best fuel for bbq

What is the best fuel for BBQ?

Once you bring home a new outdoor cooker, the experience of buying a grill for your backyard should be fun and fairly trouble-free but there are many factors to consider. Just as grills come in different shapes, sizes and colors, there are different ways to heat your grill which should be considered. But what is the best fuel for BBQ?

6 Sources to Fuel Your BBQ

1. Natural Gas

For a few factors, the natural gas is a great source of fuel. It’s inexpensive and if plumbed into your residence the supply is seemingly endless.

Gas is very cheap as a source of fuel and you may not even see much of a difference in your utility bill depending on how often you barbecue. Gas grills are ready to go all day, every day they are connected to your home, being connected to the utilities. It’s easy but you lose some flavor in return.

fuel sources

2. Propane

Liquid propane tanks are inexpensive and can be purchased at a variety of locations including grocery stores and hardware stores. Tanks are easy to replenish. Several large retail stores have propane exchange programs where you trade your empty liquid propane tank for a fresh one, filled for the cost of the fuel; that gets you grilling faster than waiting for a certified propane specialist to replenish your tank.

If you’re serious about grilling with propane, it’s probably a good idea to have at least one full spare tank on hand at all times. Propane burns hot and clean, but like natural gas, it may not be as sweet as charcoal.
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Propane Grill
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3. Charcoal Briquettes

This is one of the Barbecue backyard’s most known and classic sources of fuel. Charcoal briquettes are designed to act as a convenient and reliable source of fuel.

Some charcoal briquettes come pre-soaked in a chemical designed to help bring the coals to light with just one match. Although the approach is more practical for this form of charcoal, the flavour may be unpleasant and acrid.

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4. Hardwood Charcoal

A lesser-known charcoal fuel, hardwood lump charcoal, is gaining popularity in part due to the lack of chemicals or fillers usually applied to the fuel source. Hardwood lump charcoal resembles wood that had burned in a bonfire and was then smothered and extinguished instantly.

5. Wood Pellets

For use in pellet grills, food-quality wood pellets tend to be relatively new to the grilling and barbecue scene, but have been available for about three decades.

All-natural wood pellets are about the size of a baked bean and are made from a variety of trees to suit different meats well. White meats such as chicken and pork consume fruitwood flavours, such as cherry and apple. Beef takes good on hardwood flavors such as hickory and mesquite, and fish often works well with pellets of cedar or alder wood.

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6. Electricity

Although less common among the barbecues in the backyard, electric grills can be a welcome addition to your kitchen quiver, especially when space is at a premium. Electric grills are typically lighter and smaller making them ideal for a balcony or someone living in an apartment.

Compared to gas or charcoal grills, electric grills cook, adding direct heat to your food to produce beautiful flavors and colors. Because electrical grills are often smaller, they can be ideal for gathering intimately. You probably wouldn’t want to take on an item that takes a lot of hours to cook, like a brisket or turkey on holiday.

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Read Our BBQ Cleaning Guide: