Propane vs. Charcoal grills


With summer in full gear, you may want to think twice about lighting up your old charcoal grill for the grilling season. Propane and natural gas grills are more environmentally friendly than traditional charcoal grills because gas grills are more efficient, therefore gas grills release a much lower carbon emission. According to a study conducted in the UK, the carbon footprint of a charcoal grill is almost three times as large as a gas grill. Since the charcoal used in charcoal grills is actually usually a mixture of things like sawdust, corn starch, and lighter fluid, it can result in 105 times more carbon monoxide when it is burned than burning propane. So ditch the charcoal grill and upgrade to natural gas or propane one!


Written by: Lauren Henry, class of 2014



48 Replies to “Propane vs. Charcoal grills”

  1. I like a charcoal grill it can maintain the temp and reach the high temp so; I would love the post like this how about gas vs. electric grill

  2. It is very important at the time of obtaining a propane or charcoal grill, the theme of the flavors, the space and whether it is indoors or outdoors.

  3. Well as I can agree with the footprint side of things, the team at just enjoyed a wonderful outdoor woodfire BBQ! Cannot beat that, it is perfect for special occasions.

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  5. Woahh we never knew that charcoal contains sawdust, cornstarch, and lighter fluid! We might think twice about lighting ours now

  6. I always thought that charcoal grills are the best, but after reading this I will definitely prefer propane grills over charcoal grills. Thanks.

  7. The debate of charcoal versus gas started the day after the first gas grill was introduced and has been raging ever since.

  8. Hmm interesting, I never used gas grill before.
    I think I should give it a try and see how good it turns out.
    Thanks for the post!

  9. Great write-up. I have a gas grill for my daily grill and a Weber Smokey Mountain for my smoking (plus a mini-kettle grill if I ever tailgate again). Most of my grill work is for quick cooking things (and half the time during the week) and this works perfectly.

  10. It’s just about time to get back out there and start grilling again (finally). We hope you can use this tip and some of our others as well. Thanks for reading!

  11. This is my favorite way to prepare fresh corn on the cob. I can’t believe so many people don’t like it! Our homeowners’ association doesn’t allow charcoal grills (fire hazard), but I get great results cooking the ears over high heat on a gas grill, turning every 3 minutes, for a total of 15-20 minutes. The corn is cooked perfectly every time, and my husband and I love it! The charred husks impart a great flavor to the corn.

  12. Anybody that claims that natural gas is “mined” is clearly unqualified to claim having done any substantive degree of “research” on the topic. Beth’s position that there are “multiple ways” to exploit natural gas may be safely discounted as being purely ideological and incorrect.

  13. Yeah, I’m with you on this. The benefits of using gas grills totally outweigh charcoal grills, yet it can still achieve the taste closely to what you can do with charcoal. What’s important, we get to cook without producing toxic to us and to the environment.

  14. The primary methods of obtaining natural gas are drilling (whether traditionally or horizontally, i.e., fracking), the distillation of coal, drilling for oil (the gas is a byproduct), and sucking it out of landfills. This begs the question, do you prefer fracking, oil drilling, or landfills?

    Also, in regards to the coal vs. charcoal debate, let’s not forget how much better a steak cooked with charcoal tastes or how cooking with charcoal releases carcinogenic compounds.

    Trade offs my friends….trade offs…

  15. Anybody that claims that natural gas is “mined” is clearly unqualified to claim having done any substantive degree of “research” on the topic. Beth’s position that there are “multiple ways” to exploit natural gas may be safely discounted as being purely ideological and incorrect.

  16. Jon, you do know that there’s multiple ways to mine natural gas. Not just fracking. Do your research before sarcastically exaggerating the implications of an article about grilling.

  17. Hi Jon. Thanks so much for your feedback. Just to be clear, I wasn’t trying to declare a stance on hydrofracking with this post. The Green Dandelion team is made up of lots of unique individuals, all with their own opinions on the issue. The blog doesn’t have a designated stance.

    Thanks again,

  18. FINALLY The Green Dandelion has come out as Pro-Fracking! I applaud Lauren Henry and the rest of The Green Dandelion staff for supporting natural gas fracking based on scientifically-verifiable environmental & economic merits. Well done!

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