Can Gas Grill Use Charcoal and How to Turn Your Gas Grill 2021

Gas grills are common in many households because they are cheaper to use and easy to clean than charcoal grills. Most of them are not designed to use charcoal fuel. While you might consider putting coal in the gas firebox, this is not recommended.

What if you want to enjoy the charcoal flavor when using a gas grill? Well, this brings us to this question; can gas grill use charcoal?  This is possible if you have a dual-fuel grill. We will help you understand how you can use charcoal in a gas grill and achieve charcoal flavors.

Can Gas Grill Use Charcoal?

Can gas grill use charcoal? Yes, but first, the type of grill you have will determine whether you can use charcoal or not. In most cases, gas grills are not designed to use charcoal. They are made to use the heat from the burner as compared to the one from burning charcoal.

Can Gas Grill Use Charcoal

Using charcoal on your gas grill is not a good idea. Why? The charcoal will end up filling your gas grill with ash; hence it will become messy. Additionally, you will experience hot burning embers falling off your grill.

Moreover, the heat produced by burning charcoal can damage your gas grill components. Therefore, using charcoal on your gas grill will force you to replace different parts, and your burner will also end up clogging with debris and ash.


While many gas grills are not designed to use charcoal, some models work with charcoal as an alternative fuel. These types of grills can be expensive, and they might not handle both fuels perfectly. If you have a dual-fuel grill, it is excellent to follow the manual’s instructions to avoid damaging the grill parts.

How to Turn Your Gas Grill into A Charcoal Grill

If you have a broken gas grill, you can easily turn it into a charcoal grill. Alternatively, if you need pocket-friendly charcoal grills, check our top reviews on the charcoal grill under 200. Let’s now go through a step by step guide on how you can turn an old gas grill into a charcoal grill.


  • Charcoal
  • Broken gas grill
  • Drill
  • Pliers (optional)

Step 1: Remove gas components

Remove the old gas parts from the grill to avoid chances of explosion.

Step 2: Make a vent

Drill two holes on either side of the lid. When you need to smoke your meat, cover the holes.

Step 3: Add charcoal

After removing all the gas components, the next step is to fill the grill with charcoal. You can also use wood chips instead of charcoal.

Step 4: Light and add meat

Light the charcoal and then place the grill rack. Next, add your meat and start cooking. When your food is ready, enjoy it.

How to Get the Flavor of Charcoal When You’re Grilling with Gas?

Gas grills are great in terms of use, heat, and maintenance. However, they don’t give the smoky flavor produced by charcoal grills because they are not designed for smoking. Gas grills also have many venting, which allows smoke to escape. But does this mean you cannot achieve smoky flavor with a gas grill?

How to Get the Flavor of Charcoal When You're Grilling with Gas

Of course, you can! There are some techniques that you can use to get the charcoal flavor when using a gas grill. However, it will not be exact. These techniques include the following:

Use a smoker box

This is a box that uses wood chips to bring the smoky flavor. Place this box on your grill and then put your meat. Close the grill’s cover and then wait for the results.

Heat Build up

This is another method you can use to achieve a smoky flavor on your meat. Use a baking sheet or tinfoil before you sear the meat to build up more heat. The heat will last for about 30 seconds, so you should put your meat on the grate immediately; you take it from the foil.


Charcoal provides the smoky flavor because it can provide natural temperature zones. It produces more heat over the coal and moderate heat away from the coal. You can try to copy this with your gas grill by putting part of the grill on high heat and part on low heat. This will bring about the browning reaction, which gives the tasty flavor.

Soak chunks in water

Soak your chunks or chips in water for about one hour, and then drain the water. Please put them in the pouch or box and put it on the grill. Turn the burners to high heat to preheat.

Indirect heat cooking

This is where you put fire on one side and none on the other side. When smoke appears, turn off the part of the grill that is not below the smoker box. On the side where you had placed the box, set the knobs to the right temperature. Next, place your food on the cooler side and close the lid. Please wait until it is ready.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to grill with charcoal or gas?

Both grills are great. But if you want a typical flavor, use a charcoal grill, but it will take more time. If you wish to a bacon-like taste, a gas grill is the best. Additionally, gas grills produce more steam to make your meat moisturized.

Can you use a gas and charcoal grill at the same time?

You can only choose to cook with charcoal or gas but not both simultaneously since the grill has one cooking surface. However, a gas burner can ignite the charcoal.

How long will a charcoal grill stay hot?

A charcoal grill can stay hot if you add the lighter liquid or coal continuously. But if you let it burn, it will last for about 15 minutes and then begin to cool off. Ensure your charcoal grill has airflow to get consistent heat and temperature.

Final Thought

Can gas grill use charcoal? I hope you now have the right answer to this question. Some gas grills can use charcoal, while others cannot use dual-fuel.  Therefore, consider if you have a dual-fuel grill or not before you use charcoal on your gas grill.

Hello, This is David Bower. Let me, introduce my website Gas grill hub that will inform you about all the latest gas grill BBQ machines, it’s accessories, using and maintenance information. As a chef, I know about a good gas grill and its every particular thing but then again I have been researching this sector for the last ten years. On this website, I’ll provide you every single information that you should know about a gas grill.

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