Knowing Your Fuels
Gas grills can be fueled using propane in a portable cylinder or natural gas that is delivered via underground pipes from a home's natural gas supply to a permanently installed grill.
Half (50 percent) of all gas grill owners have their LP (liquid propane) cylinders refilled for them, while the other half (50 percent) find it more convenient to take their empty cylinder to an LP exchange center at a nearby store to get a new, filled cylinder.
However, 45 percent of all gas grill users own two or more LP cylinders so they never have to risk running out of gas!
Gas grilling is now safer than ever thanks to a mandate from the National Fire Prevention Association that only cylinders with an overfill prevention device (OPD) may be exchanged or refilled. This prevents the cylinder from being filled more than 80 percent -creating a potential fire hazard when rising temperatures cause propane gas to expand and unintentionally be released into the air.
Learn about propane cylinder exchange services.
More than 57 percent of charcoal grill owners use regular charcoal briquettes. (21 percent use the instant-light variety.)
Natural wood smoke flavoring pellets are fast gaining in popularity, are easy to use (no pre-soaking required) and available in 12 flavors, all natural, and made from 100 percent of the wood indicated (hickory, orange, sugar maples, etc.).
A majority of charcoal grill owners light the grill using lighter fluid (37 percent) or instant light/light the bag charcoal (17 percent). Some use a chimney-type lighter (13 percent) or electric lighters (7 percent). The chimney lighter is the fastest way to get the coals glowing and requires only about two pounds of briquettes, a crumpled newspaper page, and a match.
Many people haven’t yet heard of pellet grills, but as gas prices continue to rise, they’re becoming increasingly popular. Small wood pellets, in a variety of “flavors” such as hickory, mesquite, and oak, provide the energy source and infuse the food with flavor from the resultant smoke. Pellet grills are especially attractive because they are energy efficient and clean burning.
Some pellet grills have a dual-fuel unit that can switch over to gas which can reach higher temperatures than pellets. Increasingly, these models include microprocessor-based circuit boards that manage the grill’s entire operation including temperature regulation.
Prices for pellet grills generally range from about $600 to $2500.