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Pellet Grill vs. Gas Grill – How To Pick Which One You Should Get?

In this article, I’ll be comparing two types of grills, the pellet grill, and the gas grill.

If you’re looking for a new BBQ option for your backyard this year, pay attention as we compare these popular grill options, review their pros and cons, and put them head-to-head.

Before we can compare the grills, let’s define what each grill is.

What are Pellet Grills?

The primary fuel source for the pellet grill is electricity and small wooden pellets.

They will usually have a hopper attached and you’ll need to add the pellets to the hopper.

Once you have added the pellets inside the hopper, you need to switch on the grill and set your ideal cooking temperature.

These barbecue grills have an auger that connects the hopper to a burning pot, located below the cooking area.

Depending on the temperature you set, the hopper releases a certain amount of pellets into the burning pot.

As the wooden pellets burn the grill area heats up and cooks your food.

Related: How Do Pellet Grills Work? And The Benefits Of Using One

What are Gas Grills?

Most of us have seen a gas grill, it’s the standard barbecue you’ll see in most yards and looks like a large rectangular silver or black box on wheels.

These grills use either natural gas or propane as their source of fuel.

Pellet Grills vs. Propane/Gas Grills: Head-to-Head Comparison

You can read the detailed comparison’s below for each grill. But we’ve also put together this table for a quick reference to see where each grill excels.

**Yellow indicates which grill offers the best features in each category.**

Pellet Grills vs. Gas Grills - Comparison Table & Key Features
Pellet Grills vs. Gas Grills – Comparison Table & Key Features

Based on our comparison table above you can see that in our opinion a pellet grill is the better option.

There are many more Pros And Cons Of A Pellet Grill that we couldn’t fit into the table.

Temperature Control

When evaluating temperature control, pellet grills are very efficient since the temperature is maintained and controlled automatically on a pellet grill.

All you need to do is set the temperature you want, and the grill will do the rest and be ready after a few minutes.

By contrast, a gas grill is a little more challenging to regulate the temperature.

Temperature controls on a gas grill are simply gauges that indicated low, med, and high.

You’ll then need to use a separate or built-in thermometer to find out what the temperature is.

Maintaining your desired temperature is a little more manual with a gas grill as well.

You’ll need to adjust and monitor the controls throughout your grilling session.

If you are looking for ease of use, then the pellet grill win’s hands down. However, if you don’t mind being in control, maybe a gas BBQ works for you.

Winner: Pellet Grill

Temperature Range

Controlling the temperature is one thing, but how hot your grill can get is another thing.

Most pellet grills cannot hit high-temperature ranges and usually max out around 450 or 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pellet grills are ideal for operating at a mid-range temperature between 200 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the other hand, a gas barbecue grill can operate at a high cooking temperature of 700 degrees.

The place where a gas grill struggles, as we mentioned, is maintaining a consistent temperature.

Gas grills do have a much wider temperature range even though it has difficulty maintaining a consistent temperature.

If it’s high temperatures, your after go with a gas grill.

Winner: Gas Grills.

Flavor

Okay, this category isn’t even close.

Pellet grills add so much more flavor to your food when compared to a gas barbecue.

While you can add accessories to a gas grill to get some smoky flavor, a gas grill on its own lacks an authentic smoky texture.

With a pellet grill, you can mix different flavors and types of wooden pellets to achieve a unique taste.

If it’s the flavor you’re after, pellet grills run away with this one.

Winner: Pellet Grills

Cooking Versatility

Both the pellet grill and gas grill offer a variety of cooking options.

Manufacturers keep improving the technology behind these grills and launching new barbecue grill models with new features every year.

However, I still believe the pellet grill outshines the gas grill in terms of cooking options, as you can use a pellet grill like an oven and a smoker without needing to purchase any extra accessories.

At the same time, you can also get additional accessories such as a rotisserie, cooking trays, gloves, or spatulas with a gas grill to have more cooking options.

I’ll call this one a draw.

Winner: Draw

Time Range

When looking at the operation time, a gas barbecue grill can run for about 20 hours on a standard propane tank, and if you are a natural gas user, you can run your gas grill for as long as you pay your monthly bills.

A gas grill is also more flexible when it comes to consecutive cooking sessions.

When we look at the pellet grill, a standard bag of wooden pellets is likely to keep the smoke going for about 8 hours.

