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Charcoal Vs. Propane Grilling

The annual summer debate is starting over which is the best outdoor grilling method. 

The first thing that many people think about when deciding which type of grill to buy is the taste. The smoke that comes off of a charcoal grill adds a smoky flavor to the food, but it is not for everyone. If you are a fan of that smoky flavor, then charcoal is probably the best choice for you. The flavor from gas grills is not as smoky, which doesn’t overwhelm the natural flavor of the foods you are preparing.

If you are looking for an easy, quick meal, then gas grills can be a better choice. They also tend to be easier to clean.  A lot of people like propane grills for backyard BBQs because it’s not hard to learn how to use them and they are pretty easy to operate. They give you more control over the temperature than charcoal grills, making your outdoor dinner easy to prepare without having to contend with potentially hazardous lighter fluid.  Gas grills tend to be more cost-effective over the long run and require less maintenance. A tank of propane lasts longer than a bag of charcoal. Once you have the gas tank with a hose and regulator hooked up, you can pretty much forget about it for the rest of the season. Gas grills are faster than charcoal grills. They get hot faster, heat up the grill, and can cook the food faster. You can actually be finished cooking on a gas grill before the charcoals get hot enough to start cooking.

Charcoal grills tend to be more for the aficionado who likes to be more involved with the process. That great charcoal flavor comes with a little effort. It can sometimes be tricky to get a charcoal grill started and you sometimes have to work to get the coals to burn evenly. And there’s an element of timing involved. You’ve got to be able to judge when the coals are putting out just the right heat. So there’s a little more preparation time, some skill involved, and they sometimes cook food unevenly if you are not careful. The payoff comes in that smokey charcoal flavor – if that’s worth the time and effort to you.