The Real Difference Between Pellet Grills And Charcoal Grills

As the sun begins to stay up until 7 pm, barbecue season finally begins once again. Hotdogs, burgers, chicken, and more lined up on a grill just awaiting for an array of condiments. But what grill is the best for summer-time cooking? Which one will bring the aroma and flavor that's grilled into each bite? Well, luckily enough, there are a few.

There are gas, electric, pellet, and charcoal grills, but according to Pit Boss, pellet and charcoal reign supreme. The smoky, wood-fire flavor can only come out of a grill that offers just that while cooking. While a gas grill can still whip up some solid barbecue, it won't give you the same flavor a slow smoked charcoal or pellet grill can.

Grilling season can't commence without knowing major differences between the most popular ones. To make sure you cook up dinner right, you have to know what a pellet and charcoal grill can add to your weekend barbecue.

Pellet grills

Pit Boss says pellet grills are the latest and greatest in the grilling world. In fact, they bring a mix of all grills into one. You can smoke meat on one,  and they can also be used like a gas grill or oven. Who doesn't like some variety? But the key is the natural wood pellets that fuel these grills (via Pit Boss).

Shockingly enough, those natural wood pellets are what give your savory meats that wood-like flavor, according to Food Fire Friends. There is a level of ease that will come to you when using a pellet grill, you just simply fill up the hopper with pellets and set it at the temperature you prefer. You'll then be able to take a dip in the pool while the grill goes to work.

The wood pellets make this grill the best for smoked meats, and not so much for grilling steaks and burgers. While they can do it all, the temperature range is somewhat limited and don't usually get as hot as charcoal grills can (via Food Fire Friends). Pellet grills are similar to an oven when it comes to temperature control, in that you can pick a desired temperature and watch it operate — easy, breezy, and in control.

Pellet grills also fire up quickly, maintain a steady heat, and offer a variety in flavor due to the different kinds of natural woods you can. But do beware: Unlike charcoal grills, pellet grills run on electricity.

Charcoal grills

While pellet grills give a wood-like flavor to your meats, charcoal will offer that smoky aroma that makes you take a deep breath and say "mmm." But you won't be able to hop in the pool if you're manning this grill. They require a bit more precision due to the high temperatures and flames, according to Food Fire Friends.

You can slow cook at 250 degrees Fahrenheit or get the heat up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, says Pit Boss. The variety in temperature range will allow for slow cooker recipes and quick-grill favorites like a cheddar cheese stuffed hot dog. If you want to pop on a grill apron and master the temperature, a charcoal grill is right up your alley.

With charcoal grills being manually tempered by fire, you can also cook things quickly. For a barbecue with a dozen people, throwing on just about anything will help you cook at a far faster rate than with a pellet grill. In fact, you'll have the ability to do "hot and fast or low and slow" (via Food Fire Friends).

Charcoal grills add a smoky flavor and give you the option to cook at temperatures all over the board, while offering more versatility in what you cook. But unlike the pellet grill, there is more clean up and fewer pool time opportunities.