How to Choose the Greenest Outdoor Grill


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Summer is here, which means it’s time to get outside and enjoy your backyard, deck or patio area. What better way to do that than with a cookout? Plus, cooking your food outdoors is the more environmentally-friendly way to do it, right? Well, it can be.

As with many eco-friendly choices, it depends on a confluence of factors, including the careful selection of the right equipment. Whether you prefer cooking inside or out, the tools you use can affect the carbon footprint of your cooking.

So before you fire up the grill, think about what you can do to make your barbecue greener and cleaner. Here’s a look at the relative environmentally friendly attributes of the different grill options—gas, electric, charcoal, pellet—so you can decide which is the best fit for your green lifestyle.

The Greenest Grill Options

Going by greenhouse gas emissions alone, gas grills are the best option. They produce 5.6 pounds of carbon dioxide, compared to 11 pounds for a charcoal grill and 15 pounds for an electric (all off-site emissions from the production of the power).

Gas Grills

Regardless of the type of fuel used (natural gas or propane), these grills use-up a non-renewable resource. However, they emit the least amount of carbon dioxide, give off far less smoke—reducing the negative effects on your family’s health—and heat up and cool down quickly, so they use less energy and heat. Look for energy-efficient models with refillable tanks, or if you can, hook them up to a natural gas line.

7/1/2020 10:46:28 PM

I was about to say, Charcoal is very eco friendly if you use the right kind such as the coconut briquette type. They burn longer, cleaner and hotter and are 100% eco friendly, unlike traditional charcoal, yet give the same if not better traditional taste.

8/15/2016 2:23:24 PM

Congratulations, Jennifer! Very interesting and useful your tips. By the way I would like to introduce your our brand: a coconut shell briquette for barbecue. It is eco-friendly and has many positive aspects when compared to ordinary charcoal. On the other hand, please let me know if I could share your article in our website: Hope to strengthen our contact. Kind regards.

8/4/2016 11:37:17 PM

Never use charcoal briquettes, they aren't made just from wood waste, most contain 60% or more anthracite coal as well. Do you really want to eat food cooked over that? No thanks, when I use charcoal it's lump charcoal ignited with a charcoal chimney so that I don't have to use poisonous naptha.

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