Summer Grilling Week: Gas vs. Charcoal Grill [VIDEO]

by Brett on June 24, 2013 · 20 Comments

in Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure, Visual Guides

Welcome to Summer Grilling Week at the Art of Manliness!

With Independence Day around the corner and the summer grilling season ahead of us, I thought it would be helpful to create a series of video tutorials on the art of grilling. With that in mind, I’ve teamed up with my friend Karl Engel, head chef of the award winning BBQ team Pigcasso here in Tulsa, OK to show us what we need to know to become a master griller.¬†Every day for the next six days, we’ll be publishing a video with a different tip. Watch them and you’ll be ready to take the helm at the grill for your 4th of July cookout.

In today’s video, Karl discusses the pros and cons of gas and charcoal grills.

Be sure to check in tomorrow for how to light a charcoal grill fire.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get the videos as soon as they’re published.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Colin J June 24, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I’ve always been a charcoal guy myself, because its what my dad always did and other than high-end restaurants I’ve not tasted anything comparable to his burgers. So that’s my vote. I would have to agree, though, that when I’m getting home late and the family still would like me to grill, a faster option would be nice. But for taste, and just the enjoyment of the process, charcoal does it.

2 Ediv June 24, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Weber, charcoal, ribeyes, and pale ale beer. That’s what ‘Murica is all about.

3 Matt June 24, 2013 at 7:09 pm

I’ve been cooking over wood fires and smoking a lot this season and I’d have to say flavor wise its far superior to both gas and charcoal. Each way has it benefits though.

4 Hank Hill June 24, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Charcoal? Why on Earth would anybody ever use (I can’t even bring myself to mention that word)
On a side note, we are having a big Independence Day sale at Strickland’s Propane on outdoor propane accessories.

5 Mike June 24, 2013 at 7:59 pm

I couldn’t agree more. It’s all about versatility and options. Plus, more grills equal more fun!

6 Aaron June 25, 2013 at 4:38 am

You know, this might actually solve a problem for me.
I’ve only ever had a charcoal grill, and I’be always had a difficult time building a fire big enough but not too big. I usually err on the side of too big, and since I’m only cooking for two adults and two young children, I end up with enough fire leftover to cook a whole other meal. Many times I’ve considered knocking on my neighbors’ doors and asking if they have any meat to cook.
It might be nice to have a little gas grill for cooking smaller meals where the charcoal flavor isn’t as critical.
Of course, if the food doesn’t need to taste like smoke and fire, I may as well cook it on the stove in the kitchen. Hmmm…
Ya, I still really think gas grills are pointless. Just my humble opinion.

7 T. Lavon Lawrence June 25, 2013 at 5:42 am

Definitely go with the duo – much more versatility.

An extra 30 minutes to get charcoal ready to grill up some fish fillets – “AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR DAT!”

Steaks on a gas grill? ‘TIS A SIN!!!

Gotta go with both.

8 Tony June 25, 2013 at 6:19 am

I’ve seen the ultimate grill, to my mind, at one of the home improvement stores. It has gas on the left, charcol on the right, and provision for adding a smoke box on the right side. Hopefully there will be some left at the end of the season and I can get a good sale price on it. I prefer charcol while my wife likes the gas for when I’m not around.

9 Dave Covington June 25, 2013 at 6:28 am

Another fine post, Mr. McKay! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for not blaspheming and calling this “Summer Barbecuing Week”. Looking forward to the rest of the videos.

10 Seth Mauldin June 25, 2013 at 8:17 am

Awesome! Very much looking forward to this series of videos: Bring it on!

11 Eddie in INDY June 25, 2013 at 9:05 am

Be a real man…..MASTER BOTH!!!

12 Hank June 25, 2013 at 9:09 am

You have to cook your steaks on clean burning propane. I know when I cook for my family and friends I want them to taste the meat, not the heat.

13 Frank June 25, 2013 at 9:42 am

I come down on both sides. I generally prefer charcoal, for the ritual and artisanship involved in the process, but I’m certainly not going through all that when all I’m making is a pack of hot dogs.
A good rule of thumb – gas on weeknights, charcoal on weekends.

14 Frank June 25, 2013 at 10:00 am

I come down on both sides. I love cooking with charcoal for the artisanship involved in the process, but I’m not certainly not going through all that when all I’m cooking is a pack of hot dogs.
A good rule of thumb – gas on weeknights, charcoal on weekends.

15 Jesse June 25, 2013 at 10:59 am

For the past 2 years, I also used a gas grill. This year, I decided I wanted to get a smoker/charcoal grill. I am so glad that I made the move! The first thing I did was smoke some drumsticks with apple wood. Amazing! I definitely prefer my charcoal grill now, and I actually enjoy the process of getting the charcoals going (and it’s rather easy with the Weber Rapid Fire chimney). I also agree with Frank, though. On a last-minute weekday evening when I feel like having a quick burger or something, gas is much more convenient. Which is why I have both grills on my deck!

16 KenMc June 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm

There was a time when it was grill = gas = steaks and Bar-B-Que “pit” = charcoal/wood = chicken and pork. I use both. Oh, and it mostly depends on how much time I have for beer.

17 Steven P June 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I love charcoal. I despise our gas grill at home. I would give anything to ditch that thing and put in a proper grill at home.

18 michael June 25, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Nothing like wood to do it right
A nice chimney starter and a half hour to plan ahead is well worth it in the end.

19 Steve June 25, 2013 at 8:27 pm

I’d basically never had a charcoal BBQ until I moved to Hong Kong 4 years ago. There’s some charm to it, but I’m still not 100% sold on the pungent smell.

When I was growing up, it was always a wood BBQ – a permanent brick fixture. Nothing beats that.

20 Steven June 28, 2013 at 9:19 am

The benefit of charcoal is in the flavor returned to the food when the drips hit that hot charcoal and produce the smoke, the same effect is produced by the “flavor” bars which cover the flame on most gas grills. Hank had it right.

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