Grilling 101: All About Grill Fuels
Grill fuels don't just determine what sort of maintenance a new grill needs, they also cook foods differently, take varying times to heat up and have differing costs. It's no surprise that when most buyers think about getting a new grill they first consider what type of fuel they prefer. So whether you're looking for a cost-effective option, trying to branch out with your grilling techniques, or just want to compare options, here are the different grill fuels available today and what makes them unique.
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Propane is the traditional gas grill option, a modern fuel with many advantages. Attach a small tank of propane to your grill, open it up and you have an instant source of heat that you can easily control. Propane grilling is based on burners that channel and light the gas with ignition systems. Some grills have one or two small burners, while larger versions can have much bigger arrays. This makes propane ideal for larger grill stations and parties where you have to cook multiple foods at different temperatures, setting one burner for patties and one for veggies, for example.
Because of the ease of use, propane is a great option when first learning how to grill or when choosing a low-maintenance, easy grill that you can take out on a whim. The grill won't produce the same delicious smokey flavor that charcoal and wood chips can impart, but it gets results fast and grill models quickly scale up with plenty of extra room, advanced sensors and more.
Propane is also quite affordable, albeit slightly complicated to manage. You can buy a 20-pound tank for around $30. When the tank starts to empty, you can take it to a store and exchange it for a full version. Today's tanks are quite safe as long as you practice proper maintenance and protection. However, they are more complex than charcoal grills, which means a greater chance of something going wrong.