Charcoal BBQ's vs Gas BBQ's - The Pro's and Con's

Charcoal BBQ's vs Gas BBQ's - The Pro's and Con's

It’s that time of year again when the smell of barbecues fill the air and as we try to make the most of the brief window of sunshine you will probably be considering buying a new barbecue of your own. This often leads to the age-old question, which is better charcoal or gas-fueled barbecue? Luckily for you we have put together the definitive pros and cons of both forms of barbecue to help you work out which is best suited to your needs.

Not all barbecues are created equal.  At Haldane Fisher, we endeavour to provide our customers with high-quality products, and that is why in regard to BBQ’s we look no further than Weber® BBQ’s.  We consider Weber® to manufacture the most versatile, most portable and all-around most high-quality outdoor grilling solutions.   Whilst that quality and versatility may cost slightly more than other standard barbecues, we believe the quality, the peace of mind and the durability of the Weber® to be worth the extra investment.

So without further ado lets look at the options?

Charcoal BBQ’s

Weber Charcoal BBQ

Charcoal BBQ’s available from Haldane Fisher

Firstly, let’s take a look charcoal fuelled barbecues. So how do they work?

Directions: Arrange glowing briquettes on each side of the charcoal grate. Pour some water into a dip tray and place it between the briquette piles. Place the cooking grate on the barbecue and position your food directly above the tray.


  • Charcoal barbecues are cheaper to buy than gas alternatives
  • They are usually easier to assemble and lighter to move around
  • They are often smaller in size making them easier to either fold up or store away
  • They produce a traditional smokey barbecue flavour


  • They can be difficult to light, maintain and slow to heat
  • Cleaning away the remaining ash can be messy



Gas Barbecues

Weber Gas Barbecue

Gas BBQ’s available from Haldane Fisher

So how does this compare to gas fuelled barbecues? Let’s look at how they work.

Directions: Light your barbecue on full and let it preheat for 5 minutes. Switch off the middle burners and arrange your food on the cooking grate above the unlit burners. Drop the temperature by turning the outside burners to medium, close the lid and let the barbecue do the rest.


  • They are quick to light and reduce the overall cooking time needed so you can get more use out of them
  • They are easier to light for quick meals so you can always have a last minute barbecue


  • Some barbecuing purists feel that cooking with gas takes away from the BBQ experience and is less fun
  • When cooking with gas there’s always the possibility of the tank running out in the middle of grilling


So know that you know the pros and cons you should be a little clearer on which one best suits you. If you’re after speed and convince then on paper it would seem to be gas and if you enjoy the hands-on experience of lighting the charcoal and creating your own fire then charcoal would probably suit best.

Weber Barbecue

Then there is the issue of taste; and taste is a key part of the appeal of deciding to have a barbecue in the first place. Some Charcoal enthusiasts would argue food cooked on a gas grill does not have the same distinct flavour associated with cooking meat over real charcoal coals, whilst Gas devotees would counter that with the flavourising bars supplied with the Weber® Gas range,  this is no longer the case.

A lot of us also take a sense of pride in the ability to make a fire and keep it going at the correct temperature while cooking.  Alternatively having the convenience of having the perfect fire at the push of a button and are ready almost straight away to grill your food.  The temperature on a gas BBQ can be adjusted with great precision, while charcoal often leaves a mess, not to mention that post BBQ ash that that needs to be removed from your BBQ.

Both Charcoal and Gas barbecues give you great results everytime as they are designed to give you ultimate control of your grilling temperature and cooking method.  Don’t forget to utilise the various types of heat – Direct and Indirect.

Family BBQ

Direct and indirect heat refer to grilling or open-fire cooking. Direct heat (similar to broiling) means cooking directly over the heat source , while indirect cooking (similar to boiling) refers to cooking adjacent to the heat source. A combination of direct heat for searing followed by indirect heat for long, slow cooking tends to be one of the most skillful ways to use the grill.  Direct heat will get you great grill marks over a fast flame, while indirect will bring your meat to temperature. The difference is where the food is placed in relation to the heat source. For more advice on barbecuing techniques check out our guide at

Then there’s the cost to consider, gas barbecues are generally more expensive then their charcoal counterparts.

The choice really is yours, as you can see there are arguments to be made for both forms of barbecue. One thing is certain though, you can’t beat grilling meat on a warm summer’s day with good friends and a cold drink.

To purchase a BBQ or for more information please contact your local Haldane Fisher Branch.

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