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Choosing the right BBQ for you: Propane, Natural Gas or Charcoal


Published: 01/21/2013

by Mike Kwiatkowski


Choosing the right BBQ for you: Propane, Natural Gas or Charcoal


The struggle when it comes to purchasing a new BBQ is the question of what fuel source is the best choice for grilling your favourite foods. Charcoal, natural gas and propane are the three leading contenders in this debate and Napoleon Gourmet Grills has come up with a few pointers to help understand the pros and cons for each.


“Each fuel has its own unique characteristics that not only add a different taste to your food, but also provide different benefits to using it,” said David Coulson of Napoleon Gourmet Grills. “We recommend doing your research and asking friends and family about their preferences in order to really determine what you think would best suit your needs.”


To help breakdown each fuel source’s benefits, Coulson provides the following suggestions:


Propane - This is the most common fuel associated with barbequing. It’s an ideal option for portability and it’s consistent in heat. The availability of propane also makes this fuel an attractive choice. The down side of propane is simply running out. Coulson suggests propane for summer and fall grillers or those that may only use the BBQ for family get-togethers. That being said, it is a great all around fuel that you can’t go wrong with, especially with a second back-up tank.


Natural Gas - If you want to alleviate the problem of running out of fuel, natural gas is a great choice. If you have access to natural gas and you do a lot of grilling, it provides a sense of ease with less to think about. Furthermore, natural gas is one of the cheapest forms of energy and has historically been much cheaper than electricity. Unfortunately, the portability of natural gas is severely limiting, thus causing your grilling experiences to only be at home, which may not be a problem for most grillers. Coulson suggests natural gas for the year round grillers and those that cook most of their meals on the BBQ during summer and fall.


Charcoal - This traditional grilling method most definitely adds the most flavour to the food you’re grilling. A charred smoky taste and the sight of glowing briquettes will bring back memories of your very first barbeque. The infrared energy emitted from the burning charcoal gently cooks your food, while also keeping things considerably moist. Unfortunately, with charcoal, like propane, you can run out, but you can always stay stocked up on briquettes just in case. If you’re looking for the most flavour, charcoal might be your best bet. Coulson suggests charcoal for the BBQing connoisseur who doesn’t mind the extra time and care it takes to grill meals to their smoky perfection. 


“In the end you really can’t go wrong with any of the three. It’s more about what fuel better suits your specific needs and tastes,” said Coulson.


About Napoleon Fireplaces & Grills

It all began in 1976 when a small steel fabrication business launched by Wolfgang Schroeter started manufacturing steel railings in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. At that time, no one could imagine the incredible future that lay ahead for Wolf Steel Ltd., and eventually Napoleon® Fireplaces and Napoleon® Gourmet Grills. Since the first wood stove rolled off the production line over 35 years ago, Wolf Steel's commitment was to be distinctive and successful in everything they do. The Napoleon's commitment to producing quality products combined with honest, reliable service has proven to be a successful framework to ensuring the continued rapid growth of the company. Napoleon® is an ISO9001 - 2008 registered company and now operates with 750,000+ square feet of manufacturing space and over 700 employees. We are North America's largest privately owned manufacturer of quality wood and gas fireplaces (inserts and stoves), gourmet gas and charcoal grills, outdoor living products, waterfalls and now a full line of HVAC equipment.

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