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The debate over charcoal versus propane is a heated one, if you'll pardon the pun. While many outdoor chefs prefer charcoal for the taste, control over the flame and overall experience it offers, propane is still a great choice for folks who want to fire up the grill quickly and easily.

Propane grills heat up at the touch of a button. Look for a grill with electronic ignition, which makes lighting a grill as easy as starting the burner on an indoor gas stove. Most propane grills heat up in under five minutes -- but make sure you buy one with an accurate thermometer to ensure that it's at the proper temperature. Propane grills also don't require as much cleanup as waiting for charcoal to extinguish and properly disposing of it. If you're planning on grilling up hot dogs and burgers at a pool party, a propane grill might be right for you.

Still, there are drawbacks. You'll need to keep an eye on the level of your propane tank or risk running out of fuel before dinner is done. It helps to have a grill with a built-in propane gas gauge. Also, food cooks differently on propane than charcoal—similar to indoor cooking. If you like the flavor that cooking with charcoal offers, you may not be happy with a propane grill.