I often find it strange that we make our BBQs a part of our homes and yet, we still fuel them as we would a camping stove: with a portable gas bottle. This is despite the fact that many of us have another fuel source that is piped directly into our houses and is four times cheaper than LPG. It is natural gas.
We use natural gas for our heating, indoor cooking and hot water systems, so why not for our outdoor cooking?
Let’s look at the positives and negatives of converting to natural gas below:
Why Convert To Natural Gas
1. It’s cheap: As mentioned earlier, natural gas is approximately a quarter of the cost of LPG. This means that the costs of converting your BBQ and additional fit-outs to your home can quickly be recovered, particularly if you’re a frequent barbecuer.
2. No more mid-BBQ trips to the servo: There’s nothing worse than being halfway through a cook-up and running out of gas. Well actually there is: it’s running out of gas with a few beers under your belt so you’re unable to drive and pick up more! With natural gas there’s no risk of that happening, as you have an unlimited supply piped right into your home.
Why Stick With LPG
1. Some BBQs just aren’t cut out for natural gas: In order to run on natural gas (which flows at a lower pressure than LPG), BBQs require wider jets and thicker piping. Since LPG is used to fuel the vast majority of BBQs (90% in fact), cheaper models are manufactured with only LPG in mind and don’t have components sufficient for natural gas use.
2. Conversion costs: While most BBQs can be converted to natural gas and at about $100, the cost is not excessive; it may seem disproportionately expensive for a BBQ that you bought for $150. In addition, not all houses have a gas outlet in a suitable location, and the costs associated with getting your gas pipe extended and an outlet installed can be considerable.
3. Your BBQ becomes a lot less portable: Unlike with LPG gas bottles, a BBQ running on natural gas can only be connected at the location of the gas outlet. This means that you lose the portability of your BBQ. This can be an issue for some people, but not others, as their BBQ generally hasn’t moved in the last ten years anyway.
If I have managed to pique your interest in why you should use natural gas for your BBQ, then tune in next week for Part 2 when we’ll look at how you go about converting your BBQ to natural gas.