Can You Use Charcoal On A Gas Grill -Ultimate Guide

Are you tired of the flavor from your gas grill, and do you wish to infuse your grilled dishes with the rich, smoky flavor of charcoal smoker? The flavor and aroma of charcoal grilling are tempting.

If you own a gas grill and to infuse charcoal smokiness into your cooking while using a gas grill, is it possible? So, you’re not alone. This question is asked by more than you might think. Basically, it depends on your grill.

If you use charcoal directly on a gas grill, the heat might damage its parts, and you may need to replace several of them.

Both gas and charcoal grills are great, offering various flavors. So, let’s explore the possibility of using charcoal on a gas grill, providing you with information on how to achieve irresistible smoky goodness in your cooking.

Charcoal in a Gas Grill?

Most gas grills are designed to handle the heat created by their burners, so it’s advisable to avoid using charcoal on them. It could be an effective decision which can save your grill.

Following are the reasons why it’s best to avoid using charcoal on your grill in order to preserve its longevity.

  • Charcoal could fill your gas grill with ash.
  • The ash could be too difficult to clean.
  • This could result in rust on the grill or clogging with ash and debris.

use of charcoal tray in-gas-grill

However, there are still some grills that come with an additional accessory known as a charcoal tray. The procedure is as simple as replacing the grill grates and allowing charcoal to be placed over the burner. The charcoal tray is also convenient because it makes it easier to ignite the charcoal using the burner system, saving you time, eliminating the need for lighting fluid, and ensuring you won’t have any problems with the charcoal staying lit.The ash pan is used to control ash, allowing for easy removal as the charcoal burns.

Before purchasing an additional charcoal tray, it is important to verify the size through the owner’s manual, as there is no standard size for trays. Trays are designed in specific sizes to match the corresponding grill. For example, if you are using a Napoleon smoker, you can easily find a tray that fits most Napoleon gas grills.

If the size of the charcoal tray doesn’t match the dimensions of your grill, and there’s no suitable tray available, you have the option to get in touch with a blacksmith. A blacksmith can custom-make a charcoal tray to fit your grill perfectly.

How to use the charcoal tray?

Before using a charcoal tray you should confirm that the charcoal tray is compatible with your grill. 

To use the charcoal tray, you first need to remove the grill grids and sear plates. Then, position the tray over the burners. Following this, add charcoal and then reinstall the cooking grids. There’s no need for lighter fluid or firelighters; simply ignite the burner to get the charcoal glowing red.

Once the charcoal is ready, place your food on the grill. Keep an eye on the cooking process and turn your food as needed for even cooking. After grilling, allow the charcoal to completely cool down before disposing of it. Remove the charcoal tray from the grill and dispose of the ash in a metal container.

Alternative to Using Charcoal in a Gas Grill

Instead of using a charcoal tray, there are several alternative methods that can allow you to incorporate charcoal into a gas-powered grill, whether it’s fueled by natural gas or propane. While the idea of combining the smoky flavor of charcoal with the convenience of a gas grill is appealing, it may not always be practical or safe. So, the following are the effective alternatives.

Smoker Boxes:

Instead of using a charcoal tray, a smoker box or tube may be available for your grill. A smoker box is a small metal container which can hold wood chips or pellets. It’s placed directly on the grill’s burners.

a smoker for smoky flavor

This method imparts a deep, smoky flavor into the food. Use any hardwood you regard as the best for flavor, such as oak or peach. It produces a taste similar to that achieved with charcoal, is safe, and poses no risk of damaging the grill.

Combo Grills Gas And Charcoal

This option is ideal for those interested in experiencing the taste of both gas and charcoal but who have not yet purchased a grill. Many companies manufacture combo grills that allow the user to choose between charcoal and gas, offering versatility in cooking methods. Some of the most popular brands for combo grills include Pit Boss, Royal Gourmet, and Char-Griller, known for their quality and versatility in offering both charcoal and gas options.

combo grill best option with 0 risk

Combo grills can range from affordable to high-end, so it’s important to consider your budget and the features most important to you.

Mathew experience

Matthew (my husband John’s friend) had a gas grill that he liked to use for barbecues. He owned a Weber Genesis II E-310. John visited his backyard, and Matthew had an idea. He suggested, “Let’s see what happens if we use charcoal in my gas grill.” He believed it might enhance the flavor of the food.

John wasn’t sure about it, but he didn’t want to stop Matthew from trying. He brought over a bag of charcoal, and they carefully placed the briquettes in the gas grill. So, he put the charcoal on the gas grill and started it up. At first, they were excited to see if it would work.

But very soon, they realized it wasn’t a good idea. The grill got too hot and started making a lot of smoke. They tried to control it, but then something inside the grill broke. The grill was now dirty and damaged. It wasn’t working like before.

Wrap it up

charcoal can be used on a gas grill, it’s clear that this practice is generally not recommended due to safety concerns, potential damage to the grill, and warranty issues. But there are safer and more effective alternatives such as charcoal trays,  smoker boxes, wood chips, ceramic briquettes, or adopting indirect grilling techniques.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Weber Make A Gas And Charcoal Grill?

No, Weber does not offer a model that combines gas and charcoal grilling in one unit. They have the Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill, which uses gas only for ignition, not for grilling. However, you can use charcoal in a Weber gas grill if you utilize a Weber charcoal tray for gas grills or other similar alternatives which we provided.