The reality is, they both have their advantages and disadvantages and in this modern age of backyard cooking, neither is superior to the other in the respect as to which is better. In fact, given the constraints of modern living, it is better to have both on hand to accomplish what ever grilling activity a person wishes to accomplish.
More Than Academic
The debate between fuel sources is more than just academic. Propane burns cleaner and doesn’t allow toxic chemicals to be deposited on the food, yet it does not have the same flavor as charcoal. Charcoal imparts flavor directly to the food in the form of particles that are not eliminated in the combustion process.
When using charcoal, to avoid any potentially toxic chemicals, it is best to use all natural lump charcoal. This allows for the flavor transfer but no chemical residue such as that found in briquettes. Still even beyond the flavor aspect, time can be a consideration. Charcoal takes longer to reach the correct temperature and the temperature can be harder to control.
All of these facets are why there are combination grills that offer both charcoal and gas grilling. This way, both sides of the debate are satisfied and the backyard chef has the versatility to produce wonderful grilled results. Combination grills offer the best of both worlds and both sides can be used at the same time offering even more choices concerning backyard cooking.
In fact, combination grills are excellent for dual zone grilling as the temperature can be high on the charcoal side, the food can absorb the flavor and then transferred to the propane side for lower temperature to finish cooking. Thus, sealing in the juices and making the food flavorful and tender.
Five Top Rated Combination Grills
Top Rated Gas Charcoal Combo Grill
This grill , Smoke Hollow Model #3500 Combo Grill offers over 800 square inches of cooking space. The gas side is covered by three tube style burners producing 30,000 BTU of heat per hour and it has a side burner with an additional 10,000 BTU of heat.
The charcoal side has a front access door to allow access to the fire without having to open the lid.
The cooking grates are cast iron for great heat distribution and the lower cart has a wire shelf for storage space. This grill also comes with an offset firebox for smoking. This is a great backyard combo grill.
Best Dual Fuel Grill to Buy
Dyna-Glo makes great grills and this combo grill is no exception. This grill – Dyna-Glo Model #DGJ810CSB-D Dual Fuel Grill offers three burners on the propane side.
These are high grade commercial stainless steel burners for excellent quality and the burners produce over 45,000 BTU of heat. In addition, there is a side burner for searing that produces 12,000 BTU of heat per hour.
The charcoal side features an adjustable heat rack to adjust the temperature and the both sides have a temperature gauge for heat monitoring. This backyard combo grill will produce excellent grilled foods year after year.
Best Gas-and-Charcoal Grill for the Money
This combo grill – Char-Broil Combo Grill offers a generous cooking space of over 1,000 total square inches for a plenty of room.
The propane side produces over 36,000 BTU of heat per hour over three burners and there is an additional side burner for more heat production for warming or searing.
The charcoal side has an adjustable heat rack for controlling the temperature and a front access door so a person does not have to open the lid and lose heat. It has two cabinet style doors on the front of the lower cart for extra storage on the shelf behind. This is a great looking, great producing grill for any backyard.
Best Deal on Dual Fuel Grill
The Dyna-Glo Model #DGB730SNB-D Combination Grill is a compact, fully enclosed grilling station that uses both charcoal and propane as a fuel source.
The dual burners on the propane side are commercial grade stainless steel for longevity and heat production and there is an additional side burner for warming and searing.
The charcoal side has an adjustable fire grate and a front access door for heat control and both sides have a temperature gauge for heat monitoring. There is a side shelf opposite the side burner and the lower deck is enclosed by two cabinet style doors. The upper lid is stainless steel for heat retention making this an excellent, compact, combination grilling station.
Best Gas Charcoal Smoker BBQ
This grill can do it all, roast, smoke, grill etc. This grill, Smoke Hollow Model #PS9900 All in One Combo Grill has multiple burners on the propane side that produce a generous amount of heat to handle almost any size meat.
There is also a infrared burner for roasting or just getting the meat perfect. The charcoal side has a front access door and an adjustable heat rack for heat control over the charcoal and there is an offset fire box for smoking with vents to promote airflow and heat control.
This is a very versatile grill, the grates are cast iron for perfect heat distribution and the dual temperature gauges help keep monitor the heat content. The lower cart offers generous storage space with a wire rack and a dual shelf. For those who want the best grilling results from a combination fuel grill, and want versatile cooking, this is the grill with the most.
All grills must be protected from the elements and to protect your investment, it is recommended that a grill cover be in place when the grill is not in use.
Never operate a grill on an uneven surface and never allow flammable material within five feet of a hot or cooling grill. To further protect your investment, read and follow the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning instructions.