What Does BTU Mean For Barbecue?

You may be wondering what BTUs are and how important they are, but there are many common misconceptions about BTUs. Before we discuss the meaning of BTUs, let’s clear up the measurement and how to read a grill’s BTU rating. Basically, BTUs are the number of kilowatts your barbecue grill produces. This number indicates the temperature at which your grill can produce a specific type of food. The higher the BTU, the higher the temperature and the more food you can cook.

Misconceptions about BTUs

Many consumers have a common misconception about BTUs: that the higher the number, the better. The reality is a little more complicated than that. The higher the BTU, the more fuel is required to maintain the temperature of the grill. A grill with a high BTU rating is likely to produce more heat than one with a lower one, but a high BTU grill is not necessarily better for your family.

While a high BTU rating does make your grill hotter, not all of it means that your food will be cooked evenly. Some grills have side burners that don’t make any difference in the primary cooking surface, while others may have multiple burners to accommodate different types of food. If you’re a newbie in the kitchen, or you’d like to improve your cooking skills, a high BTU is not necessary.

One of the most common misconceptions about BTUs for BBQ is that they’re misleading. BTUs refer to the total heat output of the grill’s burners per hour. In reality, the BTUs are reserved for the main or primary burners. Some manufacturers include BTUs for the sides, smokers, and rotisserie burners, but the BTU value doesn’t mean much if you don’t know how large the primary cooking surface is.


You may have seen the term “BTU” on your gas grill and other appliances. But what does this mean? Basically, BTUs measure the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. For comparison, the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree is 1055 joules. The higher the number, the hotter your barbecue is likely to be.

When it comes to the heat generated by a barbecue, higher BTUs generally equal better results. However, a higher number can be misleading because poor workmanship and poor heat dispersal may be hidden under high BTUs. Moreover, a grill’s BTU rating isn’t the final word on heat generation. You should also check its cooking area, as low BTUs can make your food cook slowly and unevenly.

The BTU rating of a barbecue depends on the gas pressure, size of gas valve, and type of fuel. The higher the BTU, the more power it can produce. In general, larger grills require more fuel to heat a large cooking area, whereas small ones need less fuel to produce the same heat. In other words, the BTU per square inch of cooking area is a good indication of how much heat a grill can produce.


The higher the BTU, the better. A high BTU is usually associated with faster cooking, but the truth is that you don’t need a powerful unit to enjoy tasty grilled food. A low BTU is usually just as good, as long as you have an even distribution of heat. Then again, high BTUs can mask sub-par workmanship. However, keep in mind that BTU is only a starting point.

In the past, when you bought a grill, salespeople would tell you to look for one with 100 BTU per square inch. BTUs, or British Thermal Units, are a traditional way to measure thermal output. One BTU equals the amount of energy required to heat one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. To make your grill as hot as possible, factor in how much heat your grill will have to dissipate.

The BTU rating is not as important as it appears. While it may seem intuitive, BTU ratings are a reflection of the total amount of heat a barbecue grill can produce in an hour. This amount is reserved for the main or primary burners – the ones under the cooking grate. Although some manufacturers list BTU for side burners, smoker burners, and rotisseries, the BTU rating does not matter if the grill doesn’t have enough primary surface area.

Cast iron grills absorb heat from BTUs

Using a cast iron grill is highly recommended for a variety of reasons. Cast iron is much less conductive than aluminum, and retains heat better than other grill grate materials. However, it does suffer from external damages over time. If you are cooking a large amount of food, you might want to consider a less expensive model with a porcelain-coated cast iron grate.

A thick grate will absorb the heat from the flames and release it slowly, while a thin one will quickly scorch your meat. In addition to the thickness of the grate, you want to look for proportional BTU measurements. The size of the grill’s cooking area directly correlates to its BTU measurement, so be sure to look for that as well. By purchasing a grill with a proportional BTU rating, you’ll be sure to achieve proper grilling results.

The cooking grids sit above the burners. Cast iron and stainless steel are the most common materials. Porcelain, however, doesn’t tolerate high temperatures well and is more likely to crack under high temperatures. Cast iron is more likely to rust and needs to be maintained to ensure long life. Although cast iron grills absorb heat better than their metallic counterparts, they are prone to rust.

Side burners use less fuel per hour

When comparing side burners and main burners, keep in mind that the number of BTUs is higher for the main burner, but the side burner will use less fuel per hour than the main burner. The size of the cooking space also contributes to the total heat output, so you should focus on the BTUs per square foot of cooking area instead. This will give you a better idea of how hot your grill will be.

Power of a gas grill

While most people assume that a higher BTU number is better, this is not always the case. A gas grill’s BTU rating is derived from the amount of heat the appliance can generate. These BTUs are actually used to heat the materials inside the grill as well as the air around it. Not all BTUs are used to cook food, but they do help the grill burn fuel efficiently. To understand why BTUs matter, it is helpful to understand the purpose of each unit.

When comparing gas grills, consider their BTU rating. If a grill has high BTU, that means that it uses a large amount of gas. This is especially true of models that feature multiple burners without individual controls. A gas grill with a lower BTU will retain heat better. Look for a heavy construction and a tightly fitting lid. These two factors will improve the overall cooking experience.

The BTU rating of a gas grill will specify the maximum output of the primary burners. It will not include the BTU output from the side burners, rotisserie burners, or smoker burners. Some manufacturers over-state this value by combining all of the cooking services to come up with a total BTU value. To avoid confusion, make sure you know the total area of the primary cooking surface before buying a gas grill.

Weight of a gas grill

Gas grills vary in weight from around eight hundred to more than one thousand pounds. The weight of your gas grill will vary depending on the size and fuel source. Some models are light, while others are heavy. For best results, consider the weight of a grill before purchasing it. The weight of a gas grill is easy to estimate by multiplying the basic grill weight by a factor of one pound. You can then determine how much gas your grill can hold.

Many gas grills use a tank of liquefied petroleum gases (LPG). This type of fuel is also known as LP gas or LPG. The weight of a gas grill may be a concern when purchasing one for the first time. The weight of a gas grill varies depending on its features and style. Choosing a lighter model will allow you to carry it more easily. Also, a lighter grill will save you on storage space.

Another consideration is how much cooking surface space your grill offers. Propane gas grills are the most efficient in terms of space and size, and they’re generally more expensive. But you can use one with a larger cooking area. Regardless of what size you choose, make sure the grill is large enough for the amount of food you plan to cook. Whether it’s a large or small grill, the size of its cooking surface determines how much fuel it will require.

My Grill World