment?

When comparing the two side by side, generally speaking gas barbecues tend to produce fewer emissions due to their direct heat source while also being more energy efficient. On the other hand, charcoal grills typically use less energy overall thanks largely in part to their lower temperature output and shorter cooking times. Additionally, new recyclable packaging options available today make disposing of leftover coal easier as well.

Key Takeaway: When deciding between a gas or charcoal BBQ, consider factors such as energy efficiency, emissions, and flavour preference to find the best option for you. Gas barbecues are more energy efficient and produce fewer emissions while charcoal grills use less energy overall and offer smoky flavours.

FAQs in Relation to Gas Bbq or Charcoal Which is Better

Is it better to grill with charcoal or gas?

It really depends on the individual’s preference. Charcoal grills tend to provide a smokier flavour, while gas grills are easier to control and heat up quickly. Charcoal grills require more effort in terms of prepping and cleaning, but they also offer more versatility with different cooking styles. Gas grills are convenient for those who don’t want to spend too much time setting up or cleaning after use. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference – so try both types out and see which one works best for you.

Why is a gas BBQ better?

A gas BBQ is better than other types of BBQs because it offers a more consistent and controllable heat source. This makes it easier to cook food evenly, without having to worry about flare-ups or hot spots. It also allows you to adjust the temperature quickly and easily, so you can get the perfect cooking results every time. Plus, gas BBQs are usually much faster to light up and start cooking with compared to charcoal grills, making them ideal for those who want quick meals on busy days. Finally, they’re generally cleaner and require less maintenance than charcoal grills too.


Ultimately, the decision of whether to choose a gas or charcoal BBQ comes down to personal preference. Gas BBQs are convenient and easier to use, while charcoal BBQs offer more flavour and control over cooking temperatures. When it comes to which is better for you and the environment, both options have their pros and cons that should be considered before making a purchase. Ultimately, when deciding between a gas bbq or charcoal which is better for you – it’s all about finding what works best for your lifestyle.

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