Gas Versus Charcoal BBQs – Which Should I Buy?
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Gas Versus Charcoal BBQs – Which Should I Buy?

If you’re considering buying a BBQ and pondering whether you should opt for a gas-fired or charcoal barbecue then this article should help you make the best decision. We look at the differences between Gas and Charcoal BBQs and the pros and cons of both options.

Choosing your BBQ or grill can be a time-consuming job, there are so many great products on the market. Picking between a gas & charcoal model doesn’t just impact the type of fuel you will use, it will also affect how you clean your barbecue, the taste of your food and how easy it is to get going when you first light it.

Before we begin recommending all our fabulous BBQ-related products we’ll cover a whole raft of talking that will hopefully help you select the perfect BBQ.


Gas & Charcoal BBQs at a Glance


Gas BBQ's Charcoal BBQ's


£700+ for a good quality BBQ

Less than £200 for a portable BBQ. £1000+ for good quality or ceramic egg-type grills


Good for fast-cooking foods

Superior for slow cooks


Difficult to trap smoke

Made for smoking


Around 225°F to 600°F (with no infrared sear zone)

100°C Low & slow cooking 

300-400°C High heat

Temperature Control

Very easy to control and set

Requires practice and attention throughout the cook

Fire-Up/Cool-Down Time

5-10 minutes

Minimum of 25 minutes


Dishwasher-friendly parts. Drip tray/fat cup needs emptying

Regularly disposing of ash and cleaning the grill

Let's Talk Gas BBQs

Here we’ll take an in-depth look at the good and bad points of a Gas BBQ. A gas barbecue is one of the closest products you can buy to mirror an outdoor kitchen We’ll help you to make optimal use of your gas BBQ and try to provide you with all the practical reasons why our range of gas barbecues could make your summer even more enjoyable.

Why Should I Buy a Gas BBQ?

  1. Easy to Light - Most Gas BBQs have some form of piezo ignition making it very easy to light and at the same time keeping your hands clean. No need for fire lighters & charcoal or the long wait for the coals to get hot for that matter!
  2. Fully Controllable - If you find you have too much or too little heat, you can turn your BBQ up or down instantly with a Gas BBQ. This makes cooking food like sausages and vegetables super easy and there is less chance of you burning your BBQ food.
  3. Focused Heat - The heat from the 2/3 or more gas burners gives a more focused heat so you can move things around to get the high-intensity heat to the food you want to grill like steak that needs to be seared at high temperatures. Lots of the gas barbecues we supply come with an infrared searing zone which is ideal for cooking fillets or sirloins.
  4. Spontaneous Barbecuing - There are no more challenges of stocking up on charcoal and/or firelighters at home. Simply turn the ignition and the BBQ is ready to use in seconds. Our modern range of BBQs allows you to prepare almost anything in your outdoor kitchen that you would usually prepare in your indoor kitchen.
  5. Smoke-Free Pleasure - This is a big bonus to cooking with gas, if the wind blows in the wrong direction then smoke from the barbecue can blow directly at you or even into your home making the house smell like a wood fire. Not your problem anymore when using a gas bbq!
  6. Quick & Easy to Clean - During the height of the grilling season, it is really important to clean your gas grill after every use. But with a gas BBQ, this is a simple and quick job, it should only take 5mins to clean your grill and there isn’t any ash to remove like a charcoal BBQ.

What are the Drawbacks of a Gas BBQ?

  1. Uneven Heat - A Gas BBQ as above gives a more focused heat and can sometimes lack the ability to give a blanket heat that can be obtained using charcoal (even with Lava Rocks used in some Gas BBQs).
  2. Flavouring - Lots of BBQ experts believe the smoke flavouring of a charcoal BBQ can enhance flavours, within some gas BBQs you can use things like wood chips above the flames but often this doesn’t reach the quality of a Charcoal BBQ.
  3. Gas Bottles - Gas bottles are heavy and can run out at the most inopportune time.
Portable BBQ'sPortable BBQ's
Portable BBQ's
2-3 Gas Burner BBQ's2-3 Gas Burner BBQ's
2-3 Gas Burner BBQ's
4-5 Gas Burner BBQ's4-5 Gas Burner BBQ's
4-5 Gas Burner BBQ's
6 + Burner BBQ's6 + Burner BBQ's
6 + Burner BBQ's
Gas & Charcoal Hybrid BBQ'sGas & Charcoal Hybrid BBQ's
Gas & Charcoal Hybrid BBQ's

What Makes a Charcoal BBQ Great?

