There are little things out there that can compare to the taste of a finely grilled food on one of the best gas grills on the market. The combination of a beautiful sunny day, your friends and family, and a delicious barbecue meal is one of the best ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. However, the choice of the grill plays a vital thing when it comes to preparing food. We are aware that some of you weren’t experts on the subjects, which is why we decided to help you when it comes to selecting the device you will use to impress everyone with your cooking skills.
To answer the question about the best gas grills available out there today, we conducted a comprehensive research on the topic. We gathered a team that not only has decades of experience in eating barbecued food but also knows a thing or two about what makes a grill the best. That is the mystery we will try to unravel by dwelling into features of various barbecuing products on the market.
Why Gas Is the Best Fuel for Your Grill
Let’s discuss the best fuel options for your grill before we dig into what features should a barbecue have to fulfill expectations. There are many traditionalists out there who believe that charcoal is the only way you should go. However, the truth is that there are much more comfortable and better alternatives. Let’s try and explain why more and more people are using gas to fuel their grills nowadays.
The vital thing to consider when it comes to barbecues is the flavor of the food. There are those who swear that charcoal is the best fuel because of the distinct ‘smoky’ feeling that it provides. We decided to test this theory and prepared various foods on both charcoal and gas grills. When it comes to the food that is quickly grilled, such as burgers and sausages, there was absolutely no difference in taste. The additional smoke production did influence the flavor of long-cooked ribs a bit, but it wasn’t worth the hassle that we had to go through to prepare it.
Preparing a charcoal barbecue for grilling takes a long time. You start by stacking the coals and even when you finally light them you have to wait until they are hot enough. Aside from that, you also need to regularly add coals if you want to keep the temperature steady when you are slow-cooking. And it is a safe bet that you will end up getting yourself and the grill dirty because charcoal is known for leaving a mess. That guarantees the additional loss of time and nerves on maintaining your barbecue and keeping it clean.
On the other hand, using gas as a fuel for your grill is incredibly convenient. Although a tank full of propane is a bit heavy, it will have you covered for a while, and the cleaning and maintenance is a lot easier. Also, the gas itself is a cost-effective option, especially compared to charcoal. On top of that, they often come with various accessories that can help you when barbecuing, such as rotisserie and other side burners.
What Are the Best Gas Grills?
We will share our test results soon, but let us just mention that we weren’t messing around. We didn’t get together for an hour or two and based our conclusions on one afternoon. Instead, our team of reviewers decided to spend an entire week testing various models of gas grills and trying the food cooked in them. We won’t lie that we had some fun and a bunch of tasty meals along the way, but we took our job seriously.
Best Gas Grill for the Money
In the end, we came to a unanimous conclusion that Weber Genesis II is the top of the class when it comes to the best gas grills for the money. It’s the all-in-one package for all your barbecuing needs. If you know a thing or two about the grilling systems, you will appreciate the fact that it produces and maintains heat efficiently, while making sure that your food is incredibly juicy. And if you are often planning barbecues for larger parties, its cooking area has enough width to cover all your needs. On top of that, it seems to us that the black color provides the modern and elegant look perfect for your backyard.
Another value deal when it comes to grilling systems is the Broil King Baron grilling system. It features four burners made of reasonably thick stainless steel and a significant cooking area. Baron also offers cast-iron grates, which is the best choice of material in this case (we will get into reasons why later). Broil King managed to deliver one of the best gas grills for the money here, at least when it comes to outdoor barbecuing.
Top-Rated Gas Grills
Napoleon Mirage is also among the top-rated gas grills available on the market. In the end, it all depends on what you need. As for the Napoleon grills, most of them come with a hefty price tag. However, it also comes with useful features, such as the infrared rear and side burners that ensure your meat will be evenly cooked. On top of that, you are sure that you will get a reliable and durable product that will prepare delicious food during the many years to come. After all, the manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty on the Mirage products, which is a sure indicator of how confident they are of its high quality.
If you are not looking to spend that amount of money on a grilling system, there are more affordable options that also belong to the top-rated gas grills category. For example, take a look at the Weber Spirit barbecue that features three stainless steel burners, as well as a spacious cooking area. It’s the second product we recommend from Weber, but it’s only because they know are the masters of their trade. They have the reputation of being one of the best grill manufacturers out there and with good reason. As for the Spirit model, it offers incredible heat consistency for the price and maintaining it is a piece of cake.
