Propane Vs. Natural Gas Grills
Congratulations, you decided to buy a gas grill instead of a charcoal grill. One major decision out of the way! But now it's time to figure out which type of gas grill is right for you. Propane or natural gas are the two main options. Most gas grills on the market use propane, although natural gas is becoming more and more popular. So, what is the difference between propane and natural gas, and which is better? There are three main things you need to consider:
You can't buy happiness, but you can buy a gas grill, and it is the same thing.
A good gas grill can set you back quite a few dollars. And if you are one of those who thinks your grill-skills will increase the more money you spend, rejoice! There are options out there for more than $10,000. While natural gas grills are more costly to buy than their propane cousins, the fuel is cheaper.
Propane gas comes in refillable tanks that run about $30 new, and refills are in the $20 range. You can find these tanks at most hardware stores and gas stations. The tanks are easy to attach and detach. As for the fuel itself, propane gas is roughly two-thirds more expensive than natural gas.
If you consider buying a natural gas grill, you will have to do a bit of homework. Natural gas uses a pre-existing gas line to fuel up your grill. Some counties will provide natural gas for free if your home is near a natural gas main. In turn, other areas may not even offer any natural gas services, making a propane gas grill your only option.
Are you lucky enough to live in an area that provides it, and if you already have access to a gas line, read no further. Natural gas is the cheaper option for you. Everybody else? We have to factor in the gas connection costs.
There are plenty of projects around the house that you can do yourself to save money. But, playing around with natural gas is not one of them. To get your grill going and the burgers sizzling, you will need to call in a favor from a professional gasfitter. A visit like that runs on average between $100- $350. If you live far from the main gas outlet, you might also have to pay for the extra line required.
As a general rule of thumb: natural gas will be the cheaper option in the long-run for most amateur grillers. But propane may be the better choice if you are a sporadic griller.
Taking a propane tank out and getting it filled up is frustrating and takes both time and money. Also, no one wants to find themselves running out of gas mid-cookout. Serving up under-cooked chicken is a sure-fire way to ruin the BBQ party.
But do not despair! It is a problem easy to fix with some planning on your part. Most grills nowadays have a gas gauge that lets you know when you are getting low. Also, go ahead and keep extra refill tanks available for grilling emergencies. Finally, certain stores in your area may even offer propane gas refills as a home-service. A propane guy then comes to your house regularly to fill up your tanks.
Then there is the freedom that comes from having your grill power in a portable tank. Are you someone who likes to move the grill around the yard following the sunset? Or are you planning to move soon? If the answer to these questions is a resounding yes, then a propane-fueled grill is the way to go.
With a natural gas grill, the setup is the only major inconvenience. Once hooked up to natural gas, you are home-free. The benefit of using natural gas is that you never have to worry about running out of fuel. Never. Your grill is always ready to go, and the fuel is accessible.
But alas, because your fuel comes in a line, it is challenging to move your grill once installed. Therefore, consider your surroundings before choosing the perfect location for future BBQ:s. No one likes to stand beside a flaming hot grill when it's already 90 degrees outside, so pick a shady spot. Also, don't forget to check which way the wind blows. Smoke is a big part of the grilling experience, but it is much less enjoyable when it gets in your hair and clothes.
The convenience and speed of the gas grills outweigh the somewhat better flavor from the use of charcoal. As a result, gas grills are now the number one choice in America. So, will your steak taste better depending on which gas grill you have used? According to the fans, natural gas produces a dry heat, giving the steak a better char and a smoky flavor. In turn, propane-grillers will argue that propane produces a stronger heat, and therefore their steak has a more authentic grill flavor. We at the Outdoor Appliance Store have not noticed any difference in flavor. At all. Our best guess is that it depends more on the marinade than the choice of gas fuel.
If you still feel unsure about what to choose: Relax! Honestly, there isn't that much of a difference between the two when it comes to grilling. No matter what your neighborly food critic says, it does not affect how your steak tastes. Since both grills come with significant advantages, it is a choice only you have the power to make. Finally, should you change your mind, there is always the option of buying a conversion kit.
So now you have the facts. Do not waste another minute sweating over your decision. Go ahead, buy the grill and start your journey on becoming the next Bobby Flay!