It is generally accepted that meat cooked over a charcoal fire taste and smell better. The charred taste is something special for those who enjoy grilling, as it leaves a lasting and savory feeling in your mouth. If you’re the kind to enjoy grilling meat (especially red meat), charcoal grills should fall within your range of preferred grills.
However, for first time bbq fans, there are two main obstacles to getting a successful bbq; starting a charcoal fire and regulating heat in a charcoal bbq. Unless you are an experienced griller, maintaining a fire and managing smoke can be quite a challenge. For those new to BBQ, it is best that you try your hands on some casual grilling before opting to get a charcoal grill.
One other thing worth noting is that Charcoal bbq are not allowed in most condos due to fire and smoke emission, so please check with your condo management before deciding to buy one.
Gas grills are pretty easy to start up, with their built-in ignitors. In addition, it is relatively simpler to control the fire since gas grills come with control knobs that provide precise manipulation over heat generation. Moreover, most gas grills are equipped with a heat indicator so temperature management is considered a breeze when compared to that of charcoal grills.
One thing that many grillers like about gas grills is the relative ease of cleaning it. To clean a gas grill, you can employ the “burn-oil method”. How this method works is pretty simple: after your bbq session is over, turn the temperature to the highest and then close your hood for about 20 mins. Leave to cool substantially before proceeding to brush off residues off your cooking grate/grill plate with a bbq brush. Note that the burn oil method is not recommended for cast iron grils.
Charcoal Grill Pros:
A widely-loved char smell and taste
Easy to store
Simple and does not require electrical or gas involvement
Charcoal Grill Cons:
Requires more consumables; lighters, starters, charcoal, lava rocks
Cleaning is more tedious
Harder to start and maintain temperature
Gas Grill Pros:
Easy to startup and manage temperatures
Easy to clean up
Overall better controls and more features for cooking
Roasting is an option
Less consumables required (only gas)
Gas Grill Cons:
Does not deliver the smoky char smell and taste
Bigger in size; not portable
Slightly more maintenance