Grilling is a summertime staple, but sometimes charcoal can be a pain. You have to light it, wait for it to get hot, and then hope it doesn’t die out on you halfway through cooking.
But what if there was a better way? What if you could ditch the charcoal altogether and grill with wood instead?
Updated: October, 2023
Can I Grill With Wood Instead Of Charcoal
Sure, you could use wood instead of charcoal when grilling.
But why would you want to? Charcoal is specifically designed for grilling, and it’s what most grill masters recommend using. Plus, it’s easy to find and relatively inexpensive.
But if you’re dead set on using wood, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First, it’s important to use hardwood, such as hickory or oak.
Avoid softwoods like pine, as they can create too much smoke and make your food taste funny.
Second, you’ll need to soak the wood in water for at least an hour before grilling; this will help prevent it from burning too quickly.
The Benefits Of Grilling With Wood
Grilling with wood may seem like a pain, but it’s actually really great for your food. Here are three benefits of grilling with wood that will make you want to ditch the gas grill.
- Wood imparts a great flavor to your food.
- Grilling with wood is better for the environment.
- You’ll look like a true grill master when you use wood.
The Benefits Of Grilling With Charcoal
If you’re looking for a truly unique grilling experience, look no further than charcoal. Charcoal grilling is said to produce a better flavor due to the high temperatures reached during cooking.
But that’s not all—charcoal also has some health benefits that you may not be aware of.
Here are three reasons why grilling with charcoal just might be the best thing for you:
- Charcoal can help detoxify your body.
- Charcoal can improve your digestion.
- Charcoal can boost your immune system.
The Best Woods For Grilling
It’s summertime, which means it’s time to break out the grill! But what kind of wood should you use to get the best flavor for your food?
Here are some of the best woods for grilling, so you can make your BBQ taste even better:
1. Hickory – This strong-flavored wood is perfect for smoking meats. It will give your food a nice smoky flavor that is sure to please any BBQ lover.
2. Mesquite – Another great option for smoking meats, the mesquite will also add a slightly sweet flavor to your food.
3. Apple – If you want a milder flavor, apple wood is a great choice. It will give your food a subtle sweetness that is perfect for chicken or fish.
4. Cherry – If you want to give your food a slightly spicy flavor, cherry wood is a great choice. It will add just the right amount of spice to your food without being overwhelming.
5. Maple – This mild-flavored wood is great for smoking or grilling meats and fish.
Related Read: https://bettergrills.com/wood-chips-for-smoking/
Wood Vs. Charcoal
When it comes to summer grilling, there are two schools of thought: wood and charcoal. But which one is better? Let’s break it down.
Pros Of Using Wood For Grilling
Wood is a great way to add flavor to your food when grilling or BBQing. Here are some of the pros of using wood for grilling:
- Wood can help you create smoky flavors that are perfect for meats and veggies alike.
- Grilling with wood is a great way to add an earthy flavor to your food.
- Wood can also help you create crispy, charred edges on your food that are simply irresistible.
Cons Of Using Wood For Grilling
Wood has been used as a fuel source for centuries. It is a renewable resource and it is relatively easy to obtain. However, there are some disadvantages to using wood for grilling
One of the biggest cons is the potential for fire. If you don’t have a good way to control the fire, it can easily get out of hand and cause damage to property or even injure people.
Another downside to using wood is the smoke it produces. This can be a nuisance to your neighbors, especially if they don’t share your love of grilled food.
Finally, wood can be expensive. If you’re using it on a regular basis, the cost can add up quickly.
Overall, wood has some advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before using it for BBQing.
Pros Of Using Charcoal For Grilling
When it comes to grilling, there’s no doubt that charcoal is the way to go. Here are just a few of the many benefits of using charcoal for your next cookout:
- It’s easy to light. Just pile it up, put a match to it, and let it blaze. No need for complicated gas grills or electric starters.
- It imparts a great flavor to food. There’s something about the smoky taste of food cooked over charcoal that just can’t be beaten.
- Charcoal grilling is a bit of an art form. Once you get the hang of it, there’s a real sense of satisfaction that comes from being able to cook over an open fire.
Cons Of Using Charcoal For Grilling
When it comes to grilling, charcoal is often seen as the best option. But there are some cons to using charcoal that you should be aware of before your next cookout.
- Charcoal can be messy. Dealing with the ashes and soot can be a pain, and it’s not exactly the most environmentally friendly option.
- It can be difficult to control the temperature when grilling with charcoal. This means that your food can end up overcooked or burnt if you’re not careful.
- Charcoal can give your food a smoky flavor that some people don’t enjoy. If you’re not a fan of smoked foods, this may not be the cooking method for you.
So, which is better? It honestly depends on your personal preferences. There are pros and cons to both methods. So, experiment and see what you like best!
How To Grill With Wood?
Grilling with wood is the best way to get that perfect char on your food. But it’s not as easy as it looks. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
First, you’ll need to find the right type of wood for your grill. Hardwoods like hickory or oak are good choices.
There are a few ways to start a wood fire successfully.
Some people soak the wood in water for at least an hour before grilling to help prevent it from burning too quickly. Here you can read my opinion about soaking the wood.
When you’re ready to grill, make sure the coals are hot, and then add the wet wood directly on top.
Be sure to keep an eye on the grill and adjust the vents as needed to control the heat and smoke output.
And lastly, don’t forget to brush off any excess ashes before serving your perfectly grilled food!
How To Grill With Charcoal?
For those of us who grew up with a gas grill, grilling with charcoal can seem like a bit of a mystery. But it’s really not that complicated – once you know the basics.
Here’s how to grill with charcoal, in just a few easy steps:
- Get your coals ready. You’ll need about 30-40 briquettes, which should be placed in the bottom of your grill and then lit.
Once they’re lit, you’ll need to wait until they’re covered in gray ash – this usually takes about 20 minutes.
- Prepare your food. While your coals are getting ready, you can start preparing your food.
Cut up any vegetables or meats that you’ll be grilling, and make sure they’re all at room temperature before you start cooking.
- Oil your grill grates.
Grilling With Wood Or Charcoal – My Opinion
Grilling with wood is definitely doable, and can even be preferable to using charcoal. So next time you’re feeling adventurous, or just want to try something new, consider giving it a go. Who knows, you might just become a convert.
Eddie van Aken
Eddie van Aken has years of experience in running his full-service restaurant and with this came working with using and dealing with all types of kitchen equipment. With his experience, he is able to find all the pros and cons of grills and add them to the grill reviews and the outdoor cooking tips he is writing about. You can read more on the about page for Eddie van Aken