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Can You Use A Gas Grill As A Charcoal Grill?

Can You Use A Gas Grill As A Charcoal Grill?

There’s a never-ending debate on whether gas grills are better than charcoal grills.

Charcoal grills give your food that delicious, smoky flavor, but gas grills are much more convenient.

If you own a gas grill but miss that authentic, smoky flavor and smell, you may be wondering if you’re able to put charcoal inside the grill.

As mentioned, a gas grill enables you to cook your favorite BBQ food quickly and easily, but you will be missing that smoky taste that is so irresistible.

This article is going to be discussing the above question, so you are well-informed on what you can and can’t do with your gas grill.

Can You Add Charcoal To A Gas Grill?

In most cases, you shouldn’t add charcoal to a gas grill. This is because gas grills are specifically designed to withstand the heat caused by the burners and not the heat that is created by charcoal.

Adding charcoal can actually damage some of the components of your gas grill, as many of them come with relatively delicate parts that can be damaged easily if they aren’t used accordingly.

Clogging can occur if you use charcoal in a gas grill. As the charcoal burns, it will leave ashes, small bits of burnt charcoal, and debris behind.

These can clog the ventilation system and airways of your grill. This will lead to issues with your grill, and you’ll have to replace it in the long run.

Following on from this point, adding charcoal to your grill will mean you’ll have a lengthy and complicated cleaning process to follow.

In order to avoid irreversible damage, you’ll have to spend a lot of time cleaning up any clogged areas and debris that has been left behind on your grill.

Exceptions To The Above

If the above points have rained on your parade, then do not fear, because there is an exception to this rule.

Some gas grills come equipped with a charcoal tray to be used as a secondary source of fuel. This allows charcoal to be placed over the burners.

These are also convenient, as the tray where the charcoal is placed, uses the ignition system from the grill, so you won’t need to use any lighter fluid to light the charcoal, as you would for a regular charcoal grill.

The charcoal will then drip into a tray below the grill, which allows you to clean up easily.

It is important to note that gas grills that come with this added feature are more expensive than those that don’t.

However, if convenient cooking is what you’re after, along with ensuring your food has that smoky flavor, then this option may be the best for you.

Other brands, such as Alfresco, actually have built-in wood smoking trays where you can ignite coals and add smokey flavor to your food.

Charcoal vs Gas Grill - Which Is Better?

Charcoal Vs Gas Grill - Which Is Better

Rather than trying to stuff charcoals into your gas grill, it may be best to just invest in one type of grill.

This will prevent you from causing any damage to your grill by trying to combine both together!

Charcoal Grills - Pros

There are several pros to opting for a charcoal grill. Firstly, these grills can reach relatively high temperatures. In order for your meat to cook well, you’ll need your grill to reach around 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

The scorching charcoals can reach up to 700 degrees without a problem, and while gas grills can also do this, they may be on the pricier side.

The most obvious benefit of charcoal grills is the delicious, smoky flavor they provide your food with. This is due to the scorching heat they can reach.

Whatever you’re cooking will release juices that drip onto the coals. These juices will turn into steam that is packed with flavor and makes its way back to your food!

Lastly, charcoal grills tend to be cheaper than gas grills, especially when you start getting to the built-in category.  This is because there are costs associate with R&D and manufacturing of high end grill burners that ultimately get passed along to the customer.

Charcoal Grills - Cons

As is the case with everything, there are some cons to charcoal grills. Firstly, they take longer to heat up, around 20 minutes, as opposed to gas grills that heat up instantly.

The price of charcoal can also accumulate over time, and the type of coal you use will also determine the taste of your food.

You’ll also be looking at a more complicated kind of clean-up as opposed to a gas grill. Charcoal grills must be emptied of their ashes before it is cleaned, which is a lengthy process.

Gas Grills - Pros

Gas grills are said to be slightly healthier than charcoal grills. This is because foods that have been gas-grilled have less carcinogens than those cooked on charcoals.

They are also better for the environment, as they produce less of a carbon footprint compared to charcoal grills.

These grills are also very simple to use and have a very quick start-up and temperature control system. They are also a lot more versatile than charcoal grills, as you can cook a variety of foods on them.

Gas Grills - Cons

There are also more safety precautions that need to be followed. For example, you must ensure there aren’t any leaks, and the grill must be placed at least ten feet away from your house.

And ultimately, food cooked on a gas grill will have less robust flavor compared to the same food cooked on a charcoal grill.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, while it is possible to put charcoal in a gas grill, it must purely be a gas grill that has a charcoal tray as a secondary fuel source.

However, these fall within a higher price range, so it may be worth settling for either a charcoal grill or a gas grill.

If your priority is convenience, then perhaps a gas grill is for you, but if you crave that scrumptious, smoky flavor on your meat, then a charcoal grill is the ideal choice.

Next article How To Build An Outdoor Kitchen With A Charcoal Grill