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Good question. I was wondering that myself. To answer that question, I went to our crack service department's technical advisors. Here's what they say: ""BTU rating are simply a calculation based primarily on gas pressure & orifice size, or the amount & type of gas burning per hour. (heat output per hour). Since stainless steel retains heat better than the other grill materials, it requires less gas to heat SS grills to the same temperature, therefore SS grills are intentionally designed with a slightly smaller orifice in the gas valve than black grills. You could say that SS grills get better "gas mileage" than black grills. All full sized Holland grills, no matter which material, are designed to heat to the SAME temperature. It is TEMPERATURE that cooks your food, not BTU's." Couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks Dan!