The Differences Between Charcoal Gas and Pellet Grills

The Differences Between Charcoal Gas and Pellet Grills

The Differences Between Charcoal Gas and Pellet Grills

The Differences Between Charcoal Gas and Pellet Grills The Important Differences

The fundamental distinctions between charcoal and gas grills that you should take into consideration when comparing the two types of barbecues, as outlined by BBQ professionals.

You’re probably weary of your friends or family members hogging the grill during summer barbecues. Make this summer the year that you get your own grill so that you may be the one to handle the tongs at your next outdoor event.



If you’ve never bought a BBQ grill before (we suggest reading our comprehensive article on grills), you may not know what you want or even what kind of grills are available. Not to be concerned. You are under no obligation to share this embarrassing secret with your friends.

For assistance in making a selection, please see the excellent comparison of gas grills vs pellet grills vs charcoal grills and their important characteristics provided below. Relax, we won’t find out!

Grills powered by natural gas

Gas grills are one of the most popular forms of outdoor barbecues, accounting for over half of all sales. They are available in two configurations: as a portable cart or as a permanent installation in an outdoor cooking area.

Natural gas and liquid propane are both used in gas barbecues. The most common reason for choosing liquid propane is because it can be used with cart-style gas barbecues, which allow for more mobility.



Due to the fact that natural gas grills cannot be moved, they must be permanently installed in your outdoor cooking area. It, on the other hand, burns cleaner, costs less to operate, and is connected to your home’s natural gas line, ensuring that you never run out of fuel.



Guide to Electric Grills and Pellet Grills – The Complete Guide

Pellet grills were initially introduced to the market around 30 years ago. They may be used as both a smoker and a grill, and they are powered by electricity.

Pellet grills are distinguished by the presence of a hopper, which is an unique chamber on the side. You load the hopper with food-safe wood pellets and ignite them by pushing a button and adjusting the temperature on the stovetop’s thermostat. The pellets are deposited into a burn pot, where they smoke, imparting flavor to the meat.


Grills made with charcoal

Grills made of charcoal vs those made of gas
Grilling over charcoal is a classic method.
A charcoal grill is the most traditional kind of barbecue. They are available in a variety of sizes and forms. The following are some examples of charcoal grills:

A barrel grill is a barbecue that is fashioned like a barrel. Cut a 55-gallon barrel in half lengthwise and add grates, handles, and legs to produce these barbecues. This was the original method of construction.


Brazier grill — this is the kind of open grill that you could find in public places like parks.
Grill on a tripod with a cover and two wheels, either round (the original type) or square (the modern version). The temperature is controlled only by a few tiny vents.
Portable grill – A smaller, sturdier kettle grill that can be easily transported to the beach or when camping in the backcountry.

All of these grill models function in the same manner and use the same sorts of fuel.

What’s the Difference Between a Gas Grill, a Pellet Grill, and a Charcoal Grill?
Still can’t make up your mind whether to go with a gas, pellet, or charcoal grill? Examine the following characteristics to determine which are most essential to you.



According on the manufacturer and type, gas grills cost anywhere from less than $100 to several thousand dollars. Many large box retailers provide lower-priced alternatives for those on a tight budget. Alternatively, you might go through local classified ads in newspapers or on the internet.

Price ranges for charcoal barbecues are likewise vast, ranging from $50 to more than $1,000. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy a good kettle charcoal grill, though. When shopping at a large box retailer, you can typically find nice ones for $50 or less.

Pellet grills are the most expensive right out of the gate. Expect to pay more than $500 for a new wood pellet barbecue that is of good quality. Many of the most popular models are priced between $1000 and $2000.


Fuel and operating costs are included.
In order to run, a gas grill just requires propane or natural gas (Source). If you have your grill hooked up to your home’s gas line, the cost of running it will be added to your monthly gas bill. No need to be concerned about running out of supplies.



If you want to utilize propane with your gas grill, you’ll need to purchase a propane tank first. Depending on the size of the tank, the cost might vary from $50 to $150-200 for a 30lb tank. Also required is the refilling of the container, which may cost you anywhere from $20 to $50 depending on where you go.



In order to run, a pellet grill needs energy as well as wood pellets. Electricity costs may mount up quickly, depending on how long you use your grill and how much your local energy charges are each month. You should also factor in the expense of any repairs or component replacements that may be required for the more intricate machine.



The quicker the wood pellets burn, the hotter and larger the fire you have going. The price of a bag varies depending on the brand. However, a greater price is often associated with a better quality pellet.



