Gas and charcoal grill devotees love to argue about why their type of grill is better. The most common reason given by the charcoal crowd is flavor. There’s no doubt that a charcoal grill can deliver real wood flavor, but you can get similar results by using a smoker box or foil-wrapped wood chips on a gas grill. While a gas grill can be more expensive up front, it has several advantages over a charcoal grill.
Most gas grills are easy to light: Just turn on the gas and push the igniter, and you are ready to grill in 10 minutes or less. With charcoal grills, you must light the coals with a charcoal starter device or lighter fluid. You must then allow the coals to ash over completely, then spread them over the grill — a process that can take half an hour or more. Starting a charcoal grill is also much more prone to failure from a variety of issues, including poor air flow, dampness, cold, inadequate starter or fuel, wind and improper setup. With a gas grill, there are many fewer issues to worry about, and you are ready to cook in the fraction of the time it takes for a charcoal grill. Temperature control with charcoal grills can be difficult. You may need to use a number of methods to change the temperature on a charcoal grill, including opening and closing vents, removing the lid, adding charcoal, even creating a multi-zone cooking area by sliding charcoal off to one side. These methods are imprecise, and might not result in a substantial or quick change in temperature. With a gas grill, you need only turn the gas control knobs on the front of the grill, and the burner flame instantly adjusts.