Gas barbecue versus charcoal barbecue

Whenever the first ray of light arises and the temperature rises, the human being changes his natural environment and begins to look for a pool to swim in and any outdoor place for a barbecue. It is something genetic for the homo sapiens sapiens. In fact, the evolution of humans runs with the barbecue evolution too: when we left the countryside to move into the cities, we began to cook outside in our gardens or even on the balconies of our urban flats. But what really divides the population is what to choose: a gas or a charcoal barbecue for their particular needs.

Now, we bring you the pros of each one, so you can feel free to decide which is the best option for you. Because a summer with a barbecue is always a better summer.

Why choose a gas barbecue: pros

Becoming the king of the grill (and barbecue) is easier and more convenient than ever. We don’t usually have enough time to cook on a barbecue for several hours, and sometimes it becomes more of an obligation than something to enjoy, between heat, rush, and fire. But there is no need to give up that unique flavour of the barbecue just because you haven’t got enough time. A gas barbecue could be the answer here.

Ribs cooked on a barbecue served on a wooden cutting board with a bowl of rocket salad and grilled potatoes

Heat distribution and the perfect meal

The heat distributes better in a gas barbecue with proper airflow. That means it is possible to get the most out of the rack or racks, cooking on all the surface with the same result. If the barbecue has a good lid and any other extra accessories, you will have complete cooking set in just one piece.

Controlling the temperature and the flame is easier in this kind of barbecue, and cooking will be more precise. Furthermore, you will be able to cook for one single person or the Von Trapp family, being as fast and with the same good results, as we will see below.

Beef tacos cooked on a gas barbecue or a charcoal barbecue with guacamole and coriander

Faster cooking

You can usually cook faster on a gas barbecue. That means you can plan how much time you need to cook, and, therefore, you will probably use it more than once during the week. You can manage food cooking times much better and have a nice meal seated with the rest of the people instead of standing up all the time right beside the barbecue, waiting.

Even though it depends on what kind of barbecue, quantities, and types of food you need, your meal can be ready in 10 minutes. And with the sun right above your head, you really appreciate that, because you just want to sit down and enjoy.

If the barbecue also has more than one rack, as happens with Teka gas barbeques, it is possible to cook any type of food without mixing flavours and juices. For instance, if you prepare hot dogs or burgers, you can toast the buns on one of the grates and cook the meat on the other.

Teriyaki chicken skewers with chili and sesame seed cooked on a barbecue

Cleaning

Gas barbecues are easier to clean. While you usually need to wait on a charcoal barbecue for the embers to be totally cold and remove the ashes very carefully, gas barbecues are way simpler to clean. It is also more sustainable and cleaner for the environment too. And you don’t leave behind black footprints like if you were a chimney sweep.

Cleaning a barbecue after each use

More ecological

Gas barbecues need gas, ok, but the footprint compared to a charcoal barbecue produces far fewer carbon emissions. Charcoal is dirtier, in many ways, and it is not an eco-friendly choice. If you want to take a look, there are other alternatives for sustainable barbecues, more ecological fuels like biomass or some types of hardwood.

Convenience and space

You can refill your gas fuel, and there is no need to search for some extra space for wood or charcoal at home or go for it each time you want to cook. And the fact that you have everything together in just one barbecue set is very convenient.

 

Why choose a charcoal barbecue: other pros

The traditional barbecue model that we usually think about when we picture ourselves in the countryside is the charcoal one, even those ones made out of bricks. Although gas barbecue is better for urban areas for practical reasons, traditional barbecues will be always in our hearts.

Barbecue ashes and ember still hot

Heat and flame

Preparing a charcoal barbecue is an art that takes practice and time. The flame and intensity of the heat are stronger here than on a gas barbecue. With a charcoal barbecue, you can use techniques like slow-cooking, with some kind of meats or pieces which has particular cooking needs to reach the desired flavour and doneness. It took some time to get ready to cook, though.

Meat flavour

It is commonly thought that there is a huge difference in taste between meat cooked on a gas barbecue and a charcoal barbecue. And perhaps it is if you are talking about a very special technique, like smoking. But the reality is that it is difficult to taste the difference. The key element here is to control the flame, and you have that on both barbecues. The charcoal smell can cause some kind of movement in your stomach, but that’s another story.

Barbecue hot dogs with ketchup and mustard and some pickles

The smoking game

When you practise more and more with the barbecue and you become nearly an expert, you will probably want to get the most out of smoking. It is not easy, but the taste is worth it, and yes, for this matter, a charcoal barbecue is better.

Higher temperature

Charcoal barbecues reach a higher temperature than gas, up to 500 °C. If you are looking to manage this temperature because you really want to try some recipes or want to experiment with barbecue cooking, charcoal is your type. But you need to know what to do with this temperature, or you will end up burning your Sunday meal. Something that your brother-in-law would love, on the other hand.

Teka gas barbecue over black background

If you are very much into the barbecue world and want to go further into this art, choose the charcoal barbecue. Also, if you have enough room at home for the barbecue and to store the fuel, accessories, etc. But remember, the goal here is to use it, not just leave it in the corner of your garden to cook on it occasionally.  Think about how many times you would want to use it throughout the year because maybe you’d prefer a gas barbecue instead of charcoal.

In both cases, barbecue is a great way to eat healthily and keep all the nutrients in the food. It keeps the real flavour of the food and maintains the juices of meat and fish. Choose a gas barbecue or a charcoal barbecue. Whatever you decide, believe us when we say you need a barbecue in your life.

 

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