Do Pellet Grills Use Propane? [Here’s The Truth]

  • By: Brendan

Some of my readers have reached out to me asking the same question, so I thought it’s a good idea to address it in this article—do pellet grills use propane?

If you’re thinking about getting a pellet grill, the answer is “no”—pellet grills are powered by electricity and not propane.

Do Pellet Grills Use Propane

Do Pellet Grills Use Propane?

Pellet grills do not use propane, gar or charcoal, but instead, use pellets and electricity to create heat and smoke.

If pellet grills don’t use propane, you’re probably wondering how does a pellet grill work?

Pellet grills use wood pellets instead of gas, propane or charcoal. The pellets are fed into a firepot, where they burn to create both heat and smoke.

One of the distinct advantages of pellet grills is their ability to deliver consistent heat. For example, you can set the temperature to 200-degrees Fahrenheit, without having to maintain the fire.

Do Pellet Grill Need Propane During Ignition?

Pellet grills do not require propane during ignition but use wood pellets as a source of fuel.

To start a pellet grill, plug the appliance into an electrical outlet, load the hopper with wood pellets, turn the pellet grill on the smoke setting to ignite the pellets in the firepot, wait for the grill to produce smoke, and set the desired cooking temperature.

How Much Propane Does a Pellet Grill Need?

Pellet grills need to be plugged into, therefore do not use propane. Gas grills use propane, which costs roughly $1.20 per hour of use.

Although pellet grills and gas grills have the common word “grills” in them, they’re indeed different types of cookers.

Pellet grills are billed as “set it and forget it” types of appliances, and do a good job at cooking food items on low and slow.

The wood pellets impart a subtle smokey flavor into your food. The words pellet grills and pellet smokers are often used interchangeably, but they refer to the same type of cooking appliance.

Pellet grill often cost more than gas grills, and pellets aren’t readily available at your nearby gas station. However, there are several different leading brands to choose from such as the bestselling Traeger Signature pellets, and Cooking Pellets.

Gas grills are great for cooking at mid to high range temperatures, you can usually find a gas grill for every budget including an array of the best gas grills under $300

These models include the Char-Broil 463673519 Performance Series 2-Burner (I’ve owned and used this grill for many years and swear by its top-notch performance), and the Monument Grills 14633 gas grill.

What is the Main Fuel for a Pellet Grill?

Pellets are the main source of a pellet grill. These grills burn food-grade wood pellets to generate heat and smoke and cook and flavor your food.


Wood Pellets for Pellet Grill

Pellets are fed into the hopper, which by gravity enter the auger. As the auger rotates, it moves the pellets toward the fire pot (burn pot), which is equipped with a hot rod that burns the pellets to start combustion.

Pellet grills are fitted with a fan, which blows the air to create flames and intensify the fire. The drippings from your food are carried through the grease management system to the grease tray.

Do Traeger Pellet Grills use Propane?

Just like all other pellet grills, Traeger pellet grills use pellets to create heat and smoke. Wood pellets are a clean-burning natural product that is made from organic materials such as wood chips, sawdust, and other byproducts of lumber.

How to Ignite Pellet Grill Using Propane?

You can’t ignite a pellet grill using propane. Adding to this, pellet grills don’t come with a propane gas tank or natural gas line connector, so there’s no method of using propane to ignite a pellet grill.

What are the Benefits of Pellet Grills

Traeger Pellet Grill

Even though pellet grills do not use propane, they offer myriad advantages over their gas or charcoal counterparts, starting with the fact that they are easy to use.

Further, pellet grills can be fired up with the flick of a button, and provide even heat throughout every inch of the cooking surface.

Pellet grills also provide fewer flare-ups, and most of the leading models come with the ability to connect the grill with your phone or mobile device over WiFi.

Pellet grills constantly keep tabs on the temperature and offer a somewhat hands-free cooking experience by automatically adding pellets to keep the heat at the desired temperature.

What Type of Food Can You Cook on a Pellet Grill?

When it comes to pellet grills, low and slow is the name of the game, and today’s pellet grills can literally cook anything you throw at them.

They offer temperatures between 200-degrees F to 700-degrees F, which allows you to grill, smoke, bake, BBQ, broil, and in some cases even sear.

Pellet grills operate similarly to your indoor kitchen oven, where they circulate dry, indirect heat via a fan.

Pellets grills at their core are built to smoke food and add cleaner flavor to your food than you’d experience with electric or charcoal grills.

Final Thoughts

Pellet grills use wood pellets and not propane as a power source. Even with this limitation, pellet grills are regarded as a gamechanger compared to gas, electric, and charcoal grills.

You can buy wood pellets online or at your local store, and simply have to load the hopper of your pellet grill with them and fire it up via an electronic ignition system.

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