Natural gas and propane (also known as LP) grills each heat evenly and efficiently, providing a quicker outdoor barbecuing alternative to charcoal. Each type of grill has its own advantages and limitations in terms of fuel supply and convenience.
Difference in Hookups
Natural gas grills connect directly to the metered gas supply of homes. Propane grills have gas regulator valves that screw tightly to the tops of pressurized liquid propane tanks. Both types operate with adjustable gas burners for heat regulation.
Operating from residential gas supplies, natural gas grills have virtually endless grilling capacity. Propane grills typically rely on 20-pound propane tanks that run dry after multiple hours of grilling, and must be replaced or refilled.
Portable vs. Stationary
Propane grills, with their self-contained and portable fuel supplies, are operable anywhere. Natural gas grills must remain stationary near residential gas hookups. Thus, propane grills are a better option for patios or decks without available gas hookups.
Some grill manufacturers design gas-fueled grills to be convertible from propane to natural gas. Most manufacturers recommend against converting between fuel types unless the devices are specifically designed for such conversion with commercially available kits to make the switch.
The Convenience Factor
Both natural gas and propane grills hold a convenience edge over traditional charcoal barbecuing. Gas-fueled grills light quickly, often through special push-button ignition switches, heat more predictably and evenly than charcoal, and produce no ash or char, making for easier cleanup.
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