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Home > Ideas & Tips > Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Charcoal, Natural Gas,
and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas:

Find the BBQ Grill that's Right For You

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Outdoor cooking doesn't have to be a
seasonal sport — did you know that you
can grill
year-round with the right BBQ
equipment and accessories?
Yes, even in Canada!

Explore Lowe's great selection of
BBQs and grills, outdoor pizza ovens,
and smokers.
Whether electric, natural
gas
, charcoal, or wood pellet, we've got
the right outdoor cooking
system to make sure you and your guests enjoy a delicious
meal in the fresh outdoor air.

Shop All BBQs & Grills

Types of Grills: Charcoal BBQ, Outdoor Kitchens,
Natural Gas BBQ and More

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Charcoal BBQ Grills

  • Lump or bricket charcoal is the primary fuel source in
    these units.
  • Can utilize wood chips and other materials to mimic the effect
    of a smoker.
  • Hailed as the most authentic form of grilling by BBQ connois
    seurs due to the smoky flavours that can only be created
    with charcoal.
  • Produces fewer flare-ups than gas units as drippings are
    caught in charcoal pores.
Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Outdoor Kitchens

  • Stunning, impressive, and very low-maintenance due to the
    durability of stainless steel and other finishes.
  • Fully customizable: select your grill, side burners, doors and
    drawers, tank bins, ice machines, refrigerators, sinks, and more!
  • Can significantly increase your space and resources as your
    home and family grow.
  • Can potentially increase the value of your home, and will
    undoubtedly impress prospective buyers.
  • A popular new trend for outdoor living projects and ideal for
    people who grill often (or large amounts).
  • Provides an everyday alternative to indoor cooking during
    summer, when interior kitchens can heat up your home.
  • Tip: If your outdoor kitchen is in an enclosed area, consider
    adding an exhaust hood.
Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Natural and Propane Gas Grills

  • Can be fuelled by a removable or refillable tank or a fixed
    gas line.
  • Burns clean and require less cleanup as a result. Quick to ignite
    and reach cooking temperature; easy temperature control.
  • Average highest heat outputs:
    - 22,000 BTUs per pound of propane gas
    - 15,000 BTUs per pound of natural gas
  • Options include multiple burners, side burners and
    rotisserie burners.
Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Smokers

  • Uses the heat from smoke instead of heat directly generated
    from fuel.
  • Cooks food with less heat over longer periods of time.
  • Food is often left to slow-cook in a smoker for somewhere
    between 3 and 12 hours, ensuring tenderness and maximum
    flavour penetration.
  • Provides that distinct and delicious smoky flavour on all your
    favourite meats, seafood, and veggies.
  • A variety of flavours can be achieved by burning different
    materials to generate smoke (cedar, maple, charcoal, etc.).
Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Electric Grills

  • Runs on electric power — a great alternative when a gas or
    charcoal BBQ is inaccessible.
  • Produces no fumes or smoke, so cooking can be done inside
    as well as outside.
  • Small, compact, often portable and lightweight; the perfect
    size for an apartment or city dwelling.
  • No open flame, reducing the danger of fire.
Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Outdoor Pizza ovens and Fryers

  • Outdoor ovens are typically wood-burning and can be used to
    cook anything a conventional oven can, although pizza is a
    favourite due to the high heat generated by these units and
    their flat stone cooking surface.
  • Outdoor fryers are large-capacity vessels that run on propane
    and contain a removable basket that can be lowered into
    preheated oil.
  • Put a fun twist on the traditional Thanksgiving turkey using an
    outdoor fryer — or invite friends and neighbours to a fish-fry in
    your backyard!
  • Always remember these safety tips when using an
    outdoor fryer:
    - Make sure the fryer is on a secure, level, sturdy surface.
    - Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, and watch
    them carefully.
    - Watch the weather; do not operate a fryer in rain or snow.
    - If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off immediately.
    - After frying, cover the leftover oil and let it cool overnight
    before disposing.
    - Always keep children and pets away from an outdoor fryer.
Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Pellet Grills

  • Fuelled by safe, easy-to-use hardwood pellets that come in
    a variety of flavours: hickory, mesquite, apple, oak, and more.
  • Versatile grilling for any BBQ technique, from grilling to
    slow cooking.
  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Charcoal BBQ Grills

    • Lump or bricket charcoal is the primary
      fuel source in these units.
    • Can utilize wood chips and other
      materials to mimic the effect of a smoker.
    • Hailed as the most authentic form of
      grilling by BBQ connois seurs due to the
      smoky flavours that can only be created
      with charcoal.
    • Produces fewer flare-ups than gas units as
      drippings are caught in charcoal pores.
  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Outdoor Kitchens

