Charcoal BBQs

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The delicious benefits of cooking on charcoal BBQs

What is a charcoal BBQ?

Charcoal BBQs are the grills that many of us are most familiar with from childhood. They use either a few lumps of charcoal or a special charcoal briquette as fuel to cook outdoor favourites like hamburgers, hot dots, juicy steaks, and more. Using a charcoal BBQ makes for a predictable, even cooking, and always tasty experience. It may also be a nostalgic venture for some.

Those who favour charcoal grills praise them for their high heat, the uniformity of the coal size, and the evenness of charcoal’s burn rate. Charcoal also gives users options that simply aren’t available with gas grills, like the ability to add additional fuels to the mix that bring their own unique flavours along with them. For instance, adding specific types of wood—such as hickory chips, can make for additional smoky goodness.

What's the difference between charcoal BBQs and gas BBQs?

Among the main differences between charcoal and gas BBQs are portability and cooking temperatures. Charcoal BBQs are often portable, while natural gas grills are not portable at all. Propane grills, like charcoal BBQs, may or may not be portable, depending on factors such as their size and weight. Charcoal BBQs also run much hotter than gas and propane grills, as it is difficult to control how much heat comes from the charcoal lumps or briquettes being burned.

This may sound like a drawback at first, but it’s actually a major advantage as cooks can easily distribute the charcoal for their best cooking advantage. While one area of the grill may be loaded up with coal for a fuller heat in that location, another section may be left cooler by placing less charcoal directly underneath. This way you can manage the temperature of your grill across different areas, having designated spaces for cooking meat, toasting buns, and keeping already cooked items warm.

What are the benefits of charcoal BBQs?

The high heat from charcoal is considered one of its chief advantages by many outdoor cooks. Charcoal allows you to get a perfect sear on your steaks using one side of the grill and then shift the meat to a less intense area for more thorough cooking. This is referred to by many as dual-zone cooking, and all it takes is a little bit of strategic charcoal arrangement.

Other advantages of charcoal BBQs include the grills themselves generally being less expensive than gas-burning models, the ability to infuse your meats with natural wood flavours simply by adding a few wood chips to the charcoal fuel, the versatility of cooking with both direct and indirect heat, and the infusion of incredible aromatic flavours as the charcoal vaporizes food drippings and turns them into smoky particles of deliciousness!