The Benefits of Charcoal Grills and why you Should add one to your Outdoor Kitchen
There’s a lot of buzz about the convenience and ease of cooking with an electric or gas grill. But if you already own a charcoal grill, or are looking to buy a new grill, remember that there are several benefits to using charcoal over gas or electric.
Here are some of our favorite things about cooking over charcoal!
In this article, we’ll explore:
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Why Cook With Charcoal?
Charcoal grills offer many advantages over gas grills. They provide total heat control and offer better zone cooking for precise grilling and smoking, and they infuse your food with that authentic smokey flavor you can’t get with a gas grill.
Charcoal Grills Produce Higher Temperatures
Unlike gas grills, there’s no temperature limit on a charcoal grill. High temperatures result in perfectly seared steak, fish, chicken, and vegetables.
The hotter you cook, the crispier the outer layer of your food will be, and when done correctly, these high heats create the oh-so enticing “Maillard Reaction” that all serious grillers strive for. You get to enjoy meat that’s crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.
Charcoal Grills Can Operate At Lower Temperatures Than Most Other Grills
Charcoal grills are great for low and slow cooking and can maintain lower temperatures more easily than most other types of grills. No need to buy a sperate cooker to get your smoke on when you own a charcoal grill!
Charcoal Grills Are A More Versatile Cooking Machine
Charcoal grills can cook on both direct infrared heat and indirect heat. You can quickly cook and sear a steak, or you can use your grill to slow cook BBQ ribs. With the right grill design, you can even bake desserts!
Using a charcoal grill, you can barbecue, grill, smoke, bake and sear foods to perfection.
Charcoal Grills Let You Utilize Dual-Zone Cooking
Dual-Zone Cooking is a must-have skill to mastering your grill!
You’re left at the gas grill’s mercy when it comes to cooking in different zones. Most smaller gas grills don’t even give the option a second zone.
Charcoal grills, on the other hand, give you complete control over your heating zones. Simply stack your coals to one side of the grill, and you’ve created two separate cooking zones.
With dual-zone cooking, you can easily smoke or slow cook on one side while grilling over high heat on the other.
You’ll be able to cook up a variety of dishes all at once!
You can learn more about the art of zone cooking here: Zone Grilling Methods – The Most Essential Skill To Master Your Grill
Charcoal Grills Make For Incredible Flavor
Charcoal grills take your meals to another level. The direct heat of the charcoal turns the food drippings into instant, smokey flavors that infuse back into the food above.
Searing over a direct charcoal flame adds delicious flavors that can’t be produced on a gas grill.
Charcoal Grills Give You Easy Wood Flavor
You can adjust and experiment with the flavors of your food by adding in different types of wood chips. Simply add them on top of your coals. You can even mix and match wood chips to create a unique smoker flavor.
You Get Juicier Meats Using Charcoal Grills
Less moisture is lost in food when you use the infrared heat of a charcoal grill. The hot coals heat only the food directly above them rather than heating and drying out the air within the grill.
Infrared heating does disturb the moisture barrier of your meat and retains approximately 35% more moisture than meat cooked on gas grills.
You’re Less Likely to Have Flare-Ups Using Charcoal
Gas grills are famous for their flare-ups, and while the big flames look impressive, they are more likely to leave you with burnt food and can be dangerous.
Charcoal grills tend to vaporize any oils and drippings rather than burning them, making it safer for your hands, face, and ribeye.
Charcoal Grills Are Less Expensive And A Better Value
Burners, valves, thermostats, built-in ignitions, and other pricy components make gas grills much more costly than charcoal grills.
Charcoal grills are designed with simplicity and put you in complete charge of adding the fuel and starting it.
Additionally, when you buy a charcoal grill, you are purchasing a smoker as well. Think of it as a two-for-one kind of deal. You pay less upfront for the grill, and you essentially get a smoker thrown in for no extra cost.
Charcoal Grills Are Easier To Transport
There are fewer components to a charcoal grill, making them lighter and more portable.
Not to mention that carrying a bag of charcoal is a whole lot easier than lugging around a propane tank.
Larger charcoal grills can be conveniently moved to different areas of your yard, and smaller models are great for taking camping or tailgating.
Charcoal Grills Cost Much Less To Repair
If a part breaks on a charcoal grill and you need to replace it, the parts are relatively affordable. In most cases, you can even repair it yourself.
Gas and electric grills usually require a professional technician, so you’ll have to fork over the extra cash for labor in addition to the costly parts.
Charcoal Is Cheap And Readily Available
Generally, it’s easier to find a store that sells charcoal than a place to refill your propane tanks. This is especially the case if you’re traveling out of town.
Rather than driving around searching for a gas station that refills propane, you can go into pretty much any grocery store to buy a bag of charcoal.
What’s more, that a bag of charcoal costs around $13, while filling a large propane tank averages around $18 depending on the current prices.
Charcoal Grilling Is The Purest Form Of Outdoor Cooking
Charcoal grilling is the modern version of cooking over an open fire. Our ancestors have done it for thousands of years.
As you cook on your charcoal grill, you’ll have the pride and satisfaction that you’re mastering the ancient art, and your friends and family will rave about the results.
Nostalgia aside, cooking on a charcoal grill has several technical advantages that can’t be overlooked. They can achieve a higher heat, make dual cooking zones easy to achieve, have fewer flare-ups and produce the best-tasting food.
Final Thoughts On The Benefits Of Charcoal Grills
Charcoal grills offer more versatility, can handle high and low temperatures better, and can also act as a smoker making them a true dual cooking threat. And it only gets better. Charcoal grills produce better flavor by infusing smoke from hot coals, vaporized drippings, and wood chips added to the fire.
Charcoal grills are excellent for dual zone cooking, a technique every outdoor cook needs to master to make truly great BBQ. They are less expensive initially, provide better long-term value, and give you a true sense of pride when you master cooking over an open flame.
You will be blown away by the ease of use and smokey flavor these grills provide!
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