    • Stunning, impressive, and very
      low-maintenance due to the durability
      of stainless steel and other finishes.
    • Fully customizable: select your grill, side
      burners, doors and drawers, tank bins, ice
      machines, refrigerators, sinks, and more!
    • Can significantly increase your space and
      resources as your home and family grow.
    • Can potentially increase the value of your
      home, and will undoubtedly impress
      prospective buyers.
    • A popular new trend for outdoor living
      projects and ideal for people who grill often
      (or large amounts).
    • Provides an everyday alternative to indoor
      cooking during summer, when interior
      kitchens can heat up your home.
    • Tip: If your outdoor kitchen is in an enclosed
      area, consider adding an exhaust hood.
  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Natural and Propane
    Gas Grills

    • Can be fuelled by a removable or refillable
      tank or a fixed gas line.
    • Burns clean and require less cleanup as a
      result. Quick to ignite and reach cooking
      temperature; easy temperature control.
    • Average highest heat outputs:
      - 22,000 BTUs per pound of propane gas
      - 15,000 BTUs per pound of natural gas
    • Options include multiple burners, side
      burners and rotisserie burners.
  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Smokers

    • Uses the heat from smoke instead of heat
      directly generated from fuel.
    • Cooks food with less heat over longer
      periods of time.
    • Food is often left to slow-cook in a smoker
      for somewhere between 3 and 12 hours,
      ensuring tenderness and maximum
      flavour penetration.
    • Provides that distinct and delicious smoky
      flavour on all your favourite meats, seafood,
      and veggies.
    • A variety of flavours can be achieved by
      burning different materials to generate
      smoke (cedar, maple, charcoal, etc.).
  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Electric Grills

    • Runs on electric power — a great alternative
      when a gas or charcoal BBQ is inaccessible.
    • Produces no fumes or smoke, so cooking can
      be done inside as well as outside.
    • Small, compact, often portable and
      lightweight; the perfect size for an
      apartment or city dwelling.
    • No open flame, reducing the danger of fire.
  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Outdoor Pizza ovens
    and Fryers

    • Outdoor ovens are typically wood-burning
      and can be used to cook anything a
      conventional oven can, although pizza is a
      favourite due to the high heat generated
      by these units and their flat stone
      cooking surface.
    • Outdoor fryers are large-capacity vessels
      that run on propane and contain a removable
      basket that can be lowered into
      preheated oil.
    • Put a fun twist on the traditional
      Thanksgiving turkey using an outdoor
      fryer — or invite friends and neighbours
      to a fish-fry in your backyard!
    • Always remember these safety tips when
      using an outdoor fryer:
      - Make sure the fryer is on a secure, level,
      sturdy surface.
      - Purchase a fryer with temperature controls,
      and watch them carefully.
      - Watch the weather; do not operate
      a fryer in rain or snow.
      - If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the
      fryer off immediately.
      - After frying, cover the leftover oil and let it
      cool overnight before disposing.
      - Always keep children and pets away
      from an outdoor fryer.
  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Pellet Grills

    • Fuelled by safe, easy-to-use hardwood
      pellets
      that come in a variety of flavours:
      hickory, mesquite, apple, oak, and more.
    • Versatile grilling for any BBQ technique,
      from grilling to slow cooking.
Shop All BBQs & Grills

Want to install natural gas lines into
your home and to your gas grill?
Call Lowe's installation Services,
and a
Professional Installer will inspect
your space to ensure a safe and efficient
installation. And if you
already have a
propane-fuelled barbecue, you may be
able to convert it to natural gas.
Ask a Lowe's associate or contact your
grill's manufacturer for a conversion kit.

Essential Grill Accessories

Your outdoor grilling station isn't complete
without the accompanying tools, accessories,
and equipment. From BBQ covers to tool sets,
meat thermometers, and grill racks, we've got
everything you need to make
the outdoor
cooking experience easy and delicious. Make
sure you're all set for the job. Explore now!

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Meat Thermometer

A meat thermometer can mean
the difference between a
perfectly done meal and one
that's overcooked. Don't cut
your meat open and sacrifice
all those delicious juices—use
a meat thermometer!

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

BBQ Cover

Protect your investment!
BBQs can be damaged by rain,
snow, ice and UV rays. Using a
cover will significantly extend
the life of your BBQ, and will
also cut down on cleaning
and maintenance.

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Cookware

Diversify your recipe portfolio
with grill racks and other
cookware. Increase cooking
space on your grill and roast
smaller items like chopped
fruits, veggies or potatoes on
a perforated platform.

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Tool Sets

The right tools make all the
difference. Make sure you're
equipped with tongs, forks,
spatulas, and grill brushes for
safety, accessibility, and
cleanliness.

