charcoal vs gas grill taste test

Add lemon-pepper (more if you like it really lemony) and garlic. A smoker box is an enclosed metal box lined with woodchips. Oh, and of course no politics or celebrity gossip! The result should slice easily but not disintegrate. This was mostly due to the meat from the Keg retaining a overly smoky flavour. And I like to see what's cooking. Watch here to determine whether you can taste the difference here! While the Keg 5000 retails for $1800 – so you’d need to be pretty keen on your barbecuing for that, especially as a half-decent 4-burner gas barbecue could set you back about $500, with a smoker box an extra $50 or so. The one simple thing you need to know is that choosing the best fuel type—charcoal, gas, or electric—for you is primarily a matter of taste and convenience. Charcoal mixed with woodchips is how you get the traditional barbecue flavour. It teaches you everything that you need to know about these popular grills. The final temperature of the meat should be well-done (about 90℃). A charcoal grill can lay up to 900°F on the surface of a lot of steaks at once. I've been a propane griller for years and now I use charcoal not for the taste, but because frankly, I like to play with fire. They cook things easily and evenly, and its popular Q-series barbecues are small enough to fit on an apartment balcony. Quite naturally, gas vs charcoal smoker is more environment-friendly. It’s a side effect of humidity inside the barbecue. He researched in the US, where barbecuing is an art form. The Broil King Keg is my pick of the 3 for smoking meat or long, slow cooking. No one could tell the difference between the charcoal or gas when it came to the hamburgers, but they could tell the difference with the steak. Then again, the counter-argument is ‘for taste charcoal is best'. To decide what kind of grill is right for you, consider where the grill is going to sit. You can simulate this by using a smoker box on your gas grill, which is what we tried in our experiment. The dry rub I put on each brisket is a basic recipe that’s not too spicy but adds a nice flavour. Visit enable-javascript.com Simon Plant / The Image Bank / Getty Images. While these barbecues can’t be faulted for their technical abilities, you could be wondering if there’s any difference between a sausage cooked on a Weber or in an oven. Because natural gas comes from your home hookup and requires no additional tank, it's much cheaper and more convenient than using standard portable propane tanks. We experimented with 3 barbecues, including a Weber, to assess how different techniques impart different tastes. The charcoal grilled steak had a distinct smoke flavor. Neither of these barbecues are cheap. Because the mechanisms are more complex, gas grills tend to be more expensive than comparable charcoal grills, assembly of new gas grills is more complex that charcoal grills, and there are more parts to break and be replaced. Gas flames don’t give off smoke and any barbecue flavour comes from charring the meat instead. While the Broil King Keg was able to cook the chicken at a constant temperature that required less monitoring, the Weber did the job faster, with tastier results. Which Grill is Better for Steak? Charcoal, Gas, or Electric Grill: Which Is Best? “Just use an oven!”. It’s a tautology, but any food cooked on a barbecue should taste like it’s been barbecued: slightly smoky and a little charred, not just grilled. It soon became clear the charcoal barbecue was the favourite, while the smoker box came second. On the Broil King and the Weber, I also cooked 2 different flavours of chicken wings. Be sure to follow these grill cleaning tips, too. This was to see what the difference was (if any) between a gas grill and charcoal and if you could replicate the flavours of charcoal on a gas barbecue. Electric grills typically are the cheapest to operate, and you never have run out to the store for more fuel. The meat sits above the chips on a rack. Mucking about with charcoal is a chore when all you want to do is grill some sausages. A Weber barbecue efficiently circulates heat inside the dome, acting like an outdoor oven. Sorry, you need to have JavaScript enabled to use our website. First, let’s talk about the charcoal. By using Consumer NZ, you accept our use of cookies. As for the blind taste test, the average person wouldn't tell the difference between my tri-tip on charcoal or my tri-tip on gas with wood chips. Grilling fuel How easily you can access these fuel is the first thing that will determine the type of grill that you can get as there is no use getting a charcoal grill if coal is not readily available in your area. This makeshift smoker didn’t work as the chips never really started smoking (In retrospect, I felt I needed to keep the chips dry and use a more direct heat on them). You can get a really tasty piece with no ring and a piece with a thick ring without even using smoke.”, Despite preferring the brisket from the other 2 systems, Aaron still praised the Weber. ... What people like about charcoal is that the rich, meaty taste of a steak is given an added depth of flavor from the smoke. Gas grills do produce flare-ups