There are various types of grills that people use to cook on. Some grills use charcoal, others use gas or electricity to heat the grill surface. There is also an infrared grill that cooks by heating up only the food and not the cooking surface itself. This article will compare these three different varieties of grills, as well as give a brief overview of what they are used for.

Charcoal Grill:

The most popular type of grill in America uses charcoal briquettes or lump coal to cook food over an open fire with very little airflow under the cooking grate. These grills usually have two vents at the bottom that can be opened or closed depending on how much airflow you want underneath the cooking surface.

A typical three-burner charcoal grill takes about five pounds of briquettes to heat up fully. They are very efficient, with most heat being transferred to the cooking surface rather than lost up into the air like gas grills.

The only real downside is that charcoal grills need regular maintenance if you want them to last. Many people go through several grills in their lifetime because they don’t want to maintain them. Gas Grill:

Gas Grill:

A gas grill uses propane or natural gas to heat up cooking surfaces with burners that are usually made of cast iron, porcelain-coated steel, or stainless steel. The heat is generated by gas flames that enter into the grill through small orifices in the cooking surface.

Charcoal grills can be converted to use propane instead of charcoal, whereas gas grills are designed for propane usage. Gas grills are very convenient to use, especially for beginners that don’t want to spend time monitoring the heat of their grill.

They usually have an ignition system, which means you only need to press a button and turn on the gas. Some grills also come equipped with push-button ignitions for quick lighting, but these are typically found on grills with electronic temperature control systems.

The only downside of gas grills is that they are slightly less efficient than charcoal grills. One pound of propane will usually last about six to eight hours, depending on how much food you’re cooking and the heat output required by your grill.

Electric Grill:

Electric grills are popular in homes, apartments, and patios where it isn’t safe to use a propane or charcoal grill. Electric grills usually have non-stick metal grates that are heated by an electric heating element that is underneath the cooking surface. You can control the temperature of these grills through dials or push buttons on the front exterior end of the grill.

Electric grills burn about as much energy as a light bulb and cannot be turned off unless you cut the electric circuit. This makes them very inefficient, but they are convenient to use when cooking small amounts of food for short periods of time.

The most common type of electric grill is the George Foreman Grill, which features a non-stick cooking surface and can cook about five hamburgers at once. You can also find larger grills on the market that have two or three heating elements to accommodate large meals, but many people find these models clunky and awkward to use.

Infrared Grill:

An infrared grill is like a traditional gas grill with one major difference. The grilling surfaces of an infrared grill are heated indirectly by infrared lamps that are above the cooking surface. The result is that food is cooked quickly and evenly while reducing flare-ups.

Propane Grills:

The most popular type of grill in America is a propane grill. These grills are relatively inexpensive and easy to use, but the exterior walls of the cooking chamber get very hot during operation. This means that touching or brushing up against them can cause serious burns.

Wood Pellet Grill:

A wood pellet grill is very similar to a gas grill, but instead of using propane or natural gas as fuel, it uses compressed hardwood pellets. A wood chip box next to the burners lets you add more wood chips for more flavor.


All of the grills mentioned in this article have their own unique qualities that are best suited for certain types of cooking. If you are just looking to grill up some burgers or brats, a standard charcoal grill will meet your needs.

If you are hosting a large cookout and need multiple burners to accommodate many different pieces of food, then a propane or gas grill might be more ideal. If you are looking for quick and even heating, then an infrared grill is your best bet.