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The Great Grilling Debate: Charcoal vs. Gas


From expert to expert, every grill master has their preference of charcoal or gas grills. The simple, and most obvious difference between the two is that one uses gas as a heat source, and the other one uses charcoal.

However, there are many other factors that determine a great grill, which is why McGonigle’s is tackling this great grilling debate with some pros and cons of cooking on each.  


Charcoal Grill




COST: Unless you are buying a charcoal grill made of gold, it’s going to cost a lot less compared to a gas grill of the same caliber. TEMPERATURE CONTROL: It takes a master griller to approximate temperature on a charcoal grill, and even then, there is no exact science.
FLAVOR: Although it’s a process to get them going, the flavor given off by the smoke of a charcoal grill is hard to beat. MESSY AS IT GETS: Charcoal grills require regular cleaning to function properly, and with the mess of all that ash from burnt charcoal, it can become a real pain.
BURNS HOT: Gas grills can get up there, but if properly tended, charcoal grills can achieve the screaming hot temps needed for a good sear. Charcoal grills are also more cost effective for the low and slow cooking approach needed to achieve great barbecue. BURNS QUICKLY: Although charcoal grills get extremely hot, the charcoals also burn very quickly. This means adding charcoal frequently.
GREAT FOR SEARING: Smokin’ hot heat makes meat easy to sear and leaves beautiful grill marks. TIME & EFFORT: Charcoal grills typically take around 20 minutes to heat up, and properly preparing the coals and getting them lit can be quite the task.



Gas Grill




TEMPERATURE CONTROL: Because of the precise temperature gauge of a gas grill, this makes it easy for even beginners to use. Also, gas grills are speedy. They heat up quickly and efficiently, making it easy to throw something on the grill whenever! COST: There is no question that a gas grill is the more expensive option, so be aware of how much maintenance and upkeep will cost on top of the initial purchase of your gas grill.
VERSATILITY: Gas grills can be used all year round and for many different purposes, such as baking pizzas, roasting turkeys, and boiling water to name a few! MAINTENANCE: While, cleanup is easier, gas grills also require more complex parts such as valves and venturi tubes. Make sure to keep up with maintenance to avoid costly repairs from season to season.
EASY TO USE: Most models simply require the twist of a knob and push of a button to ignite. However, don’t forget to turn your grill off once you’re finished! LESS FLAVOR: Because you don’t get the smoke from the charcoal, gas grills tend to have less of the classic grill flavor.
LESS MESS: Grilling controls allow you to blast the grill at a very high temperature and char the residue leftover. This debris can then be easily brushed off and remove.  


For more grilling tips and tricks, check out our blog or stop by McGonigle’s! We’d love to help you with your next grilling creation!


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