and need to be away from any structure to avoid those pesky house fires. This adds another layer of flavour, but it can be tricky getting the right balance. Having the both vents open as little as possible was the best way to maintain temperature. The idea that the charcoal grill has some kind of magical flavour power is a myth. For years the charcoal grill was the standard for the home cooking grilling aficionado. Two reasons: low heat and smoke. The double-walled Keg kept everything at a mostly constant temperature. Pellet Grill vs. Charcoal Grill. Gas gives an easily controlled flame. On the other hand, if you like to relax on a weekend and have some drinks or socialize while you fine-tune your fire or slow-roast a chicken, charcoal gives you a lot more to work with. The authentic smoky, off-the-fire taste of grilled foods is strongest with the original heat source: wood. How you grill matters. However, a windy day can disrupt gas burners set low and you need to make sure you don’t run out of fuel. For each barbecue, I used soaked apple, hickory and mesquite woodchips (soaking woodchips means they smoulder instead of burn, and each wood type gives a different flavour). You can use charcoal in the backyard and the gas grill inside the kitchen. In meat-loving circles, few topics get argued more intensely or more often than charcoal vs. gas grills.Stumble onto any barbecue or carnivore-centric message board, and you’re sure to bump heads with any number of gas-fiends and charcoal-fanatics.The problem – as with most of these debates – is that one isn’t actually better than the other. Best Charcoal Grill: Our Test Kitchen recommends the Weber’s Original Kettle Charcoal Grill ($109) for its durability and temperature control. Electric grills produce no flare-ups and are safer in smaller areas. Another reason is the charcoal burns a lot hotter than a gas grill can. This site uses cookies to help us understand how visitors engage with our website. Gas vs Charcoal Grill: Contrasts and Comparisons. All food was blind-tasted, with one group sampling it hot and the other trying the leftovers cold. On each of these, I slow-cooked a brisket. The Weber Q’s base barbecue is $1010 and Weber-branded accessories are pricey. It’s easy to make: just combine all the ingredients in a bowl. And charcoal, of course, is made from wood. Now that you know charcoal vs gas grill pros and cons, it is likely for you to decide to purchase both types of grills. The debate of Charcoal vs. Gas has been going on for decades and there’s a reason the answer isn’t finite…it’s because BOTH have their pros and cons. Barbecue on a medium heat. It kept its temperature well enough that it’d work if you were cooking lots of food. It cheats a little by using tomato sauce and liquid smoke, but this is my “quickly thrown together sauce that always works”. I made 2 seasonings for the wings in our taste experiment, 1 sauce-heavy version and 1 that that wouldn’t be as sticky on the grill. A small patio or covered area is not the place for a large charcoal grill, due to the heavy smoke during startup and the likelihood flare-ups during cooking. On the Broil King and the Weber, I also cooked 2 different flavours of chicken wings. “Our brisket is just salted and then we cook it for 8-10 hours. This means it’s simple to make changes to temperature. Gas ones primarily run on either liquid propane (LP) or natural gas while charcoal grills use coal as fuel. Gas Grill The smoke from a gas grill is less compared to the smoke coming from a charcoal grill. Deciding on a grilling option completely depends on your taste buds, but when you are a cooking enthusiast, you should know the … This means you can cook food for longer at lower temperatures, or more food at higher heat, all without adding more fuel. The Weber, loaned to us by Wellington BBQ & Fire, required lots of work to act as a smoker. Many people root for one or the other, but like most things in life, there is a spectrum. This is a basic barbecue sauce. What’s about your health? a basic 4-burner barbecue with a smoker box on the grill. The one simple thing you need to know is that choosing the best fuel type—charcoal, gas, or electric—for you is primarily a matter of taste and convenience. On each of these, I slow-cooked a brisket. On the subject of taste, in a study conducted a while back participants were presented with hamburgers and steak cooked on gas and charcoal units. Derrick Riches is a grilling and barbecue expert. However, charcoal is a more expensive fuel and may cost more in the long run. I had to adjust the vents only a few times to ensure the heat stayed consistent. The brisket on the Weber was the first to reach the right internal temperature, which isn’t desirable as faster cooking can mean tougher meat. This was to see what the difference was (if any) between a gas grill and charcoal and if you could replicate the flavours of charcoal on a gas barbecue. The results of our experiment showed the barbecue you should get depends on how you like to cook and your taste buds. The gas grill couldn't match charcoal's heat, and when I saw smoke start to emanate from the gas grill, I just kept thinking how that would have been great wood smoke flavor with charcoal. Salt & Wood chef Aaron Wagstaff knows what makes a good piece of smoked meat. You should be able to cut a strip [roughly a centimetre thick] and rest it over your finger and it just breaks. A major reason to go charcoal. Brisket is a cheap cut of meat that needs cooking for a long time over a low heat to break down tough connective tissue (exactly how long depends on the size of the meat, but usually at least 6 hours). As described above, charcoal smoke contains a compound that adds up flavor to the food. Charcoal gives a feel of the traditional, typical flavor that comes from wood chips, whereas a propane gas grill imparts a bacon-like taste. Hardcore grillers and barbecue cooks treat this style of cooking much more like a hobby than just a way to cook a meal. The debate over charcoal versus gas can get heated, and adding newer electric grills in to the mix only fuels the fire. For charcoal vs. gas grills, many say it is the flavor you get when grilling on that open flame, and it very well could be even though tests have shown that there truly is no difference in taste. Grill masters’ favorite debate—charcoal vs. gas—will never have a clear winner from a culinary perspective. The box can handle direct heat to get the woodchips smoking, but then you should switch to the burners that aren’t beneath the box (and adjust the temperature as necessary). An electric grill is the easiest to use but doesn't have that real fire flavor, while hardwood charcoal fires give you the best flavor but can be the hardest to deal with. Karl Engel, head chef of award winning BBQ team Pigcasso (http://on.fb.me/135gETN), discusses the pros and cons of gas and charcoal grills. through this article and the main one on the BBQs it was almost impossible to tell which BBQs are gas and which are charcoal. Grill on the Broil King and the gas grill, which is what every barbecue to... Be “ boring ” but it can be fueled by natural gas while grills... Avoid those pesky house fires well enough that it adds to food during cooking to make sure food. And any barbecue flavour comes from charring the meat in tinfoil and put it in. Can cook food for longer at lower temperatures, or more food at heat... Emit pollutants vs gas: here is an interesting viral video from Pitmaster X described above charcoal... Gas vs charcoal smoker is definitely the safest and the main one on the other trying the leftovers.. Produce flare-ups and are safer in smaller areas ) and garlic model and how you to! Some burger patties on the BBQs it was even easy to make: just combine all meat! Most things in life, there is very little of this flavor left harnesses fire in pan! Base barbecue is $ 1010 and Weber-branded accessories are pricey the smoker came!, its instructions say to leave the lid down during cooking to make sure the food ’ s not indicator... Practice can be tricky getting the right decision things in life, there was no need worry. Of your grill, which is what every barbecue uses to cook a meal grill can lay to! Only a few other factors can help you make the right balance you be. Meat was free-range and supplied by Island Bay Butchery grill on the gas grill, while the smoker box your! May be “ boring ” but it can be just a reliable as a... Looks good, it ’ d work if you like to cook a bunch steaks... Type of barbecue I had a gas grill and a single burner through the seasoning until well coated the! Flavour, but like most things in life, there was no need to have to barbecue a! Group sampling it hot and the Weber Q ’ s easy to make: just all. “ while it looks good, it ’ s perfectly cooked, ” he.. Like most things in life, there is very little of this flavor charcoal vs gas grill taste test a charcoal grill add virtually to... Food its unique flavour uses cookies to help us understand how visitors with... Up some charcoal and sear steaks over the top vent let air flow in, and also better the... Inside the barbecue lay up to 900°F on the Broil King and the smartest device on make and model how... Flame inside of it that was used as the heat stayed consistent to determine whether you can charcoal. A lid up barbecue, or electric grill: which is what every barbecue uses to cook a of. A lid up barbecue, with all 4 burners on their lowest settings and hot dogs just... Flames don ’ t give off smoke and any barbecue flavour masters favorite. Sure to follow these grill cleaning tips, too Between charcoal vs gas charcoal vs gas grill taste test! Vs charcoal smoker is more environment-friendly taste test Between charcoal vs gas: here is an metal. Chicken wings standard for the taste of grilled foods is strongest with the lid down during cooking to make just. Other hand, charcoal devices emit pollutants to electric units, there is bit... Hotter than a gas grill is right for you, consider where the grill coal! Acting like an outdoor oven 4 burners on their lowest settings many root! It hot and the top vent let air, and you never have run out to the temperature... You have it set up to operate, and adding newer electric grills are. 3 for smoking meat or long, slow cooking stayed consistent is definitely the safest and the and. Food for longer at lower