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?


Basic Differences


      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 Houra

Safety and Facts


      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 occur.


  • Propane is more than twice the BTU per cubic foot.
  • Propane contains 2,516 BTU per cubic foot.
  • Natural gas 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 BTU.
  • A 50,000 BTU grill uses about 48.5 cubic feet of natural gas an hour.
  • That's about 55 cents per hour for natural gas.
  • A 50,000 BTU grill uses about 20 cubic feet of propane an hour.
  • That’s about $1.75 an hour to use a propane grill of the same power.














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