Pellet Grill vs Gas Grill: Which Is Best?

Reviewed by [reviewed_by]

When deciding between a pellet grill vs gas grill, there are plenty of things to consider. Above everything else, you’ll want to make sure your choice is easy to use for the meats you typically work with.

It is also essential to opt for a design that is affordable but also boasts impeccable build quality. To help you decide which is the better choice between gas and pellet grills, let us take a close look at what each of them offers.

Are Pellet Grills Better Than Gas Grills?

There is some speculation that pellet grills can be better than gas grills, but it depends on your preference. Pellet grills can help maintain the moisture of your meat more effortlessly, but they can take longer to cook. Gas grills are continually improving and bringing new innovative features to the market.

Pros of Pellet Grills

Here are the benefits and advantages of using pellet grills:

1. Laid-Back Approach

If you’re not the type of person to babysit your grill, opting for a pellet grill can be a far better option.

Compared to gas, pellet grills cook slowly and thoroughly with minimal intervention and safety concerns. You’ll even find that many have easy-to-use features that allow you to monitor the cooking process remotely.

For example, some pellet grills are equipped with digital controllers that allow you to set specific cook times. You can even use a smartphone app to adjust the grill settings. The only maintenance you’ll have to consider with a wood pellet grill vs propane grill is making sure the hopper has enough pellets.

2. Minimal Maintenance

Because pellet grills typically cook for longer, most of the fats and grease will be burnt away, compared to gas grills. At most, you’ll have to clean the firepot and any juices and drippings that are collected. You could also opt to season the smoker after cooking to burn away any traces of food.

3. Superior Flavor

The number one reason why people suggest pellet grills are better than gas grills is their flavor profiles. With pellet grills, you will have a diverse selection of different types of wood that you can cook with.

Instead of using regular flavorless gas, these appliances allow you to inject different flavors into the meat.

A few of the most popular flavored pellets on the market include pecan, mesquite, hickory, and apple. There are plenty of manufacturers that have an extensive product list of fabulously flavored wood pellets. If you buy them in bulk, you’re likely to get better discounts than you would with gas canisters.

Another exciting aspect of the flavors from wood pellets is you can customize them to your liking. You could mix apple and mesquite pellets for a unique flavor for ribs and brisket.

pellet grill vs gas grill

4. Versatility

Interestingly enough, pellet grills are far more versatile than gas grills because they give you several different ways to cook. You can easily set the temperature low, close the lid for smoking, or use it as a traditional grill. Some of the higher-end models even allow you to sear and braise, as well.

5. Enhanced Moisture and Meat Quality

Most people who opt for gas grills search for a quick and efficient outdoor appliance for everyday meals. With a pellet smoker, you have more control over how your meat cooks, especially if you want juicier cuts.

Since this appliance cooks for longer times and at lower temperatures, you’ll find the inside of meat will be more moist. You might also find that it’s a preferable option for higher-quality cuts of meat that need more attention.

Cons of Pellet Grills

Like anything else, there are also drawbacks to using a pellet grill, including:

1. Initial Cost

With all the benefits of pellet grills, you’ll surely have to pay for it. Right out of the gate, you’re going to be spending more on a wood pellet grill vs propane grill.

Some of the least expensive units are a minimum of $500, and that’s before purchasing any wood pellets and cooking tools.

2. Lack of Maneuverability

A pellet grill requires wood for cooking but also electricity. When they are plugged into power, the unit can ignite the wood pellets to begin producing smoke.

Without electricity, you won’t be able to make sure the grill operates efficiently. You’ll also find that pellet grills need to be plugged in to regulate the hopper and cooking temperatures.

Otherwise, you’ll have to manually feed pellets into the unit and use standard thermometers to check the internal temperatures. Unless you can find portable pellet grills, they won’t prove to be as useful as gas options.

3. Cooking Speed

One of the most frustrating aspects of a pellet vs gas grill is the length of time they take to cook. You’re going to notice that you can spend a few extra hours cooking meals to perfection compared to a gas grill.

If you’re in the market for something quick and efficient for backyard gatherings, these models aren’t the best option.

Pros of Gas Grills

Now, let’s talk about gas grills and how it can help you better your cooking experience.

1. Temperature Versatility

You can guarantee that you’ll have access to far higher temperatures when cooking with a gas grill than a pellet grill. This is ideal for backyard chefs who want an appliance that will allow them to sear and caramelize their meat.

