Can You Use Charcoal in a Gas Grill?

  • By: Peter Allen
  • Date: 09/24/2020
  • Time to read: 5 min.
Flame Fire Empty Hot Barbecue Charcoal Grill With Glowing Coals On Black Background

Can you use charcoal in a gas grill?

It depends; most gas grills are not designed to use charcoal as fuel. They are designed only to handle heat created by burner as opposed to the heat created by charcoal. However, there are some gas grills (combo grills) that support both gas and charcoal grilling. Some gas grills are also equipped with a smoke box that allows you to get the charcoal flavor.

Most manufacturers build gas grills that only use gas as fuel. This means that even if the gas grill firebox looks like it can fit charcoal, it is not recommended that you try it because it will not work. In fact, you will end up damaging your precious gas grill. Possible damage that you could inflict in your gas grill includes metal warping and clogging. You can also end up injuring yourself because the grill is not designed for charcoal use. Therefore, if your gas grill is explicitly designed for gas only, please don’t use charcoal.

However, some grills use both gas and charcoal as fuel. For example, combo gas charcoal grills support both gas and charcoal grilling. As such, they offer the speed and convenience of a gas and rich smoky flavor of charcoal. Gas-charcoal comb grills are ideal for those who want to enjoy the flexibility of using charcoal, gas, or both at the same time when grilling. However, due to their dual functionality, combo gas grills are usually more costly than individual gas or charcoal grills.

Can you get a rich charcoal flavor when using a gas grill?

Gas grills offer convenience and speed. There are also compact, meaning that they don’t consume a lot of space and are easy to regulate, light, and cool off. However, gas grills are not that good when it comes to flavor. Charcoal grills, on the other hand, are famous for giving food a unique rich flavor. So, the big question is: is it possible to get a rich charcoal flavor when using a gas grill?

The answer is yes, it is possible to get rich charcoal flavor when cooking on a propane-powered grill. There are two ways to achieve this. The first technique is to mimic charcoal grill heat output on your gas grill by putting part if it on high mode and part of it ion low or even turn it off. This will help create more milliard reactions in protein, which gives your food a deep rich flavor. The second technique is using the smoker box. If your gas grill is equipped with a metal smoker box, you can smoke your food to give them a rich charcoal flavor. All you need is aluminum and some wood chips.

What is the difference between a gas grill and a charcoal grill?

Although charcoal and gas grill do the same thing (grilling meat), they are different in many ways, as discussed below.

  • Taste

Food prepared on charcoal grills have an amazingly unique taste. When food dripping meets the flame, it evaporates, and a portion of it finds its way into the food, giving it a unique rich deep flavor. On the other hand, propane gas grills give a bacon-like taste. Propane gas grills have metal or ceramic slabs that cover the flame. This means that spices or food dripping the hit the surface don’t come into contact with the food. The benefit of this is that the gas grill produces more steam, giving your food more moisture.

  • Cooking speed

Gas grill cooks faster and more convenient than charcoal grill because it is powered by propane gas, which heats up quickly. It takes less than 10 minutes to preheat the gas grill, and it holds to that temperature until you are done cooking. On the other hand, a charcoal grill takes more time to preheat because charcoal takes more time to heat up. This means that it will take more time to prepare your food. Additionally, charcoal grills also require you to monitor the temperature because it keeps fluctuating constantly.

  • Safety

Cooking with a propane gas grill is considered safer than a charcoal grill because of the excellent safety features that they are equipped with. On the other hand, cooking with a charcoal grill is considered to be quite risky. For example, a piece of hot charcoal can fly off and burn your hand when checking the temperature. People using charcoal grill need to be extra careful to avoid injuring themselves.

  • Cost

Gas grills are more costly than their counterparts due to their efficiency speed and excellent safety features. On the other hand, charcoal grills are less costly because they take longer to heat up, are less convenient, and don’t have excellent safety features. Therefore, if you want to buy a grill but are on a tight budget, charcoal is the best option.

  • Control

Controlling a gas grill is much easier. All you need to do is familiarize yourself with the controls and know how to use them to get the best results when cooking. You can easily adjust the temperature of a gas grill to suit your cooking needs. On the other hand, charcoal grills are quite tricky to control. You have to master how to control the grill temperature.

What are the pros and cons of using gas and charcoal grills?

Stainless steel gas grill bbq barbecue. Cooking meat, fish, vegetables in summertime gatherings, no people

1. Propane Gas grill

It is more cost effect to use a propane gas grill because gas is cheaper than charcoal
They are more expensive than charcoal burner
This team that it gives off when cooking your food add more moistures to your meat, making it soft and tender
Their temperatures don’t get as high as alcohol

Gas grill are simple and easy to use
Gas leakage can create fire hazard that can be fatal

They come with many accessories including smoke boxes and sider burners that makes your cooking easier

It has limited mobility because it has to be close the your gas line

It is easier to clean up than a charcoal grill

2. Charcoal grill

They are more portable than propane gas grills
Longer heat up time

The smoke provide deep rich flavor
It is more expensive to operate charcoal than propane gas.
Charcoal burns at higher temperatures than propane gas
Cleanup process is more tedious than gas grills
They are cheaper compared to gas grills
They don’t have many additional features like gas grills

Charcoal grill vs. gas grill, which one grills better?

It depends on your preference because they all have their pros and cons. For instance, if you are looking for safety convenience and speed, then a gas grill is an excellent option. On the other hand, if you are looking for portability, affordability, and deep rich flavor, then a charcoal gas grill is a great option for you.

Which is healthier: gas or charcoal grill?

Grilling with a propane gas grill is generally considered safer than using a charcoal grill. Scientific research has shown that charcoal-grilled meat contains high quantities of carcinogens known as polycyclic romantic hydrocarbons, then meat grilled with propane gas. Additionally, charcoal grills produce more smoke than gas.