Are Pellet Grills Better than Charcoal- Compared on 5 Crucial Parameters!

You’re in the market for a new grill, and you’re wondering if you should go for a charcoal or pellet grill. Both have their merits, but the decision isn’t always clear.

In this article, we’ll break down all the different factors you need to consider when deciding between these two options. We’ll give you an overview of each type of grill and explain how they work, as well as what their strengths and weaknesses are.

So, let’s decode: are pellet grills better than charcoal?

What is a pellet grill?

A pellet grill is a type of outdoor cooking appliance that uses pellets, or small pieces of compressed wood, as fuel. Pellet grills are similar to other types of grills in that they cook food by direct exposure to radiant heat.

However, unlike other grills, pellet grills use a fan to circulate hot air within the cooking chamber, which helps evenly distribute the heat and prevent hotspots. Pellet fuel is made from renewable materials like sawdust or wood chips that would otherwise go unused.

When burned in a pellet grill, these pellets create very little ash or smoke compared to charcoal or gas-fired grills. This makes pellet grilling an environmentally friendly way to cook outdoors.

What is a charcoal grill?

A charcoal grill is a type of grill that uses charcoal as its main fuel source. Charcoal grills are popular for their ability to create high heat, making them ideal for cooking meats and other food items quickly. Additionally, many people believe that the flavor imparted by charcoal grilling is superior to that of gas or electric grilling.

There are two main types of charcoal grills: those with an open flame and those with a closed chamber. Open-flame models typically have a grate over which the charcoals sit, allowing direct contact between the flames and your food.

Closed-chamber models include a firebox below the grate where the coals burn; this design helps prevent flare-ups and allows you to control temperature more easily.

Also Read: Does a pellet smoker smoke while cooking?

Are Pellet Grills Better than Charcoal? Head to Head Comparison!

pellets vs charcoal
pellets vs charcoal

Let’s compare a pellet grill and a charcoal grill head to head on several factors and then decide are pellet grills better than charcoal!

1. Flavors

One of the most important things when it comes to cooking is flavor. After all, what’s the point in eating something if it doesn’t taste good? When it comes to these two grill types, they actually offer quite different flavors.

Pellet-grilled food tends to have a more smoky taste since the pellets themselves are made of wood or other organic materials. Charcoal-grilled food, on the other hand, has a bit more of a charred flavor since the coals themselves are burned down until they’re white hot before contact with food is made.

So if you want that traditional BBQ flavor then charcoal is definitely the way to go but if you prefer something with a little less smoky aftertaste then pellet might be better suited for your tastes.

2. Initial Cost

Another thing worth considering when deciding between these two grill types is initial cost. A decent quality charcoal grill can be had for around $80-$100 while entry level pellet smokers start at around $500+.

Of course, you could always spend much more on either type depending on how fancy you want things but as far as bang for your buck goes, charcoal wins hands down here.

3. Operating Cost

One of the biggest advantages of pellet grills is that they are much cheaper to operate than charcoal grills. Pellets are typically made from recycled wood scraps and other biomass materials, so they cost less than coal or other fossil fuels.

And since pellets burn cleaner and hotter than most types of coal, you’ll use less fuel overall when cooking with a pellet grill. That means lower operating costs and longer cook times between refueling.

4. Ease Of Use

Another big advantage of pellet smokers is that they are extremely easy to use compared to traditional charcoal models; simply load up the hopper with pellets, set your desired temperature using the digital control panel, and let it do its thing!

No need to babysit your grill like you would with a charcoal model – once your food is loaded into the cooker chamber it will stay there until it’s perfectly cooked without any further input!

5. Versatility and Temperature Control

Pellet grills offer a lot of versatility when it comes to cooking. You can grill, smoke, roast, and even bake with a pellet grill. This makes them great for those who love to experiment with different flavors and styles of cooking.

Charcoal grills are more limited in terms of what you can cook on them. Grilling is really the only option unless you want to get creative with some foil or something similar. When it comes to temperature control, pellet grills definitely have the advantage here as well.

Most models will allow you to set precise temperatures anywhere from 180°F all the way up to 500°F+. Charcoal grills typically max out around 450°F which is still plenty hot for most things like burgers and steaks but won’t work as well if you want to do any low-and-slow smoking recipes!

Final Verdict- Are Pellet Grills Better than Charcoal?

Pellet grills have many advantages over charcoal grills. For one, they’re much easier to use and maintain. You don’t have to constantly tend the fire or add more fuel, as with a charcoal grill.

Pellet grills also give you more control over the temperature, so you can cook your food exactly how you want it. And because pellet grills burn wood pellets for fuel, they infuse your food with a delicious smoky flavor that’s hard to get from a charcoal grill!

Also Read: Do pellet grill smokers give a smoke ring?


Is a pellet grill healthier than charcoal?

A pellet grill is a type of outdoor cooker that uses pellets made from compressed wood or other biomass materials to cook food. Pellet grills are similar to traditional grilling methods, but they offer some key advantages that make them a healthier option for cooking.

Pellet grills cook food at lower temperatures than charcoal or gas grills, which means there is less chance of charring and producing harmful carcinogens. The indirect heat generated by the pellets also helps to preserve moisture in the food, making it more juicy and flavorful.

And because pellet fuel produces very little smoke, there’s no need to worry about breathing in harmful chemicals while you’re cooking. So, if you’re looking for a healthy way to grill your favorite foods this summer, consider investing in a pellet grill!

What are the cons of a pellet grill?

There are a few potential downsides to using a pellet grill.

First, they can be more expensive than other types of grills.
Second, pellet grills can require more maintenance than some other types of grills.
Finally, pellet grills may not reach the high temperatures that some people prefer for cooking their food.

Which lasts longer wood pellets or charcoal?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, such as the type of wood used for the pellets and the charcoal, how dry the pellets and charcoal are, etc.

However, in general, we would say that wood pellets tend to last longer than charcoal.


So, are pellet grills better than charcoal? Well yes, in a lot of ways. They are more efficient, have a great temperature control and add a unique smoky flavor which enhances the taste of the food!

We hope that you liked this article. Also, you can find more such informative articles on our blog. Till then, stay tuned!