Charcoal or Gas BarbeSkew

While some barbecuers enjoy the more hands-on approach of firing-up a charcoal BarbeSkew, others prefer the ease of use and temperature control that the gas BarbeSkew provides. Taste tests have shown that there is no discernable difference in the flavour produced by either barbecue type, so here we take a look at the pros and cons of gas and charcoal to help you decide which BarbeSkew is right for you.

Pros of Charcoal

Cost – Charcoal BarbeSkews, and charcoal barbecues in general, are cheaper in price than gas models.

Flavour – Charcoal provides that traditional and delicious BBQ flavour. However, gas BarbeSkew models come equipped with flavouriser bars that sit above the gas burners. The bars heat up and act in the same way as charcoal, ensuring that you get that great BBQ flavour every time.

Natural wood smoking – This has always been one of the charcoal BarbeSkew’s plus-points, but wood smoking can now be achieved with gas BarbeSkews too.

Cons of Charcoal

Start-up time – Getting your BarbeSkew up and running will take longer with charcoal as the coals need time to heat up to the required temperature – this can take up to 40 minutes.

Lack of control – Once your charcoal BarbeSkew is lit you have little control over the heat produced. The coals will lose heat of their own accord, meaning that you need to keep a closer eye on the BarbeSkew, and if you are cooking a lot of food you may have to start the process again from scratch in order to maintain the right cooking temperature.

Price of fuel – If you plan to barbeque a lot over the summer, the cost of buying replacement coals can soon mount up.

Needs more of your attention – Charcoal barbecuing is more involving as you need to cook your food when the coals are at their hottest, watching out for drops in temperature, so you need to time your cooking just right.

Pros of Gas

Speed – Gas BarbeSkews light instantly, which means no waiting around for coals to heat up.

Control – With gas, you have total control over the heat produced. The temperature remains constant, making for safer cooking, as well as allowing you to cook for as long as you like.

BBQ flavour and wood smoking – Flavouriser bars ensure that a traditional BBQ flavour is achieved, and smoker boxes can be added so that wood smoking is as easy with gas as it is with charcoal.

Cons of Gas

Price – The initial cost for a gas BarbeSkew model, and gas barbecues generally, are more expensive.

Extra equipment – Although all BarbeSkew models come fitted with flavouriser bars as standard, if you want to achieve a wood smoking effect, you will have to purchase a separate smoker box.

Whichever BarbeSkew model you choose, you want to make sure that you are barbequing safely. Check out the British Gas safety website for all the advice you need to ensure that your barbecuing experience is a safe one, and for information on gas and electricity prices.