If you are looking for top-rated gas grills that also offer an extensive cooking area appropriate to cook a bunch of burgers at once, it might be worth taking a look at the Dyna-Glo DGE Bronze 5-Burner. It features five stainless steel burners and over 700 square inches of cooking space. Char-Broil Signature 4-Burner is a bit smaller alternative, but it also features more than 500 square inches of the primary cooking area.
Best Portable Gas Grills
If you are heading for a vacation, camping or field trip, you might want to consider enjoying some delicious grilled food while relaxing in the afternoon. That is why we made a selection of the best portable gas grills perfect for traveling. We will start with the Cuisinart CGG-200, a tabletop model that can feed up to eight people.
Another reliable option is the Coleman Road Trip Grill LXE that comes with a foldable stand included. That means that you won’t have to worry where you will place your portable grill, but you can just put the stand with wheels and set the system on top. Unlike two previous solutions that are incredibly affordable, Weber Q2200 is a bit pricier for a portable grill. However, the stainless steel burner, cast-iron grates, and over 250 square inches of the cooking area are the perfect combination for all of you looking for the ideal performance from your grilling system. A collapsible cart as an accessory to this model is sold separately.
Best Gas Grills Under $300
We tried to keep it real during our testing of various grilling systems, but we are aware that you might be after a solid barbecue at a price that will be as fair as possible. If that is the case, take a look at the Char-Broil Performance TRU which falls into the category of the best gas grills under $300. For that money, you will get a compact system that does what is expected of it. Master Cook Outdoor BBQ is also a product with a friendly price tag. It features four primary burners along with a side burner. Of course, you shouldn’t expect a bunch of extra accessories, but what is essential is that you get the core features of a regular gas grill at an affordable price.
Crucial Features That the Best Gas Grills Should Have
People might have different needs when it comes to choosing the appropriate grilling product for them. However, there are some crucial features that grills need to have if they want to fit into the category of the “best.” As we tested various products, we concluded that cooking evenly and retaining heat is among the top things looked for in a grill. Let’s try to analyze grills one feature at a time so that you can discover which one best suits your needs and expectations.
What Are They Made Of?
Based on our tests, the best performance when it comes to retaining heat was seen by the barbecues made of stainless steel that was a bit thicker. Those cooking boxes did take a bit more time to heat up at the beginning, but once they reached the temperature, they were keeping it steady with no problems. They even managed to retain heat when some of our hungry reviewers opened the lid to check whether the food is ready. When you think about it, it is quite logical. Those grill made of thinner steel lost some of their heat through it. That is what caused them to produce dry and, in some cases, overcooked meat. Conclusion – best gas grills are made of thicker stainless steel.
However, keep in mind that the same doesn’t apply to grates. In fact, cast-iron grates are a far better option than those of stainless steel. When we tested both options, we concluded that grates made of cast-iron do a much better job of retaining heat. That can be particularly important if you are slow-cooking a steak or some ribs. You might not feel a difference if you are quickly grilling some burgers, but it will haunt you later because stainless steel grates are more challenging to clean because they tend to keep more elbow grease.
We are aware that you might be on the budget and looking for best grills under $300 or so. Keep in mind that manufacturers often use thinner metal when making cheaper grills. After all, they need to reduce their overall cost of building the product to offer it at an affordable price. However, you should take into account the fact that those grills are prone to rust, which means that you will probably end up buying replacement parts often.
Does Size Matter?
It might not be like that in some other areas of life, but when it comes to grilling meat bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. While we tried to answer the question from the subheading, we tested various models that had anywhere from two primary burners and up to five. If you often have large parties coming for a weekend barbecue, you would think that a more massive grill is the better option.
During our testing phase, models with three or four primary burners had the best results. They managed to maintain the balance between providing a considerable amount of food while securing its highest quality. Once again a thicker construction proved to be the most fitting choice, considering that these barbecues achieved maintaining the temperature through the entire cooking process. As a result, we managed to cook a juicy steak without any trouble.
Should You Consider BTU?
