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Grilling food outside is an extremely popular activity during the spring and summer months. There is no better way to enjoy a beautiful day than by having a few friends over to the house and cooking up some food. The two primary heating options for grills are charcoal and propane gas. While they may look very similar, both grill types offer a completely different cooking experience. These are the four main differences between charcoal and gas grills.

Cooking Temperature

Since you will be cooking with an actual flame, charcoal grills get much hotter than gas grills. This will result in a much better sear on your meats. You will just have to wait about 15 to 20 minutes before the flame is small enough to start cooking. Gas grills allow you to start cooking in a matter of minutes. You will also have complete control of the grill temperature the entire time you are cooking.

Food Flavor

While you can still make great tasting food on a gas grill, everything will just taste a little better when cooked with charcoal. The hot coals provide the perfect smoky flavor to everything you are cooking. This flavor is exactly what everyone thinks about when they desire grilled food. You simply will never be able to replicate this flavor on a gas grill.

Fuel Costs

You will regularly need to buy the appropriate fuel in order to use your grill. A 20-pound bag of charcoal briquettes will give you enough fuel to cook three or four meals on your charcoal grill. You will need to add a propane tank to your gas grill in order to keep it hot. A 20-pound tank of propane will provide enough fuel to let you cook roughly 10 meals. This means you will be spending less time and money acquiring fuel when using a gas grill.

Cleanup Process

A clean grill is essential to cooking the perfect meal. You do not want leftover food particles tainting the flavor of your meat. Cleaning the grill grates is basically the same with either type of grill. You scrape the grates with a brush while the grill is still hot. Charcoal grills have one additional cleanup step. You must dump the charcoal ashes after every use.