When it comes to barbecue (we’ll be spelling it BBQ for the purposes of this article), whether you choose gas or charcoal to cook your sausages and burgers really comes down to a few key things: Taste, time and cost.
There’s no doubt that BBQing adds a certain flavour you just don’t get in the oven or on the stovetop, and that’s true of both gas and charcoal, but for summer parties, if you really want to impress your guests and give them something to talk about, then choosing the right BBQ for the occasion is essential.
Before we get into the pros and cons of gas and charcoal, let’s take a look at what you ought to look for when buying any BBQ set, regardless of what kind of fuel it uses.
Investing In A Good Barbecue
Tip #1: Invest in a solid BBQ grill that will last for years.
First off, it’s important to remember that a BBQ is an investment. It’s something you’re going to be using for years to come, and so don’t be tempted to go for something cheap and nasty. It looks gross, it’ll likely be flimsy, and your guests just won’t be able to appreciate you for the grill master you really are. The good news: Even some of the most high-end BBQ grills aren’t that expensive.
Tip #2: Consider the weight and mobility of your BBQ so that you’ll actually use it.
Weight and portability should be a factor, too. If you’re going to be storing your BBQ in a shed or in the garage, you’ll want to make sure that it’s mobile enough to a) Not get in the way too much, and b) Be simple enough to move out when the weather is good — because be honest, how many times have you put off a BBQ party because getting the grill out has seemed like too much of a hassle?
Tip #3: Buy a BBQ big enough for at 8-10 people.
Don’t buy a small BBQ. In our opinion, with the price of BBQs being reasonably affordable, if you’re buying a BBQ for your home, then at least buy one with enough space to grill for 8-10 people. A small one just creates more work and is inefficient.
Pros Of Owning And Using A Charcoal BBQ
Let’s start with charcoal since that’s what most people tend to think of when someone mentions BBQ. That charred flavour is one of the main reasons we love BBQ so much, and charcoal is largely responsible for that.
- Authentic charred BBQ flavour caused by smoke infusing with meats
- Extremely hot and stays hot
- Great for getting into the BBQ spirit
- Smells good
Cons of owning and using a charcoal BBQ
- Messy to clean
- Can’t be turned off, so you’ll need to supervise it at all times
- Cooking can be uneven if you’re inexperienced
- Not so great if the weather isn’t on your side
With a gas barbeque, you might not get the same chargrilled flavour that you love, but there are other benefits to owning one of these types of grills.
Pros Of Owning And Using A Gas BBQ
Easy to set up and quick to heat
- Even cooking
- Can be turned off
- Can potentially be used in a well-ventilated indoor space
- Better for unpredictable weather
Cons of using and owning a gas BBQ
- Food lacks that delicious smoky flavour
- Gas canisters can be dangerous if used incorrectly
- Storing gas canisters in your shed or on your patio can be unsightly
For a comprehensive list of the best outdoor gas grills read Groom+Style’s review.
Choosing The Right BBQ For You
If you’re looking for that authentic chargrilled BBQ flavour, then in our opinion, a charcoal grill is really the only way to go. If you’re looking for no-fail convenience, and you BBQ quite often, then a gas grill could be more suitable. In terms of price, you can find grills which use both gas and charcoal, and separately, there isn’t too much difference in price. The price of fuels varies, of course, depending on where you live, but there’s not much in it.
If you’re looking for…
- Authentic grilled flavour
- A more traditional BBQ atmosphere
- Strong and even heat
If you’re looking for…
- Convenience and cleanliness
- Control overheat and the ability to switch off
- A frequent use grill
5 Of Our Favorite BBQ Recipes
To round this post off, we’re sharing five of our favourite BBQ recipes: One for chicken, beef, lamb, vegetables and dessert.
- Southern BBQ Chicken – The brown sugar coating is what makes these sticky, crispy sweet chicken wings so special.
- New York Steaks with Roasted Garlic Pesto – This roasted garlic pesto works equally well with chicken or fish.
- Sticky BBQ Lamb Ribs – People often shy away from lamb because they think it’s harder to cook, but don’t, because it’s delicious. Follow the recipe.
- Grilled Smoked Mozzarella Salad – We love smoked mozzarella, plain and simple. Add some peach or pomegranate to this.
- BBQ Bananas with Cinnamon Sugar – So simple and so delicious. Bananas are nature’s candy!