Natural Gas vs. Propane Grills: the Ultimate Battle [SOLVED]

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 2, 2022

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As you may already know, not all gas grills are the same. They divide into two types of fuel – propane and natural gas.

Check out the upsides and downsides of both types carefully so that you can make an informed choice of the right grill for your type of cooking, and the environment that you cook in.

Natural gas vs propane grills

FAQs about gas grills

Should you go for propane or natural gas?

There are pros and cons of each option. Weigh them up and decide on what type you need before you buy.

Remember, you can’t alternate on the same grill. It is possible to convert, but this requires professional installation and added expense. You may also lose your warranty.

What are the differences between propane and natural gas?

Propane Natural gas
Propane means mobility. You can use your grill wherever you have a tank. You may run out in the middle of cooking, so always keep a spare tank on hand You need to be connected to your gas outlet, but you won’t ever run out
This is a good option for those who don’t cook on gas very often and don’t cook for large gatherings This is the perfect option if you have a very big grill and you cook for many people at once. You always have gas available, and there’s no need to ‘refill’ in the middle of cooking
There are fewer limitations on where you can use a propane grill Some locations prevent you from installing a natural gas line. If you don’t already have one, the installation itself may be expensive

Are there any dangers associated with gas grills?

Gas grills are actually very safe as long as you use them according to the specifications of the manufacturers. Some key things to remember about propane grills in particular:

  • Store your cylinders outdoors or in a shed or well-ventilated space
  • Don’t smoke while working with your cylinder
  • Never check for potential leaks using a lighter or matches
  • Don’t store your tanks in your garage

What are the chances of gas grills exploding?

Propane tanks are extremely safe if used properly. However, there is potential for explosion if the gas valve is left on, and is near to a flame.

Tanks should also never be exposed to very high or very low temperatures. Most manufacturers warn against temperatures above 120°F and below -40°F.

Can I leave my propane tank attached to my grill when not in use?

As long as your burners are all off, and there aren’t any leaks, then there is no risk of leaving your propane tank attached to your grill.

Is natural gas cheaper than propane?

If you can hook up to a local supplier of natural gas then you’ll pay much lower prices than having to buy separate propane tanks.

This becomes even more cost-effective and convenient if you already have an operational natural gas line installed.

Also read: the best propane grills to consider buying

Which is more dangerous – natural gas or propane?

Propane is heavier than air so if it is released, it will sink to the ground. This means that it is more of a risk for a dangerous explosion.

Natural gas floats up into the atmosphere when it is released so it disperses more quickly, lowering the chance of an explosion.

Will I ever run out of natural gas?

Using natural gas means you don’t have to worry about refilling the tank every couple of months, especially if you cook a lot and have a big grill.

It requires effort to visit the propane tank refilling station, with petrol and time being used to get the tank filled.

Not having to worry about the amount of fuel you have means you get more convenience but at the expense of mobility.

You can move your propane gas tank, but your natural gas comes from wherever it was installed, so that’s where your grill has to go.

Also read: these are the best natural gas grills to buy right now

Can I use propane and natural gas with the same grill?

Definitely not. The two are not interchangeable. Each fuel source requires special gas fittings.

When is natural gas preferable to propane?

A natural gas grill is a great solution if you cook a lot, especially when your grill has a large number of burners.

However, its lack of mobility means that it is an option for people who want a big stationary grill.

Read next: Keep your BBQ clean & protected with this top 5 best grill covers

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.