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Grilling FAQs: Liquid Propane vs Natural Gas

by Spencer’s TV & Appliance

Cooking Food on Grill

At a Glance:

What is the difference between propane vs. natural gas? 

Do you need a gas connection to use a natural gas grill?

Which fuel source provides more flexibility for grilling outdoors?

Which option is more environmentally friendly?

Does the fuel source affect the taste of the food?

Which is better: liquid propane vs. natural gas?

Top Gas Grills for Summer Entertaining


Why Trust Us

Adding an outdoor grill to your home is a great way to turn your patio into an entertaining space. You can stick with the classic burgers and hot dogs or expand into unique flavors, ingredients, and recipes prepared over an outdoor flame.

However, as you research different heat sources, you might realize that your choices extend beyond charcoal and gas. Even within the range of gas grills, you still need to decide whether you want a liquid propane or natural gas heat source.

Use this guide to make your research process easier. Here are all the questions you might have related to liquid propane vs. natural gas so you can choose the best option for your home.

What is the difference between propane vs. natural gas?

Natural gas runs off of the main gas supply in your home. If you already have a gas stovetop or range, then you can likely install a natural gas-powered grill. Depending on your house, you might already have these hookups in place outside.

Propane uses a liquid form of gas that is stored in metal canisters. You can find propane canisters attached to camp stoves and other outdoor cooking units where there isn’t a gas line or electrical connection. You will pick up your propane tanks at local home improvement stores before you start grilling.

What are the fuel costs of liquid propane vs. natural gas?

If budget is one of your main concerns, then look for a natural gas-operated grill. Most places charge around $40-50 for a 20lb propane tank. Once this runs out, you will either need to find a place to refill your tank ($3-4 per gallon) or exchange it ($4-5 per gallon). Prices might depend on where you live.

Conversely, natural gas is billed by therm, with companies usually charging less than $2 per therm. Homeowners have found that natural gas costs about a third per unit compared to propane – even with administrative fees built in.

Do you need a gas connection to use a natural gas grill?    

Yes. You will need a gas hookup if you want to use your home’s natural gas to operate your grill. This is where a propane tank could be cheaper in the long run. If you don’t have an existing gas outlet on your patio, you might need to pay for an extension. This could get expensive depending on where your gas tank is located.

If you don’t have a gas tank in your house at all, then you will need to install one for your grill. In this case, it might be cheaper to keep buying and refilling propane tanks.

Which fuel source provides more flexibility for grilling outdoors?

Propane tanks don’t require electric hookups or any special attachments to your home, which means you can take the grill and the tank almost anywhere. You can roll your grill away from the house so you are cooking in a safe space (most experts recommend at least 10 feet) or you can pack up your grill into your truck or RV and bring it camping with you. This is the more flexible option.

If you use a natural gas hookup, you will need to place your grill against your house. While this option is safe, it limits how you design your outdoor entertainment area.

Which option is more environmentally friendly?

If the impact on the environment is important to you when choosing between propane or natural gas, then lean toward natural gas. While the natural gas option is only slightly cleaner than propane, it is a better choice in the long run. Natural gas is also considered significantly cleaner than coal, which is why many grill owners choose this option in the first place.

Does the fuel source affect the taste of the food?

Some grill masters insist on cooking over charcoal briquettes or even wood chips while others prefer the speed and cleanliness of using gas. When it comes to the taste of the food, there really is no difference in flavor between natural gas and propane. Both elements are still gas and will drive the same results.

You can also expect similar cooking speeds and power levels regardless of your fuel source. One option won’t be faster than another.

Propane vs Natural Gas

Which is better: liquid propane vs. natural gas?

There is no clear winner in the battle between liquid propane vs. natural gas. The best choice really depends on your personal preferences. Even if you have a gas hookup in your home, you might decide to buy a propane grill because of its freestanding flexibility. Consider the costs and needs for your specific situation and use this information to choose your fuel source.

Top Gas Grills for Summer Entertaining

Once you decide between liquid propane vs. natural gas, you can move forward with choosing the best grill for your home. Here are a few top models that can elevate your outdoor grilling this summer.

Coyote C-Series Free Standing Natural Gas Grill-Stainless Steel

Coyote C Series Natural Gas Grill

Coyote C-Series Free Standing Natural Gas Grill

Start your grill search with this 28-inch model by Coyote. You can enjoy 640 square inches of cooking space to fire up meats and vegetables for your family and friends.

The premium stainless steel construction can withstand the elements and is easy to keep clean. You can prepare meals off of two high-performance Coyote IBURNERS™ that optimize energy usage while still creating an even cooking experience. These can be controlled by two knobs on the front.

This a natural gas-powered grill that will be an asset to any outdoor kitchen with the right hookups.

Coyote C-Series Built-in Liquid Propane Gas Grill-Stainless Steel

Coyote C Series Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Coyote C-Series Built-In Liquid Propane Gas Grill

If you like the Coyote C-Series model but don’t have a natural gas hookup in your home, look for the same grill that comes with a liquid propane connection. You can still place this grill in your outdoor kitchen and then connect a propane tank underneath.

This grill can fire up to 40K BTU of power to quickly cook your food to a safe temperature for consumption. Enjoy crispy vegetables with extra butter or tender ribs that fall off the bone. This grill comes with optional add-ons including a rotisserie kit and a smoker box. 

Coyote Outdoor Living C-Series 28" Free Standing Grill-Stainless Steel

Coyote Outdoor Living C Series Grill

Coyote Outdoor Living C-Series Free Standing Grill

There are also a variety of freestanding models you can choose from when searching for a grill. These are often preferred by homeowners who aren’t building outdoor kitchens and instead will set aside part of the patio or deck for cooking.

This grill uses natural gas, which means you can connect it to your home. It is 28 inches wide and nearly 50 inches high. It comes with two collapsible shelves where you can set plates when preparing food. Once grilling season comes to an end, fold down these shelves for easy storage throughout the winter.

Coyote C-Series Free Standing Liquid Propane Gas Grill-Stainless Steel

Coyote C Series Free Standing Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Coyote C-Series Free Standing Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Finally, consider choosing a liquid propane freestanding grill by Coyote for your backyard. You can place this grill almost anywhere in your yard for a flexible outdoor cooking setup. Lounge by the pool while you check on your burgers without having to walk back and forth to the deck. You can also opt for a stainless steel grill cart for added flexibility.

The double-walled stainless steel hood is meant to trap as much heat as possible in the grill. This makes cooking more efficient while also creating a safe appliance for your family.


Are liquid propane and natural gas grills the same price?

If you are in the market for a gas grill, you will find models that function with either liquid propane or natural gas. Many grills can use both sources of heat to cook your food, which means you won’t have to pay more for one option over another.

Why Trust Spencer’s TV & Appliance?

Since 1973, Spencer’s TV & Appliance has grown to 10 locations throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The secret to our longevity is simple: personal service. Customer satisfaction has always been the focus of our business, and throughout the years, we have been able to work hard with our suppliers to bring you the best prices. After all, getting customers the best price and personal attention is how we compete with big-box stores, day in and day out.

Not only do we offer top-rated appliances, name-brand electronics, and the best mattresses on the market but we also provide water treatment solutions and perform kitchen design services. Stop by your nearest Spencer’s and see what you’re missing!

Shop Outdoor Grills at Spencer’s

At Spencer’s TV & Appliance, we provide high-quality, name-brand products at great prices — check out our catalog to shop gas grills online today. Your friends in the business are always happy to help you choose between liquid propane vs. natural gas grills for your home. Call us, or better yet, stop by at one of our locations in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale regions. Visit us today!

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