What is Better: Charcoal or Pellet Grill? – 2022 Guide

Pellet Grill or Charcoal

One of the best and memorable times that someone spends with their friends and family involves enjoying sizzling and delicious steaks. All this has been possible because of grills that prepare irresistible food. You might want to pursue your dream of cooking as a profession or simply wish to serve perfect food in gatherings.

When it comes to grilling, charcoal grills are indeed one of the most used equipment for this purpose.

However, these days pellet grills seem to have taken the place of charcoal ones, and the majority of people are considering bringing them to their homes. However, their popularity does not guarantee their suitability for you. It is a challenging decision to select between the two that is ideal for you. To facilitate this decision, I have mentioned their differences in multiple aspects and examples of best grills.

What is Better: Charcoal or Pellet Grill?

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Comparison and Contrast

Fuel and Electricity

For a functional pellet grill, you have to connect it to a socket since it requires electricity. The fuel or source of heat is wooden pieces or pellets that are small and cylindrical in appearance. These pellets are made from sawdust of hardwood. The pellets are present in a container called a hopper, from which a motor feeds them into a chamber for cooking.

In addition, this equipment also features a digital controller for setting a temperature. It allows you to continuously monitor the heat delivered to food items. It is a notable characteristic that the availability of required pellets is automatic. So, one does not have to manually perform this task.

On the other hand, charcoal grills do not need an electricity plug-in. The fuel for the combustion process is charcoal pieces, as the name suggests. For maintenance of temperature, you have to continuously monitor the process and do this task yourself.

So, this grill does not provide digital controls like pellet grills. Moreover, the addition of fuel for heating is also manual. For this, you have to pick the grate and remove it. This is for slow and long heating processes such as roasting or smoking the meat.


For effective grilling and smearing through pellet grills, you should choose the models that can reach temperatures in the range of 450 to 650 degrees Fahrenheit. If you desire smoked food, you will need to set a low temperature. The same is the case with charcoal grills. However, it is more convenient if you have a pellet grill.


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You will get an excellent taste with both the pellet grill and the other product. The flavor also depends on the type of fuel in a grill. If you love smoky flavor that also gives the gist of charcoal, you should select charcoal grills. On the contrary, pellet grills offer a unique woody flavor and texture to the food, such as barbeque.

If you prefer this flavor, these grills are an ideal option for purchase. An important aspect that you must consider is the quality of food-grade fuel you are purchasing. Good quality hardwood or charcoal enhance the taste and add to the smoky factor of food.

Range of Food

With pellet grills, you can cook a variety of items. These include different types of meat, cookies, other baked items, and smoking nuts. You should prefer charcoal grills only if you have to deal with barbeques, burgers, or steaks. Thus, in terms of the versatility of foods, pellet grills are much better than the other grill.

Physical Health

Since the grilling process involves combustion, there is a release of toxic gases containing carbon, sulfur, etc. You must consider this factor so that you select an appropriate product while selecting product. When charcoal burns, it releases harmful gases to a great extent.

Some substances in the smoke are cancer-causing agents called carcinogens. Not only are these agents released into the atmosphere, but also they are added to the meat. When inhaled, they also result in respiratory issues and irritation in the eyes.

Thus, people around the grill should wear a face mask to avoid this and cook in ventilated areas or prefer outdoors. On the contrary, the fuel that pellet grills utilize is wood. This factor reduces the amount of harmful and poisonous substances that are released into the surroundings. Thus, in this regard, I will prefer this equipment over charcoal grills.

Requirement of Previous Experience

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Previous experience or some particular skill is not necessary when you are preparing food in pellet grills. Even if you are a beginner, you can get compliments from guests or peers. It is because the result is perfectly cooked food that is not undercooked either. In addition, food receives a consistent heat supply.

Your taste buds are surely going to experience something heavenly when you take the first bite. With charcoal grills, you will be able to serve very delicious meat that is also sufficiently cooked after some tries. You will also have to be highly observant so that the food does not get overcooked, completely dry, or gets wasted.

Price and Availability of Fuel

When it comes to charcoal, it is widely available, and you can easily find good quality charcoal. One can also make it. Another advantage is its expensive nature. Compared to this fuel, wooden pallets of good quality and uniqueness are difficult to find in stores. There is not much variety to choose from these pieces. Furthermore, their price is notably higher than charcoal.

Examples of Charcoal Grills and Pellet Grills

  • Traeger Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill
  • Z Grills 450B
  • Traeger Timberline 850
  • Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
  • Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill
  • Smokey Joe Premium Charcoal Grill


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Are pellet grills worth the money?

Yes, they are perfect for those who want to bake and try a variety of recipes other than grilling meat. You can cook conveniently due to the controls that this grill features.

Are pellets cheaper than charcoal?

No, generally, wood pellets are pricey as compared to charcoal. The cost of wood will vary depending upon the brand.

Can you use charcoal with a pellet grill?

No, charcoal is not suitable for pellet grills. This is due to the great content of smoke and gases that this material releases, which can degrade the overall quality of the cooking process.


The term “best” is relative since a specific product might be suitable for one person but unsuitable for another. It depends upon personal preference and the availability of resources. In general, I will strongly recommend pellet grills for their multiple advantages, including convenience and the ability to prepare a wide range of food items.

However, if you want to enjoy smoked or grilled meat on a limited budget or want a portable grill, you should choose a charcoal grill.