Charcoal, electric, gas and wood are some of the different types of outdoor barbecue grills. The expense, difficulty to use and the amount of preparation time needed to operate each type of grill varies.
Charcoal grills use charcoal briquettes to generate heat for cooking. It is one of the slower methods of grilling but provides a smoky flavor that can only be achieved using this type of grill. The higher burning temperature of charcoal allows for easy searing of meats. Charcoal briquettes are more expensive than many other types of cooking fuel and it typically takes at least 45 minutes from the time the fire is lit until the coals are ready for cooking.
Gas grills are convenient, less expensive to use than charcoal and faster, but they typically cost more to purchase than other types of grills. Users who want to fire up their grills and begin cooking immediately often prefer gas grills. They don't generate the smoke or the same flavor as charcoal grills.
Wood-fired grills such as fire pits and cast iron units typically found in campgrounds provide excellent flavors comparable to charcoal. Cooks using wood grills need to know the types of wood to use, including mesquite, apple, hickory, pecan and cherry, to get the desired flavor for specific types of meat.
Electric grills are best for city dwellers who are restricted or prohibited in their use of outdoor fires. An electric grill cooks meat but lacks the flavor of natural fuel grills.