In this post, we will be investigating purely the cost of operating a gas or charcoal grill. We will ignore the initial cost of the grill as there each variety can be purchased for a wide range of prices. Additionally, there is also the initial purchase of a propane tank. This is a one time, or an extremely infrequent purchase, therefore this will also not be factored into the analysis.
A grill master would have to perform their own analysis given a specific gas or charcoal grill taking into account their own grilling methods to know for sure which one would would be more cost effective, But given the data in this example, if you’re driven purely by whether gas or charcoal is less expensive, propane is your winner.
Remember, this is supposed to be fun. Leave yourself plenty of time to build a fire and do the grilling. Charcoal grilling isn't hard and once you get the hang of it you will love doing it. Charcoal grills (at least the good ones (see my list of the )) can hit temperatures above 700 degrees F. or hold temperatures around 200 degrees F. This means that you can sear you can on a gas grill, and still cook low and slow for those things you want slow roasted. Many charcoal grills have and can most anything a gas grill can and for a much better price.