BGE or Gas Grill for Primary??

twinkiesmommy2009

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2015
1,680
Cypress
Based on what I've read here I'm trying to talk my husband into the BGE instead of the Weber Genesis for his big purchase grill (we currently have a smaller Weber Charcoal and had the gas line run already for an ODK). Our existing gas grill that was a gift rusted through recently.

Hubby has never used a BGE or similar before. Can you help me with all the Pros and Cons here in one place please? [emoji5]


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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,363
Tucson, AZ
I honestly use both. Gas has more of the convenience factor when you need to cook quick. But it lacks a lot of the flavor and "fun" of cooking on charcoal. Charcoal takes more time in my opinion. So for me, I use the gas grille during the week for quick cooking and the BGE for "fancy" weekend cooking.

The nice part about the BGE is it can span a very wide temperature range and holds it very efficiently - as low as 200F and all the way up to 700F. My gas grille has very little low temperature control so it's mainly a burgers, dogs, chicken parts and steaks. If I'm cooking whole chickens, ribs, pork butts, briskets, i.e. food that need careful cooking temps, I use the BGE.

You can certainly use a BGE as your primary grill but it will take longer to setup and cook with than your standard gas grille blowtorch.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
Might as well add the Traeger to the list... Difficult decision to make for sure.

I'm with Matt, I would want a gas grill regardless and then some sort of special occasion cooker. I'm between the Primo and Traeger right now.
 

phonedave

Well-known member
May 30, 2012
741
Montville NJ
While I don't have a BGE, I do have a dual fuel set-up. LP on one side, charcoal on the other, and smoker box hung off of that.

I am of the same opinion. Charcoal is so much nicer. It has more flavor, I can control it better, and you get a better sear (burning natural gas of any kind produces water vapor as a by-product). However, 6:00 PM on a Tuesday after work, with a hungry family, I am not starting a bed of coals, cooking some steaks, and then waiting for the coals to die down so I can cover the grill. I am turning on the LP, giving the grates 5 minutes to pre-heat, and then starting to cook.

I really like having the option of both.


-dave
 

TomGallopavo

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2016
300
Hillbillyville, MO
We have a smoker and gas combo and I agree with all the other comments. It's nice to smell the smoker all day Saturday with ribs going...nice to roast chicken and veggies weekdays on the gas side and not heat the house. You might post over at smokingmeatforums, pretty lively discussions about BGE and Weber.
 

bakerboy

Well-known member
Dec 29, 2015
205
Chino/CA
I also do not have a BGE, so can not comment on that particular cooking tool.....BUT, I will also agree to what has been said, a gas grill during the week days for dinners or even just wanting "grilled" items w/ out the smokey flavor (oh boy, what did I just say???) def. helps out! I have a 5 y/o that doesn't like that great "smokey" flavor, so if I'm smoking some ribs, tri-tip or whatever, I'll throw a chicken breast on the gas grill for him.

You should def. check out the BBQ thread we have:

***Official 2016 BBQ, Smoking, Grilling, Cooking, Baking thread***
 

wjr75

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 6, 2013
895
IL
We have a Viking Professional gas grill and and a small Cookshack electric smoker. I have cooked on charcoal Brinkmann smokers and they took a lot of work to get the same results. The Cookshacks allow you to put the meat in before you go to bed and have a perfect pork butt in the morning. Some people say that is just cheating but I swear by the electric Chookshacks!
 

DuckHunterJon

Active member
May 17, 2016
41
Marion, NY
Another option/opinion... I fully agree, get both. As for the BGE, take a look at Char-Broil akorn. My brother has a BGE and I have the acorn. We get together every weekend or so at one place or the other and so far we haven't been able to see a difference between how the two perform. One big difference difference, he paid $1,200 for the BGE and I paid $275 for the akorn. I've had it 5 years now, outside the whole time, never covered once and it's still in great shape. If and when it goes, I'll buy another one in a heartbeat.

