Propane vs Natural Gas Grills: Fostering The Best BBQs
If you love the sound of a steak sizzling on the grill, you’re a grilling enthusiast.
And if you’re fascinated by the various models and features of grills, then you may have faced this dilemma: should you choose a propane grill or a natural gas grill?
This question has been around for almost forever. And people tend to use both types of fuel sources quite commonly. If you can’t seem to decide, let me help you.
I’ll compare propane grills with natural gas grills to help you choose the best one for your backyard grilling!
Are you ready? Let’s go!
What is a Propane Gas Grill?
Simply put, a propane gas grill uses propane as its fuel source. Propane is generally more costly than natural gas, and it has more energy than the latter as well.
You can easily turn it up and control it from the dial on your grill. It also lights up quickly and provides a large amount of energy that helps grill or cook anything you like.
This is why propane is a favorite among grilling enthusiasts. It can also be used for various cooking methods, such as indirect heating and multi-zone cooking.
What is a Natural Gas Grill?
A natural gas grill requires – well, natural gas to light up. Natural gas isn’t very popular among the two, but it still provides a wide range of benefits for grilling.
While it’s less costly than propane gas, you’ll need a natural gas supply at your residence. If you don’t have one, you’ll have to spend money on the installation costs.
Another thing to consider is that the natural gas supply should reach your porch, so you can connect it to the grill.
Other than that, it’s usage is pretty much the same as a propane gas grill. So you won’t have any difficulty even if you switch to this fuel source.
Can I Use Propane Gas on a Natural Gas Grill?
Thinking about making the switch to propane gas from natural gas? You may want to save money and simply use propane gas in your existing grill. However feasible it may seem, it’s not a really good idea.
First of all, since natural gas grills give off less energy, their burners have larger holes to allow for easy transmission of gas.
On the other hand, propane gas is rather volatile. This means that you’ll have a hard time controlling the flame and your steaks will be charred, and not in the good way.
In the worst case, the grill might shoot up flames, which can be incredibly dangerous.
There’s no cause for alarm. If you really want to use your natural gas grill to accept propane as a fuel source, then you need to change a few things.
For instance, you’ll have to change the burner and fit one that’s suited towards supplying propane gas. This way you can save your money and also reuse your natural gas grill.
Pros and Cons of Propane & Natural Gas for Grills
There are certain benefits and downsides to using propane and natural gas grills. Let’s go over them so you can choose between the two.
Propane Gas Grill Pros
A propane gas grill is connected to a propane tank, which allows for portability in case you need to move your grill and the propane tank.
Secondly, there’s no installation involved when it comes to propane; all you need to do is get your tank refilled from time to time.
This means that the propane gas grill has a lower upfront cost compared to natural gas grills.
Another benefit of the propane gas grill is the level of heat energy it expels. It’s much higher than natural gas grills.
While natural gas only provides 1,000 BTUs per cubic feet, propane gas lets out 2,500 BTUs per cubic feet. This allows you to grill your food to perfection.
Propane Gas Grill Cons
One notable downside of propane gas grills is the inconvenience of getting the propane tank refilled. This may be a major downside if you don’t have a gas station near you.
As I mentioned above, propane gas is much more expensive than natural gas. So you’ll rack up higher cooking costs with propane.
Another disadvantage is that you can’t measure the amount of propane gas in your tank. This means that it can run out at any time during your barbecue party, which can be quite a bummer.
You can try lifting the tank and see how heavy or light it is to get an idea though.
Natural Gas Grill Pros
As discussed above, natural gas grills have to be connected to the line which supplies natural gas to your home.
This offers a lot of convenience, as you don’t need anything other than a gas supply and a pipe.
It also ensures you won’t run out of natural gas, no matter how much you grill. You just have to pay your monthly gas bill of course!
Another advantage to using natural gas is that it costs less than a quarter of what propane does.
Also, natural gas has lower carbon dioxide emissions, which means that it’s cleaner than propane gas.
Natural Gas Grill Cons
Now the downsides of using a natural gas grill.
Firstly, if you don’t have a natural gas connection in your house, you’ll have to pay to get it installed.
This can be quite cumbersome for areas that don’t have a natural gas supply.
For installation, you’ll have to go through a tedious process that may also require obtaining permits. Additionally, you’ll also need a plumber to install all the pipes and valves.
Since the natural gas grill is fixed in place, it eliminates the aspect of portability you get with propane gas grills.
Which Is More Expensive to Run?
As I mentioned above, propane gas is costlier than natural gas. Natural gas prices are a sixth of propane gas. When it comes to refilling propane gas in the tank, it’ll be more expensive in the long run.
If you have a natural gas supply in your house, you don’t have to spend anything on getting your grill ready. On the other hand, if you’re short of supply, you’ll have to spend a significant amount of money on the installation.
Natural gas has a higher setup cost, but once it’s done, it won’t cost too much to run the grill. The best part about natural gas is that you don’t have to pay anything upfront. Just the monthly bills.
Bottom line – firing up propane gas grills is much more expensive than natural gas grills.
Which Burns Cleaner: Propane or Natural Gas?
Both propane and natural gas have lower levels of carbon dioxide emission, which makes them clean gases.
However, natural gas is much cleaner than propane gas. And its major advantage is that it comes directly from the pipes, so you don’t have to burn any gasoline to refill your tank every now and then.
One adverse effect of propane and natural gas is that long-term exposure to both of them can be poisonous. That’s because they contain carbon monoxide and some other dangerous gases. These can be harmful for the environment, as well as your health.
Both gases have carbon monoxide, which can be fatal if inhaled in large quantities. Although both gases produce them in smaller quantities, they can be dangerous if you inhale them over a long time.
To keep yourself and your guests safe from carbon monoxide poisoning, make sure to place the grill in a well-ventilated area. Preferably outdoors in your patio or backyard.
So Which One Should You Choose?
Even after reading up on all the pros and cons, it can still be a bit confusing which kind of grill you should choose.
When it comes to natural gas grills, they provide you with a continuous supply of fuel, thanks to the gas connection you have in your home. It costs less than propane gas.
And it doesn’t require any upfront payment, except if you have to get a natural gas connection installed in your home.
Natural gas also burns cleaner than propane gas, but it doesn’t provide as much energy as the other one. This means that your natural gas grilling will require much more time.
Another thing to worry about is that natural gas has an odorant added to it, which can affect your food’s taste. Moreover, a natural gas grill is in a fixed position, and can’t be moved around.
Propane gas grills are more portable than natural gas grills as you can easily move the grill and propane tank wherever you want. Moreover, a propane gas grill is less costly than the natural gas grills. And it doesn’t involve any upfront cost except for filling up the tank.
The best thing about using a propane gas grill is that it burns twice as hot as natural gas. And it doesn’t have any effect on the taste of your food.
However, you’ll have to go through the process of refilling the tank from time to time, which also brings about higher costs in the long run.
Which one is more convenient for your grilling requirements? And is the cost difference a deal breaker for you?
Answer these two questions and you’ll know which one you should choose.
Propane gas is better for you if you like to grill your food at the perfect temperature.
Plus, if you need to move your grill around or use it where your gas line doesn’t reach, go for a propane gas grill.
But if you’re more concerned about the costs, then you’ll do well with a natural gas grill. It doesn’t provide portability and has lower energy, but it’s much more cost-effective.
I hope this article helps you choose the right type of gas grill for your needs.
Feel free to check out other similar articles on our site.
Thank you for reading, and have a great, fun day!