BBQ Fuel – Best BBQ Fuel for Grilling and Smoking

Smoke is needed for our food and meat but what makes this happen and also magnifies the flavor is the fuel. In this guide which will be about BBQ fuel, I will analyze the best fuels you can use for barbecue.

This will include the best fuels made from natural materials and artificial materials and also help light up your ideas for your subsequent barbecue.

BBQ Fuel - Best BBQ Fuel for Grilling and Smoking

There will also be some other related and additional topics like fuels that will also be the best choice for grilling.

Picking The Best Fuel For You

As you will also be aware that there are various types of fuel or energy sources that can be used to light up a grill or a smoker in the world of BBQ.

And, some of the types of fuel or sources of energy include charcoal lumps, charcoal briquettes, gas (propane or natural gas), hardwood logs, wood pellets, and electricity.

So, in this guide, I will be explaining more about these types of fuel and you can then choose which will be best compatible or suitable for you.

Best BBQ Fuel Sources

The fuel that will be suitable or best compatible for your grill or smoker will be determined by the amount of time you want to pay to the source you will be choosing.

This is to say that just choosing the best BBQ fuel source is not quite enough for having the best experience.

Fuel will differ as to the grill or smoker. To make a barbecue, you will need a fuel source that will supply you with the required heat.

And, examples of fuel sources include propane/natural gas, pellets, electricity, wood, and charcoal.

To make an original southern barbecue, you will need to burn the best woods, and Hickory or Pecan is the best choice of wood for this.

The fireboxes of a good number of BBQ-producing vessels make use of woods that were made into splits from fruit-bearing or nut-bearing trees.

The simplest and finest BBQ fuel sources that can be managed will go to electricity, natural gas, and propane.

One of the reasons for this is that the heat produced from these heat sources can be kept harmonious over an extensive cook with just a swift adjustment to their valve or dial.

With little work, the heat produced from them will remain harmonious for several hours and their systems might also be controlled using thermocouples or thermostats.

These BBQ fuel sources are highly recommended as even a good number of commercial barbecue operators make use of them.

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Best BBQ Fuel

Gas (Propane or Natural Gas)

In comparison, the gas grill is just about as functional as a charcoal BBQ. Although you will not get the additional flavor to your food or meat by using gas which is quite the opposite when you make use of charcoal and hardwood cooking.

However, this is not to say that you cannot add flavor using gas as you can get some container filled with liquid of flavor of your choice and place it on your gas grill.

Doing this will add some flavor to your food but, for the most part, you will get more moisture than flavor.

And, that is not to rule out the fact that your food will get tastier especially when the gas flames tend to dry the air and also the food in your BBQ.

Metal containers filled with wood chips like the Smoker Box can also be used to get smoky flavor added to your food.

Gas grills require little maintenance and are quite easy to carry as these stand as their major advantages.

They are also long-lasting and in general, they possess good grilling power and also a good cooking speed.

Gas grills can also be used to cook side dishes like vegetables while another grill can be used to slow-cook meat all due to their good cooking speed.

And, lastly, gas barbeques can be fast and easy to light up even in cold, harsh weather.

Wood Logs & Chunks

For ages, wood has remained the best, natural fuel source for outdoor cooking over fire.

The meat is cooked over a fire and it also gets additional delectable and pleasant smoky flavor and crunchy bark when you make use of wood as a fuel source.

Wood comes in various forms such as logs and chunks. And, wood logs have been the favorite fuel source of a good number of pitmasters as they will not use anything other than that.

You can also make use of this as your fuel source as it is affordable, delicious, harmonious, and rich.

You should also be careful as the type of wood you use can change the taste of your food completely.

So, this is to say that there are various kinds of wood and you should know the kind of wood that will best suit you.

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Below will be some of the major kinds of wood that you can make use of;


Oak is best compatible for a long cooking period. And, in comparison to other woods, it possesses a mild flavor and burns equally and slowly.


When used for long smoking sessions, Hickory burns quite well and its flavor is stronger than that of Oak.


For short smoking sessions, Pecan is preferable as it also possesses a stronger flavor that is both smoky and sweet.


In compassion to other types of wood, Mesquite has a strong flavor and burns quicker and hotter.

It also generates a lot of smoke and it is best suitable for grilling and short smoking sessions.

It can also be burnt down as coal. However, the taste of Mesquite wood is preferred and loved by some Texas-style barbecue purists, especially when used for slow-smoking beef brisket.

Fruit Woods

Fruit woods include Apple and Cherry and they possess milder, sweeter flavor compared to other woods. They are best suitable for the long cooking period.

It is advisable to avoid the usage of softwoods as they have a high quantity of sap and terpenes which will give your food or meat an odd taste.

You are the determinant of the size, type, and shape of wood you are to use same as the type of meat you are cooking.

It is also advisable to only use woods that have been dry out for about 6 months for perfect burning.

Also, avoid the usage of soaked wood. And, remember outdoor cooking is all about the practice to perfect.

Harmonious temperatures require constant monitoring and making sure your meat does not become burnt.

Wood Pellets

These are a type of BBQ fuel that’s gotten from pressed sawdust with the absence of any additive.

Wood pellets can be used to start up grills that are solely made for this purpose and it is quite very simple to use which stands as its major advantage.

All that is required is just to get the smoker or grill and fill its pellet hopper. Then, find an electrical outlet and plug it in.

Afterward, choose its cooking temperature and leave the smoker or grill to take over from there.

You should also know that there are several types of pellets with various wood flavors.

And, this type of smoker can only get its temperature increased between 150 degrees Fahrenheit and 400 degrees Fahrenheit which is its only disadvantage.

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With that being said, this is not recommendable for grilling although it will still produce various kinds of delicious slow cooking recipes.


This kind of BBQ fuel is common with mobile cookers as it is mobile and available which are its main advantages.

The propane grill is considered to be the king of grills, especially by homeowners and it has also become quite common with weekend grillers.

This is also to say that the popularity of propane grills has been increasing and you can easily get propane from any local hardware store or even a big box store.

It also tends to last for a long time although this is dependent on the rate of your grilling.

It is advised to have a backup tank to prevent running out of it and compared to charcoal and wood, it saves time.


Electricity grills are highly recommendable for people with little time or/and space for grilling.

There are also quite a few numbers of these models in the market and it is not a BBQ fuel type that is commonly used for grilling or barbecue.

Despite that, this BBQ fuel type is quite very favorable and attractive, especially for homeowners.

It is also convenient in the sense that you won’t need to get or purchase charcoal, propane, or some wood to be able to start up the fire.

All that is required is just to plug in your grill and start cooking and there are also different kinds of electric grills and smokers available for purchase.

Conclusion on BBQ Fuel

There are still some other BBQ fuel sources or types such as Charcoal Briquettes and Hardwood Charcoal Lumps.

It will be right to say that the best BBQ fuel sources of heat are still propane, natural gas, pellets, and electricity as they will go for long cooking sessions and also make the best barbecue.

While the barbecue is cooking, you can also work around or even sleep as all that is required is just an adjustment of a dial and a thermostat.

And, there will also be additional flavors if you make use of chips, pellets, or chunks.

So, I hope you enjoy your cooking sessions with this list of the best BBQ Fuel that has been detailed in this guide.

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