It can also enable you to quickly cook hot dogs and hamburgers, rather than waiting for them to smoke.

2. Price

As mentioned, pellet grills are going to cost a pretty penny, especially if you opt for ones with high-end features. On the other hand, gas grills are available from nearly every retailer, making their pricing more competitive.

Instead of spending several hundred dollars on an entry-level pellet grill, that money can get you an advanced gas grill.

3. Fuel Type

With pellet grills, the only type of fuel you will use is wood pellets, apart from needing electricity.

Gas grills, on the other hand, have a little more versatility. You can typically find models that can be hooked up to natural gas lines or use propane tanks. 

There are plenty of models that allow you to use both, which can be ideal in a pinch. For example, if you run out of propane, you can quickly hook up to your house’s natural gas line. You won’t have to worry about sourcing wood pellets at the last minute or having to refill your propane tank.

4. Customization

As gas grills are far more feasible for many households, you’ll find that most accessories are available for these models. Even if you’re buying directly from the manufacturer, you can typically customize your grill in several ways.

You can easily add a searing box to the grill’s side or add another grilling grate. There are plenty of options. If you’re deciding between a pellet grill or a gas grill, you can even buy a smoking box.

This unit can be attached to your grill’s side and allows you to slow cook meats, adding to your grill’s versatility.

Best gas grill under 500

What size grill do I need?

5. Easy to Use

Pellet grills are easy to handle once you learn their ins and outs, but gas grills are more well-known. With a gas grill, all you have to do is turn on the propane and ignite it to begin cooking. Pellet grills, on the other hand, require a little more experience.

You’ll need to know what type of wood pellets to choose, how many are required for your cooking time, and more when cooking on a pellet grill.

However, it’s essential to know that once you start mastering how to use your pellet grill, it can become just as simple as gas.

pellet grill vs gas grill

Cons of Gas Grills

With its many pros, are gas grills better than pellet grills? Using a gas grill also comes with its own set of disadvantages, some of which are:

1. Flavor

Unfortunately, as fast as gas grills cook, they also take away the luxurious taste of a pellet grill. As you won’t use flavored pellets to add a new experience to your meat, all flavors come from your seasoning.

This point means you could have to spend more time preparing your meats before cooking them on a grill.

2. Limited Heat Retention

The reduced heat retention of gas grills is why you will have to purchase a separate accessory for smoking.

These devices have substantial ventilation, much more than pellet grills, which also releases heat. You won’t be able to use a base model gas grill to smoke meat.

Best pellet smokers

3. Safety Concerns

One of the most significant concerns for homeowners is the safety of gas grills. Although manufacturers make their devices incredibly safe and up to standard, it doesn’t change that you’re cooking with gas.

These grills can cause a hazard, especially if they’re connected to your home’s gas line. It’s a good idea to consider some safety tips for grilling in your backyard, especially if this is your first season. Keep children and pets away from the grill.

How Long Does It Take for a Pellet Grill to Heat Up?

Where a pellet vs gas grill is comparable is in the length of time they take to heat up. Fortunately, both appliances can preheat pretty quickly, typically between 10 and 15 minutes.

You’ll find a great advantage to pellet grills, though, as they are specifically designed to prevent flare-ups when preheating.

Although they give you the ability to cook for longer at lower temperatures, getting it ready is as easy as a gas grill.

Is a Pellet Grill Good for Grilling?

With the right settings, you can get nearly the same results as the best barbecue grill from your pellet grill. However, it is highly unlikely that you can achieve the same without attachments.

Pellet grills are unique because they allow you to smoke and grill your meat in one unit. Unfortunately, because they don’t reach high temperatures like gas grills, you’re not likely to get the perfect sear for steaks.

If you want to sear meat, you’ll need to consider finding an attachment that will reach higher temperatures. With that said, if you’re not too interested in cooking at high temperatures, pellet grills can be incredibly useful for grilling.

Pellet Grill vs Gas Grill: Which to Choose?

Either model would be a fantastic addition to your household, but depending on how you cook, one could be better. When comparing a pellet grill vs gas grill, the most notable difference is flavor and cost.

Gas grills have no flavor apart from your seasonings, while pellet grills add customizable tastes. You might also find that gas grills are the least expensive option, especially with more bells and whistles. Although, if you want slow-cooked flavorful meats with a smoky texture, pellet grills are your best option.

Keep reading to learn more: