When it comes to ease, it’s hard to beat the ready-set-go of the gas grill. While lighting up the charcoal grill is not rocket science, the process does have a handful more steps than its rival counterpart. With a couple of turns of knobs and a quick light, the gas grill is a fast path to getting your steak to a sizzle. But that’s not to say that gas gets the last laugh when it comes to heat.
A standard gas grill can push the needle up to 600°. But, a charcoal grill can heat things up to 1200°. With a doubling of the numbers, there’s really no contest between the two. While max heat isn’t an end-all for grilling, it does have implications for your steak. Upping the heat means deeper, quicker grill marks and a more pronounced crust for your cut, earning points in presentation and texture. However, these heat levels introduce some difficulties you may expect when playing with fire. The flames require a more experienced hand to control them, with a higher risk of burning the highlight of your weekend. But, many charcoal cultists swear the flavor makes it well worth the time to master.
Don’t worry – whatever grill you have in your backyard will not diminish the flavors of your grilling cuts. However, charcoal grilling will achieve a more complex flavor profile primarily because every bag of quality charcoal carries a blend of flavors in and of itself. This inevitably transfers over to your food, bringing out the natural notes of your meat, a process that isn’t as pronounced in gas grilling.
The charcoal grill is the clear winner in terms of craft and sticking the landing on all the juicy goodness of your bone-in ribeye. But, in terms of convenience and just turning up the heat and flipping your burgers while you’re ultimately paying more attention to the game on TV, the gas grill comes out victorious.
So, it’s up to you, grillmaster. Do you want to devote your off-days to perfecting the art of the flames? Or, do you want to do a little bit of everything on Saturday and Sunday, grilling whenever you get a minute? There are no wrong answers here–just the right grill for you and your weekend.
As for the right cuts? Well, there’s plenty to say. But first, go ahead and take a look for yourself.