before i buy a new Natural Gas grill...

Any upfront advice on burner type and material that I should stay away from? I am MOST concerned about EVEN heat distribution. AND some say 36,00 BTU. some 45K etc...can someone tell me exactly what that means as far as efficiency? Is it per hour use?
Thanks
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GotBonus wrote:

Could you elaborate on why you would want natural gas over propane? Even though I have natural gas for heating and cooking in my home, I am not the least bit interested in running a pipe and connector through the wall to the outside where I could plug in a special gas line to the grille. I wouldn't want to take the risk associated with a faulty connector. I like the ability to shut the propane bottle off completely. With the propane exchange plan at our local Home Cheapo store, it is easy to swap bottles and keep a spare on hand. I have cooked with both natural gas (at home) and propane (in our trailer) and for a given size flame, propane seems to be a lot hotter.
I could never bring myself to invest megabucks in a grille, and all the burners I have used, stainless steel, cast iron, etc., eventually rust out, especially the so called stainless that have more iron in them than my vitamin supplements. I'd recommend cast iron, with the caveat that you should be able to find replacement burners at a reasonable cost. I like some of the newer grilles where the burner is completely shielded from drippings by a piece of metal that forms a tent over the burner. The drippings hit the metal, and the smoke from the drippings comes back to flavor the meat.
Are you going to roast a pig or cook burgers? I think 36K BTU is adequate for just about everything unless your grille is as long as a football field. Higher numbers, IMO, are just sales gimmicks.
Lena
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The natural gas line will also have a shutoff valve. It s cheaper to oeratie, does not run out in the middle of cooking, does not require hauling bottles, is safer as you don't have 20 pounds of gas sitting under the hot grill, you don't haul 20 or 40 pounds in the trunk of your car. ,
With the propane exchange plan at our local Home Cheapo

Both can have the same output.

Unless the overall size of the cooking area is larger and higher output is needed. Grills come in sizes from 18" wide to 72" wide and all have burner sized accordingly. You can always turn down a larger burner, but if too small, it cannot be boosted if needed to sear a steak.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Hmm, plug into natural gas...never thought of that.
My natural gas grill is set in concrete and permanently connected to the gas.
I wouldn't recommend trying to hook up one of those roll around grills to NG.
But I absolutely love never getting a propane tank filled, always having gas available, and always having the grill on one place.
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Code is that the grill must be solidly mounted.
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Not here in BC. Mine is connected to the quick release coupling on the patio pillar by a 10 Ft. rubber hose (although I don't roll it around-I could)
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Dan Espen wrote:

At the rate we use the propane for the BBQ, we might use two or three 20# bottles a year. Yes, it is a pain if you have your own bottle, and must make a special trip to a refill center, wait for someone to come out and refill your tank. But if you use the exchange program from a place you visit anyway, like Home Cheapo, you drop your empty off on the way in and tell the cashier you want a replacement on the way out, pay about $12 and you're done. Since we have a shed in the back yard, it is no problem to store a spare out of the elements, and it's handy if the one on the BBQ runs out. Since months go by between running out of gas, there is plenty of time to get a replacement.
If one is careful to keep a spare handy, running out of gas is only a temporary thing, and then other factors like price, quality and mobility predominate.
BTW, if one tried to convert a propane grill to use natural gas, wouldn't the orifices on each burner have to be changed? Are these orifices commonly available where grills are sold? At Home Cheapo?
Lena
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And backup. Your gas supply network could be attacked or have an accident. The propane fueled grill could then serve as a backup (if you use natural gas for your stove).

Yes.
Certainly from the manufacturer.
Don <www.donwiss.com> (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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This is a populuar topic here, and I wanted to say this the last time. Not about grills but about my frien'ds GE gas wall-mounted oven: it could be converted from NG to propane and back just by adjusting the air intake.
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On Fri, 23 Jun 2006 21:27:59 -0400, Dan Espen

My brother's last house had that, built into a sandstone wall around their patio. The wall matched or complemented the house construction, stone facing iirc. The wall and grill looked like somethign one could do himself, and the gas too I guess. I don't know how much it cost or how much they used it, but it certainly gave a luxury look to the patio, and the whole house to some extent.
With NG, if there were a leak, wouldn't it be better if it were outside than inside?
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Budget? They come in all price ranges, and you do get what you pay for.
I have a Vermont Castings VC200 that is excellent. If I was buying again tomorrow, I'd consider the Signature Series by them, or a Napoleon with the infra-red burners. A good grill is at least $500, a very good grill is over $1000. We use ours a lot and it has held up well for many years now.
As for Btu, that is the amount of heat it can put our. The larger the grill, the more you need to get the same heat all over. an 18" grill may be good with only 20k, but a 60" will need at least 60k for a lot of steaks. Size should be determined by your needs. Just the two of you? Small is OK, but if you have large gatherings, you want a 48" or more.
Stainless steel looks pretty, but is a PITA to keep clean. I like and use my side burner and rotisserie burner a lot, but YMMV.
Other brands to consider are MHP (Modern Home Products), Broilmaster, Broil King, Weber.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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I appreciate all the replies. This is being done from a convenience point of view, there are only two of use, but we occasionally cook for up to 6. No need for a sideburner, but may consider one just in case. I have seen the Vermont casings unit, and tend to like them in appearance( not real fond of the stainless units), the Weber look cheap and no very well designed ergonomically really( burner controls are in weird spots)
I am tired of the grill that we have now( very uneven cooking), and we have run out of gas at inopportune times before. I already have the gas line stubs in several places on the patio. a couple quick connects and I am set. I will check codes on the mobility issue, but the reality is eventually the unit will be built in.
Is there some kind of formula for determining best grill size to BTU ratio?
Also , is it true that the HD has some sort of big sale on the floor units about mid summer?( probably doesn't matter as they are all Propane)
Thanks again
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GotBonus wrote:

Yes, 50% off when I got one. But you must examine them carefully to be sure all the parts are there. Mine had a drip tray missing, didn't realize it, made a temporary one out of scrap metal and the manufacturer sent me a replacement free of charge.
Lena
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I prefer the heavier grates as opposed to the smaller stainless steel type. The heavier ones hold more heat when they get hot, which helps put nice sear marks on meat.
As far as BTU's, I've never seen one yet where it was inadequate. Generally, the BTUs are gonna track the size of the grill. If you have two that are the same size, but have diff BTUs, the only difference you are likely to see would be the one with higher BTUs will heat up faster. After that, I think they will both do about the same job of cooking. I rarely have mine on high anyway, except when it's first heating up.
Another new feature is many grills now use a battery for electronic ignition. Not sure how reliable this is over the long term compared to the conventional piezo-electric type.
As for propane vs natural gas, I've had both and believe natural gas is the way to go. More convenient, safer, cheaper to opperate. The only downside is the initial installation of the gas line. For safety, I can't recall hearing of an accident with an outdoor natural gas grill. With propane tanks, I have read of plenty of accidents as well as major explosions. To refill it, you wind up driving with a tank of highly flammable gas in your car. Propane tanks can be OK if used correctly, the risk is not real high and I would use one if I had to. However I think the claim that natural gas is more dangerous is false..
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I guess you can do a Btu to square inch of primary cooking surface analysis. In general, more is better as you can turn the burners down.
HD does have a mid summer sale, IIRC, but they do not have the best selection of grills if you want something really good. They handle Vermont Castings, but the models they have are made for the mass market. The Signature series is a better quality. Take a look at some of the propane dealers and outdoor furniture shops, etc. You may pay a few $ more, but over the next 15 or so years, you will enjoy a better product.
AFAIK any brand of propane grill can be converted to NG.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Many grills come in nat gas or propane versions when you buy them, but most cannot be converted. I was recently helping a friend buy a new one. He's renting a condo while looking for a house to buy. So, he wanted one that could be converted. Most cannot. Wound up buying a CharmGlow or CharmBroil (can't remember which), because they were the only one we could find that would convert. They offer a kit for $50 and actually show the dual fuel capability as a key feature.
Not sure why the others don't offer this. Could be a liability concern, or maybe there just isn't enough demand.

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GotBonus wrote:

The sale at home depot is for one day only, isn't advertised and only covers their cheaper models. You are in the same boat as I was. Check out the VTC400 at home depot. They carry it in natural gas. It has some stainless parts, others are porcelain coated. The hood is porcelain. Its high BTU 3 burner. No side burner. Its well made and is under $400. Get the Vermont castings cover for it. Its well bade and fits nice. If they do not have the natural gas version in stock then ask them to get it for you. Another store in the area may have it.
Good luck
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If I buy this grill, can I at some point install it into a built-in unit? I'd hate to spend $800 or more for a built-in grill when I can get one for under $400 that will do everything I need. I asked this same question at Home Depot and they shrugged their shoulders and were more interested in selling a grill than figuring it out.
Thanks, Kevin

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From what I can see of different brands, the main difference is the base. Contact VC and see if they make some sort of frame for it to sit in as a built in. I'm sure you can make something if need be.
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Thanks for the advice! I called CFM (parent company for VC?) and was told that there is no way to do what I want - he mumbled something about heat distribution and clearance and said there are no grills that can be mounted as such. I think it's time to find a local vendor (Phoenix area) that specializes in those types of things...
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