Walter Wanderley’s “Summer Samba” plays from the RCA turntable in the living room. The screen patio door opens as mom sways out the door holding a tray of hors d’oeuvre, squinting as she walks into the noon summer sun. Dad is standing by the grill talking to the neighbor–hot dog fork in one hand and high-ball wrapped in a cocktail napkin in the other. The two are having a disagreement about which one of their new BBQ grills is better: the gas or charcoal grill.
There’s not a right or wrong answer when considering personal preferences between propane and charcoal grills. You like what you like, what else can be said? I suppose there’s always room for doubt and a second opinion so let’s take a look at the “tale of the tape”.
“Convenience” is the operative term when weighing pros and cons against propane grills. The easier it is to use a grill, the less smoke flavor your food will have. In theory, it’s simpler to put a new tank on your grill than it is to empty old coal and put new charcoal in.
The average price of a grill gas tank is $30 and that’s all you need. A charcoal grill can hold up to six quarts of bricks, which equals out to a couple bucks per cookout. Factor in lighter fluid and you’ll see gas grill rentals edge out charcoal by a small margin.
Authenticity and taste are two of the most prominent reasons people roll with the coal. The smoky, fire taste of grilled foods is strongest with wood and coal. Electric and gas units leave the flavor out.
If you’re looking to come home from work and throw some steak or chicken on the grill, flipping a switch is the way to go. Hassling with charcoal can be a burden in that case. Even though charcoal won’t save you money in the long run, many would agree that the flavor is worth it.
It’s a fact that cooking on a gas grill is more convenient than cooking with charcoal, but there’s no getting around the unique experience of a charcoal BBQ. Charcoal brings aroma compounds, which according to Wired Magazine, is “half of the power couple that is flavor”. For party rentals, view Rent It Today’s rental listings here.