Flat Top Grill vs Propane Grill

Flat top grill vs propane grill

When it comes to outdoor cooking, two of the most popular options are the flat top grill and the propane BBQ grill. While both options can produce delicious meals, they have some distinct differences that make them better suited for certain types of cooking and different preferences.

In this article, we’ll compare flat top grills and propane BBQ grills in terms of their cooking surface, fuel source, versatility, and overall cooking experience. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better idea of which grill is right for you.

Cooking Surface

One of the biggest differences between flat top grills and propane BBQ grills is their cooking surface. Flat top grills have a flat, smooth cooking surface that is ideal for cooking foods like pancakes, eggs, and stir-fry. The flat surface allows for even heat distribution, which is essential for cooking delicate foods that can easily burn or overcook.

On the other hand, propane BBQ grills have a grate-style cooking surface that is great for searing meat and creating those classic grill marks. The grates also allow for airflow, which can be important for cooking foods like chicken and burgers that need to be cooked through without becoming dry or tough.

Fuel Source

Another major difference between flat top grills and propane BBQ grills is their fuel source. Flat top grills are typically powered by propane, natural gas, or electricity. Propane and natural gas are convenient options because they are readily available and can be easily refilled. Electric flat top grills are also popular because they are easy to use and don’t require an open flame.

Propane BBQ grills, on the other hand, are designed to be used with propane only (unless you have a natural gas hookup and are using natural gas burners). Propane is a convenient option because it can be easily refilled and is somewhat portable. 


When it comes to versatility, flat top grills have a clear advantage. With a flat surface and even heat distribution, flat top grills can be used to cook a wide range of foods, from breakfast items like bacon and pancakes to stir-fries, burgers, and even pizza. Some flat top grills even have multiple cooking zones, allowing you to cook different types of food at the same time.

Propane BBQ grills are great for grilling meat, but their versatility is limited compared to flat top grills. While you can use a propane BBQ grill to cook other types of food, such as vegetables and seafood, it can be challenging to get the even heat distribution needed for delicate foods like fish.

Cooking Experience

Finally, the overall cooking experience is another important factor to consider when choosing between a flat top grill and a propane BBQ grill. Flat top grills are known for their ease of use and fast cooking times. With an even cooking surface, you don’t need to worry about hot spots or uneven cooking, and the smooth surface is easy to clean.

Propane BBQ grills, on the other hand, require a bit more skill and attention. To get the best results, you need to preheat the grill and adjust the temperature as needed throughout the cooking process. While this can be challenging for beginners, many people enjoy the process of grilling and the unique flavor that comes from cooking over an open flame.

Which Grill is Right for You?

Ultimately, the choice between a flat top grill and a propane BBQ grill will depend on your personal preferences and cooking needs. If you want a versatile grill that can be used to cook a wide range of foods, a flat top grill is the way to go. If you prefer the classic taste of grilled meat and don’t mind putting in a bit of extra effort, a propane BBQ grill may be the better choice.

Another factor to consider is the size of the grill. Flat top grills tend to be more compact and are ideal for small families or individuals who don’t need to cook for a large group. Propane BBQ grills, on the other hand, come in a range of sizes and can accommodate larger groups of people.

It’s also worth considering the cost of each grill. Flat top grills are typically less expensive than propane BBQ grills, but this can vary depending on the specific model and features. 

Both flat top grills and propane BBQ grills have their own advantages and disadvantages. When making your decision, it’s important to consider your cooking needs, personal preferences, and budget. Whether you choose a flat top grill or a propane BBQ grill, one thing is for certain – outdoor cooking is a fun and delicious way to enjoy time with family and friends.

The Best of Both Worlds

If  you really can’t decide between a flat top and a propane grill, then why not have both? It’s simple with some of the flat top accessories for propane grills available these days. It’s very easy to use: Just fire up the propane grill as normal and place the flat top accessory right on the grate. 

Flat Top Grills on Amazon

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