If you’re interested you can read more about how long wood pellets will burn.

However, if you wish to have consecutive cooking sessions on your pellet grill, you’ll need to refill the pellets.

When it comes to how long you can cook, we’ll give this to the gas grill.

Winner: Gas Grills

Money Value

Most gas grills are less expensive than pellet grills; you can buy a decent gas barbecue for about $ 100.

However, top-of-the-line pellet grills start from about $300 and can quickly go up to $1500.

Pellet grills cost more because of features like PID Controllers, WiFi, and digital control panels.

If you’re looking for the best value-for-money option and are willing to sacrifice some convenient features, then go for the gas barbecue.

Winner: Gas Grills

Operation and Control

Both grills are relatively easy to use and control.

With the pellet grill, you need to add the wooden pellets inside the hopper, set the temperature, and then wait for the grill to heat up.

The automatic temperature controls will increase and decrease the heat depending upon the type of food you are cooking in your pellet grill.

When cooking on a gas grill, you’ll need to turn on the gas, set your temperature range from low-med-high, and manually adjust the dial if the barbecue is too cold or too hot.

We’ll give this one to the pellet grill since a gas grill requires slightly more attention to control during use.

Winner: Pellet Grills

Video: Gas Grill vs Pellet Grill (Should I buy a gas grill or a pellet smoker?)

Here is a great comparison video with a ton of information. They compare a Weber gas grill with a Traeger Pellet grill. It’s interesting to see how they each cooked a steak.

Other Type Of Grills

Infrared Grills

These infrared barbecue cooking grills are similar to a gas barbecue grill.

The main difference is that the infrared barbecue grill uses electricity or gas to burn a ceramic’s reactive substance.

This reactive substance produces infrared waves to heat the food and the cooking area instantly.

You can literally cook your food in a matter of a few minutes! Likely because they reach high temperatures of up to 700 Fahrenheit.

The main reason you don’t see infrared barbecue grills that often is due to their high price. Infrared grills start from $800 and can quickly go up to $1500.

Charcoal Grills

This grill mainly uses a mixture of coal or lump coal as its fuel to heat up the barbecue.

The food will cook at a slower pace on a charcoal grill as the coal requires extra time to burn completely and heat the barbecue.

Aside from the great flavor, you can achieve on a charcoal grill; there are also a few downsides to using a charcoal barbecue grill, such as;

  • Temperature regulation.
  • Controlling and maintaining the precise temperature for cooking on a charcoal grill is very complex.

A good charcoal grill will cost around $300, whereas a cheap charcoal grill costs you about $30.

Charcoal grills are also available in different styles like the ones below:

Brazier Grill

A brazier grill is a type of barbecue grill wide and open; you are most likely to see this type of grill in open areas such as parks and gardens.

Kettle Grill

Then, the kettle grill is either round or square in shape and often comes with a tripod.

You can control this barbecue grill’s temperature with the help of an air vent present inside the grill.

Barrier Grill

The third type of charcoal grill is a barrier grill, and this cooking grill is in the shape of a large cylinder.

Earlier versions of the barrier grill were made from full-size barrels.

This barbecue cooking grill has a lower and upper grate. The lower grate helps store coal, and the upper grate helps cook food items.

You will often find these grills with small legs due to their big and bulky size.

Cart Grill

This type of charcoal cooking grill resembles the shape and size of a cart very closely.

A cart-style barbecue grill can be either a charcoal grill as well as a gas grill.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a pellet grill for grilling?

Yes, you can use a pellet barbecue grill for grilling as well as smoking your food.

To grill or sear on your pellet grill, you would require high temperatures. To do this some models offer a sear box that can be attached as an accessory.

Do you need a gas barbecue grill if you have a pellet barbecue grill?

No, you do not necessarily need to own a gas grill along with a pellet barbecue grill.

But if you wish to cook food at high temperatures regularly, you may want a gas barbecue grill.

A significant drawback of the pellet grill is its inability to maintain high temperatures.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article helped you understand the various aspects of these two grill options.

In the end, use the above information and understand what’s important to you.

I enjoy the smoky flavor and willing to wait for the pellet grill to cook my meal as I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family.

Maybe you like a more hands-on approach to your grilling routine; if that’s the case, get a gas grill.

Lastly, if you’re still not sure which grill is the best check out one of these articles: