5 Different Types of Grills: Which One to Choose?

From charcoal to electric, we cover different types of grills to help you decide which best suits your needs.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 17, 2023
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Grilling food is incredibly common during the festive periods just like the US Independence Day, Christmas celebrations, etc. Using wood or charcoal makes the food smell smoky and changes the flavor of the food incredibly. The most common meats used are steaks, hot dogs, and burgers.

Check the common types of grills available in market today starting from the charcoal, kamado, gas, electric, infrared, and hybrid grills, and their most common features and benefits.

Charcoal Grills

5 Different Types of Grills: Which One to Choose?As the name implies, a charcoal grill is an outside cooker that uses charcoal as a fuel source. Grilling with charcoal imparts that classic charbroiled, smoking taste into food that offers barbecued meats their unforgettable flavor. It requires lots more effort than a gas grill to begin the cooking process, control the warmth and clean up afterward. A charcoal grill is for somebody who loves the complete grilling process, not just the eating part. If you want to nerd out a bit by bit or acquire a replacement skill so as to induce an enormous payback when it involves flavor, you only can be a charcoal grill person.

How Do They Work?

Charcoal grills use natural lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes as source of fuel. When burnt, the charcoal will transform into embers radiating the warmth necessary to cook the food. Before you even light your grills, ensure to open the vents, the fireplace will need oxygen to keep it going. After the charcoal is placed within the barbecue, you’ll control the interior cooking temperature by adjusting the vents – wider vents mean hotter flames and more oxygen, while smaller vents mean a cooler cooking temperature. Never close the vent completely or the flames will venture out.

There are many various charcoal grill configurations available. Grills are often sphere, round or rectangular, some have lids while others may or may not have a venting system for warmth control when grilling.


  • Charcoal grills are more cost-effective than gas grills
  • Charcoal grills don’t flare up like open flame gas grills
  • Charcoal grills are generally more portable
  • Charcoal burns hotter than gas fuel
  • Many folks also prefer the smoke flavor a charcoal grill provides
  • Charcoal grills are generally small


  • Long waiting time for charcoal grills to succeed in heating temperature
  • Ashes can get in your food
  • Charcoal is messy and requires way more clean-up afterward

Gas Grills

5 Different Types of Grills: Which One to Choose?Although charcoal appears as the most traditional fuel source for barbecuing, gas grills are the foremost common choice today. Most gas grills use liquid propane gas from a tank that’s hooked right up to the grill. However, it’s possible to attach same grills to the identical fuel tank that power your cooking stove or maybe to a gas line that runs to the house. These are the explanations why people are choosing gas grills over electric or charcoal-fueled alternatives.

How Do They Work?

Gas-fueled grills typically use propane or butane or fossil fuel as fuel source, with the gas flame either cooking food directly or heating the grilling element which successively radiates the warmth needed to cook the food. Simply put, gas grills use gas as a source of warmth to cook food. They’re available in sizes starting from small, single steak grills up to large, industrial-sized restaurant grills which can cook enough meat to feed 100 or more people. A little metal smoker box containing wood chips may be used on a gas grills to allow a smoking flavor to the grilled food.


  • Apartment friendly
  • Gas grills are easier to scrub up
  • Gas grills are easy to use
  • Gas grills gives off steam which some cooks say add moisture to any meat you’re preparing
  • Some gas grills include accessories like side burners or some boxes
  • Gas grills are quicker to use


  • Gas grills are more expensive than charcoal grills
  • Gas grills may be difficult to maneuver around with heavy tanks
  • Uncontrolled Flare-up can create a fire-hazard
  • Problem of tank refilling may be a major concern

Electric Grills

5 Different Types of Grills: Which One to Choose?Of the three kinds of cooking grills which are charcoal, gas grills and electric grills, the electrical grills are the least traditional. They have become extremely popular recently, being considered the most easily accessible and healthiest way to grill. Electric grills only require an outlet to function. You plug them into the wall or into an electric cord and they heat up in minutes. You’ll buy an electric grill in a sort of sizes from personal sizes, sewing for one counter-top grill, to an oversized outdoor founded ideal for parties and get together.

