Can You Put Charcoal In A Gas Grill?

May 12, 2023

Gas grills are way more convenient to use compared to others, as they cut down a considerable amount of manual work during the process. However, there can be instances where you have to use a secondary fuel option on a gas grill. So, it is always better to have answers up in your sleeves to a question like this; can you put charcoal in a gas grill? We’ll walk you through some crucial info regarding the attempt of using charcoal in a gas grill in this article; keep reading!

Can You Put Charcoal In A Gas Grill?

So, you want to put charcoal in gas grill, right? Is it possible, though? Actually, you could use charcoal in gas grills and continue cooking as you would typically do. Although it is a possibility, the feasibility really depends on the type of gas grill you have.

In order for you to use charcoal, the gas grill should come with a charcoal tray. Usually, charcoal trays are placed above the burners, and you hit the jackpot if your machine has this feature. These trays come separately in most cases and use the burner system of the gas grill to ignite. This suggests you don’t have to light or add substances to make the charcoal burn manually.

Moreover, there will be a pan underneath to catch the charcoal that falls, which means you won’t be coming across a troublesome time when cleaning the machine. In addition, more often than not, installing, uninstalling and cleaning these trays doesn’t require fancy equipment. You should be able to do it yourself, even if you do not have much experience with BBQ grills.

However, if you notice there is no feature in your gas grill to add charcoals or there are no additional charcoal trays, you should never try to insert charcoals into your grill. It will damage your favorite BBQ machine to an unimaginable extent.

If you are thinking of buying a gas grill right now, it would be best if you take the matter with the manufacturer and verify whether their machine has the luxury of behaving as a “gas and charcoal grill.” It applies the same to those who already have gas grills. Don’t guess it; call them and see whether you can use charcoal if you are unable to figure it out by yourself.

gas grill or charcoal

Pros And Cons Of Adding Charcoal In Gas Grill

Can you add charcoal to a gas grill? By reading out the above section of the article, you should now have the answer to this query. However, what are the profits and consequences of using charcoal in a gas grill? We’ll show both sides of the coin so you can make your own decision.

Pros of Using Charcoal in a Gas Grill

Let’s consider the advantages first.

Better Tasting Food

In the battle between gas vs charcoal grill taste, it is charcoal the winner without a doubt. If you have ever typed taste difference between gas and charcoal BBQ or taste difference between gas and charcoal cooking on Google, you will read that 95% of those blog posts confirm charcoal has the upper hand over gas grills.

Charcoal Is Hotter Than Gas

The more temperature you have on your grill, means crispier the outer layer of the food gets. Although this is something that you have to perform vigilantly, the results you will get at the end will bring you a feeling of an experienced pitmaster. 

Dual Cooking Zones

If the gas grill you own doesn’t have an option for dual-cooking zones, you can create them manually when you are using charcoal. All you have to do is stack the charcoal to the side where you want more heat. Mastering dual-zone cooking is a must, and this could be a great opportunity for you to start the journey.

Quick Option In Place Of Gas

Generally speaking, it is easy to find a place to buy charcoal than a place to refill your gas grill’s propane tank. So, if you run out of gas while you are at work with your grill, charcoal might be the easiest option you have to replace propane, given your machine has the capability of handling both fuel resources.

Cons of Using Charcoal in a Gas Grill

Let’s check the drawbacks of putting charcoal in a gas grill.

Potential Damages

Well, this is the biggest reason why you should think twice before using charcoal in a gas grill. Most machines do not have the ability to bear the harsh temperature servings of charcoal. They are made to deal with the heat that comes from the burners. If they get damaged, it will be pretty challenging to recover. Therefore get an idea about temperatures levels of grills before using it.


Using charcoal in a grill always has this drawback, making things worse for a gas grill. Ashes and debris can go through the machine and clog the vents inside. Once this happens, it will become very demanding for you to clean the machine and to bring it to the condition that it was before using charcoal. Failing to clean the machine properly will lead to more problems in the long run.


Some people think using charcoal is an affordable fuel resource compared to propane, which is not. Actually, it is way cheaper to use propane than charcoal, even though it doesn’t seem so. If you keep using charcoal instead of gas for whatever reason, it will reflect at the month end on the fuel bill for sure.

Buying and Maintenance Cost

A gas grill that has trays for charcoals can be pretty expensive than a regular gas grill. On the other hand, maintaining such a machine is also a costly task. In that regard, the best option is to look for an alternative method to use charcoal.

gas or charcoal grill better

Ignition Difficulties

If you have ever worked with charcoal, you would know how difficult it is to ignite them quickly. This can be a painstaking job, especially for a rookie. However, certain grills, like we mentioned earlier, have auto ignition systems in them to use to ignite the charcoal. If your machine doesn’t have that, you will have to consider using something like a heat gun or lighter fuel.

