Common Grilling Questions with Quick Answers

As the summer grilling season starts to ramp up, we’re seeing more questions about our grills. Today, we’ll cover a few of the more common questions we get regarding grill fuel options. If your question isn’t on the list, be sure to give us a call at 888-690-3773 to speak with one of our product specialists.

“Can I use charcoal in a gas grill?”

Napoleon 67732 Cast Iron Charcoal and Smoker Tray

Yes… sort of. Some grills have an optional accessory referred to as a charcoal tray. This drop-in component replaces your grill grates and allows charcoal to be placed over the burners. Charcoal trays are a great add-on option to allow you to ignite the charcoal using the convenience of your easy-to-light burner system. This also means you won’t have to use lighting fluid to ignite your charcoal, which will help preserve the taste of your food. As the charcoal burns, it will simply fall into your drip pan for easy removal.

One detail to note, however, is sizing. There is no “standard” tray size option, so there are usually specific trays designed to work with specific grills. Your manufacturer may have more information about accessories listed in your owner’s manual. You can also contact us for assistance.

If your grill doesn’t have a charcoal tray available, you may not be able to cook with charcoal on your grill. However, a smoker box or smoker tube may be available for your grill instead. These accessories can help create unique flavor options for your food, as well.

“How do I convert a natural gas grill to propane?”

Occasionally, it’s necessary to change from a natural gas fuel supply to a propane fuel supply. Unfortunately, this process isn’t as simple as unplugging one fuel source and plugging in another. There’s usually a bit of setup required to ensure everything is working properly.

Converting gas type in your BBQ can vary between grill models, but the process usually involves changing out the orifices controlling gas flow in each burner. The regulator in control of gas flow will also need to be changed to an LPG regulator.

Most premium brands offer conversion kits for purchase, but it is highly recommended to have the grill converted by a professional to ensure safety and performance. Certain brands of grills can not be converted at all, so be sure to order the correct grill for your intended gas type or see if conversion is an option before purchasing if you know you’ll be changing your grill’s configuration down the road.

“Can I use propane on a natural gas grill?”

NO, You will not be able to use propane on a natural gas grill or vice versa. The flame performance will be extremely poor, which will keep you from having an enjoyable grilling experience.

As we mentioned, it may be possible to use a conversion kit to convert from one fuel type to another. However, this isn’t a guarantee.

If your current grill just won’t work for you anymore. Be sure to check out the hundreds of grill models we have available on Whether you’re looking for propane, natural gas, or charcoal, we have something we’re sure you’ll enjoy. We even have electric models available!

Still have questions?

You can contact us by phone or email to speak with one of our grilling experts who can help you meet the needs of your outdoor kitchen. We’re here Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time, and we can help set you up with the right products for you based on factors like your budget, how many people you’re cooking for, and what you like to prepare.

We’re looking forward to working with you!

Product Specialist Nathan J. contributed to this article.

Planning to do a lot of grilling with charcoal?