Gas grills have been the top choice for Americans for several years now. They are preferred for their convenience – no charcoal or ashes involved, just ignite and control the temperature with the knobs. According to a survey by The Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA), of the 70% of American adults who own a grill or smoker, 64% own gas grills. Manufacturers keep rolling out new models of gas grills every year due to their popularity, with prices ranging from under $100 to over $20,000. However, cheap grills often come with flashy but poor quality features, built with low-grade stainless steel and shoddy fasteners that rust and break apart after a couple of seasons.
If you opt for a $200 grill and have to replace it every few years, chances are you will spend more in the long run, compared to buying a high-quality grill that lasts for decades. But for some people, a cheap, disposable grill that can be replaced easily after use is appealing. Ultimately, choosing the best gas grill for you depends on your budget and the size of the grill you need.
Weber Genesis II E-335
Admittedly, the Weber Genesis II propane grill is on the pricier side, but for serious grillers who value quality and performance, it’s definitely worth the investment. Boasting a large cooking area of 513 square inches and a powerful 39,000 BTU burner, this grill delivers excellent heat retention thanks to its stainless steel rod cooking grates. Additional features include a fold-down warming rack, a 12,000-BTU side burner, and a two-shelf storage area hidden behind two cabinet doors. While the propane tank requires storage outside of the grill, it’s easy to access and comes with a hanging fuel gauge. For added convenience, the Genesis II E-335 is compatible with Weber’s iGrill 3 accessory, which allows for monitoring of up to four Bluetooth temperature probes via an app for iOS and Android. Our testing revealed that the Genesis II E-335 produces perfectly cooked burgers, chicken, and ribs, and with Weber’s 10-year warranty on all grill parts, this propane gas grill with cast iron grate is sure to last through years of heavy use.
Napoleon Prestige Pro 500
Visit bbqguys.com to purchase this grill priced at $2,699.00. One of the most satisfying features of this grill is its rotisserie option. The grill is made with high-quality stainless steel construction, but the wheels feel a bit flimsy in comparison. With 500 square inches of cooking space, this grill gives you the option to use propane or natural gas (extra $100 fee for natural gas). The maximum temperature reaches approximately 700°F, providing charcoal-level heat.
As a major player in the mid-market to ultra-premium grill categories, Napoleon is a brand that offers outstanding build quality and cooking capabilities. Although this particular grill is considered middle-of-the-pack in terms of Napoleon’s range, it features a shiny stainless steel exterior that is sure to impress. Most of the grill is built with robust 304 stainless steel, and the firebox is constructed from ultra-durable cast aluminum.
This grill comes equipped with four primary burners, each with a heat diffuser, as well as an infrared side burner and rotisserie burner. Although the wavy grates may prove to be a challenge to clean at times, they are designed with high-quality 9.5mm stainless steel. The infrared burner provides a step up from those found in other budget-focused brands like Weber, producing heat levels of up to 1,100 degrees, similar to that of a charcoal grill, but ready to use in mere seconds.
Best affordable gas grill: Char-Broil
Sonny’s BBQ pitmaster Shannon Snell recommended the Char-Broil Performance Silver 5 Burner Gas Grill for its 645 square inches of total porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking space and a side burner. According to Snell, this grill is priced exceptionally well at around $300 and is highly durable. Although Snell has only had to replace a few parts over time, he has not experienced any mechanical problems. The porcelain-coated cast-iron grates aid in heat retention and rust resistance, while the cart design adds portability. This grill operates on propane and contains five burners, providing a total cooking area of 649 square inches. The burners are made of cast iron.
Best Kamado Gas Grill
The grill boasts a cooking surface of 604 square inches and is equipped with one burner with a BTU output of 26,500. The grate is made of stainless steel for durability. Unlike traditional kamado grills that solely use charcoal, this Vision Grills version offers the flexibility of using either charcoal or gas depending on your preference. The grill’s thick sides efficiently absorb heat for impressive cooking results. You can adjust the temperature with the dual calibrate draft vent dials. The grill also comes with dual side tables for ample prep space. Plus, you can choose from eye-catching colors such as orange, bright red, and glossy black.
Nexgrill 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill
– Low likelihood of flare-ups
– Affordable price
– Quick heating requires careful attention to food
– Difficulty in finding high quality grill for under $500
The NexGrill 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill is a great choice for those looking for a quality grill at an affordable price point. Despite its low cost, it performed exceptionally well in our tests, boasting an impressively even heating pattern and flawless steak searing abilities. It produced perfectly grilled marks without any unwanted smoke or flare-ups.
Additionally, the grill was very user-friendly, offering two convenient side shelves, ample storage space, and easy access to both the propane tank and grease drainage system. A side burner is included, and the grill has a sleek stainless steel exterior. Though it should be noted that due to its fast heating, users must keep a careful eye on their food while cooking. It is also typically difficult to find a high quality grill for under $500, making the NexGrill a remarkable exception.
Things to Consider When Buying a Gas Grill
Don’t stress too much over BTU ratings as they only indicate the amount of gas a grill uses. More BTUs do not necessarily mean higher heat or better cooking.
It is best to look for a gas grill that is made of thick metal or rust-resistant stainless steel. The heavier and thicker the grill, the better it holds heat, and the more resistant it is to being knocked down or blown over.
Wheels or Casters:
Ideally, the grill should have at least two wheels that are made of stainless steel or bronze. This enhances durability and prevents rusting.
The lid should fit tightly to keep in the heat.
Removable Grease Pan:
A grease pan or cup should be included for the dripping grease. It should be easily accessible and removable since it needs emptying frequently.
The ease of hooking up the tank should be checked. Determine if you require a side burner for heating up sauces, baked beans or sautéing onions. Tool hooks allow you to hang your tongs and basting brush when not in use. Although not precise, thermometers in the lid and fuel gauge on gas models are helpful.
How We Chose:
Our top gas grill picks were based on our extensive experience of using them while developing recipes and in our backyards. We also checked review sites and online user comments to see what other people recommend. Our major consideration was the grill’s ability to cook evenly without flaring up. We also reviewed how easy they were to use and their special features. Our picks include a range of affordable grills and one splurge, catering to all types of backyard cooks.
This article has been revised since its original publish date to ensure accuracy, pricing, and availability. We stand by our list of top gas grill picks.
How many burners do I need?
The number of burners on a gas grill determines the amount of food you can grill at a time. A six-burner gas grill is the better choice if you plan on having a lot of large gatherings. However, for the most part, a three or four-burner stove will accommodate your grilling needs on a regular basis.
Are infrared burners a good thing?
Most gas grills use convection heating to cook food, which basically exposes food directly to fire. The problem with this type of energy is that it can dry out meats. Infrared burners, on the other hand, are designed to help meats retain their moisture, resulting in a juicier dish. This is because they use radiation heat versus convection heat. Essentially, the fire heats ceramic or metal plates which then transfers heat evenly to the food.
What does BTU mean?
BTU stands for British Thermal Units. It’s simply a way to measure the energy (or the heat) output of a grill. In theory, the higher the BTU rating, the better — right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The BTU rating should be relative to the surface size of the grill. This means, that a quality grill should have at least 75 to 100 BTUs per square inch of the grill surface. This doesn’t quite apply to infrared burners in the same way, which makes this all the more confusing. Just remember that BTUs aren’t the end all, be all for gas grilling. There are many other factors to consider.
Do I need a side burner?
Some grills come with side burners, and while you don’t necessarily need it to grill a meal, they can come in handy for cooking side dishes and sauces in pans or searing a steak if the side burner has a grate covering.