If you’re looking for your next grill, fuel type will be one of the biggest decisions you make.
Propane grills were first introduced in the late 1960s, and they’ve exploded in popularity since then. While propane does lead the market in terms of total sales, charcoal is still incredibly popular.
Many grilling enthusiasts swear by charcoal. It can get hotter than gas, and it helps food to develop a fantastic smoky flavor. However, charcoal is not quite as convenient as gas, and it’s not as easy to work with if you’re a beginner.
You might want the flexibility of using both, and have probably asked: can a gas grill be used with charcoal?
Let’s explore the question and its answer so you can make the best choice with a new grill.
Using a Gas Grill for Charcoal Cooking
The shortest possible answer to the question is a simple no.
Gas grills aren’t designed to be used with charcoal. In fact, a gas grill could be seriously damaged if charcoal is placed into the firebox. Damaging a grill in this way would void the warranty, and you’d be left without a grill and any form of reimbursement.
Despite this, there is a solution, but it’s probably not what you would expect…
Using a Combination Charcoal/Gas Grill
Although rare, there are grills on the market that combine features of both gas and charcoal. These are essentially two grills in one, with separate hoods and fireboxes so that you can choose the fuel that’s most convenient or most suited to the ingredients that you’ve chosen.
This Dual Fuel Combination Charcoal/Gas Grill is one example of this type of design. It features two separate grills integrated into a single design. The main cooking area of the gas grill is 295 square inches, which is perfect for a family of four. The charcoal side is slightly smaller with 262 square inches of surface space.
The Benefits of a Combination Grill
There are several advantages offered when you buy a grill that does both.
- You’ll be able to choose a fuel source depending on what’s available.
- You’ll have an option for low and slow smoking, using the charcoal side of the grill.
- You can cook different ingredients at completely different temperatures.
- You can have authentic charcoal flavor when you want it, or the convenience of gas when cooking for large groups.
The key here is that a combo grill is more versatile. It’s a niche system that won’t be for everyone, but if you are looking to do both, you could save money compared to buying two completely separate grills.
Is it Worth Buying a Gas Grill That Can Cook with Charcoal?
Ultimately, the value in a combo grill depends on how you like to cook. If you’re just getting started with grilling, it’s better to choose one or the other. If you’re an experienced home cook and can see yourself switching between charcoal and gas frequently, then a combo system would be ideal.
No matter what you buy, focus on your needs first. The average household only needs a single grill, and there are countless amazing charcoal or gas models that you can choose from today.