Benefits of Propane Grills vs. Charcoal Grills

Arguably, the best smell of summertime is a grill: the aroma of hamburgers, ribs, or any other meats cooking out in the warm season air says “It’s Summer” almost as much as the rising temps and the cicadas singing in the trees.

According to 2017 statistics provided by the Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association (HPBA), the propane gas grill is tops with U.S. consumers; 64% of the American population who own grills have gas grills, followed by 44% who go with charcoal.

So, what makes the propane gas grill the go-to for so many American families? It might be the convenience, for one; how to use a propane grill compared to a charcoal grill is apples and oranges.

But there’s more to convenience when it comes to charcoal vs propane grills. Take a look at some of the reasons why 20% more outdoor chefs might prefer a propane gas grill over the second-place charcoal variety.

View of a propane grill sitting outside

Easy to Start

Charcoal

Open the vents on the bottom. Pack in charcoal. Add lighter fluid, wait about 30 seconds to let it soak in. Carefully light the charcoal on two sides. Wait for the charcoal to get white over about 75% of its surface before beginning to grill. It can take 15-20 minutes for a charcoal grill to reach the right temperature.

Propane

Lift the lid. Turn the valve on the propane tank fully open. Turn on one of the grill’s burners. Press the ignition button until the flames start (usually a couple presses at most). Let the grill heat up (typically 15 minutes or less), then toss the food on.

As you can see, how to use a propane grill, at least when it comes to starting, is far easier than
the charcoal method.

More Control

Once you light up a charcoal grill and it reaches full temperature, that’s pretty much the temperature you’re going to cook at. There’s no lowering the flames if you wanted to.

On a propane gas grill, you can adjust the temperature by turning the knobs on the front of the grill. You can also easily cook in indirect heat on a gas grill by turning off the burner where the food is placed and leaving other burners on.

Better Taste

Does food taste better when it’s cooked on a propane gas grill or a charcoal grill?

This might be the stickiest subject when it comes to charcoal vs propane, and in some cases, it’s simply a matter of individual taste.

However, it should be noted that charcoal produces more smoke, especially when there’s too much lighter fluid has been used, giving meats a distinct smoky flavor that might not be for everyone. Ashes from a charcoal grill can also get into food and that’s likely a taste not many would prefer, nor is the chemical taste that might come from using lighter fluid.

A gas grill allows for more even heating, much less smoke, and typically produces more steam than charcoal so meats cooked on a gas grill are moister than those cooked on its charcoal counterpart.

Closeup of meat cooking on a charcoal grill

Easy to Clean

When the meal’s been eaten and it’s time to clean up, would you rather clean a gas grill or a charcoal grill?

This one’s easy: it’s far less difficult to clean a propane gas grill than it is a charcoal model. Propane simply burns cleaner than charcoal, period.

Cleaning a propane grill can be as easy as wiping it down; there are no soot, ashes, or charcoal briquette chunks to deal with. There’s often a charcoal grate and an ash catcher to clean as well.

Who needs all that when your belly is full and you just want to go nap on the hammock?

Diversified Energy: Your Propane Company

If you’ve chosen a propane gas grill over a charcoal unit and also use propane for other cooking appliances, or have your outdoor gas grill hooked up to a gas line, you can rely on Diversified Energy to provide the propane you need.

Diversified Energy is a leading East Coast propane supplier, offering delivery, installation, and repair services for propane products, gas lines, and storage tanks throughout NC and parts of PA, SC, and VA. An automatic home delivery system is available to its 25,000 customers. Come join the Diversified Energy family and get cooking.