It is not uncommon for individuals to prefer either charcoal or propane but never both together due to the separate tastes many believe come as a result of using them. Many individuals say that the true taste of barbecue can only be tasted if you use charcoal as this adds a smoky flavor to your barbecue. However, individuals who prefer using propane insist it is faster, that you can cook more on the grill, and that it is far safer than using charcoal or a campfire. Regardless of which one you decide to use each has its own pros and con in the decision which should be factored in, especially if you wish to have a successful outdoor cooking experience.
If you have never experienced charcoal or propane barbecues before, your best to understanding the difference is to talk to individuals who have used them on a regular basis and understand how easy it is to use both. It will be best to talk to multiple individuals as you will find individuals who state they prefer what they currently use. However, if you are unable to find many individuals in your area who barbecue, more than likely the few individuals you do find will have used charcoal at least once or twice and can explain how it changes the outdoor cooking experience.
Charcoal barbecues use charcoal briquettes which need to be lit in order to produce heat. This will take a certain amount of time as you have to create a fire underneath or inside of the briquettes in order to make them produce the heat you will need in order to cook your food. This can be accomplished either through an accelerant such as fire starting fluid or starting a small fire by use of the usual methods which can then be used to set the briquettes on fire. However, keep in mind that to use charcoal takes a certain amount of time, which could be up to an hour, in order to use the barbecue properly and to cook the food at the right temperature.
Propane barbecues, on the other hand, can be lit immediately with a torch or electric starter and will ready to cook food within ten seconds. For individuals who have only a short amount of time to cook food this could be the right option. However, propane is burned as a gas which can put a scent and flavor into your food you might not care for. Although most state they cannot smell or taste this, others state it is very prevalent and individuals should therefore choose charcoal barbecues.
Whichever type you decide, try them beforehand so you do not make any mistakes. Be very cautious when you light either, especially if it is your first time cooking on them. Keep control of your propane levels and keep a fire extinguisher or similar item nearby for you to use, especially if you do not have the assistance of someone with experience.