Propane Grills vs. Natural Gas Grills
Information Aabout Choosing A Propane or Natural Gas Grill
Imagine it’s Memorial Day; you’ve got all your friends and family
over for a big barbeque, appetizers are made, the food is ready to be thrown on the grill. You break away
from the guests for a minute to go outside and pre-heat the propane grill only to find out you’ve run out of
fuel. Oh no! Now you have to run to the store for a refill. Don’t you wish you had that natural
gas grill instead?
The availability of fuel
and convenience of using a natural gas grill is one of several benefits of choosing a natural gas grill over a
propane one. Fuel costs and the fact that natural gas is a cleaner burning fuel also sway many buyers into
the natural gas grill arena. The major challenge in installing a natural gas grill is having a natural gas
line extended into your back yard. Fortunately, the cost of extending a gas line into your back yard will
be offset by the lower cost of fuel over time.
Propane grills also have their
advantages. Many owners want to begin using their grill as soon as it comes out of the box; this is
why the propane grill is the most common choice in American homes. In fact almost 90 percent of grills sold
today are propane. The initial hassle of having a gas line installed can be a big obstacle for some grill
purchasers. Propane units also benefit in the fact
that they are portable. If you want to take your grill to the beach, simply load it up in the back of the
truck and you’re off. Natural gas grills can only be moved the length of their hose.
As far as grilling
performance goes, neither fuel has any substantial difference in overall heat output. A natural gas grill
will use about twice as much gas, however, natural gas costs about six times less than propane. The overall
difference results in a natural gas model being about three times more cost effective to cook
with. This difference can add up to about a dollar each time you grill. Some grilling enthusiasts also
believe natural gas leaves less fuel taste on the food due to the fact that it burns cleaner.
In the end the real choice
comes down to the decision of the inconvenience of refilling propane tanks every couple of months or having the
gas line installed permanently and paying the cost up front. With natural gas you will pay less over
time. Still, overall, the grill performance is really unchanged.
Monthly Cost of
Grill Operation Per Hour
Many experts have come to the
consensus that natural gas is a safer fuel to use in outdoor grills. The fact that you don’t have to
constantly connect and disconnect propane lines, move fuel tanks around, and deal with faulty tanks steers some
buyers away from propane grills. Natural gas is much easier to smell should you have a gas leak, and
dissipates much quicker than propane due to the fact that it is lighter than air. Propane on the other hand
is more dense than air and can linger close to the ground posing a greater explosive risk if a leak should
Propane is more than twice
the BTU per cubic foot.
contains 2,516 BTU
per cubic foot.
contains 1,030 BTU per cubic foot.
Natural gas can
cost up to six times less per cubic foot.
Natural gas can cost up to three times less per
A 50,000 BTU grill uses
about 48.5 cubic feet of natural gas an hour.
about 55 cents per hour for natural
BTU grill uses about 20 cubic feet of propane an
That’s about $1.75
an hour to use a propane grill of the same power.