Charcoal or gas barbecue which gives the best taste?
When we talk about barbecue, we immediately think of the smoky smell that emerges, of the convivial moment of an outdoor meal that we spend with family or friends.
Cooking slowly, grilled meats that crackle and vegetables with an excellent grilled aroma are some of the highlights of this meal.
However, we often notice two schools for barbecue cooking: cooking with charcoal or cooking with propane gas.
Some would say that charcoal gives the best taste, others that gas cooks just as well, with the same delicious taste.
So, how do disentangle the true from the false?
To have the best taste, what to choose between a charcoal or gas barbecue?
The charcoal barbecue, a unique flavor
The benefits of charcoal cooking
What makes charcoal cooking so authentic is the smoke that permeates the flesh of the meat.
Its traditional and unifying side qualifies it as “the best barbecue” by many followers.
The incredible smell emanating from the embers and the incandescence of the coal make the spectacle quite hypnotizing.
In terms of taste, it is clear that coal has qualities that cooking with gas does not have.
For example, the longer you cook a thick food or meat that requires slow cooking, the greater the impact smoke will have on the flavor.
It is even more striking when using a smokehouse.
When wood smoke is present, the combustion gases from the barbecue charcoal create a unique taste typical of typical Texan barbecues, as the Masterbuilt brand does so well.
So it’s not just the charcoal that counts in a charcoal barbecue, but also the type of wood you use.
Wood chips or hardwood from cherry, beech, and pear will give an exquisite taste to your grills.
The other advantage of this type of barbecue is its practical side and size, which allows it to be taken anywhere, in “picnic” mode or installed in the garden.
Its cleaning is easy and fast because it does not need to be perfect.
Empty the ashes once cooking is finished, and brush the cooking grids.
However, careful and more in-depth maintenance is necessary at least 2 to 3 times per season.
Finally, investing in a charcoal barbecue is less expensive than in a gas model.
The quality/price ratio is excellent, even if it is a perfect brand like Weber, Char-Broil, Napoleon, or Char-Griller.
The disadvantages of the charcoal barbecue
Even if the charcoal gives this unique flavor to your meat preparations, there are specific weak points.
For example, it is more difficult to control the cooking temperature with these barbecues.
Indeed, the briquettes are not always well positioned, the pieces of wood do not need to all burn at the same speed, and the ventilation can create air holes and therefore influence the smooth running of the cooking.
Unless you know your barbecue very well, these factors make mastering cooking quite tricky.
If you choose to cook pieces of meat that require a long cooking time, you will have to make sure that you always add charcoal.
Which is neither very ecological nor economical.
Finally, the heating time is relatively long, so don’t be in a hurry!
However, if you like to enjoy the moment and have an aperitif, this long start of the barbecue is enjoyable!
It’s all about having a good time.
Charcoal cooking for health
Excess marinade/marinade sauce and fat drip directly onto embers when you cook meat/fish or marinate
It creates toxic fumes, which rise directly onto your food, impregnating it with these carcinogens.
Therefore, for marinades, it is advisable to brush your meat or any other preparation at the last minute.
Eating smoky-tasting foods should never come at the expense of your health!
Who benefits from the charcoal barbecue?
- connoisseurs who love the taste of authenticity;
- the occasional barbecue kings;
- those who are “not in a hurry” and who prolong the aperitif;
- those for whom cleaning is optional, not imperative.
The gas barbecue, fast and precise cooking
The benefits of cooking with propane
The advantages of a gas barbecue are numerous.
First of all, the ignition is done thanks to burners, which reach their full power in 10-15 minutes.
Much faster than charcoal, which must first burn, then glow to form embers.
Here, we turn a button, wait a bit, and voila!
Depending on the model, these burners, from 1 to 6, then allow independent and controlled cooking.
The more burners you have, the larger the cooking surface, and you will be able to treat a large number of guests very quickly.
Barbecue enthusiasts also find that the various functions of certain top-of-the-range gas appliances are precious: side shelves for placing dishes, storage cupboards, rotisserie, smoker, and plancha.
A gas barbecue can transform your experience into a unique moment of sharing on sunny days!
Healthier than its charcoal cousin, the gas barbecue allows you to cook healthy dishes if you decide to cook them with the lid closed, imitating stewing.
It’s quick, healthy, and tasty; what more could you ask for?
The downsides of cooking on a gas barbecue
We have to find some weak points in our gas barbecue.
For example, its multitude of features and large volume makes it difficult to move, and ample space is required.
Also, its various manufacturing elements in stainless steel (burners, lid, cooking grids, drip tray, etc.) require careful and regular maintenance, especially with suitable household products.
It is the only way to enjoy your good barbecue over the long term, always with the same quality.
For BBQ purists, the smoky taste may not be as authentic and pronounced as that offered by charcoal.
Finally, its purchase cost is higher than conventional charcoal models.
Who benefits from the gas barbecue?
- cooks who like speed and simplicity;
- people who want to receive a lot and who have space;
- those who wish to vary the cooking;
- beginners trying their hand at the art of BBQ;
- those who are willing to pay a little more.
So, charcoal or gas barbecue?
The editorial staff chooses the gas barbecue model for the health, speed, and efficiency side.
Lighting is easy, the cooking time is speedy and healthy, and you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy a good barbecue.
Even if it represents a higher investment to purchase, the comfort coming at the time of use far exceeds this (very) slight downside.