Is oven more efficient than BBQ?

Efficiency means several different things: cost, fuel efficiency, heat retention, etc. Comparing a charcoal BBQ to answer is oven more efficient than a BBQ maybe not be what you were thinking.

However, in today’s, current economic climate comparing a gas BBQ and oven cooking is a little irrelevant. The cost of gas for both is on the rise meaning from a cost point of view neither is efficient.

I feel comparing completely different fuels would be a better gauge of efficiency, which is why comparing a charcoal grill to oven cooking is a better choice.

Oven vs BBQ

In an oven, food is cooked at a heat designated by the operator, fact. Nothing else is added or done and that works great for every day, however, BBQs add so much more flavor. Cooking over charcoal cannot be beaten on taste. The temperatures of a charcoal BBQ can far exceed an oven’s capability allowing you to sear, grill, and boil, basically doing far more than any oven can.

Is an oven energy efficient?

Even with the cost of energy soaring both electric and gas ovens can be very energy efficient when used correctly. Only putting one tray of food or just one item in the oven to cook makes cooking on the oven inefficient.

But, if you have multiple trays filled with food and then use it, with an ovens accurate temperature controls with just the flick of a dial this gives you the most energy efficient way to use your oven.

From a cost point of view, there are better energy-efficient ovens on the market than other however you are still at the mercy of the cost of fuel.

Is BBQ energy efficient?

Grilling on the BBQ with a lid can be energy efficient however not as efficient as an oven. There are tricks to help you burn less fuel just in the way you stack the charcoal or wood.

BBQs are designed to retain their heat much like an oven, however, without proper knowledge, it is not an easy task to keep the heat at set temperatures.

From a cost point, a BBQ doesn’t necessarily need you purchase charcoal and you can grill on a BBQ with choice cuts of hardwood. Hardwood should be sustainably sourced and can sometimes be obtained for very little or free.

A little tip that has worked for me a few times when you see tree surgeons removing or trimming down large trees is to stop and speak to them. If they are good BBQ wood trees (read here for more details) they may give you some of this wood.

Season it correctly and you’re good to go with free fuel.

So which is better the charcoal grill or oven?

As mentioned earlier BBQ can be better for the environment if you use sustainably sourced fuel.

Gas ovens require a lot of resources to get that gas to your oven, hence the ever-rising energy bills. These resources aren’t great for the environment.

A charcoal BBQ can burn hotter than most household ovens with very little fuel for long periods without adding extra fuel.

This is all without comparing the taste of grilling to cooking in the oven. There are some things a charcoal BBQ can give you that an oven cannot and the taste is one of them.

It’s very difficult to argue that an oven is better than a charcoal BBQ and because BBQs are my passion, a BBQ is better for me.