Wood Pellet and Natural Gas Combo Grill Options
When it comes to finding a grill that can burn both wood pellets and natural gas, there are only 2 options. Option #1 is to convert a Pit Boss 1230 Combo grill to natural gas. Option #2 is to upfit a Camp chef grill with a sidekick side burner with natural gas conversion burner and a grill box. Both are good options, but they both bring about certain challenges which we will go over here.
Pit Boss 1230 Combo Propane Conversion to Natural Gas
In my experience selling pellet grills and natural gas grills I have been asked hundreds of questions, but the most common question I get is “Can the Pit Boss 1230 Combo grill be converted to natural gas?”. Without a doubt, I get asked that question multiple times per week. So many times, in fact that I spent the better part of a day making an instructional YouTube Video on how to have a Journeyman gasfitter complete the job for you: https://youtu.be/NUqzQCUF1Tg
In the short time that the video has been up, it has amassed nearly 3000 views, despite it being a very basic instructional video where we specifically tell you not to do what we do at home because it is being done by trained professionals.
The main benefit of converting a PB1230 from propane to Natural gas is that you only must pay for the 1230 Combo grill and the service of having a gas fitter do the conversion, so your overall costs will be slightly less than the Camp Chef version of the same unit, but it does lack some of the versatility.
Camp Chef Natural Gas Options
Conversely, if you do not have access to a professional gas fitter then there is another option. Camp Chef makes grills that can be converted into combo natural gas or propane grills without the use of a gas fitter. This can be done to the XT 24, Woodwind 24 and Woodwind 36 which are all grills that we sell at You Need a BBQ. This requires no special licenses, training, or experience, all you do is attach a sidekick burner to your Camp Chef grill and then sit a Camp Chef Grill box on top. The main pellet chamber acts as the pellet grill or smoker portion of the grill and the grill box acts as the propane OR natural gas portion of the grill. This gives you the versatility of being able to smoke your meat and then sear it at super high temperatures right after.
While the costs of buying the Camp Chef pellet grill, the sidekick, the NG conversion kit, and the grill box is a higher combined cost than the PB1230, this is a great option because it is easy to do yourself. So, you do not have to pull out the Yellow Pages to find a local plumber or gas fitter but you do have to buy all the parts. The benefit here is that you get a PID digital controller for your grill as well as the versatility of the sidekick, which not only has a grill box addition but also a griddle and optional pizza oven as well.
Both Are Great Options
Nothing beats the flavor of cooking with real wood, and nothing beats the convenience of cooking with natural gas, so now with these 2 grilling options you will be an unstoppable grill master with the power of gas and the flavor of wood all in one.
Questions I have been asked about this process:
Can You Need a BBQ do the conversion on a PB1230 propane to NG conversion?
The answer is simply No. That is why we went through the work of making the YouTube video. If you can’t do the conversion as a gas fitter and cannot locate one, then we strongly recommend getting the Camp Chef Version.
Doesn’t Propane burn hotter than Natural Gas?
Yes, propane burns about 3 times hotter than natural gas. That is why to do this conversion, you use a drill bit to shave away the metal from the propane orifice, thereby making it bigger so more gas can travel through it. Conversely on the Camp Chef conversion, they make a stock NG converter that just plugs in and is therefore a much easier process to complete.