How Do They Work?

A grilling unit that uses an electrical element to provide a continuing heat source. The grill’s plate onto which the food is placed which is positioned above an electrical element and a drip pan is positioned on the underside of the unit to catch the additional fat and juices that drip from the food because it cooks.

Electric grills are typically portable and most are sufficiently small to put on a table or countertop. Unlike charcoal grills and gas grills, electric grills will be used indoors.


  • Easy to use
  • Heats up more quickly than other styles of grill
  • Relatively healthier than other varieties of grill
  • Cost-effective


  • Requires access to an outlet for power supply
  • Can increase electricity bills if used regularly

Infrared Grills

5 Different Types of Grills: Which One to Choose?These grills adopt the infrared technology to radiate intense heat to the food you are cooking. They cook at very high temperature. Many infrared burners can even attain a temperature of 700oF, and some burners can even reach higher temperature. There are three basic types of infrared burners: Ceramic, radiant glass panels, and heat emitters. In recent times, Infrared technology has become widely accepted, showing up in different grills at several price points.

How Do They Work?

Heating up a ceramic or metallic surface produces infrared energy. These grills share several similarities with gas grills, yet they possess special kind of grates, which ensures that it cooks with infrared heat instead of the conventional direct heat adopted by gas grills. The lower part of these grates can reach a temperature as high as 800oF, while the upper part can attain 500oF.

The bottom of the grate is hit by a direct high-velocity heat. This is significantly slowed down by the grate and all this energy is stored by the metal. The heat that goes to the upper part is mostly infrared and it is a very intense form of energy. You must note that the grease that falls onto the grate doesn’t catch fire, but instead, it adds a smoky flavor to your food.


  • Infrared grills can cook your food very fast and efficiently due to the high temperature at which it burns.
  • They are not susceptible to flare-ups since any grease that falls from the meat at vaporized to add a smoky flavor to your food.
  • They produce even heat. There are no hot and cold spots.
  • They are easy to maintain.


  • They are quite expensive to purchase.
  • Some models might prove difficult to clean

Hybrid Grills

5 Different Types of Grills: Which One to Choose?Year-round grilling has become popular thanks to gas grills. You will not see many charcoal fans grilling on cold, snowy days, but hybrid grills allow you to cook with both gas and charcoal. A hybrid grill could be a grill used for outdoor cooking with charcoal and fossil fuel or liquid propane and can cook within the same way as a conventional outdoor gas grill. Additionally, to provide the cooking heat, the gas jet in a hybrid grill are often used to quickly start a charcoal or wood fire or to increase the length of a charcoal/wood cooking session. So, you see why more hybrid grills are increasing and gaining more popularity within the stores and online. 71% of all grill owners list flavors for grilling or smoking.

How Do They Work?

Firstly, you should remove the forged iron gates and insert a charcoal tray into the grill. Thanks to the charcoal tray, the heat is evenly distributed without flaring up. Afterwards, distribute the coal evenly and put the cooking grate back in situ. Use caution to not put an excessive amount of coal within the tray. There should still be space between the grate and coals; the underside of the charcoal tray should just be covered. You’ll be able to ignite the charcoal with the burner. A grill lighter isn’t needed. Activate the burners and wait 10–15 minutes with the lid closed. Next, open the lid and close up the gas burners. After 5 minutes, the coal should turn grey, and your grill session can get rolling.


  • Hybrid grill is convenient to use
  • Hybrid grills add special flavors to the food or meat


  • It’s quite more expensive than one gas or charcoal grills
  • Hybrid grills requires regular cleaning

Final Thoughts

Customers who want to shop for a grill have plenty of choices to choose from. There are many alternative types of grills available these days, usually differing on the tactic they use to cook the food. Manufacturers even have their own proprietor designs with unique features. Shoppers who haven’t got a selected kind of grill in mind may have some guidance finding out which is that the best for them.

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