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leeatmg

Bronze Supporter
Sep 25, 2014
15
Chandler, AZ
If I could only have one, I'd reluctantly choose the gas grill for flexibility. You can add a smoker box and get some of the flavor of a smoker or charcoal but it will never be the same. But the flexibility to cook whenever you want very quickly can't be beat. But if you can manage it, get both. And if not, there are some gas grills (higher end, but I have seen them) that offer a charcoal box that fits into the grill so you could maybe get the best of both worlds, but it's spendy to do it.

Added: a lot of it depends on what you cook and how much time you have to do it. Pizza or smoked meats on the BGE blow gas cooking out of the water, for example. But if you tend mostly to cook weeknights after work, and quick grill (burgers, chicken, etc.) then gas is the winner. If you have (or take) time to do more elaborate and time consuming food, then I'd say go with the BGE.

---Lee
 

Shekkie

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2015
76
Grafton, Ohio
I only have a BGE (XL) and I have no desire for a gas grill. The BGE is at temperature in less than 1/2 an hour which gives me time for food prep. If I am in that big of a rush where I would use a gas grill then I just cook inside.

The BGE (or similar quality ceramic cookers) are a premium price BUT there is no reason that it won't last forever, very efficient use of charcoal, great temperature control, cooks everything from low and slow brisket at 225 degrees to a pizza at 800 degrees while maintaining moisture in meats and veggies.

Gas is for heating and coal is for cooking.
 

camueller

Well-known member
May 11, 2016
492
Troy IL
I haven't used my gas grill at all since I got my Big Green Egg. I hate cooking with charcoal prior to getting it, but fell in love with lump. I got a temperature controller and got into smoking things, and really enjoy having it now. I just need to build me an outdoor kitchen around it. When I do, I'm honestly not sure if I'll include a place for the gas grill. I guess I would, just in case.
 

fkrobertson

Bronze Supporter
May 23, 2016
11
Phoenix, AZ
Might as well add the Traeger to the list... Difficult decision to make for sure.

I'm with Matt, I would want a gas grill regardless and then some sort of special occasion cooker. I'm between the Primo and Traeger right now.
A little off topic and just my 2cents, but I would steer clear of the Traeger. I had one and it made great tasting food. But there is a potential for hazard. They market the grill as set it and forget it- set the temp, throw the meat on, and go watch the game. But if the flame inside the grill is ever extinguished, the automatic pellet feeder does not shut off. That means pellets continue to feed into the fire chamber but don't burn up. Best case scenario, you have to remove the meat and clean out the unburned pellets before relighting the grill. Worst case scenario (happened to me) you get a fire. I let the grill run unattended for three hours. I went to check on it, the grill felt cool so I opened the lid to see what was wrong. Pellets everywhere. Opening the lid must have given a few embers the air they needed and three or so hours of fuel ignited all at once. I closed the lid, but the heat became so intense that the lid warped and the powder coat flaked off in several areas. Wood pellets are not like charcoal, they are rapidly consumed once ignited. If you get one, don't buy into the set it and forget it. Check the grill regularly. Admittedly I felt a little foolish that I essentially left a fire unattended. But after I googled "Traeger Fire" at least I'm in good company.
 

rodog123

Well-known member
Nov 13, 2013
311
Pearland, TX
Gas/Propane is very convenient for everyday during the week grilling. I just got my 1st propane grill this summer and love it. From everything that I'm reading the Webber Genesis is built very well, I've heard nothing but rave reviews on quality and workmanship.

On the weekends when you have people over nothing beats a BGE, brisket, chicken so juicy so good. If you have the time to get a fire going the BGE is the best hands down.
 