A charcoal grill requires simply charcoal to work, and you may also wish to add some wood if you want to have a smoky taste. Certain brands of charcoal briquettes are more expensive than others, but on average, they are much less expensive.

Lump charcoal is more expensive per pound than briquetted charcoal. However, it burns more quickly and at a higher temperature. As a result, it is preferable to utilize it for grilling rather than smoking.


When compared to a charcoal barbecue, the operation of a gas and pellet grill is more comparable.

Gas grills are ignited when the propane tank is opened and ignited. Pellet smokers are activated by pressing a button. You may start using it immediately once you have filled the hopper with pellets.

A charcoal grill requires a significant increase in time and effort. To ignite the charcoal, you must first use a charcoal chimney or lighter fluid to douse it in flames. After that, it will take between 20 and 30 minutes for the fire to get warm.


Cleaning and maintenance are important.

Cleaning up after using each of the three kinds of grills is different.

A gas grill is equipped with a particular portion for catching food and fat that falls down between the bars of the grilling griddles. After you’ve finished grilling, you may often crank up the heat to get rid of any food that has gotten stuck to the grill. After that, you may scrape away the remainder.

Pellet smokers are also equipped with a grate to capture food and grease. 


It is located in the bottom of the grill, between the cooking grates and the fire pot. For convenience, many individuals opt to wrap this in aluminum foil and change the foil after every couple of sessions.

Charcoal grills need a bit more work since there is often no portion to collect any fat or food that drips from the grill. It either falls into the fire or adheres to the grate, and it must be removed using a steel grate brush. In addition, you must dispose of the ashes after each session.


Controlling the temperature and adjusting the range

You can regulate the temperature of your gas grill and pellet smoker with the turn of a knob on either device. The knobs on gas grills govern how much gas is allowed to escape, which in turn determines the intensity of the fire. The temperature of a pellet smoker is maintained consistently and steadily via electrical means.



When using a charcoal barbecue, you will not be able to manage the temperature of the grill on an immediate basis. Over time, you become more adept at controlling the airflow and, therefore, the temperature via the vents. The greater the amount of air going through the grill, the hotter the flames will be.



When it comes to temperature ranges, gas grills may reach temperatures as low as 225°F and as high as 600°F. Wood pellet grills may also be tuned to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. However, most only reach as high as 500°F.

Because you have total control over the fire, charcoal grills provide the greatest variety in terms of temperature. You can grill gently at 150°F or sear at temperatures more than 800°F after you have mastered the art of cooking with charcoal.




The design of a gas grill is perfect for grilling meat, while the design of a wood pellet smoker is ideal for smoking meat. However, using a gas grill or pellet smoker to smoke food will not provide the same results as smoking with a wood or charcoal grill.

A charcoal barbecue enables you to sear at high temperatures while also cooking at low and moderate temps.

Flavor Finally, and perhaps most crucially, each grill provides a distinct flavor when food is prepared on it.



A gas grill does not provide any extra taste to the food that would otherwise be imparted by the burning of charcoal or wood. It only has the flavor of cooked beef. It is very necessary to marinade or season meat before cooking it on a gas barbecue.

Wood pellet smokers provide a characteristic smoky taste to any cuisine that is prepared in them. The taste of the 100 percent sawdust pellets will vary depending on the kind of wood utilized in their production.



Charcoal grills provide that distinctive flame-grilled flavor, whether or not the food is seared. In order to give your meat a smoky taste, you can always add some soaked wood chips to your charcoal grill while it is cooking.



Choosing Between a Gas, Pellet, and Charcoal Grill is a difficult decision.
If any of the following apply, a gas grill is the best choice:

You want to be able to quickly and conveniently ignite the grill and begin cooking.
Not interested in cleaning your equipment after each and every usage.
You are not concerned with the flavor of your meal being smoked or grilled.


If any of the following apply to you, a pellet grill is for you:

You want to be able to smoke your meat without having to use a fire.
Would you want to be able to set and maintain a precise temperature?
You want your meat to have a smoky flavor.
You want to be able to choose the kind of smokey flavor you receive.
If any of the following apply to you, a charcoal grill is the best option:

Meat grilled over an open flame has a more flavorful flavor.
You want to be able to grill and smoke your meat at the same time.
Would want to have a wider temperature range.
You’d want to have the option of searing your meat.
You want to be able to carry your barbecue with you everywhere you go.
So take some time to consider what you want to accomplish with your grill before making a final selection.