Gas Grill vs Electric Grill vs Charcoal Grill: Difference and Comparison
January 19, 20225 min read
There are three categories of grills, i.e., gas grills, charcoal grills, and electric grills. Each of them uses different sources of heat, i.e., propane, charcoal, and electricity. Generally, grilling entails the use of dry heat applied on the surface of the food.
What is the difference between gas, charcoal, and electric grills? The difference between these three grills is based on their fuel source, size, maintenance, and ease of use. This post compares the three grills to help you decide which one suits your needs.
Charcoal grills are the first types of grill to be used: it’s one of the traditional methods of cooking and barbecuing. Charcoal grills utilize charcoal briquettes and wood chips as a source of heat. Additionally, this kind of grill uses open flames to cook.
The uniqueness of charcoal grills is that they leave a robust and authentic smoky flavor into grilled foods. Unfortunately, however, its smoke imparts carcinogenic compounds into the food.
Charcoal grills tend to be bulky and require adequate space, especially in an open area since they produce smoke and much heat. For this reason, they’re best used outdoors. Lastly, cooking on a charcoal grill takes longer than on gas and electric grills since the preparation period (adding charcoal briquettes and preheating) takes about 30 minutes.
Advantages of Charcoal Grills
Leaves dark searing and grill marks on foods
It leaves grilled food with a strong smoky flavor and authentic barbecue taste.
Large cooking surface area
Disadvantages of Charcoal Grills
It takes longer to preheat
Cannot be used indoors
Smoked produced contains carcinogens is linked to cancer
Requires much space and may not be permitted in some multi-family dwellings
You can’t easily turn it off unless you leave the briquettes to cook down
After charcoal grills, electric grills came next. Gas grills use propane as their source of heat. However, other models run on natural gas. Unlike charcoal grills, gas grills are easy to use and preheat very quickly, increasing cooking time.
Gas grills are popular and come in various models. Additionally, they leave grilled foods with a strong flavor but not like that of charcoal grills. Most gas grills are safe and best used outdoors because they generate smoke and require plenty of space.
This kind of grill heats up pretty quickly and is easy to use. However, gas grills are bulky. Lastly, they come in a variety of models.
Advantages of Gas Grills
Leaves food with an authentic smoky flavor
Easy to use and clean
It has more features than charcoal grills
Disadvantages of Gas Grills
Requires much space
Only safe to use outdoor and might not be allowed in some housing complexes
Portability might be an issue if it’s attached to a natural gas line
Electric grills are the latest types of grills in the market. Recently, they have gained a lot of popularity as the healthiest types of grills. As the name suggests, they use electricity as their source of heat.
Most electric grills are smaller and compact than charcoal and gas grills. However, you can still get larger outdoor electric grills. Also, they come with a smooth non-stick cooking surface and temperature controls that help you regulate heat while cooking.
Unlike the other two types of grills, electric grills don’t leave food with a strong smoky flavor because they don’t produce smoke. Nevertheless, you can enhance the flavor using smoky ingredients while preparing your recipe.
Advantages of Electric Grills
Ease to use and clean
Heats up pretty quickly
Safer and healthier than other types of grills
Most suitable type of grill for indoor grilling, including apartments and condos
Easy to control the temperature
Lightweight and portable
Disadvantages of Electric Grills
It doesn’t bring out an authentic barbecue (smoky) flavor
Reduced size, therefore, cooking for many people can be a lot of work
Natural gas or propane
Recently gaining popularity
Not popular like gas grills
Don’t offer a strong smoky flavor like gas and charcoal grills
Authentic smoky flavor (but not like that of a charcoal grill)
A strong and authentic flavor
Most electric grills are standard size and suitable for use on the countertop or table. However, larger ones are still available.
Gas grills are available in all sizes, i.e., small to large commercial gas grills.
Most charcoal grills are large
Requires minimal space
Requires adequate space and in an open area where there are no other materials likely to catch fire
Requires adequate space (strictly outdoors) and in an open area where there are no other materials likely to catch fire
Easy to clean (all parts are removable) and don’t need seasoning after every use
Easy to clean. However, it requires more maintenance, especially to prevent gas leaks
Cleaning is more time-consuming. You’ve to clean the grates after use and empty the ash. It also requires regular seasoning
Ease of Use/ Convenience
Extremely easy to use and manage temperature
Easy to use
Managing the cooking temperature might be challenging, especially for first-time users
Safer than gas and charcoal grills
Prone to fire risks if gas leaks occur
Not very safe, especially when used near materials that can easily catch fire
More expensive than a charcoal grill
Costly to run compared to electric grills
Cheaper than a gas grill but expensive to maintain.
Why Electric Grill is better than Gas or Charcoal Grills
Electric grills tend to stand out from the above comparison than charcoal and gas grills. So, why is that the case?
Below are reasons why electric grills are better than other types of grills:
Not prone to restriction
Electric grills can be used anywhere, including apartments, because they are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
Non-stick cooking surface
Most electric grills have a non-stick cooking surface; thus, food doesn’t stick to the cooking surface. Additionally, cleaning is relatively easy.
Electric grills are affordable and don’t cost much to run
Electric grills can cook a variety of foods effectively. They have temperature controls that help you regulate and achieve an ideal heat for each temperature.
So, here are quality electric grills that meet all of the above descriptions. Our electric grills feature a non-stick natural coating (PTFE & PFOA-free). It’s easy to clean, and the temperature can go up to 430 degrees F. Lastly, it’s appropriate for indoor grilling.