Uncle Flappy

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 28, 2015
249
Tucson, AZ
A little off topic and just my 2cents, but I would steer clear of the Traeger. I had one and it made great tasting food. But there is a potential for hazard. They market the grill as set it and forget it- set the temp, throw the meat on, and go watch the game. But if the flame inside the grill is ever extinguished, the automatic pellet feeder does not shut off. That means pellets continue to feed into the fire chamber but don't burn up. Best case scenario, you have to remove the meat and clean out the unburned pellets before relighting the grill. Worst case scenario (happened to me) you get a fire. I let the grill run unattended for three hours. I went to check on it, the grill felt cool so I opened the lid to see what was wrong. Pellets everywhere. Opening the lid must have given a few embers the air they needed and three or so hours of fuel ignited all at once. I closed the lid, but the heat became so intense that the lid warped and the powder coat flaked off in several areas. Wood pellets are not like charcoal, they are rapidly consumed once ignited. If you get one, don't buy into the set it and forget it. Check the grill regularly. Admittedly I felt a little foolish that I essentially left a fire unattended. But after I googled "Traeger Fire" at least I'm in good company.
I have a Traeger and upgraded the controller to an aftermarket PID to avoid the problems listed above. If the internal temperature gets below 140 degrees, the startup cycle (hot rod, auger, and fan control) automatically starts up. I also use a Maverick RF dual probe thermometer that can warn me if there is a problem but I haven't seen any issues since the upgrade. I've done many overnight cooks with the Maverick receiver on my nightstand. There are some other really nifty features with the PID but if I were to do it all over again, I'd probably get a Rec-Tec pellet grill. Much better build quality.

Pellet "grills" are great for smoking but for searing not so much since they use indirect heat. Low and slow, they are the way to go. Burgers, dogs, and Ribeyes on the LP grill; ribs, brisket, and pork shoulder on the smoker. Now I'm getting hungry.

- Flappy
 

ateam

Active member
Jul 8, 2015
33
San Antonio, TX
I recently got rid of an older Weber Genesis gas grill and replaced it with a big green egg. I don't miss the gas at all. The egg actually gets up to temp much quicker than I thought it would and has way better versatility than the gas grill ever could.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,363
Tucson, AZ
I recently got rid of an older Weber Genesis gas grill and replaced it with a big green egg. I don't miss the gas at all. The egg actually gets up to temp much quicker than I thought it would and has way better versatility than the gas grill ever could.
Agreed. The temperature range on the BGE is impressive to say the least (~200F up to 700F or higher). I once left it empty with the lower vent mostly open and within 20mins the internal thermometer was reading over 700F. I cracked it open a bit (with GrilleArmor gloves on) and it was like opening a blast furnace. I thought, if I only had a flank steak I could probably sear it in about 30sec on each side.
 

camueller

Well-known member
May 11, 2016
492
Troy IL
To clean my Egg, I load it up with charcoal, light a fire, and open all vents full blast. If airflow is good inside, you can easily get the built in temp gauge to go past it's max and back into the 200-300 range. And when the fire is out, the ceramic looks like new inside.

I still have my weber spirit. I am tempted to get rid of it all the time. I kept it thinking I'd use it to cook burgers and hot dogs, but it hasn't had the cover off in at least 3 years, possibly more. I guess I should just get rid of it.
 

familytr33

Bronze Supporter
Apr 4, 2016
81
South East USA
Big Green Egg for sure.

It might take 10 minutes longer to come to heat, but flavor from BGE is much better, and the maintenance and cleaning are minimal compared to gas.

Plus, a few oak chips on BGE makes a pizza taste phenomenal.
 

RedStick

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2016
72
Spring, Texas
I have two Kamado Joe's (similar to Big Green Egg). I have the Kamado Joe Big Joe and the Kamado Joe Jr. I love these cookers!

I have a gasser that hasn't been uncovered in at least 2 years now.

These cookers are incredibly versatile - I cook everything from pizza, meatloaf, burgers, mac and cheese, hot dogs, all bbq offerings (ribs/brisket/turkey/etc) and so much more.

There is a learning curve of sorts, but you figure it out with cooking. The flavor is amazing - a big difference.

Just my .02 cents!
 

Marlahoutex

Platinum Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Aug 9, 2014
2,550
Houston tx
We have a Weber charcoal grill but it has a propane starter. I think it's called a Weber Performer. We really like it a lot. Doesn't take too long to heat up and no lighter fluid smell. We also use a hardwood briquette which my DH likes a lot better than regular charcoal.