Pellet Grill vs Gas Grill: Which is Better?


Regarding backyard grilling, there are two main types: pellet and gas. Both have pros and cons, but which is the better choice for you?

In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of both types of grills so that you can make an informed decision.

What is Pellet Grill?

A pellet grill uses wood pellets to cook food. It uses an auger that moves and feeds a certain amount of pellets into your cooker. Then it ignites them, so they start smoking, and soon enough, they ignite into flames.

These flames cook your food while giving off some nice flavors like smoke, sausage, grilled veggies, or fish, something a gas grill could never do.

Related: Best Portable Pellet Grills

How Does A Pellet Grill Work?

A pellet grill utilizes electricity to heat pellets of compressed sawdust. These pellets are fed into a firepot, which is burned at a high temperature. The smoke from these pellets is sucked up through an exhaust pipe and out of your grill.

Pellets can be made from just about any hardwood, but most manufacturers use hickory, mesquite, and oak because they burn so cleanly and evenly. Some people enjoy using different types of wood in their grills, while others prefer using only one type.

What is Gas Grill?

A gas grill, also called a barbecue grill, is a grill that heats with propane. Gas grills are portable and can be moved easily. They use bottled propane (which can run out) or natural gas (which requires infrastructure).

Gas grills are good at high-heat searing. Propane tanks come in varying sizes; it’s best to check what size your grill needs before purchasing or refilling an empty tank.

Related: Natural Gas vs Propane Grill

How Does A Gas Grill Work?

To light a gas grill, you’ll need to connect gas to the grill. This can be done by connecting it to your home’s natural gas line or using propane tanks. Then, turn on one of your burners and let it heat up. Always use tongs when adjusting or lighting your burners, as they get very hot!

Once one of your burners is lit, adjust its temperature with its knob until it reaches around 350-375°F. If you want to cook at higher temperatures (upwards of 400°F), leave your burners on high. But if you’re cooking something that requires lower temperatures, like fish or vegetables, turn off some of your burners.

What is the Difference Between Pellet Grill and Gas Grill?

There are several differences between pellet grills and gas grills. Here are some of them:

1. Operating costs

A pellet grill will require electricity and a wood pellet to operate. This means you need to pay extra money to use it. On the other hand, gas grills can be operated with propane or natural gas. This is a cheap option as these two sources are widely available.

Also, many people can use gas grills at once since they don’t produce smoke when operating, unlike pellet grills.

2. Ease of use

The truth is that gas and pellet grills are very easy to use. This means that both can be operated by anyone who knows using such devices. The only difference between them will lie in how they are powered (gas or pellets).

In addition, both grills have an automatic ignition system that allows users to start it with a push of a button. However, cleaning them up is a different story. When using a pellet grill, you’ll experience some barriers between cooking grates and firepots.

You need to remove these barriers before getting rid of grease and ash. On the other hand, when using a gas grill, everything is much easier since you don’t need to worry about grease or ash buildup. All you need to do is wipe off your grates with a paper towel after every use.

3. Versatility

Both gas and pellet grills can be used to cook many types of food. However, gas grills are more versatile since they can bake, roast, and even deep fry your foods. You’ll have more options when cooking with a gas grill.

On the other hand, pellet grills aren’t as versatile as gas grills since their primary function is to cook meats and seafood.

4. Temperature Control

Regarding temperature control, gas grills will be much easier to use since they have thermostats. This means that you can easily set them based on your desired temperature. But when using a pellet grill, it may not be so easy.

This is because there are no thermostats in these devices, so users will have to make some adjustments based on their experience in using such devices and keep checking for their preferred cooking temperatures.

5. Available extras

Due to competition in the market, pellet grills and gas grills are now available with many extra features. These features can be very useful when cooking different types of foods. However, these extra features will cost pellet grills more than gas grills.

The truth is that gas and pellet grills have advantages and disadvantages. This means you need to consider your needs before deciding which one will work best.

6. Temperature range

Gas grills have wider temperature ranges than pellet grills. This means that these devices can reach very high temperatures, allowing users to cook their meat faster and more effectively. Pellet grills, on the other hand, can only reach around 225 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

In comparison, gas grills can easily reach up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, so they’ll take less time when cooking large pieces of meat than a pellet grill.

Pellet Grill vs Gas Grill: Which is Better?

Gas and pellet grills have their pros and cons, but when it comes to comparing them head-to-head, a few different factors need to be considered.

These factors make each option unique, but ultimately they boil down to two simple questions: what do you want out of your grill, and how much money can you spend? Here are the factors that make each unique!

1. Temperature control

In terms of temperature control, pellet grills are considered the winner. Because they can maintain a consistent temperature throughout their grilling area, pellets can cook various foods. They also have an added benefit: they don’t flare up as much as gas grills.

