All About Grills: Gas vs. Pellet Grill

There’s a great barbecue debate happening online over the best grills. Gas and pellet grills are so popular that you may have a hard time choosing between the two. When you consider fuel choices, flavor, and features, selecting a grill can feel more like shopping for a car with today’s options.

What’s the best way to narrow down the field and find the right grill for you? When it comes to the battle of the barbeques, we want to help you understand the differences so that you will be happy with your outdoor grill purchase.

Battle of the Barbeques: What Kind of Grill Should I Buy?

America’s grilling obsession is not slowing down, with record sales as people have been cooking food at home and gathering outside. According to market research firm NPD, “more than 14 million grills and smokers [were] sold between April 2020 and February 2021, amounting to a 39% increase in dollar sales during the pandemic, compared to the same period a year [earlier.].”

At AES Hearth & Patio, we love to enhance your outdoor living experience, and we know a thing or two about grills. Whether you’re buying your first grill or are looking to replace your current one, we’ll help you decide between a gas vs. pellet grill .

Gas Grills: High Temps and Fast Flames

Historically the hottest sellers on the market, gas grills accounted for 54% of dollar sales in the second half of 2020. Let’s take a closer look at gas grills.

Ease of use: Perfect for both novice and expert grillers. With the press of a button and turn of a dial, you can ignite and adjust the temperature of a gas grill.

Fuel: Gas grills use either natural gas (which connects to a household gas line) or a propane tank. It’s important to note that as U.S. supplies drop, the cost of propane goes up—and is now at the highest price since 2014.

Temperature: Gas grills crank up the heat quickly and some can reach temps of 700 degrees. This translates to shorter cook times. With multiple burners, you can cook several foods at different temperatures at once.

Flavor: Because gas is odorless, your food’s taste depends on how you season it. A gas grill is also a good choice if you’re looking for a beautiful sear on your steak.

Versatility: A freestanding unit is portable, whereas a built-in gas grill integrates easily into a modern outdoor kitchen design.

Pellet Grills: Low and Slow Smokers

Pellet grills are skyrocketing in popularity, with more than one million units sold (a 38% revenue growth) in 2021. More similar to an oven, pellet cookers heat food slowly and can function as a smoker.

Ease of use: Pellet cookers have a bit of “set it and forget it” perk going for them. Pour wood pellets into the hopper (metal bin), set the temperature, add your food, and let it cook.

Fuel: Pellet grills must be plugged into an electrical source to power the convection fan. The heat is fueled by burning wood pellets made from sawdust. Wood pellets are attractive because they reduce dependence on fossil fuels by using recycled materials that would otherwise be wasted.

Temperature: Pellet grills do their best when smoking meats at temperatures between 200 and 300 degrees. You can load up your cooker and let it smoke for a few hours rather than feel the need to closely monitor it.

Flavor: When it comes to smoky flavor, pellet grills deliver. Not only are wood pellets a fuel source, but with varieties such as hickory, apple, and pecan, they’re also a flavor source.

Versatility: Like a gas grill, pellet grills can be freestanding or built into an outdoor kitchen.

Pellet vs. Gas Grill: Let Us Help You Decide

Everyone has unique priorities regarding what they want out of a grill. In fact, there are more options to consider beyond the pellet vs. gas grill debate. At AES Hearth & Patio, we offer an extensive selection of high-quality grills and grill accessories to fit your needs and your lifestyle.

If you’re ready to take the next step, we’d love to show you your options, share our expertise, and help you find the grill or smoker that’s best for you. Visit us at one of our AES Hearth & Patio showrooms and see for yourself.

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