Which Barbecue Should I Buy – Gas or Charcoal?

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Choosing the right barbecue can significantly enhance your outdoor cooking experience, especially in Australia where barbecuing is a beloved pastime. With numerous options available, the decision often narrows down to two popular types: gas and charcoal. Each has its own set of advantages and drawbacks, making the choice dependent on individual preferences and needs.

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Is Gas Or Charcoal Best? Which BBQ Should I Buy?

which barbecue should I buy?

Gas barbecues are known for their convenience and efficiency, perfect for those who value quick setup and consistent cooking temperatures. On the other hand, charcoal barbecues are celebrated for the rich, smoky flavours they impart to food, offering a traditional and rewarding cooking experience.

In this blog post, we will delve into the pros and cons of both gas and charcoal barbecues, key considerations for choosing the right one, and provide recommendations tailored to different types of users. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a beginner, this guide will help you make an informed decision.

Overview of Gas and Charcoal Barbecues

Gas barbecues are a popular choice for many Australians due to their ease of use and efficiency. These barbecues typically feature burners powered by propane or natural gas, allowing for quick ignition and precise temperature control. With multiple burners, you can create different cooking zones, making it easier to grill a variety of foods simultaneously. Most gas barbecues also come with convenient features like side burners, warming racks, and integrated thermometers.

Charcoal barbecues, on the other hand, are favoured for their ability to infuse food with a distinct, smoky flavour that gas barbecues often cannot replicate. Using charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal as fuel, these barbecues require more time and effort to light and maintain. However, many barbecue enthusiasts find the process rewarding, enjoying the authentic experience of cooking over hot coals. Charcoal barbecues range from simple, portable models to more elaborate setups with adjustable grates and air vents for better temperature control.

The primary difference between gas and charcoal barbecues lies in their cooking methods. Gas barbecues offer convenience and speed, making them ideal for quick weeknight dinners and large gatherings. They provide consistent heat and are easy to clean, with minimal ash and residue left behind.

In contrast, charcoal barbecues excel in delivering rich, smoky flavours that enhance the taste of grilled meats and vegetables. While they require more time to prepare and clean up, the unique taste and traditional cooking experience they offer can be well worth the effort for barbecue purists.

Pros and Cons of Gas Barbecues


Gas barbecues are highly favoured for their convenience and ease of use. One of the biggest advantages is their quick start-up time. With just the push of a button or turn of a knob, you can ignite the burners and have the barbecue ready to cook in minutes. This makes them ideal for busy individuals and families who want to enjoy a barbecue without the long wait.

Another significant benefit of gas barbecues is their precise temperature control. Most models come with adjustable burners, allowing you to set and maintain specific temperatures for different cooking zones. This level of control is especially useful for cooking various types of food simultaneously and ensuring consistent results.

Cleaning a gas BBQ is generally easier than alternatives. Since they do not produce ash and charcoal residue, the post-cooking cleanup is relatively simple. Drip trays and removable parts are designed to be user-friendly, making it easier to keep your barbecue in top condition with minimal effort.


However, gas barbecues tend to be more expensive upfront compared to charcoal models. The initial investment includes not only the barbecue itself but also the cost of propane or natural gas connections. Additionally, while gas barbecues offer convenience, they often lack the traditional smoky flavour that many barbecue enthusiasts crave. This can be a downside for those who prioritise taste over convenience.

Another consideration is the dependency on fuel supply. Running out of propane in the middle of a barbecue can be inconvenient, and having a natural gas line installed may not be feasible for everyone. Despite these drawbacks, gas barbecues remain a popular choice for their efficiency and user-friendly features, making them a practical option for many households.

Pros and Cons of Charcoal Barbecues


Charcoal barbecues are renowned for their ability to impart a rich, smoky flavour to food, a quality that many barbecue enthusiasts find irresistible. The taste achieved through charcoal grilling is often described as more authentic and deeply satisfying, making it the preferred choice for traditionalists and flavour connoisseurs. The use of charcoal, whether briquettes or lump charcoal, enhances the grilling experience by adding a distinct aroma and taste that gas barbecues typically cannot match.

One of the main advantages of charcoal barbecues is their affordability. Generally, they have a lower upfront cost compared to gas barbecues, making them accessible for a wider range of budgets. This cost-effectiveness extends to the fuel as well, as charcoal is often less expensive than propane or natural gas. Additionally, the simplicity of their design means fewer parts that could potentially malfunction or require maintenance.


However, charcoal barbecues do require more effort and time to use. Lighting the charcoal and waiting for it to reach the proper temperature can take upwards of 20-30 minutes, which is considerably longer than the quick ignition of a gas barbecue. This can be a drawback for those looking for a quick and easy grilling session, particularly on busy weekdays.

Temperature control on a charcoal barbecue can also be challenging. Unlike gas barbecues with adjustable knobs, managing the heat involves adjusting the airflow and the arrangement of the charcoal. This can be a learning curve for beginners and requires constant monitoring to maintain the desired cooking temperature. However, many enthusiasts enjoy this hands-on approach and find it adds to the overall barbecue experience.

Cleaning a charcoal barbecue is another consideration, as it involves disposing of ashes and thoroughly cleaning the grates. This can be a messy and time-consuming task compared to the relatively simple cleanup of a gas barbecue. Despite these challenges, the unmatched flavour and traditional cooking experience make charcoal barbecues a beloved choice for many.

Choose the BBQ That’s right for your Home!

Choosing between a gas and charcoal barbecue ultimately depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle. Gas barbecues offer convenience, quick start-up, and precise temperature control, making them ideal for busy individuals and families. Charcoal barbecues, however, provide a rich, smoky flavour and a traditional cooking experience that many enthusiasts cherish.

Both options have their unique advantages and challenges. Consider your priorities, whether it’s the ease of use and quick cleanup of gas or the authentic taste and rewarding process of charcoal. Whatever your choice, both can enhance your outdoor cooking adventures and bring delicious meals to your table.

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