Chatelaine Kitchen

How to choose between a gas or charcoal grill

Plus, an easy trick for finding out if the propane tank is empty or not.

Gas grill vs charcoal grill

Ultimately, both methods will get your food cooked, but each one has its own pros and cons. It comes down to what you’re looking for. Get the breakdown on what each grill type is best for, so you know which best suits your needs:

Charcoal adds smoky flavour but takes time, so it’s better for relaxed weekends—think of it as Zen barbecue: Pour yourself a cold one and enjoy the journey.

Set up the charcoal (a chimney makes this quick and easy), get it burning, then wait for it to simmer down. The coals should be completely covered with grey ash. Ideally, when pouring the coals from the chimney or setting them up in the grill bowl, heap them on one side so you’ll have a hotter side and a slightly-less-hot side. This way you can move your meats around for precise cooking.

Best on charcoal: steaks, burgers, chicken pieces, ribs.

Try it out with:
Chili-espresso strip-loin steaks
Two-ingredient burger
Lemon-garlic chicken

Related: How to clean your barbecue

Propane gas barbecues are quick and easy, perfect for weeknight meals and last-minute parties. Preheat the grill for about 10 to 15 minutes (or until the bbq thermometer is at its highest level.) Then scrub the grill clean and you’re good to get grilling.

Hot tip: Worried that you’re about to run out of gas? Pour a jug of hot water over the propane tank, then have a feel. Cool areas are still full of gas.

Best on gas: chicken breasts, shrimp, fish, vegetables.

Try it out with:
Citrus grilled chicken with pineapple
Shrimp tacos
Grilled rainbow trout
Grilled vegetable fajitas


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