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Picture this, a warm Sunday afternoon out at the backyard with your friends or family, a nice smoky smell in the air has you salivating and you are about to enjoy an amazing BBQ meal… hold on! You don’t have a grill, but you could get one. The only question left is which one to get, a pellet grill smoker, or a gas grill? What’s the difference anyway? Well, the main difference is that pellet grill smokers use wood pellets as fuel while gas tanks use propane or natural gas. We will break it down further to help you make an informed choice.
Pellet Grill Smokers
This type of cooker doubles as a smoker as well as a grill. Pellet grills are usually fueled by wood pellets, which are made out of compressed sawdust to give your meals a nice smoky grill flavor. These types of grills are specifically designed for slow cooking and therefore have lower temperatures. Just like any other type of grill, pellet grill smokers have their pros and cons.
Convenient: Pellet grill smokers are super convenient as you only have to set them up and once that’s done, they do all the cooking for you. No need to go back and forth checking on the food, just kick your feet up, enjoy a chilled drink or mingle with your guests as your food is saturated with all that yummy goodness.
Flavorful: We already mentioned that pellet grill smokers give your food a nice smoky flavor but did you know you can also control the kind of flavor you want? With different wood options available such as applewood and hickory, you can customize the flavor to your taste.
Versatile: There is so much you can do with a pellet grill smoker from grilling, to smoking, baking, and even roasting.
Efficient: Thanks to the convection fan and the pellets, a pellet grill heats up quite fast and doesn’t waste much fuel or energy in the process.
Easy to maintain: Pellet grills are pretty much mess-free as compared to other types of grills. All you’ll have to do is to clean the cooking surfaces when done and clean out the fire pot every so often.
Expensive: Even though pellet smokers provide you with more flavor, they are on the pricier end of the scale.
Power: Unfortunately pellet grills need to be plugged into electricity in order to power the fan and other features of the grill so you will need to have access to a power source whenever you want to use it.
Pellet availability: It is harder to get your hands on smoking pellets as compared to coal so when you do find the kind you like, it is best to stock up.
Temperature: With pellet grills, you end up trading the sear marks because of the lower temperatures for a smoky flavor.
Slow: Due to the lower temperatures, pellet grills are also slower.
Gas grills are designed for medium to high heat and quick cooking times. They are usually fueled by liquid propane or natural gas although the majority of the gas grills available use liquid propane. The type of gas grill you opt for will depend on your specific needs. For example, if you need your gas grill to be portable, it’s best to go for one that uses liquid propane as with natural gas, you need to have a gas line installed in your house.
Affordable: As compared to pellet grills, gas grills are more affordable so you are bound to find one that is ideal for your budget.
Temperature: Gas grills enable you to attain higher cooking temperatures, which is perfect if you want your meals to have those amazing grill marks. The temperature also makes it ideal for different types of food.
Speed: Gas grills take a shorter amount of time to heat up and your food will be ready in no time.
Accessories: Gas grills offer you more flexibility as you can add some extra features and accessories to customize your grill to your needs. These accessories include rib racks, sear burner, pizza stones, a sear burner, and a griddle pan.
Easy to maintain: Gas grills are also hassle-free, all you need to worry about is cleaning the grill surfaces once you are done cooking.
Flavor: Seeing as gas has no flavor, you will not get that smoky flavor that you would expect from a grill. The best you will have to work with is seasoning.
Heat retention: Gas grill cannot be used as smokers because they are poor when it comes to heat retention due to the amount of ventilation that they need.
Temperature control: Maintaining a specific temperature on a gas grill is difficult. It will take you some time to learn how to adjust the heat to get it to just the right level. However, do not be discouraged, the more you use the grill the better you will understand how to use it and control the temperature.
Safety: So many things can go wrong when cooing with gas such as explosions or spills so it is important that you are extremely careful when handling your gas grill. Ensure that you use it in an open space to reduce any risks and also review your local rules and regulations.
When you are trying to figure out which grill to get between a pellet grill smoker and a gas grill, it all comes down to what you want to prepare and how much you are willing to spend. If your main concern is taste, flexibility, and quality, plus you have the money to spare, then a pellet grill smoker may be the better option for you. Furthermore, you don’t have to manage the fire. On the other hand, if you are on a tight budget and require a grill that is faster with a higher temperature range that you can easily control and enables you to sear your meat, then a gas grill would be the perfect option for you.