When food burns on a gas grill it can leave behind residue that sticks to your food and tastes terrible. This isn’t a problem with pellets since there’s no open flame involved in cooking your food.

2. Temperature range

Gas grills are the winner when it comes to temperature range. The average gas grill can go from about 225 degrees Fahrenheit to about 600 degrees Fahrenheit, making them great for searing steaks and cooking other foods that require high temperatures.

Pellet grills, on the other hand, tend to have a much smaller temperature range—usually between 225 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Run time

The gas grill gives you approximately 20 hours of run time. With a propane tank, your grill can last several meals without needing to be refilled. Pellet grills, on the other hand, require electricity to work and have a much shorter run time.

A pellet grill set at 225 degrees Fahrenheit will only last about 8 hours; thus, if you’re planning on cooking multiple meals in one day, it might not be a good idea to use pellets.

4. Flavor of food

The pellets grill is the winner when it comes to the flavor of food. It can give you a more consistent flavor, and because pellets burn consistently, there’s less chance of flare-ups and burnt food. This makes them great for cooking meats that need to be cooked at low temperatures over long periods—like ribs or brisket.

This makes pellets an excellent option over gas grills if you want your meat to have a smoky taste.

5. Cooking options

The pellet grill wins when it comes to cooking options. Since they’re able to maintain a consistent temperature, pellets can be used to cook various foods.

This makes them great for anyone who wants a lot of versatility in their grilling options—whether you want to make burgers one night and ribs another, or if you want something that can be used year-round, pellets are a good option. The only drawback is that pellet grills are more expensive than gas grills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Pellet Grills Healthier Than Gas?

There is no great evidence that either grill will cook your food more healthily than another. However, some gas grills have come under fire recently due to their release of cancer-causing chemicals into your food.

If you want to ensure your food is as healthy as possible, opt for a pellet grill over a gas grill every time. With a pellet grill, all that goes into your food is heat and wood pellets; no chemicals or other pollutants will be introduced to your meal.

Are pellet grills safer than gas?

Pellet grills are considered a safer barbecuing option than gas grills. The reason why has to do with how they function. While gas grills use propane to ignite food, pellet smokers use wood pellets.

Wood pellets don’t contain any chemicals that make propane dangerous, so it’s less likely you’ll experience flare-ups or other accidents while using one. However, pellet grills have had some issues with faulty parts in recent years. If you suspect your grill may be faulty, opt for a gas grill instead.

Is A pellet grill worth it?

Yes, a pellet grill is worth it. Pellet grills are one of the most convenient ways to barbecue food. With a button press, you can start cooking without monitoring temperatures or waiting for your coals to heat up. And since wood pellets don’t burn as hot as propane, it’s less likely that your food will be overcooked by mistake.

Plenty of options are available when shopping for a pellet grill, from small tabletop models to larger ones meant for tailgating and parties. Whether you’re an experienced barbecue or just getting started, these products offer a fun and easy way to enjoy freshly grilled food anytime!

How Long Do Gas Grills Usually Last?

A gas grill can last long, depending on how well they are maintained. The average lifespan of a gas grill is 5 to 15 years, but if it’s used regularly and properly maintained, it could last even longer. Many factors affect how long your gas grill will last, including how often you use it and whether or not you take care of it properly.

Is A Pellet Grill A Smoker?

Yes, pellet grills are similar to smokers because they use wood pellets to smoke food instead of charcoal or propane. The main difference is that smokers often use them as dedicated smoking devices, while pellet grills can be used as both smokers and barbecues.

Some people even use their pellet grills as pizza ovens! Therefore, a pellet grill may be just what you need if you’re looking for a versatile device that can do it all.

Do Pellet Grills Taste Like Charcoal?

No, pellet grills can have a much different flavor than charcoal grills. Many people enjoy using their pellet grill because it allows them to cook with a unique flavor they can’t get from other barbecues. A pellet grill may be right for you if you want to taste your food differently and add some spice to your barbecuing routine.


Pellet and gas grills both have their pros and cons. They both offer different features that will appeal to different people. Pellet grills are a great option for smoking your food or cook at lower temperatures over longer periods.

If you’re looking for something that will sear your meat with high heat, then a gas grill may be more up your alley. Hopefully, this guide has helped you decide which type of grill is best for you.

Bobby Johnson

When he's not writing about barbecue, you can find Bobby smoking meat for friends and family. He's been a backyard pitmaster for roughly half his life, and has worked with nearly every cut of meat. Not everyone has a hands-on guide to teach them BBQ, but that's what Bobby hopes to do with Electric Smoker HQ. He wants to help people create amazing food that they can be proud of.