There are pros and cons to both the charcoal and gas types of barbecue, and it really comes down to personal preference. To make your decision a little easier, we’ve outlined the advantages and disadvantages below.
Consider where your barbecue is going to be situated. Both types need to be situated away from your home and any other structures in your garden, so make sure you have the space for a barbecue before buying.
- Cooks quickly, so consider when you’re likely to use your barbecue. If you want to come home from work and throw a few steaks or chicken fillets on the barbie with minimum hassle, then a gas unit might be what you are looking for.
- Temperature control is much easier with a gas barbecue.
- Turns off instantly.
- Gas is cheaper to buy than charcoal, so running costs are lower.
- Easy to clean after use.
- A lack of smoky barbecue flavour.
- More expensive than charcoal in terms of initial cost.
- Not good for slow-cooking.
- Not good for smoking.
- Limited range of temperatures compared to charcoal.
- Genuine smoky flavour.
- Produce a better sear/crust on a piece of meat.
- Cheapest option in terms of initial cost.
- Can close tightly and be used for smoking.
- Great for slow-cooking meats.
- Can produce a much larger range of temperatures.
- Simple to clean.
- Slower to get going.
- Slower to cook food.
- The cost of charcoal makes this the more expensive option in the long run.
- Can’t be turned off immediately – has to burn down.
- Leaves ash to clean up.
A small electric barbecue cooks using heated plates – no fire required! This is a great option for city dwellers who are prohibited from using larger charcoal or gas grills.
Portable barbecues come in different shapes and sizes. These are easy to pack up and relocate, and are ideal for picnics. The only downside is they don’t typically have a lot of room, which will make it difficult to cater for a large crowd.