The gas v charcoal debate is as old as time, and I know what you're thinking: obviously a charcoal barbecue is best. Food cooked on a gas grill often produces less smoke, which could impact the smoky taste of the food. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Your California Privacy Rights. As the meat heats up, it releases drippings that strike the super-hot charcoal and combust with a tsss and a burst of flame (check it out in the video above---it’s beautiful). I use the gas rarely, when I am in a rush or after a long day, but charcoal is much better for a relaxed braai.” When he does use gas, he says, he prefers to use a gas flame for braaing or grilling. Derrick Riches is a grilling and barbecue expert. There is no residual taste in the result. Time to kick back in the yard and fire up the … stove? “They’ve gotten very good,” he said of gas grills. There’s a couple of reasons for this, so let me explain. Joe And, scientifically speaking, it creates less flavorful food. However, charcoal is a more expensive fuel and may cost more in the long run. EditorInChief - July 13, 2016. But even those who love gas grilling for convenience aren’t necessarily fans of the flavor. A gas grill is extremely convenient. The grilling process often takes longer to set up, keep going, and also produces a bigger mess than a gas grill. 1030. The family’s in attendance, side dishes and beer in tow. The charcoal crowd swears that their method imparts some sort of magical flavor to their food, and they’re right. The great thing about charcoal is that it burns crazy hot, way hotter than a gas grill can manage. Ad Choices, Charcoal Grilling Tastes Better Than Gas. Wired may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. There is also a lot of personal preference involved, both with taste, ease of use, and cost of both the grill and the fuel (charcoal or gas). In addition to convenience, gas grills are usually easier to clean up and gas is less expensive than charcoal. It's the "real deal", not an ersatz gas hob on wheels. If you use strong flavored rubs, marinades, and sauces, you will never notice taste differences. Does charcoal taste better than gas? So does grilled pizza taste better than in the oven ? See that uniform glow? The major benefits of a charcoal grill are that they tend to be much less expensive and much more portable than a gas grill. The charcoal grill gets much hotter than gas. And no smoke? Charcoal is too messy. In terms of smoke and flavor, charcoal grills not only smoke meats better than gas, they also release a chemical called guaiacol. At gas grilling, you use gas as a fuel. Almost up to double at the highest. That is why it tastes better than gas grilling. So if there is little taste difference, … Charcoal fuel is natural and traditional. The initial expense on a gas barbecue is normally considerably more than with charcoal. Charcoal grills are also less expensive than gas grills, though the cost of charcoal will add up over the years. Get it free when you sign up for our newsletter. You don't have to wait for the charcoal to ignite and get to the desired temperature. But mind those drips. However, larger grills from specialist barbecue brands can be expensive. Briquette manufacturers get that pure carbon by, yes, carbonizing wood. Your grill and your guests will thank you for it. Charcoal Grilling Tastes Better Than Gas. These cool spaces allow for better control, letting you sear food first over the hot spots before transferring it to cooler parts to finish cooking. With all the disadvantages of charcoal grilling, a lot of homeowners still prefer it over the gas grill. I have put a steak on my grill with nothing other than a little salt and pepper and when the charcoal flavor kicks in you have a taste that can't be beat. While the lure of the charcoal grill smoke can be appealing, be ready to put in the work for a good grilling experience. It’s also a lot less special. Just turn on the gas, light the burner, wait for it to heat up and your cooking in about 4 to 5 minutes. A smoke box (like a drawer for wood chips) can achieve some of the smokiness of a charcoal grill. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Even with a propane tank, a gas grill is often very big, heavy, and clunky and not good for tailgates or camping. When buying a charcoal barbecue, think about capacity, storage options, build time, longevity and quality of materials. In your grill, these briquettes will burn cleaner and more evenly without those volatile compounds. Since there is no temperature dial, it's up to the griller to create temperature zones on the grill. The major benefits of a charcoal grill are that they tend to be much less expensive and much more portable than a gas grill. Since you can’t dial down the heat, you can leave areas without briquettes to control the temperature. Your sister-in-law brought a trunk full of Super Soakers. Grilling Over Charcoal Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Gas, Grilling Over Gas Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Charcoal. The buildup of ash, burned up grease, and other gunk will cause the smoke produced to impart a strange flavor in your grilled food. First, the smoky taste of grilled anything is great, and grilled pizza turns out even better. It's best to pick a grill that you like using. As vapor, hundreds of these compounds interact with each other and the meat to impart that classic barbequey flavor. Commercial charcoals with special additives for easy lighting and cheap charcoal made from a little sawdust and a lot of glue don't have the best flavor producing smoke. Anything worthwhile takes a little work. As a result it truly is a balance concerning the regularity of barbecuing and the size you want. It provides the richest meat taste and flavor. It's convenient, like a 7-Eleven. With any charcoal, the lighter fluid completely volatilizes in a few minutes. But they’re wrong about where that flavor comes from: It’s not actually from the briquettes themselves. The tastier smoke, the moisture, the bark are all better. Gas smokers are recommended for camping. 0. You can create smoke by adding wood to either fuel and a lot of smoke happens as drippings from the food hit hot surfaces … These won’t burn as ferociously hot as the coals, but the upside is they retain all the lovely compounds that the briquettes lost during carbonization. Some people also prefer the taste of food cooked over charcoal. © The Spruce, 2019, Emergency Grilling: For When the Power Goes Out, The 6 Best Grills You Can Buy at Walmart in 2020, The 10 Best Grilling Cookbooks to Read in 2020, Quick and Easy Fixes for Common Gas Grill Problems, The 8 Best Charcoal Grills to Buy in 2020. The gas grill couldn't match charcoal's heat, and when I saw smoke start to emanate from the gas grill, I just kept thinking how that would have been great wood smoke flavor with charcoal. The briquettes themselves are just middlemen, not the flavor-makers. Does not recreate the classic charbroiled taste of charcoal or gas; Requires access to an outlet for power ; Can increase electricity bills if used regularly; Comparing an Electric Grill vs Gas Grill vs Charcoal Grill: Which Tastes Better? Americans, you see, have themselves some assertive opinions about their grilling. While activated charcoal’s effectiveness in the emergency department is proven, there are conflicting results related to its ability to relieve gas/bloating. Having said that, the price of every single sack of charcoal is really considerably higher than the quantity of gas you will use in contrast. It’s Just Science. Charcoal grills are generally more portable than gas grills. So fire up those coals and grab the nearest sharp object: Someone is either going to steal your food or demand you use a gas grill instead. If you want to get really fancy with it, consider scattering a few plain wood chips on top of the coals. There seems to be a long-standing debate about whether charcoal or gas grills produce better tasting food. The answer is hard to determine and may come down to personal preference and some of these details. Guaiacol is an aroma compound that gives meat a smoky, bacon-like flavor, and it only comes from wood and charcoal. Another reason is the charcoal burns a lot hotter than a gas grill can. Americans, you see, have themselves some assertive opinions about their grilling. Perhaps the slogan should be re-worded to "taste the fire not the store bought marinade!" Those drippings are full of fats and oils and sugars and proteins that vaporize and rise back up into the meat whence they came. The statistics i just made up don’t lie: More people will die this summer from fighting each other over gas grilling versus charcoal grilling than all other causes combined. But you know what? Good. The statistics I just made up don’t lie: More people will die this summer from fighting each other over gas grilling versus charcoal grilling than all other causes combined. Charcoal tastes better because you use briquettes or wood as fuel. Actually, the fat dripping into the charcoal flames at higher temperatures is the flavor's real source. It takes a little work, but who doesn't enjoy playing with fire. Does charcoal grilling taste better?
2020 does charcoal taste better than gas