The different BBQ types and their advantages

Are you looking to acquire a BBQ? You may need a short lesson on the major fuel types that are available on the market.

According to our team of experts at House of BBQ Experts, it is better to, first, establish your profile to find the type of fuel that will be best suited to your needs, and then, to find the BBQ that will suit you better depending on the latter.

First of all, you should know that a BBQ cannot work with several types of fuels. A propane BBQ, for example, is only compatible with propane; you cannot use wood with it. That said, it is possible to have your BBQ converted. It's true, some people want to absolutely keep their BBQ, but propane is prohibited in their new place of residence. Hence, they call a certified expert to convert their BBQ into a charcoal BBQ, for example. You can imagine, however, that there is a good chance that their bill will be expensive…

Although there are several types of fuels, it is impossible to say which one is better (to crown a fuel “BBQ king”), because they all have positive and negative points when compared between one another and they are all good options to consider.

Each type of fuel has many advantages, it all depends on what your needs are

As in everything, there are amateurs, enthusiasts, and pros in the BBQ world, so it's best to choose your BBQ based on what you like and your personality type.

Steak Image

Propane and natural gas BBQs

If you love everything BBQ, but don't see yourself dedicating your whole morning to cooking a meal (you’d rather spend more time enjoying the food than cooking it), then propane models are an excellent option. Indeed, if you are the type of person that has to go back and forth between the bedroom to change the baby's diaper, and the living room to watch a hockey game, but that still wants to quickly satisfy your guests’ and/or your family’s craving, then this type of BBQ is a wise choice for you since it can rapidly reach the desired temperature.

That said, depending on the legislation of your city, opting for a natural gas BBQ is probably a better choice if you live in a condo.

Either way, propane and gas are good options and work the same way. Lighting a gas or a propane BBQ is very quick and easy to do: you simply have to turn a knob and your BBQ will be ready in a few minutes.

Propane and gas BBQs are perfect for meals that require short cooking sessions, such as burgers, kebabs or chicken thighs, and are ideal for people who are "in a hurry" to taste their creations. Nevertheless, know that if you are looking for a quality propane or natural gas BBQ, you will pay the price accordingly.

Wood BBQs

BBQ experts and connoisseurs can confirm that nothing compares to the tastes of meals that are cooked on a wood BBQ. Steaks, sausages, and meats of all kinds can be cooked on one for hours without any inconvenience and be infused with a luscious smoky taste. This tasty reward is not without merit though. Indeed, this type of BBQ is the one that requires the most effort and supervision; a log needs to be added in at (approximately) every 45 minutes so that everything can be cooked properly.

What is great about it, however, is that you can also get wood chips at House of BBQ Experts and add some to your wood in order to get more aromas and a smokier taste out of your meal. There exist several kinds of wood chips: oak, cherry, hickory... some are even infused with flavors like bourbon! Also, in case you didn't know, wood ash is compostable, so you don’t need to shy away from adding wood chips, you can go ahead and add as much as you want.

Charcoal Sausages

Charcoal BBQs

These BBQs have a bad reputation because of the amount of time they require to heat up (unlike a propane BBQ, which reaches the desired temperature quickly, a charcoal BBQ “heats up slowly", meaning that you have to wait for the charcoal to reach the right temperature), but their strengths are so interesting that they make charcoal BBQs the most popular type of all.

If you are passionate about BBQing and like to spend time cooking your meals, then a charcoal BBQ is a great choice. Indeed, this type of BBQ is as ideal for preparing meals that require long cooking sessions, such as ribs, pork shoulders, and smoked salmon, as for infusing foods with the typical smoky flavor of charcoal. If the taste of your meals is your number one priority, then you will be served!

Red Charcoal Kettle Joe™ BBQ

This charcoal BBQ retains heat well, is ideal for long cooking sessions, and has a 2-tier Divide & Conquer® cooking system.

In fact, charcoal is truly an impressive fuel: it can reach very high temperatures (above 1000°F) and maintain them for several hours. Thus, meats are generally more tender when they have been cooked for 8 hours on a charcoal BBQ versus on a propane BBQ (in which case, the meats would appear and taste drier). Charcoal is very versatile and works just as well when used to grill or cook meat.

Something that is worth noting with this type of BBQ is that after you’ve used the charcoal, you can reuse some of it for your next cooking session. However, you will need to add some "new" charcoal as well, because otherwise you won’t be able to light it. Also, just like with wood, you can compost your charcoal’s ashes after it has been used.

Max Lighter (Coming soon at

This tool is very practical to light up charcoal. You’ll get to see flames after 30 seconds of use and after 3 to 4 minutes, your charcoal will be red and ready to cook your meal!

Did you know that there exists many kinds of charcoal? House of BBQ Experts has a large selection available! Coconut, maple wood, oak… you name it! What’s great about that is that every type of charcoal adds a different scent and aroma to the pieces of meat that you're cooking. Some of them, like oak charcoal, are stronger, burn longer than others, and are ideal for cooking large cuts of meat.

Charcoal BBQs are also great because you can use briquettes instead of charcoal. What are briquettes? Well, in reality, they are compacted lumps of charcoal that contain additives to maintain a high heat concentration when they’re ignited. This fuel takes longer to heat up your BBQ, but is more durable than conventional charcoal. If briquettes interest you, know that you can find some that are 100% natural at House of BBQ Experts.

Pellet BBQs

In recent years, pellet BBQs have become very trendy. This type of BBQ is especially suitable for those who like long cooks, but who do not want to stay next to their BBQ throughout their duration. Indeed, the great advantage of this type of BBQ is that it is possible to light it in the morning, to go away for a few hours (but not too far though!), and then, to come back and find out that it is still hot, ready to cook your steak. (Obviously, you must make sure to have enough pellets in the smoker in order to keep the BBQ hot all this time.) Be careful, however, not to mix pellets and wood chips together; pellet BBQs are made to contain pellets and nothing else.

Camp Chef Woodwind 36” WIFI Pellet Grill

No need to be next to this pellet BBQ as your meal is cooking to keep an eye on it! Its WIFI PID controller allows you to change the temperature, set timers, and much more, directly from the palm of your hand via the Camp Chef Connect app.

Having said that, here’s a little tip: if you have a charcoal BBQ, it may be useful for you to have a few pellets handy to rekindle your BBQ’s flame. More specifically, when the charcoal is red and you want to instantly grill your food, throw a small amount of pellets on the charcoal. You will see, this is very effective when cooking pizza, for example.

Fuel storage

To preserve your fuels as long as possible (in the case of wood, charcoal, and pellets), it is best to store them in a place protected from humidity. Indeed, if they absorb water, they will take a lot longer to burn.

As for propane and natural gas, a safe place, quite simply, will suffice.

The final word

And… there you go! We hope this text has helped you with your choice of BBQ and taught you some new things about the different types of fuels that exist. Still unsure of what to get? Perhaps this selection card can help you confirm your choice:

If you need more information, do not hesitate to contact our team via our website at, it will be our pleasure to help you.

Have a great BBQ!