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Gas versus Charcoal for the grill

The never-ending discussion between gas or charcoal to be used for the grill will be going on forever. Here are my two cents.

Whether gas or charcoal – both grill methods have their fans. While the gas grill scores because it is clean, comfortable, and can be heated up within a few minutes, many grill fans continue to swear by the classic charcoal grill that impresses with heat, embers, and fire.

It is said that this is the only way to get the delicious smoky aroma into the meat when grilling. But what is true? Is it just a myth, or do steaks and sausages from the charcoal grill really taste different than if they had been cooked on the gas grill?

I did some research, and here we point out the differences between gas and charcoal grilling. We also answer the question of how differences in taste really come about when grilling.

Gas or charcoal – advantages and disadvantages

Whether you decide to grill with gas or charcoal is primarily a question of price – but also of convenience. While grill connoisseurs who place high demands on their grill are often well advised with a better gas grill, the conventional charcoal grill is usually sufficient for spontaneous barbecues, trips to the lake, and a small budget.

The great advantage of the gas grill is the simple temperature control, which enables uncomplicated and, above all, quick grilling. As on a home stove, you can adjust the gas flow using the rotary knobs. Of course, when using gas, you always have to use the gas cylinder safely respect, think highly of it.

With a simple charcoal grill, temperature control usually takes much longer.

If you like to read more about all the types of grills and smokers you can start at the outdoor grill page.

Is grilling with a gas grill healthier?

With the classic charcoal grill, the meat is placed on a grid that is about 3 inches (10 centimeters) above the glowing coals.

Ideally, the grill master would have waited until the coals were completely white before placing them on the grill. If he has not done this, we already have the first point at this point, which can definitely be harmful to health – remains of the grill lighter that evaporate and penetrate the meat.

But let’s just assume that everything was done correctly and the food was only placed on the grill when the charcoal was completely heated.

Now the meat is heated to an extreme – before you know it, it is black, burnt. Although you can be careful that the meat does not burn, the heat development on charcoal grills is often very difficult to coordinate – this can lead to burnt steaks and sausages again and again.

Here, too, the point would go to the grill critics because burned meat is extremely harmful to health and even carcinogenic.

But let’s ignore this and continue to assume that the “master of the grill” will take care that the meat does not burn. The heat causes fats to escape from the meat and drip into the charcoal, which cannot be prevented.

These fats burn, and harmful soot is created – furthermore, flames are created, which in turn can lead to the food being grilled.

What is the healthiest way of grilling?

So we see that grilling on a charcoal grill can actually have certain health-related side effects – a gas grill doesn’t have any of these. The heat is easy to control, the fat drips off cleanly, and the food is cooked to perfection.

Alternative for gas and charcoal

There is a third fuel that is becoming very popular among backyard and even competition pitmasters and that is Pellets.

The pellets are used in pellet grills and you can read more about them here on this page.

Related Read: pellet smoker versus charcoal smoker

Eddie van Aken

Eddie van Aken has run his own full-service restaurant for many years. Before that, he worked as a grill and buffet cook in some of the mainstream restaurants. With his experience using professional kitchen equipment, he is able to write expert reviews. You can read more about Eddie van Aken here.

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