A grill is a perfect way to cook when you want fresh meals with rich smokey flavors. Grilling is also economical, especially when you use charcoal.
Is charcoal grilling expensive? The simple answer is no. Charcoal grills are more affordable than similarly-sized gas grills. Charcoal fuel is often more affordable than gas and is readily available and easy to store.
To get the best value, you need to start with a reliable grill. Here’s what you need to know about inexpensive charcoal grilling.
Charcoal Grills Cost Less Than Gas Grills
When comparing by size and cooking performance, charcoal grills are significantly more affordable than gas grills. Even at lower prices, charcoal grills are comparable in overall quality.
Charcoal grilling is less expensive because the grill designs are simpler. Unlike gas grills that need specialized valves, burners, controls, gas plumbing, and other components, charcoal grills are much less complex. The firebox, hood, stand, vents, and cooking surface are the only major components.
You can purchase a charcoal grill with high-quality stainless steel and enameled components that you would only find on some premium gas models.
Take the Weber Original Kettle Premium charcoal grill as an example. It’s made from high-quality coated enamel steel, features a one-touch cleaning system, and 363 square inches of total cooking area. Fit and finish are excellent, yet it’s close in price to an entry-level two-burner gas grill.
If you’re looking for something even smaller and more portable, you could consider the Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill. Its compact 14-Inch size makes it ideal for deck and patio cooking, tailgating, camping, picnics, and any other outdoor activity.
It has 150 square inches of total cooking area and a simple venting system to control the temperature.
With just these two examples alone, it’s clear to see that you can get plenty of cooking potential at a low price when using charcoal grills.
Charcoal is an Affordable Fuel
You don’t need to buy or pay a deposit for a propane tank when using charcoal, and the fuel itself is affordable to use in any season. Charcoal briquettes are less expensive than lump charcoal and even though they don’t reach the same searing temperature, they provide long and controlled burn times.
It’s difficult to determine how long your charcoal would last because everyone cooks differently at different temperatures. However, in most cases, 20lb. of charcoal is comparable to 40lb. of propane gas in terms of heating potential and cooking time.
This 20lb. bag of Royal Oak Chef’s Select 100% Natural Hardwood Briquettes could last for several weeks (months for some families) even if cooking regularly. It works out at around $0.09 per ounce, making it affordable in every sense.
Is Charcoal Cooking Expensive? The Bottom Line
Charcoal grilling isn’t expensive. It’s more affordable than gas when considering both the solid fuel and the price of a quality grill. If you are on a budget but want the best possible grilling experience, charcoal is the best choice.