Of course buying used vs. new makes a big difference, but in any case, if one is set on purchasing a BBQ grill, is there less environmental impact in the production & use of a charcoal vs. a propane grill?
I figure charcoal doesn't necessarily rely on industrial fossil-fuel based infrastructure to produce it, the way propane does. Therefore in theory purchasing propane is more commitment to fossil fuels and purchasing charcoal is not. But in practice, they are both industrially produced fuels, I imagine with similar impacts all things considered. In terms of equipment, I think charcoal is much simpler with less precision-manufacturing required both at the grill and throughout the production and transportation process of the equipment & fuel.
Lastly, cooking on a propane grill always seems to me a lot like cooking on a regular stove top. I don't know if that plays into environmental footprint considerations here, but it might with stove tops as a natural gas or electric alternative to propane cooking.