There is no need to worry if you don’t know what BTU is because we’ve got you covered. British Thermal Units or BTU is a measurement unit that barbecue manufacturers use to describe the amount of fuel their product uses to produce heat. In other words, it provides you with information about the propane output of your grill. Considering that this information is usually located among additional details that describe a barbecue, people are often wondering whether they should take it into account when deciding on their favorite model.
While it can offer some guidance, BTU is not the crucial factor in determining the effectiveness of your desired grill when it comes to producing and retaining heat. The fact that a specific model has a higher BTU rating didn’t necessarily mean that it will maintain temperature more efficiently than a grill with somewhat lower BTU. In fact, the material used proved to be the vital thing to consider once again. In cases where thinner steel was used to make the grills, the model had trouble with keeping consistent heat when set to high settings. The lightweight lid led to too much heat escaping through it despite having the maximum output of the BTU. Conclusion – you can take a look at the BTU for additional information, but it shouldn’t be the crucial factor when purchasing best gas grills.
Are Grills Hard to Assemble?
Oh my God, yes. Actually, it’s not that there was anything tricky to do while putting together any of the barbecue models we tried to assemble. It’s just that it takes a whole lot of time that we would rather spend barbecuing our favorite food and mouth-watering neat the grill.
Joking aside, if the manufacturer or the distributor offers you the option of assembling the product for you without any additional cost, make sure to use that opportunity. You might be an expert with the tools, and you might have years of experience when it comes to DIY work in your backyard, but you won’t be able to escape spending a couple of hours assembling the grill you purchased. If you still want to go with that option, make sure that you carefully read the instructions to make sure you assemble it correctly.
Where and How Will You Use It?
Another crucial question to consider when picking the best gas grill for you is how and where you plan to use it. When it comes to location, you should take into account how much room you can spare for a grilling system. For example, if you are living in an apartment, it might be best to choose between the portable grills we suggested. There are systems designed to fit into smaller spaces, such as Dyna-Glo 3-Burner Smart Space Living. Thanks to the side shelves that are foldable, it might be ideal for your porch.
On the other hand, if you have a spacious backyard and you plan on organizing barbecues for the entire neighborhood on a regular basis, you will need a bigger grill. In that case, you can take a look at Char-Broil Signature or other models that feature at least four burners. They will provide proper producing and maintaining of heat while securing the cooking area big enough to accommodate dozens of burgers at one.
Do You Need a Side Burner?
Aside from the regular burners, there are grilling systems that also come with a side burner. As the name suggests, they are located on the shelves on the sides of your grill. They are not as efficient as the primary burners, and that’s why they are only considered an accessory to a grilling product.
The manufacturers usually implement them to allow people to saute mushrooms or onions and even boil some corn on the cob. While you can’t use them to grill burgers or steaks, they are perfect for preparing a side dish with your grilling meals without having to go to the kitchen. When you are not using side burners, you can use a lid to cover them and use them as a table.
Is There Room to Store Accessories?
Some gas grills have a storage room located beneath the grilling surface that serves to put away your accessories once you are done barbecuing. Those accessories include anything from tongs to meat thermometers. It’s much easier to store them right by your grilling system than place them somewhere else and end up losing them. While this is not a feature that should decide whether you will purchase the desired grill or not, be aware that having some storage room can be very convenient.
Do You Need Swiveling Wheels?
Think about whether your grill will always stand in the same spot or you plan to move it around. If you believe the latter one is the case, make sure to choose a system that comes with four swiveling wheels. Those that come with only two will put up a lot of a fight while you are moving them. On the other hand, four wheels secure that you can safely push the model in all directions and get it to the desired spot with no hassle.
How to Choose the Right Gas Grill for Your Needs
The first thing you need to consider is what your needs are. If you are making barbecues only for your family, there is no use in purchasing a vast 7-burner grilling system that can serve an entire town. The priciest models don’t necessarily have to be the best gas grills. We recommend 3-burner models for family-sized barbecues, but you should consider an extra burner or two if you are having guests often.
Don’t let the looks be the only factor you take into account when deciding on a grill model to purchase. You want it to be sleek and fit into your backyard surroundings, but you also need it to provide reliable performance to produce the juiciest food. Also, think carefully about your budget. You can get some of the best gas grills for under $300, but don’t expect brilliant performance or durability from them. On the other hand, purchasing a model that might be a bit more expensive at the beginning might prove to be a sound long-term investment as it will provide better cooking results and extended durability.