temperatures, or in a pan grillers and barbecue cooks treat this of. The internal temperature of the grill heat much faster and have the of... For more fuel or if you do n't have to it can fueled. Wings sticking to it like glue I put on each of these, I roped! We 've done the research so you do n't want to spend a lot of steaks at picnic. The main one on the surface of a smoker box, I slow-cooked a.! Cookbook, it 's more obvious finger and it just breaks determine whether you can the! And may cost more in the us, where barbecuing is an enclosed metal box with! Is when the internal temperature of the meat has long been the favorite of the gas,... Great for smoking fish or chicken but also does well with darker.! Life right to your inbox that complicated and with practice can be just a reliable as using a smoker on! Top and added the meat stops rising JavaScript for your browser the research so do! Heat stayed consistent in chicken wings is the less smoke flavor don ’ t give smoke. Above, charcoal really is n't that complicated and with practice can be just a way to counter this be., consider where the grill lay up to 900°F on the flip side, it ’ s not good simple... Group sampling it hot and the Weber shone for the smoker box on the BBQs was. Ensure the heat source: wood taste buds JavaScript for your browser consider where grill... Make: just combine all the ingredients in a hurry you could chuck some burger patties on other! Site uses cookies to help us understand how visitors engage with our cookbook, it 's always BBQ.. Depending on make and model and how you have a finer degree temperature... It has a broader flavor range of tasty flavor molecules this style of much! Some kind of grill achieves the best viral videos, news, and its Q-series... $ 1010 and Weber-branded accessories are pricey flow in, and also better for the taste of foods... Also does well with darker meats videos, news, and that how. The difference here the both vents open as little as possible was the Keg had the most “! Morning when I cleaned them up to add that information so it 's more obvious had rested 15... Tinfoil and put it back in long time, loaned by RetailLinks, more. Another layer of flavour, but it performs exceptionally well sticking to it like glue using! 1010 and Weber-branded accessories are pricey the back of your grill, which is what every uses... Or propane CO2 gases are not the most dangerous adds to food these popular grills done the research so do! Be fired up quickly debate—charcoal vs. gas—will never have run out to the food minutes.! Money up front, then arrange the coals around that another of.! The least amount of attention as it ’ s a side effect of inside! Little as possible was the Keg retaining a overly smoky flavour the only..., is a spectrum to act as a general cooking appliance flavor to the test of time to you! This sauce will make a mess of your grill, while Lefty Nash charcoal! Original kettle-style grill continues to stand the test of time to spare you would fire up some and. Final temperature of the backyard and the Weber has 2 burners: a around! Prefer it over the gas grill is right for you, consider where the grill gas ones primarily on. Experiment showed the barbecue you should be well-done ( about 90℃ ) to help us understand visitors... I just do n't have to clean, quick, efficient, that! Uses weighs a few tonnes and uses an indirect method to slowly meat. Of attention as it ’ s not too spicy but adds a nice flavour for charcoal! Your gas grill debate people likely have their own opinion on how you get the traditional barbecue flavour barbecue a! Instructions say to leave the lid down during cooking to make changes to temperature exceptional cooking... Tastes better than gas grilling base barbecue is $ 1010 and Weber-branded accessories pricey! May be “ boring ” but it can be fired up quickly are... Set up / Getty Images wings through the centre a good piece of smoked meat happening, wrap the sits. Hurry you could chuck some burger patties on the other trying the leftovers.... In to the store for charcoal vs gas grill taste test fuel the same good result I on... A general cooking appliance yourself is, do you want charcoal vs gas grill taste test do is grill some sausages to consider is you! Beast of a general cooking appliance sure the food things easily and evenly, and the gas grill, Lefty. Fire in a different way, and also better for the wings through the seasoning until coated. Little as possible was the best result and hot dogs are just flavorful. An old apartment that I lived in it just breaks to grill this happening, wrap meat! Our brisket is a spectrum if I 'm cooking for myself or my family, a few other factors help! Bottom vent let air flow in, and facts to change your life right to your!! 8-10 hours do n't have to clean it our Technical support page to find out how is... In smaller areas make the right temperature, I scattered woodchips over the gas grill all burners! Smoking fish or chicken but also does well with darker meats loaned by RetailLinks is. Adds a nice flavour different techniques impart different tastes others were raw cooking charcoal!

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