We all have friends who swear by their propane grills. They love how it burns cleaner, they say it saves them time and money, that it’s all they will ever use when grilling.
Then we have the other side that refuses to use anything but charcoal when they grill. They say they love the taste, you’ll hear guys say it makes them feel “more manly” to grill over coals instead of propane.
So what do you think? What’s your preference?
If you’re new to this debate, or need help deciding on which grill to purchase, here are a few points you may want to consider.
Heat up time
In this category, gas definitely wins. Your gas grill will light instantly and only takes about 10 minutes for your grill to heat up.
Charcoal, however, is a different story. If your coals did not come already pre-soaked in lighter fluid, or ready to light, then you will need to soak the coals in lighter fluid which will take about 10 minutes. Once your coals are soaked, it’s time to light up your grill, but you still have to wait for your coals to heat up, which will take another 10-20 minutes, depending on how hot you want them. So from the time you start prepping your coals, to the time you can slap your food on the grill, allow 20 to 30 minutes.
This is a big one for a lot of people and why some choose charcoal over gas, but you can still get that smokey flavor by using a smoke box and some high quality, food grade wood chips. Flavor briquettes can also add some great flavor to your food.
Here’s another fact to consider when deciding between gas and charcoal. Did you know that charcoal (when lit properly) actually doesn’t produce that much more smoke than a gas grill? In fact, most of the smoke that you see comes from drippings that fall onto the hot coals. So why not create your own smoke with a smoke box on your gas grill?
Gas grills have more “working parts” than the competition. When it comes to maintaining your gas grill, you will need to do things like frequently check your hoses for leaks, replace flavor briquettes, refill your gas tanks as needed, and from time to time you may need to replace parts like your grates or ignition.
With charcoal grills, there really isn’t much to maintain. Replacing the grates every year, or ever other year, may be the only maintenance you need besides general cleaning.
Cleaning your grill
As we mentioned above, there are a lot of working parts on your gas grill, so a thorough cleaning can take a little bit of effort, but many say is well worth it. First, remove and clean anything that is covering your burners, such as metal heat tents, ceramic briquettes, or lava stones. These parts can be brushed clean.
Next step in cleaning your gas grill is to tackle the grease collection pan. Empty the grease and then soak your tray in warm, soapy water and scrub clean. If you use disposable pans there’s no need to clean them, just make sure to replace them frequently.
The easiest part to clean on your gas grill is the grates. All you need to do is simply heat up the grates before and after every time you cook, wait until it stops smoking, and then brush your grates with a grill brush.
If you enjoy a charcoal grill, empty out the ashes from your coals and clean your grates before each use. Die hard charcoal fans love how easy it is to clean their grills because there’s no grease collection pan. For the most part, the drippings fall on the coals and are burnt up before they have a chance to collect at the bottom.
But of course, no matter if you had a gas or charcoal grill, cleaning both the inside and outside regularly is ideal for extending the life of your grill.
This month we are wanting to get to know you a little more so we can better serve you. Head over to our Facebook page and tell us if you prefer gas or coals in our recent poll, and give us your feedback on some of our other recent posts.
Happy grilling, and we look forward to helping you with all of your propane needs.