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Mar 26, 2012 12:43 PM

A question about propane grill BTU requirements

I am considering changing my grill and have a question about BTUs. I need a small grill that will fit on my small balcony. Currently, I own an $80 grill with 26,000 BTUs for a 280 sq. in. grill surface. It is an inexpensive model and I don't find it grills particularly well (it has lots of very hot and very cold spots, so you need to keep moving the food around so it will cook without carbonizing).

Master Chef 280:

I have found a Coleman Even Heat Small Space model on sale at Canadian Tire. This particular model has a 30,000 BTU output for a grill that is 315 sq. in. (the specs give a larger grill size, but that includes the bun warmer, which I choose not to consider for my calculation).


My question is: is my problem with my current grill one of BTUs, or of heat distribution?

Your input is much appreciated, thanks in advance!

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  1. Almost certainly a problem with distribution, not BTUs. BTU measurement in grills is basically just a function of how much gas is being pushed through the burners, not how efficiently that gas is converted to heat and applied to the grill surface. For example, cheaper grills often tout very high BTU ratings as a feature, while Weber gas grills - commonly considered the best of the best, at least sub-$2000 - claim relatively modest BTU ratings. In the end, a very high BTU rating often just means a grill isn't very efficient.

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