Charcoal or wood-fired barbecues are versatile outdoor appliances that allow you to cook at super-high temperatures or low and slow for flavoursome results on joints of meat. You will need to dedicate both time and patience in order to achieve the best results for your food.

When buying a charcoal barbecue we recommend that you consider the capacity & storage options as well as the quality of the product. Charcoal barbecues can be cheaper than gas if you opt for a smaller portable charcoal barbecue.

  1. Radiant Heat - Once the Charcoal BBQ is lit you can cook on the whole area, putting food to one side that needs to be cooked slower. 
  2. Flavoursome Taste - Most people love the taste of a Charcoal BBQ, it is the original outdoor cooking taste. The drips from the food landing on the coals add to the flavour and aroma of the cooked food.
  3. Special Features - Some of the best charcoal barbecues come supplied with extras that you should look out for. Warming racks to keep food warm, thermometers to gauge cooking times and vents to control the temperature are a few great features to look for.
  4. Indirect Grilling - This means cooking your food slowly with the heat source to the side of the food you are cooking (the key to smoking). You can create some fabulous flavour when cooking this way with smoking wood or flavoured wood chips.
  5. Direct Grilling - This involves cooking your food directly on the flames, this is ideal for intense searing of meats like steaks & burgers and can speed up the cooking times.

What is the Downside to a Charcoal BBQ?

  1. A little Messy - Charcoal can be messy to handle, make sure you don't wear your whites. You’ll also need to clean the grill and empty the ash after your cook.
  2. Takes Time - A Charcoal BBQ takes a little time to light, you can use firelighters or more traditional methods but in reality, it will take a bit of time. You can usually have a charcoal BBQ ready to go within 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Needs More Attention - Cooking on charcoal generally means you need to spend more time watching the cooking than spending time entertaining.
  4. The Smoke - Unless you purchase a charcoal BBQ with a lid or hood then your clothes may pick up the smoke that is produced from the BBQ.
Kamado Joe - Kettle Joe BBQ & Grill
£579.00 Was £599.00
Everdure Cube Graphite
£139.00 Was £149.00
Everdure by Heston Blumenthal, Force 2 Burner Gas Barbecue, Orange
£399.00 Was £595.00
Napoleon LEX 485 Built-In Gas BBQ
£1,282.49 Was £1,349.99
Sahara S350

What Other BBQ Products Should I Consider?

Hybrid BBQs

If our advice hasn’t convinced you and you’re undecided between the two types of barbecues then why not buy a product that provides the best of both fuel types? Our Hybrid BBQs provide you with the instant start-up of a gas BBQ alongside all the fantastic flavours a charcoal BBQ can produce.

Food Smokers

If you wish to achieve a smokey flavour to your food then, without a doubt, a food smoker is the best option. There are electric, charcoal & wood-fired food smokers available, they help to infuse the meat with a smokey taste and cook your food slowly resulting in superbly moist and tender meat. If the idea of a food smoker has you hooked we would recommend you take a look at the products we have available here (food smokers).

Pizza Ovens

Did you know that you can cook more than just pizza in a pizza oven? Although they do produce fabulous homemade pizza you can cook fish, meat and even bread in an outdoor oven. If you’re wanting more information on this topic then you can read some further detailed information in our dedicated pizza oven blog here.

Portable BBQs

These barbecues are both affordable and reusable. You may wish to consider a portable BBQ if you’re fed up with paying for a disposable BBQ every week in summer! Our range of portable barbecues are long-lasting and includes some of the market-leading brands such as Everdure, Napoleon & Cadac.

Portable BBQ'sPortable BBQ's
Portable BBQ's
Hybrid BBQ'sHybrid BBQ's
Hybrid BBQ's
Outdoor KitchensOutdoor Kitchens
Outdoor Kitchens
Pellet GrillsPellet Grills
Pellet Grills
Wood Fired Pizza OvensWood Fired Pizza Ovens
Wood Fired Pizza Ovens

Gas Vs Charcoal Barbecues - Our Verdict

We would like to say it is down to personal preference but if you want the easy life and really want to avoid the mess and long cook times then a gas BBQ is the choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking to cook for large parties and enjoy the cooking experience then you should dedicate the time for the superior taste of charcoal-cooked food.

Whichever BBQ you decide upon we are sure to have the right BBQ for you, take a look at our wide selection and start enjoying evenings and weekends when cooking outdoors.

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