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Rotisserie Spit

A rotisserie spit ensures even
temperature exposure across
your food. Cook large pieces of
meat like whole chickens, rump
roasts, and more.

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Charcoal Starter

Also called a chimney, a
charcoal starter gets your
charcoal glowing and ready to
cook in just minutes.

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Cleaning Tools

Remove charred food and grimy build-up from your
grill's cooking surfaces to extend your BBQ's lifespan.
Use grate wipes, brushes, and grid
cleaner to keep your grill fresh.

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Meat Thermometer

    A meat thermometer can mean the
    difference between a perfectly done meal
    and one that's overcooked. Don't cut your
    meat open and sacrifice all those delicious
    juices—use a meat thermometer!

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    BBQ Cover

    Protect your investment!
    BBQs can be damaged by rain, snow, ice and
    UV rays. Using a cover will significantly
    extend the life of your BBQ, and will also cut
    down on cleaning and maintenance.

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Cookware

    Diversity your recipe portfolio
    with grill racks and other
    cookware. Increase cooking space on your
    grill and roast smaller items like chopped
    fruits, veggies or potatoes on
    a perforated platform.

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Tool Sets

    The right tools make all the difference.
    Make sure you're equipped with tongs, forks,
    spatulas, and grill brushes for safety,
    accessibility, and cleanliness.

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Rotisserie Spit

    A rotisserie spit ensures even temperature
    exposure across your food. Cook large
    pieces of meat like whole chickens, rump
    roasts, and more.

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Charcoal Starter

    Also called a chimney, a charcoal starter gets
    your charcoal glowing and ready to cook
    in just minutes.

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Cleaning Tools

    Remove charred food andgrimy build-up
    from your grill's cooking surfaces to extend
    your BBQ's lifespan. Use grate wipes,
    brushes, and grid cleaner to keep your
    grill fresh.

Shop All Grill Tools & Accessories

Types of BBQ Grill Grates

BBQ grates are the surface on which your
food directly sits. For this reason, it is
extremely important to keep
this surface
clean and maintained to ensure continuously
even and safe cooking. There are four
different
types of cooking grates available:

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Cast Iron Grates

Are the most basic and widely used grilling
surface. They are heavy grates that do not rust or
corrode for a long time. This type of grate wears
in well. As long as it does not get not cracked or
damaged, can last a long time.

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Stainless Steel Grates

Are often rust-resistant, long-lasting, and easy to
clean. But, without a secondary coating such as
Teflon or porcelain, food can sometimes stick to
the steel surface during grilling.

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Porcelain-Coated Steel Grates

Reduce the chance of food sticking to the grate.
However, if improperly maintained, the material
can chip and wear away over time. Make sure you
keep hard metal scrapers away from porcelain
coated grills. To ensure longevity, brush away
built-up food particles while the grill is still warm.
This will soften the residue that builds up over
time, and it will eventually require less effort to
remove.

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Porcelain-Coated, Cast Iron Grates

Are the most sought-after because of how well
cast iron distributes heat and how the porcelain
coating reduces food sticking. These grates
provide the best value as they perform well
and last the longest out of all four grate types.

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Cast Iron Grates

    Are the most basic and widely used grilling
    surface. They are heavy grates that do not
    rust or corrode for a long time. This type of
    grate wears in well. As long as it does not
    get not cracked or damaged, can last a
    long time.

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Stainless Steel Grates

    Are often rust-resistant, long-lasting, and
    easy to clean. But, without a secondary
    coating such as Teflon or porcelain,
    food can sometimes stick to
    the steel surface during grilling.

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Porcelain-Coated Steel Grates

    Reduce the chance of food sticking to the
    grate. However, if improperly maintained, the
    material can chip and wear away over time.
    Make sure you keep hard metal scrapers
    away from porcelain coated grills. To ensure
    longevity, brush away built-up food particles
    while the grill is still warm. This will soften
    the residue that builds up over time, and it
    will eventually require less effort to remove.

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Porcelain-Coated, Cast Iron Grates

    Are the most sought-after because of how
    well cast iron distributes heat and how the
    porcelain coating reduces food sticking.
    These grates provide the best value as they
    perform well and last the longest out of all
    four grate types.

Shop All BBQ Grill Grates

Grill Rocks & Stones:
Turn Up The Heat

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Lava Rock

This type of briquette is used to mimic the effect of charcoal
cooking. Its porous surface traps grease and drippings from the
grate above and as a result decreases flare-ups that are signature
to charcoal. They also evenly distribute heat throughout the grill
which lessens the instance of hot spots (sections of your grill that
are hotter than others).

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Ceramic Briquettes

These briquettes stay clean in the same manner as a self-cleaning
oven; any residue is baked off through the grilling process.
Ceramic briquettes are more expensive than rock but last much
longer. Ceramic briquettes are thought to add flavour to the food
being cooked without the harmful effect of added carcinogens from burning charcoal.

