Choosing Your Grill

February 19, 2018 3 min read

Choosing Your Grill

Propane Gas VS Natural Gas

What Makes for Good BBQ Grilling After the earliest humans discovered fire, their next most exhilarating realization must be that nothing beats food cooked directly over open fire. That was 300 million years ago, but even today grilled food never fails to excite the primal caveman in everyone.

While it’s hunting and gathering firewood that mostly preoccupied people in the ancient times, you as a modern homemaker have to deal with everything else related to grilling your food: the right BBQ grills and grilling accessories to use, unlimited BBQ recipes, and detailed grilling techniques.

You must have researched all about them by now. But choosing the better fuel to use--propane gas vs natural gas--always stops you in your tracks. To help you, here are the pros and cons of using propane gas and propane gas grills, as compared to natural gas and natural gas grills:

  •  Availability.Natural gas, which remains in its gaseous form, gets to your home via pipeline, which keeps you worry-free because delivery is automatic. Propane gas is compressed in liquid form and is sold in canisters or comes to you via truck delivery for storage in a permanent tank within your property. To maintain consistent supply, you could ask somebody from your propane gas provider to regularly monitor and refill your tank.
  •  Portability. Propane gas offers you the freedom to roll your BBQ grill anywhere you like in your yard.
  • Cost. Natural gas is measured and sold per cubic foot, propane gas per gallon. An apple-to-apple comparison (by converting units and averaging rates) indicates that natural gas is the more economical option. 
  • Heating efficiency.While per-unit price is a primary consideration, a more useful comparison between propane gas and natural gas has to do with their BTU. Between the two, propane gas has higher BTU rating, more than twice than that of natural gas. This means that, although you may be paying more for propane gas on a per-unit basis, its higher heating efficiency more than makes up for the extra cost.

But be wary that heat delivery should be quantified based on BTU per inch (heat flux) because, more than the BTU, other factors such as distance of the food surface from the burners and the kind of BBQ grill you use (either convection or the more efficient infrared type) must also be considered.

  •  In convection BBQ grills, air heated by the burners rises and flow around the food. The constant circulation of hot air is what cooks the food. Unfortunately, this may also cause the food to dry out. Convection grills are often preferred for grilling pork chops, kabob, burgers and anything with thickness of 2 inches or less. 
  • In infrared BBQ grills, hot air heats a solid surface which then emits high temperatures that cooks the food faster. With less air circulating around the grill, food tends to retain more moisture while cooking. Infrared BBQ grills are great for searing steaks, roasting chicken and steaming your favorite mix of vegetables. 
  • For that added smoky flavor, fill a cast-iron smoker box with presoaked wood chips to release the smoke. Or you may wrap the chips in a sheet of aluminum foil. Punch holes before placing it in your BBQ grill but not directly on the burners.

Because of the wonders and intricacies of BBQ grilling, food experts agree that this cooking method is both an art and science. Appreciating the finer aspects of food and food preparation over an open flame comes only from experience.

Give yourself time and you will get to know how to manipulate heat. You will learn how to create a variety of flavors by concocting your own marinade recipes. You will be an expert on the kind and the right amount of herbs and spices to use.

There is more to BBQ grilling than just food preparation. It has practically evolved into a ritual – a social activity that gives you the opportunity to gather and entertain people who are dear to you. Outdoor cooking provides you the opportunity for conversation and closeness. Needless to say, preparing your specialties over BBQ grills is food for both body and soul.

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