The Total Process Takes Time

Comparatively, cooking in a gas grill is fast and convenient compared to a charcoal grill. If time is not on your side, using charcoal can be a real barrier to serving your invitees right on time. While you worry about whether a gas or charcoal grill better option, consider the time you have to put into the work as well.

So, we hope now you can decide whether it is a good idea to buy a gas grill with charcoal trays or opt for a different solution. If you are still strangled thinking about whether or not to purchase a charcoal and propane grill or go with a pure gas grill, we have a dedicated section in the article coming later; keep reading. 

Different Ways of Using Charcoal in Gas Grill

Let’s see how you can use charcoal in a gas grill in a couple of different methods.

Using Charcoal in a Gas Grill for Barbecuing

In order for you to use charcoal in your gas grill to barbecue food, you need to use the dual-zone cooking method. Barbecuing is all about letting indirect heat on food, and when you use a propane grill with charcoal, the only option you have is to stack the coal on one side of the grill to facilitate indirect heat.

This process will take a relatively long time to get the food cooked, but make no mistake about it; you will love the results.

Using Charcoal in a Gas Grill for Smoking

Yeah, you can use charcoal to your advantage to smoke food on a propane grill. The process of smoking is more or less similar to the above-mentioned barbecuing steps. However, after you stack the coals to one side, you should add some chips to it to create smoke.

Keep the food of your choice on the other side of the grill, close the lid and let it cook. This method will guarantee an authentic smoky flavor without much fuss.

Using Charcoal in a Gas Grill for Roasting

If you are dealing with large amounts of meats, roasting would be an excellent choice to get the work done quickly. This is especially true for chicken and pork when you use a grill with charcoal and gas. For best results, make sure you keep a bowl of water on the side that you keep food when barbequing (as mentioned earlier) and food on the other side.

Close the lid and roast the food until you get the intended crispiness.             

Why Prefer Gas Grills?

So, charcoal grill or gas grill? As we promised, let us show you the benefits of gas grills. There are many valid reasons why you should opt for a gas grill. We have picked a few to help you make the right decision.

Gas Grilled Food Is Healthier

There are studies to confirm that cooking with gas is healthier than cooking with charcoal. Charcoal tends to generate extremely hot flames and subsequently char the food. Charred food contains chemicals that are unhealthy for the human body.

can you add charcoal to a gas grill

An Efficient Method of Cooking

If you want your food to get cooked quickly, there shouldn’t be a second thought about charcoal or gas grill machines, as propane-powered machines are way more efficient than their counterpart. In addition, there is no need to visit stores as often as you do to get charcoal. You will get around six times more cooking time with gas grills compared to charcoals.

Gas Grills Are Economical

Propane grills might be slightly expensive compared to a charcoal grill. However, it’s true only at the point of the purchase. During the life span, you will be paying more bucks on a charcoal grill due to high fuel and maintenance expenses.

Less Smoke

A small amount of smoke is always great to blend some BBQ feeling into the heart, but you never want it to be a problem, right? The smoke is hardly an issue with gas grills, and most importantly, it will keep our body healthy during the process as it creates fewer chances for the people around to inhale toxic air.

If you don’t have any outside space to grill, use smokeless indoor grill. It gives you same taste and same experience.

More Features

Modern-day gas grills have many options on them to ease your way through to delicious foods. Because of these features, you can keep almost everything under your control, such as temperature, timing, flame, etc. Unlike most old charcoal grills, gas grills’ features and knobs are responsive. You hardly have a chance to go wrong when you are cooking with a gas grill with or without BBQ skills.

Easy To Clean

This is another plus point of gas grills. You would know by now that cleaning a grill with charcoal and gas capabilities, or a charcoal grill for that matter, is not easy. With debris going around and into the machine, you are bound to face a daunting task when cleaning at the end of the cooking season. To make things worse, it could be only you who is left to clean all the mess! 

Cleaning a gas grill is not as difficult as a charcoal grill as there are no substances generated from the fueling resource—all you have to worry about is the food dripping and particles. 


So, what’s your decision? Gas grill or charcoal grill? Since we have focused more on the feasibility of using charcoal in a gas grill and the pros and cons of doing so, this article mainly backs up the idea of having a gas grill. 

However, it doesn’t necessarily say that you should not use charcoal grills. Charcoal grills are the old-school method of barbecuing, and they also have a handful of pros for one to consider. Anyway, what would be the answer to this question you had in your mind before reading this report, can I use charcoal in a gas grill? Comment below!

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