How To Use Charcoal On A Gas Grill

If you own a gas grill, you’ve probably wondered if you can use charcoal for cooking on it instead. Whatever the case may be, almost every grill master craves the unique smokey taste that charcoal grills provide.

Gas grilling is more convenient, but the end product can’t compare to that of charcoal grilling. Quickly grilling your favorite BBQ fare is a breeze on a gas grill, but you won’t get that authentic smokey flavor. Now we know the answer to the burning question: How to use charcoal on a gas grill? Let’s find out.

Can Charcoal Be Used In A Gas Grill?

The world of food is one where no feat is beyond the realm of possibility. Every weekend, you may add charcoal to your gas barbecue and prepare mouthwatering meals the whole family will love. However, this is very dependent on the gas grill model in question. Depending on the model, some gas grills will have a charcoal tray built in so that you can lay coal over the burners, while others will not.

Charcoal trays allow you to use charcoal with a gas barbecue and are available as an accessory. With the tray’s help, the grill’s burner system can light the charcoal without the need for lighter fluid. Doing so may save the inconvenience of igniting charcoal and keep the dish’s smokey taste intact.

A built-in drip pan underneath the grill will collect the charcoal ash while your food cooks, making cleanup a breeze. When the pan is removed, the residual ash on the grill can usually be swept away without the need for any special gear.

To protect the high-priced parts of your gas barbecue, never use charcoal if your grill does not include a charcoal tray. These days, charcoal seldom works on a contemporary barbecue because the grill’s built-in burners are too powerful. Additionally, gas grills have very fragile parts; adding charcoal might destroy these parts, necessitating the purchase of a new grill or their replacement.

To be safe, contact the maker of your gas barbecue and inquire as to whether or not a charcoal tray is included with the unit or must be purchased separately. To add smoke to your gas grill, you may need to purchase a smoker tube or smoker box.

Is Charcoal Grilling More Cost-Effective Than Gas?

Charcoal grilling, as opposed to natural gas or propane, is the go-to method if you’re concerned about the flavor quality of your BBQ. There’s also the matter of money if you wish to use charcoal in a gas barbecue.

It can appear that utilizing charcoal for grilling is more cost-effective than using gas. Nonetheless, it is utterly not the case. There is an initial investment with a gas grill, but in the long term, it pays for itself compared to a charcoal barbecue.

You can get more than twenty barbecues out of the same quantity of gas as you would from a full load of charcoal, but only three. If you do the arithmetic, you’ll realize that gas grilling is the most cost-effective option.

You’ll need to buy a charcoal basket or tray for your gas grill if you want to use charcoal. The upfront cost is high, and the ongoing costs to maintain such grills are even higher. Instead of using charcoal in a gas grill, investing in a smoker box or tube can help you get the desired smokey taste.

Reasons why a gas barbecue isn’t the right place for charcoal

Although it’s technically feasible to use charcoal in a gas grill, doing so is unlikely to provide desirable results. A gas grill is not designed to use charcoal, and here’s why.


Charcoal in a gas barbecue increases the risk of clogging. The vents and airways of your gas grill can get obstructed by ashes, charred pieces, and other debris. If you leave it in that condition, your gas grill may eventually need to be fixed.

Irreversible Damage

These days, most people are aware that contemporary gas grills are quite fragile pieces of equipment. They have parts that melt under the heat of charcoal stoves yet are designed to work with gas. Putting charcoal in a gas barbecue might potentially ruin it, necessitating expensive repairs or perhaps a replacement.

Health Reasons

Charcoal cooking has been shown to be less healthful than gas grilling. You shouldn’t cook your meals over a charcoal grill since the intense heat might cause harmful compounds like heterocyclic amines to be released into the food. Exposure to these substances is linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Troublesome Cleanups

Charcoal grilling is enjoyable until it’s time to clean the grill. To keep your gas grill in tip-top shape and prevent costly repairs, you must deal with blocked ashes and trapped charcoal detritus.

Difficult to ignite

Most grill owners would rather not go through the hassle of lighting charcoal. This is very important to remember grills without an automatic ignition system. Firestarter fluid, a chimney starter, or a heat gun will be required.

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