can you use charcoal in a gas grill?

If you own a gas grill, you must be wondering whether charcoal can be added to the grill as a substitute heat source. In any event, almost every griller desires the distinctive smoky flavor that charcoal grills can only produce. 

Without a question, a gas grill is more practical, but the results are inferior to those of a charcoal barbecue. Your favorite BBQ foods can be rapidly grilled on a gas grill, but the smoky flavor you may be seeking is not present. After that, this article addresses the important query: Can you use charcoal on a gas grill? Let’s find out, then.

Is it possible to add charcoal to the gas grill?

In the world of cooking, nothing is insurmountable. Your gas barbecue may be upgraded with charcoal, and you can prepare mouthwatering dishes every weekend. It all hinges on the kind of gas grill you’re using, though.

The ability to place coal over the burners is available with some gas grills that feature a charcoal tray, but not with other gas barbecues. You may load charcoal in a gas grill by purchasing charcoal trays, which are an add-on option. Because the tray uses the grill’s burner system or auto-ignition system, you can light the charcoal without using lighter fluid. By doing this, you can save the inconvenience of igniting the charcoal and maintain the smoky flavor of your food.

The charcoal will fall into a drip pan built into the grill while your food cooks, making cleanup quick and simple. The pan is simple to remove, and most of the time no further tools are needed to clear the grill of any leftover ash.

You shouldn’t even think about adding charcoal to a gas grill without a charcoal tray because doing so will harm the grill’s pricey parts. The majority of contemporary grills are only capable of handling the heat produced by their internal burners.

Additionally, adding charcoal might damage the extremely delicate parts that come with gas grills, necessitating the purchase of a new grill or at least their replacement. Ask the manufacturer if your gas grill has a charcoal tray and if you can purchase one separately to be on the safe side. If not, you might need to purchase a smoker box or tube to add smoke to your gas grill.

Is it cheaper to grill with charcoal instead of gas?

If the flavor or taste of your barbecued food is important to you, you will probably choose to choose conventional charcoal grilling over natural gas or propane. The costs involved with using charcoal in a gas barbecue are undoubtedly another factor. 

On the surface, utilizing a charcoal grill could appear more affordable than a gas grill. Nothing could, however, be further from the truth. Although a gas grill is more expensive to purchase, it is much more cost-effective to operate than a charcoal grill.  Essentially, a full load of charcoal will only allow you to have 3 cookouts, whereas the same amount of gas will allow you to have more than 20.

It is clear from the maths that using gas for grilling is more cost-effective. You must purchase a dual-fuel barbecue that includes a charcoal basket or tray if you want to add charcoal to your gas grill. Such grills are pricey to purchase as well as to maintain. In light of this, purchasing a smoker box or tube to provide the desired smoky flavor is a fantastic idea rather than adding charcoal to your gas grill.

Why you should not put charcoal in a gas grill?

Although it is technically possible to use charcoal in a gas grill, doing so is probably not a good idea. Here are a few reasons why using charcoal in a gas grill is not a good idea.


Clogging is one of the main issues with adding charcoal to a gas barbecue. Your gas grill’s vents and airways might become blocked with ashes, dust, and little pieces of burned charcoal. You might eventually need to repair your gas grill if it is left in that condition.

Irreversible damage:

You already know that the majority of contemporary gas grills are delicate. They are built with parts that can only withstand the heat of gas burners, not charcoal. Given this, using charcoal in your gas barbecue may result in permanent damage, necessitating the purchase of a new grill or the replacement of these parts.

Health reasons:

According to studies, grilling with charcoal is less healthful than grilling with gas. Because charcoal flames are so hot, it is likely that they will char your food, resulting in the formation of harmful chemicals like heterocyclic amines. These substances raise the possibility of developing cancer.

Troublesome cleanup:

Charcoal grilling can be enjoyable, but only while the grill is being cleaned. To keep your gas grill in top shape and prevent needless repairs, you must deal with clogged ashes and stuck charcoal detritus.

Difficult to ignite:

Most grillers do not enjoy the laborious procedure of lighting charcoal. This is especially true if your grill lacks an auto-ignition mechanism. You will need to utilize a heat gun, lighter fluid, or a chimney starter.

Final thoughts:

You can always obtain that smoky flavor on your gas grill without necessarily using charcoal. After all, using charcoal for cooking has its share of drawbacks and is not very cost-effective. Simply purchasing a smoker tube or smoker box for your grill is all that is required.  As an alternative, you can make your smoker by putting flavored wood chips like oak or hickory in a pan after wrapping them in aluminum foil. As treated chips can be bad for your health and leave your food with a bad taste, make sure they are food-grade.

Can regular charcoal be used on a gas BBQ?

A charcoal tray is an optional extra that comes with some barbecues. Your grill grates are replaced by this simple add-on item, which also makes it possible to burn charcoal over the burners.

Is using charcoal for grilling okay?

Additionally, not all foods react to charcoal cooking in the same way, so not all charcoal grilling methods increase the risk of cancer. Several forms of charcoal grilling are regarded as being extremely secure. However, some foods can become carcinogenic as a result of charcoal cooking.

Which is healthier, charcoal or gas for grilling?

Better for the environment: Using a gas-powered device to cook your food is better for your health because it releases fewer toxins into the air than cooking with charcoal does. Additionally, the carbon footprint of a gas grill is about one-third that of a charcoal grill.

How is charcoal used for gas?

Nevertheless, the European Food Safety Authority suggests that to reduce stomach gas, you should aim to consume at least one gram of activated charcoal “at least 3 minutes before consumption of a meal” and a similar amount shortly after. This recommendation is based on a wealth of studies that have been conducted.

Do you require charcoal fuel?

Utilizing a liquid fuel, such as lighter fluid, is the most common method for starting a charcoal fire. These fuels are accessible at most retailers and simple to use. All you have to do is add a little liquid fuel to the charcoal, fire it, and let it burn until the fuel is gone before adding more.