Dear Therman: What About Natural Gas for Backyard Barbecuing?

Ask Therman

Dear Therman:

My wife and I moved to the Atlanta area a few months ago, and our new home uses natural gas for heating. It’s my first experience with natural gas, and I couldn’t be happier with how it’s working out. But I wanted to ask about natural gas for backyard barbecuing. I’m an old-school charcoal user, but my grill is rusted through, and it’s time for a new one. And now that I have access to natural gas, I’ve been thinking about an upgrade. Thoughts on the matter?

Signed,

LICENSED TO GRILL

Dear LICENSED:

Natural gas is one of the best options available for backyard grills. It burns clean, which is good for the environment. And it’s fast, inexpensive and readily available, as long as you’re set up for it.

You already have a gas line running into your home, from what you’ve said. But you’ll have to run a line out to wherever your grill will be located. And you’ll want to have a professional come out to do this, as well as making the connections from the line to your grill.

Purchasing a natural gas grill and getting it set up to work in your back yard will be a little bit of an investment at first. But it won’t take long for you to notice the benefits.

Gas grills (both natural gas and propane) are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. And more people are switching to them. Gas grills put out about half the carbon dioxide charcoal grills put out. And they only put out about 1/3 of what an electric grill puts out (based on power plant emissions).

And when comparing propane to natural gas, the latter has several advantages. For one, natural gas, on average, costs only about 1/3 of what propane costs. And you won’t be bothered with having to refill empty propane tanks. Natural gas is piped straight from the utility. And it’s considered safer than propane because it’s not as dense and dissipates into the air faster.

But what about taste, you ask? Well, there’s no issue there from my perspective. Most of that prized barbecue flavor comes from the drippings that burst into flame and smoke, not the fuel source.

Happy grillings,

Therman

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