Natural Gas vs Propane BBQ

As summer approaches, the weather starts to warm up, and the blue skies become a more regular feature. Wonderful time at the beach? Summertime treats? Barbecue parties? There’s so much fun awaiting you at this time of the year!

If asked to mention your highlights of the previous summer, the barbecue sessions with your family and friends would probably rank highest on the list. Good times - you can’t put a price on that.

Now, you are probably thinking of switching your old BBQ for a new, better one for an even more exciting cookout this year. Get your money’s worth by investing only in top-quality grills at Dickson BBQ.

While searching for one to purchase, you may be stuck and find it difficult to decide between a natural gas grill and a propane grill.

Thankfully, this article aims to shed more light on the topic of natural gas vs propane BBQ. Dickson BBQ curated the piece to help you in your quest to choose a suitable grill. Continue reading to learn more.


What is a Natural Gas BBQ?

In simple terms, it’s a gas-powered grill that runs on the main gas supply. A natural gas grill’s connection to gas lines is very similar to the setup of a home oven and cooker.

As its name suggests, this appliance is fueled by natural gas, primarily made up of the hydrocarbon compound, methane and other gases such as hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and traces of helium.

Like crude oil, natural gas is a product of consolidation found deep in the ground. Found near petroleum, it is explored, extracted, and transferred to a processing plant for purification. 

After refinement, natural gas, which is the fine product, is sent directly to your home for use. And that’s how your natural gas grill is powered.


What is a Propane BBQ?

Like the natural gas BBQ, a propane BBQ also runs on liquefied gas. Instead of being connected to the main gas supply, a propane grill runs on liquefied propane gas stored in metal cylinders or canisters.

Propane gas is a hydrocarbon compound derived as one of the many by-products of refining natural gas and crude oil. Initially collected in a gas form, propane is later compressed into a liquid and stored in gas cylinders. 

Although this natural gas by-product is often used as a domestic fuel, it can also be utilized as an industrial fuel.

Interestingly, the blue-coloured flame of the propane gas, which indicates complete combustion and good heat production, is one of its biggest selling points - perhaps a significant advantage in the propane vs natural gas grill debate. Also, propane has a low carbon emission rate, making it a fantastic fuel choice for BBQ. 


Natural Gas vs Propane BBQ: Which Wins?

As noted, it can be difficult to choose between two good products. To settle the natural gas vs propane BBQ debate, we analyze how both grills function under different topics:


  1. Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency explains how much heat energy a grill produces per unit time, and this category is edged slightly by the propane BBQ. After all, propane gas is known to burn hotter and, as such, releases more heat energy than natural gas.

Due to the natural gas’s low energy efficiency, wider ports are attached to natural gas grills for faster gas inflow and increased fuel combustion per minute to produce heat energy equivalent to a propane grill.

It is even suggested that because propane grills burn hotter, they offer a better taste to foods cooked on them, thereby edging the ‘natural gas vs propane grill taste contest.

Winner: Propane BBQ


  1. Greenhouse Effect

If you are particular about the imprint you leave on the environment, you should pay attention to this ‘propane vs natural gas BBQ’ discussion. 

Today, there has been a lot of concern about the world’s over-reliance on petroleum as an energy source. And most of this concern is not misplaced, as the effects of petroleum energy use have caused damage to the ecosystem.

So, if you want the best environmentally-friendly grill, you should go with the natural gas BBQ because its gas fuel burns cleanly and emits less carbon than other fuels, including propane.

Winner: Natural Gas BBQ


  1. Affordability and Convenience 

Under normal circumstances, a natural gas grill is cheaper than a propane one. Also, it would cost you less to run your BBQ with natural gas if your home is already connected to the main supply.

However, it is worth noting that if your home is not already being supplied with natural gas, you may spend more to install a gas supply. Nonetheless, in the ‘propane vs natural gas grill’ debate under this category, a natural gas BBQ still gets the nod.

Furthermore, a natural gas grill is more convenient and reliable to use. You are less likely to run out of fuel during a barbecue, given its unlimited gas supply. 

Conversely, a propane BBQ runs on a limited fuel supply given its canister use. So, your grill session can become disrupted if the propane BBQ in use runs out of fuel.

Winner: Natural Gas BBQ


  1. Portability

Barbecuing is an exciting activity best carried out in the open air. So, we have to move certain things like the grill outside the house to host a good cookout session.

Hence, you want a BBQ, arguably the most essential element of a cookout, that can be easily transported from one place to another. Electric and portable grills are your best options in this situation.

A propane grill is better than its natural gas counterpart in terms of portability. As mentioned earlier, a natural gas BBQ is usually connected to the main gas supply, which can’t be moved around. 

On the other hand, Propane BBQ runs on a gas cylinder, which you can load into a car trunk and drive to your barbecue location.

Winner: Propane BBQ


Above is a comprehensive report on the natural gas vs propane grill comparison, detailing the differences in their operations and functions. While the decision on which of the two grills is best is yours, this article should help you make an informed choice.

Whatever your preference is, Dickson BBQ is one of the best barbecue stores in Canada to get high-quality grills and other BBQ supplies.