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Lava Rock

    This type of briquette is used to mimic
    the effect of charcoal cooking. Its porous
    surface traps grease and drippings from the
    grate above and as a result decreases
    flare-ups that are signature to charcoal.
    They also evenly distribute heat throughout
    the grill which lessens the instance of hot
    spots (sections of your grill that are hotter
    than others).

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Ceramic Briquettes

    These briquettes stay clean in the same
    manner as a self-cleaning oven; any residue
    is baked off through the grilling process.
    Ceramic briquettes are more expensive than
    rock but last much longer.
    Ceramic briquettes are thought to add
    flavour to the food being cooked without the
    harmful effect of added carcinogens from
    burning charcoal.

BBQ Grill Parts & Maintenance

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Vaporizer Bars & Heat Shields

These plates eliminate the
occurrence of flare-ups and
drastically minimize hot spots
throughout the grill. They
provide uniform heat for even
and thorough cooking. Any
juices that drip from the above
grates dissipate once they hit
the hot metal. The hot metal
plate acts as a basin for food
drippings to land and evaporate
on, and this contributes to the
wonderful flavours of your food.

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Ignitions

Ignitions light up your grill in a
process called piezoelectricity.
When you turn it on at the push
of a button, a long pressurized
tube with a spring-loaded
hammer creates powerful, high
voltage sparks that ignite the
gas. If you no longer hear a
clicking noise, that's your cue
that it's time to replace your
ignition.

Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

Burners

The burners are the centre
of your gas grilling experience.
Gas escapes from perforations
or gaps along the burners'
sides and ignited to produce
flames for cooking. Burners
control your grilling with
precise temperatures at the
turn of a knob, whether you
want to sear your steak or
steam vegetables. Having
effective and functional burners
also means year-round grilling,
even during winter!

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Vaporizer Bars & Heat Shields

    These plates eliminate the occurrence of flare-ups and
    drastically minimize hot spots throughout the grill.
    They provide uniform heat for even and thorough
    cooking. Any juices that drip from the above grates
    dissipate once they hit the hot metal. The hot metal
    plate acts as a basin for food drippings to land and
    evaporate on, and this contributes to the wonderful
    flavours of your food.

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Ignitions

    Ignitions light up your grill in a process called
    piezoelectricity. When you turn it on at the
    push of a button, a long pressurized tube
    with a spring-loaded hammer creates
    powerful, high voltage sparks that ignite
    the gas. If you no longer hear a clicking
    noise, that's your cue that it's time to
    replace your ignition.

  • Charcoal, Natural Gas, and Outdoor Kitchen Ideas: Find the BBQ Grill that’s Right For You

    Burners

    The burners are the centre
    of your gas grilling experience. Gas escapes
    from perforations or gaps along the burners'
    sides and ignited to produce flames for
    cooking. Burners control your grilling with
    precise temperatures at the turn of a knob,
    whether you want to sear your steak or
    steam vegetables. Having effective and
    functional burners also means year-round
    grilling, even during winter!

Shop All BBQ & Grill
Replacement Parts

More BBQ Ideas:
Tips To Choose Your Grill

Your cooking preferences and the frequency
with which you will be using your BBQ should
be the main
deciding factors when selecting
a model and size of BBQ. Gas BBQs are the
most commonly used as they
produce more
heat than charcoal and can cook food faster.

However, charcoal grilling is thought to be
superior in the flavour it creates. When
smoking, food isn't cooked
by direct heat
created by a flame, but rather by the smoke
produced. All methods of cooking produce
a
different end result.

The level of heat generated by a BBQ is
measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units).
As a general rule, it's best
to look for a BBQ
with a rating of 80-100 BTUs per square inch
to ensure enough heat is generated for
the
size of your grill.

Before using BTUs as your sole deciding
factor, remember that BTUs are a measure
of heat produced by
the burners over the
course of an hour and not a measure of the
temperature a BBQ can reach. The ability
of a BBQ to reach and maintain various
cooking temperatures is more important
than how much heat it
can produce.

When deciding which BBQ to buy, consider
the size of the meals you'll be preparing and
the number of
people you'll be feeding.
For example, the average eight ounce steak
is roughly 5 x 3.5 in. (13 x 9 cm)
depending
on its thickness, resulting in a 17.5 sq. in.
(113 sq cm) surface.

If a grill has 555 square inches of grilling
space, you could probably grill almost 30 of
these steaks at a time
on it! Often, BBQs
come with heating shelves, side burners, and
rotisserie heaters to provided added
heating and cooking space. Look for these
features if you'll be grilling a lot.

Featured BBQ Brands

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