Skip to main content

Looking to step up your grill game? Whether you’re a seasoned pit master or a backyard BBQ beginner, understanding the differences between pellet grills and charcoal grills can help you find the best option for your summer cookouts.


Charcoal grills are known for their distinctive, smoky flavor that many BBQ lovers swear by. The rich taste of hickory or mesquite wood burning in a charcoal grill can make for some unforgettable BBQ. But does a pellet grill produce the same taste as charcoal? Not exactly. Pellet grills, which use compressed hardwood pellets, provide a more subtle (but consistent) smoke flavor. While some argue that pellet grills can’t quite match the flavor intensity of charcoal, others may appreciate the variety of flavors pellets offer, from applewood to cherry to classic oak.

Ease of Use

When it comes to convenience, pellet grills have the edge. Pellet grills offer precise temperature control with the push of a button, making them user-friendly for beginners and pros alike. Charcoal grills, on the other hand, require a bit more effort to light and maintain at a consistent temperature. For chefs who enjoy the process of tending to their grill, a charcoal grill can be more rewarding. But if you prefer a more hands-off approach, pellet grills are the way to go.

Health & Safety

Are pellet grills healthier than charcoal grills? It’s a common question. Some claim that pellet grills burn cleaner, producing less ash and fewer harmful compounds. On the flip side, some argue that natural, unprocessed charcoal is healthier than the processed wood pellets used in pellet grills. In truth, there is little to no difference in the health impact of charcoal vs pellet grills, so you can rest assured that either option can produce healthy meals when used correctly.


Pellet grills can maintain lower temperatures than charcoal grills, unlocking even more ways to prepare your food. They can smoke, grill, roast, and even bake, all with the turn of a dial. This makes them perfect for those who like to experiment with different cooking methods. Charcoal grills are more straightforward, offering that classic grilling and smoking experience.

Cost & Maintenance

When comparing pellet and charcoal grill costs, charcoal grills are typically more affordable. Pellet grills, with their advanced technology, will likely require you to fork out some extra cash. Maintenance-wise, pellet grills are easier to clean due to their efficient ash management systems. Charcoal grills can be messier, requiring regular cleaning of ash and burnt residues.

The Verdict

So, are pellet grills better than charcoal grills? If you value ease of use and versatility, a pellet grill might be the way to go. If you crave that deep, smoky flavor and enjoy the hands-on experience of grilling, a charcoal grill could be perfect for you. There’s really no wrong answer! Find the perfect grill for you and get the cookout started!