Grilling 101: Gas vs. Charcoal vs. Electric

When it comes to grilling, there are more options than ever to choose from.  The most popular methods of grilling have remained consistent over the years. Additional newcomers and trendsetting grill appliances entering the arena have given the homeowner even more opportunities to grill, smoke, roast, sauté and more.

So, what’s the best way to grill? The best grill choice is going to be one that fits your needs, lifestyle, and budget. Next, it’s determining what matters most in your meal preparation.  Are you looking for a fast turnaround on dinner?  Best flavor?  The choice of grill often impacts the taste of the food. Are there rules or regulations pertaining to what kind of grill you can use? We’ve put together the most popular ways to prep and grill, based on what’s available in the marketplace. When designing an outdoor kitchen, you may want to consider the options we have here, but there are even more outdoor kitchen options like smoker eggs, Evo cooktops and more.


Type of Grills – Electric, Charcoal or Gas Grill


Gas grilling is the most common method of outdoor meal preparation because of its versatility and ability to produce great flavor thanks to their stronger flame.  It’s important to remember that a gas grill does require a good amount of space, and typically cannot be used too close to a building or structure due to building codes and regulations.  There are many features available on gas grills which makes them more appetizing (pun intended!) than some of their outdoor cooking competitors like side-burners, rotisseries and smoker boxes.  Fueled by natural gas lines or propane tanks, the need for speed meal preparation is easily met as gas grills are ready-to-sear in 10 minutes or less.



If flavor is on your main menu, charcoal grilling would be the perfect choice for grilled food. Like a gas grill, it does also require sufficient space, as you are not just grilling, but tending the fire within the coals to maintain heat across the grill. Regarding grill prep to meal prep, you do have to purchase the charcoal and have time to stoke the fire and get it to the desired temperature (approximately 20-30 minutes) before cooking. Although charcoal grills seem cost-effective up front versus gas grills, the continued cost of fueling the grill with charcoal can quickly increase. Lastly, charcoal grills are not simply on/off-ready and take some time for briquettes to cool.  Pouring water on the coals can douse the fire, but in turn, ruin the grill basin over time.



Electric grills tend to have the least authentic grill flavor, but their ability to be used virtually anywhere either indoors or outdoors frequently makes them desirable in condominiums or apartments.  These grills can generally be used on decks or patios close to buildings and structures, unlike gas or charcoal grills. An electric grill will heat fast, but do require an electrical outlet or power source to do so. The heating element is either directly below or embedded within the cooking surface and typically comes with a drip tray. This type of grill uses heat rather than a flame. If you struggle with space, or are limited due to rules or regulations, electric grilling may be your only option, though we would otherwise vote against it.


Ultimately, the choice is yours! Danver distributes outdoor kitchen appliances along with our outdoor kitchen cabinetry. Our dealers and in-house design team can help you choose the best placement for your outdoor grill-of-choice, so you can get cooking right away! Call 203-269-2300 for more information or learn about our stainless steel outdoor kitchens.


This article is based on industry knowledge and research by outdoor kitchen design professionals, including our in-house experts and engineers with decades of experience.Our goal at Danver is to provide factual information on relevant topics to help readers make informed decisions about their outdoor living spaces.

This article uses trusted sources with references hyperlinked to the source material.

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