Heated Debate

Pros and cons of traditional and luxury grills

The debate over backyard grilling fires up over classic, low-key charcoal grills and gas-powered machines with extra burners, dials, and controls. But the argument plays off more than just gadgets. Cost per use and the cook’s proficiency play into which grill is the better fit. Here’s a comparison of two grills by Weber, the king of cookouts.

Classic Grills

Sometimes less is more. Detached from all the bells and whistles of luxury equipment, a traditional charcoal grill is the way to go for those wanting a simple, easy way to get those hamburgers and hotdogs off the grate and into your belly.

Portability — This may seem obvious, but the simpler, traditional grills are smaller than their high-tech counterparts, making them easier to transport. Weber’s original kettle grill, for instance, weighs only 33 pounds.

Cost — Generally, classic grills can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars less than luxury grills. The trade-off is they may not last as long.

Luxury Grills

Depending on how often you grill, upgrading to gas-powered, more advanced equipment can save you time, enhance flavor, and make grilling a luxurious experience.

Better Burners — Gas grills have longer-lasting burners and more heat control, allowing food to cook separately at different temperatures. Some grills, like the Weber Genesis, also come with a side burner for searing.

Durability — A high-quality gas grill can last a decade or more and uses energy more efficiently, giving it a cost-per-use edge over a cheaper charcoal grill if you plan to fire it up frequently.

Hankering for a tasty cutlet off a Weber grill? There’s an eatery for that. Visit the Weber Grill Restaurant for hot-off-the-grill steaks, burgers, and ribs the next time you’re in Downtown Indianapolis.

You’ve chosen your grill, now it’s time to choose your fuel.


Wood smoke imparts a bolder flavor. Use harder woods like hickory or oak for a stronger smoke, or stick to softer wood like apple or cherry for a milder flavor.


Briquettes heat fast and stay hot. Once you light your charcoal, wait for the coal to ash, or “gray over,” before cooking to avoid releasing carcinogens into your food.


Though the results aren’t as flavorful, this is a convenient, easy-to-control heat source.

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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