Charcoal vs. Gas Grills: Which is Better for Your Restaurant?
If you’re looking to buy a new barbecue grill for your restaurant – whether it’s a whole new venture or because you want to add barbecued food to your existing menu – you’re probably trying to settle on whether to go for a gas or a charcoal grill.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so you need to weigh up what matters most to you, whether it’s getting that authentic smoky taste, convenience, heat that you can easily control or multiple other possibilities.
Read on to discover the pros and cons of each type of grill, so that you can more easily decide on the best solution for your restaurant.
The pros and cons of a gas grill
A gas grill is easier to use, easier to control and easier to clean up afterwards.
If you want to maintain a constant temperature or quickly alter the temperature at which you’re cooking, a gas grill responds immediately so that you can have absolute confidence that you are in complete control.
If you’re short on time and want to start cooking immediately, a gas grill will let you do just that. And once you’re finished, you can just turn it off and it will start cooling immediately, meaning you can get on with cleaning up without having to wait for hot coals to cool down.
A good gas grill is likely to be quite a bit more expensive than a charcoal grill of equivalent quality.
There’s no two ways about it – most food isn’t going to taste as great when it’s cooked on a gas grill, especially if you’re going for that authentic smoky taste or you’re cooking thick cuts of meat.
Lower temperature range
You may have more control with gas, but you won’t be able to burn it at as high a temperature, which means that it’s not so great for searing meat.
Gas leaks and grease fires are more common with gas grills, so you will need to take extra care with them.
The pros and cons of a charcoal grill
We’ve already alluded to this, but if there’s one thing that devotees of charcoal grilling point to, it’s the flavour it imparts to the food it’s cooking. As it happens, it’s not the charcoal itself that’s doing it, it’s usually things dripping off the food, hitting the hot coals and flavouring the food with the resulting smoke.
Charcoal has a far wider temperature range than gas, allowing you to do everything from rapid searing to very slow cooking.
Gas is gas, and you’re not generally going to find better or worse gas – it just burns and cooks. With charcoal, on the other hand, getting a good quality product from a reliable supplier can make a huge difference to your results.
Better for longer cooking
If you’re just doing a couple of hours of cooking, then the rapid on-and-off with gas is handy. For longer sessions, however, the longer burn of charcoal means you’ll get far better value out of your fuel.
There’s no escaping the fact that you’re going to have to work harder to get charcoal at the exact heat you want – but the more you do it, the better you’ll get at it!
You’ll need to plan ahead to start cooking on time, because you’re not just going to be able to light your charcoal and get going. Don’t forget to allow time for your coals to reach the right temperature.
Choosing the right grill for your restaurant
We’ve talked through some of the major features you can expect from gas and charcoal grills, so that should help you to make your mind up regarding which is best for you.
However, you also need to take things into account like the types of food you’re likely to be preparing, what kind of ambiance you want to create in your restaurant, and whether you could use one or the other to better target and entice in more customers. Generally, promoting your restaurant as a ‘smokehouse’ with a charcoal grill is going to be more appealing to more customers.
Here at KG Smith & Son, we’re leading suppliers of restaurant-quality charcoal to customers across the UK. With over 70 years of experience in the business, we also offer great value, exceptional customer service and fast delivery to your premises.
Get in touch with us for more information and advice or place your order online now.