Gas or Charcoal BBQ?

Being a barbecue specialist, we get many questions from customers looking to find their perfect grill. As we retail both gas and charcoal, each at differing prices, a common query we get is ‘which is better’.

This depends on personal preferences and requirements, which we will highlight the key factors to look out for in this ultimate guide.

Which gives a more authentic BBQ taste?

Cooking directly on charcoal gives a smoky flavour to the food, which cannot be replicated with gas. Traditional barbecuing originally stemmed from open flame cooking which would give a smokey flavour, so it’s of our opinion that charcoal grills give a much more authentic taste than gas.

Garden Street Winner: Charcoal

Which is easier to use?

Charcoal BBQs require a much longer set up that gas ones. This is as the coal needs to be ignited, and allowed time to whiten before cooking on it. By the time the coal has cooled, the weather may have changed which halts cooking altogether! Food shouldn’t be cooked directly over the flame, as this burns the outside of the food without thoroughly cooking the inside.

With an instant and consistent heat source, gas barbecues are preferred by those who want hassle free grilling at the flick of a switch.

Garden Street Winner: Gas

Which is easier to clean?

A charcoal BBQ is typically easier to clean, as the charcoal briquettes burn to powder like ash. This allows is to be easily emptied into an ash bucket.

Gas barbecues have a much more substantial set up, and to clean them each griddle would need taking off and cleaning to remove the fat. Whereas some of our grills come with fat collector trays, this is a bit more awkward than simply emptying ash into the bin as you would with charcoal.

Garden Street Winner: Charcoal


Due to the more sophisticated designs, gas BBQs come in at a higher retail price that their charcoal counterparts. Gas ones typically have more materials and features; from ignition switches and lights, to bottle storage.

On average, a good quality 4 burner gas barbecue is on average priced at £429. A charcoal BBQ ranges from £90-£140; with kettle designs being more expensive that ‘half barrel designs’.

Garden Street Winner: Charcoal


With features such as light-up knobs, temperature gauges, and glass viewing windows in the lids, this is an easy win for gas BBQs. Charcoal ones do not include these great features, so it is a unanimous victory for gas.

Garden Street Winner: Gas


When it comes to warranties, Gas BBQs typically have longer ones that charcoal. This is because of the price points of the products; the higher prices of gas barbecues allow for the costs of longer warranties.

Our Grillstream and Char-Broil branded gas BBQs have warranties ranging from 3 years to 10 years. Charcoal BBQs come with a 12 month warranty.

Garden Street Winner: Gas


It is a close call, and goes down to personal preference, but our overall winner is gas. Mainly due to the added extra features in design, the longer warranties, and instant heat (especially with the UK’s changing weather).

  Charcoal BBQ Gas Barbecue
Warranty 1 Year 3-10 Years
Average Price £90-£140 From £429
Instant Heat No Yes

Looking for an alternative way to cook? Why not try Teppanyaki? We’ve listed some fantastic recipes on a previous blog.

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