Grill It: How Many BTUs Do I Need?

Article Posted By: Laura Sullivan

of The Home Depot

open grill with side grill cooking meat and vegetables

Q: How many BTUs do I really need?

A: A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, measures the amount of heat a grill can give off. A grill with the highest BTUs may seem like the best at first glance — it can get the hottest, right? — but that is not necessarily the case. Many grill aficionados say that BTUs are oversold.

When you are purchasing a grill, compare the BTUs to the size of the useable cooking surface. Look for 100 BTUs per square inch of cooking space. The more BTUs a model has, the faster it will burn up your fuel, so it is wise to only go for a grill with the amount of BTUs you need to get the job done.

Look, too, for a grill with a relatively heavy grate (to hold heat) and a tight fitting lid (to hold heat in). A light weight grate and thin materials for the unit might require more BTUs… and more fuel.

Grilling Tips is for all you grill fanatics out there. Whether you swear by propane, charcoal or gas, our BBQ tips have you covered.