It just isn't summer without backyard barbecues, and a gas grill is the core to any summer cookout. While some people prefer the taste of cooking with charcoal, gas grills have convenient advantages. Gas grills heat up more quickly than charcoal grills yet still provide a pleasing flavor you cannot achieve with an electric grill. Gas barbecue grills can reach very high temperatures and retain consistent heat.
When it comes to gas grills there are many options out there. You can opt for specialty features like a natural gas option, infrared technology or rotisserie grilling. These are great extras that further enhance your BBQ grilling experience. But for some grillers, the simpler the grill, the better. Many people just want a basic propane grill they can fire up fast with electric ignition to grill up tasty dinners for friends and family. Those who are looking to feed the neighborhood will need all the extras they can get along with oodles of cooking and warming space. Our gas grill reviews have plenty of options for both types of consumer interests, from the most serious to the most simple.
If you have a grill that is 500 square inches and 50,000 BTUs it should generate plenty of heat to cook your food thoroughly. However, if the same sized grill of 500 square inches generated 40,000 BTUs, it may not distribute the heat adequately to cook your meat the way you like it. You’ll also want the grill to be the right size for your needs. Consider that a 500 square foot grill cooks about 18 to 20 burgers. If you’re used to entertaining bigger groups than that, you may want to consider a bigger grill. If your group doesn’t generally extend beyond family and close friends, something between 400 and 500 square inches may be the perfect size.
In our evaluations of gas grills, we found the Napoleon Prestige Pro, Napoleon Mirage and the Weber Summit to be the best propane gas grills. You can also read about the other top gas barbecue grills outside of the top three, along with our articles on gas grills and grilling.
The debate between which fuel to use has been going on for decades. Charcoal grill users love the smoked flavor charcoal gives steaks and other slow-cooked meats while gas grills provide more flexibility and speed. Both fuels provide good results, but gas grills offer a higher level of convenience over charcoal grills. For example, the best gas grills often feature accessories such as a side or rotisserie burner, giving you more options than just an ordinary grill. Gas grills are also easier to clean as there is no ash residue to dispose of and the fuel in a natural gas or propane tank lasts longer than a bag of charcoal.
One of the main disadvantages of grilling with charcoal is the wait time. You have to stack the coals, spray lighter fluid, light the coals and wait until they are ready. Gas grills are a quick solution for busy people who want freshly grilled foods such as hamburgers, steak, chicken and sausage without the wait. Gas grills with side burners are great for boiling corn or keeping a side dish warm, such as chili, while you grill up the main meal.
Gas grills are also a great candidate for slow-cooking meats such as ribs and brisket, as you can maintain a steady temperature without worrying if you need to add more coals before they go out. A propane tank may be heavy, but gas grills are more cost effective, which is one of the best points to consider if you should buy a charcoal or gas grill. Instead of buying a new bag of charcoal briquettes every time you want to grill, a full tank of propane or natural gas can last for months on end with moderate grilling.
Our reviews are here to help you find the best gas grills available. We've taken into account specifications such as the range of temperature, the dimensions of the grill and what features make grilling more convenient. Here is what our reviewers are saying about the top gas grills:
"The Napoleon Prestige Pro is the best gas grill available, with solid construction and a rich feature package that includes a powerful, durable rotisserie infrared burner. This grill outshines the competition." Read more.
"Combining a rotisserie burner, rear and side infrared burners with a generous amount of primary cooking space, the Napoleon Mirage creates a versatile cooking space." Read more.
"The Weber Summit S-420 grill has plenty of cooking space and a light on the handle for cooking at night. If you have the space for it, this gas grill is perfect for cooking for a large crowd." Read more.
"The Vermont Castings 524 Signature Series is one of the most powerful grills in terms of BTUs and versatility, offering a rotisserie kit and a 15,000-BTU side burner. Generating 104 BTUs per square inch, this grill cooks evenly and precisely on direct or indirect heat." Read more.
Propane-fueled gas grills offer unmatched speed and convenience, but there are certain things you can look for to determine which gas grill will give you the most bang for your buck. When looking for a gas-powered grill, pay attention to these few key items and you'll be on your way to hosting great BBQ parties.
Power & Temperature
One of the main things manufacturers like to display when promoting a grill is its BTUs (British Thermal Units). This is a measurement of the heat generated per hour by the burners. BTU output is important, but it is only one small piece of the puzzle when it comes to finding the right grill. Other important aspects include how many burners the grill has, the type of fuel it uses (natural gas or propane), the type of ignition (electric is the best for quickness and safety), and if it has such extras as a rotisserie burner, a sear burner or infrared technology.
One of the worst things that can happen at a backyard BBQ is running out of space on the grill. Ideally, you always want to have enough cooking and warming space to satisfy all of your guests without long periods of waiting. A large primary cooking area is important to make sure you can cook for as many guests as possible, and a spacious warming rack will let you slowly melt the cheese on your hamburgers while you finish cooking the last couple of patties. In addition to this, some grills are available in both liquid propane (LP) and natural gas (NG) models, whereas others allow you to convert the propane grill into a natural gas grill. If you do a lot of night grilling, you will want a grill with all the illumination features you need like a hood light and control panel lights.
High-quality materials make all the difference when it comes to the longevity of your gas grill. Stainless steel is resistant to rust. Cast iron grates hold heat for a long time and give you that signature sear that you want with barbecue food. You want as much high-grade stainless steel as you can get, especially when it comes to the housing and main burners. While stainless steel grates are durable and long lasting, they can be hard to clean. Porcelain-coated cast iron is a nice alternative for cooking grates because it keeps food from sticking to the grates and makes cleanup easier.
With grills, bigger is often better, but you should find the right size grill for your yard. You’ll want to be sure the grill size you pick has enough BTUs to adequately heat the grill. Sometimes a more compact grill is preferable, depending on the space you’re working with. A grill that is 500 square inches should generate about 50,000 BTUs to give you the heat distribution you need. Also, be sure you have enough space to keep your grill a safe distance from your house and other structures.
Help & Support
If you need help with your grill, it’s important that you can easily contact the manufacturer and get a quick response. In addition, an online manual will ensure you can always find the instructions, even if you lose the physical copy. Finally, a lengthy warranty on the burners and other parts of the grill inspires confidence that you and your gas grill will be cooking together for a very long time.
Finding the right gas grill can be a challenge when you consider how many options there are and how much each grill varies from the next. Our matrix and reviews will help you narrow your choices and find the grill that is right for you.