Charcoal or Gas?

Posted by Timothy on 4/2/2014
Mac or PC? IPhone vs. Galaxy? Boxers or Briefs?  Ginger or Mary Anne? Beer or Wine?  The same type of consumer “dichotomy wars” exist for the charcoal grill purists and hothead gas grillers.  These characters go at each other vehemently in forums, blogs and message boards which talk of “proper” BBQ technique and style.  The flame-baiters go on reinforcing their respective group with notions of price, cooking, taste as well as cleaning, yet let us take a closer look at the criteria for evaluation as well as the pros and cons of each type of grilling.
Charcoal vs. Gas: Price
No real comparison here:  Charcoal grills are much cheaper in price, while higher end Gas models can resemble something that is multi-equipped and ready to launch into space.  Charcoal models are offered for their simplicity of use, while Gas grills can be multi-purpose with add-ons such as a rotisserie accessory, side-burners to cook side dishes or keep sauces warm.  Other high-end models may include, side tables, storage drawers, night lights, and other accessories. Here the sky’s the limit.  Such models can be viewed as status symbols or an essential stand-out of the landscape or deck which is pricey, yet aesthetically pleasing.  On the other hand, Charcoal models tend towards the almost “primitive” method of cooking directly on the fire, thus emulating, to some extent, the hunter archetype cooking with beer in hand against the elements in the wilderness.  There is certainly some romanticism attached to the charcoal grill in this scenario.  While the Gas model to some extent, represents the high-tech nature of being up to snuff on device-ry.
Charcoal vs. Gas: Cooking
The heat-up time between the two is also obvious.  Gas grills light up in a second, while Charcoal grills take time for the coals to turn ashen-grey.  While one can easily adjust the temperature of a Gas grill, Charcoal maintains its temperature until it starts to dwindle out.  Charcoal grills can get much hotter which cater the aficionados whom prefer a steak crispy on the outside while being pink to medium on the inside.   Steakhouses tend to cook the cut at about 700 degrees, which can be accomplished with a Charcoal grill, yet both models suffer from not knowing the actual heat of the flame or the inside meat (unless one employs a digital thermometer).  The tried-and-true method of cutting a portion in-half is probably still the best method of determining the inside of the meat.
Charcoal vs. Gas:  Taste
The crux of the issue is of course, taste.  In both methods, taste to a large extent is formed by drippings from the meat onto the heat source.  If one uses marinades, sauces, or rubs on the food, there is virtually no difference in either charcoal or gas.  Blind taste tastes have been simulated by marketing personnel to affirm this notion.  Yet the one faction – Gas grillers maintain that charcoal has a tendency to dry out the food and not effectively lock in the juices, while Charcoal purists maintain the gas can never give a crispy outside, most notable in the cooking of chicken.
Charcoal vs. Gas: Cleaning
Now, the dirty work.  Cleaning of either type is never a fun job.  With the use of charcoal, one can easily dispose of the ashes from the coal, and brush down the grill grates or other accessories.  Propane grills have a tendency to build up residue on the burners if not cleaned after each use.  Both require due diligence in cleaning and maintaining the proper cleanliness for future cook-outs.  Whether a charcoal purist or a gashead griller – Buy Grill Daddy will make the job easier with our superb line of products for maintenance and clean-up of your grill making it sparkle and shine like new.  In addition, our other BBQ products, such as spatulas, tongs, and other heat-shield devices, such as forks and basting accessories compliment your love for BBQ exponentially whether one uses gas or charcoal.