Best Natural Gas Grills
We have seen an increase in the number of outdoor appliances powered by gas lately. That goes explicitly for the grilling systems, which can use one of two different options for fueling – natural gas or liquid propane. It’s not easy to make that decision, which is why we will try to focus on some advantages of choosing natural gas and discuss the reasons why you should want it.
We won’t stop there, but we will also list the best natural gas grills across several categories that suit every budget. Finally, we will give you some tips on how to choose the right unit for you. Let’s start with considering some benefits of natural gas.
Why You Should Choose Natural Gas
There are several reasons why you should pick this option as the fuel for your BBQ system. The top of that list is undoubtedly a convenience. If you use natural gas, you don’t have to worry about changing the liquid propane tanks. The only thing you should do is to connect the supply line to your grill, and you can dedicate solely to cooking exquisite food. Some would argue that natural gas offers an unlimited amount of fuel and, although that is a clumsy way to say it, it is true in a way. If you are hosting a party for the entire neighborhood, you don’t have to keep checking the level of fuel all the time. You also don’t have to worry about purchasing new propane tanks because you will be able to grill whenever you feel like it.
The next reason why we think the best natural gas grills should be your choice is that this type of fuel is cheaper than the alternatives. When we say other options, we mean both charcoal and propane. The actual price may vary depending on your location, but our calculations say that natural gas is at least two to three times cheaper than propane. Add to that the fact that it is efficient and the same amount of natural gas can last double as long, and the math seems pretty clear.
We are living in times when pollution is a dangerous problem. That is why we all need to care about our environment and using natural gas is an excellent way to show that you are environmentally friendly. The science says that natural gas is cleaner than charcoal and propane and that makes it better for our planet and your health, too.
If you think of it, the only downside of this type of fuel is that it requires having the installation ready. That means you need to have a natural gas line along with the hose that will lead the fuel to your grill. However, if these conditions are met, economic, environmental, and simplicity is all the reasons why you should use this type of fuel instead of propane or charcoal.
Best Natural Gas Grills for the Money
If budget is not your concern, you will have plenty of excellent BBQ units to choose from at your disposal. However, that still doesn’t mean that you should splash several thousands of dollars on one product (unless you are into owning limited-edition grilling systems and impressing your high-end neighbors). For example, you can consider Genesis II LX S-340 or any other BBQ from that series. They belong to the category of premium grills, and you can expect all those bells and whistles that Weber offers, such as stainless steel burners, flavorizer bars, and grease management system. Depending on your needs, you can also choose a unit that provides, even more, cooking space, such as Genesis II LX E-640.
Napoleon proudly states that they are the leading Canadian BBQ manufacturer and their LEX485 model undoubtedly belongs among the best natural grills for the money. It’s evident that this large BBQ system is for those that are often grilling for their family, friends, or neighbors (or all of them combined). The whopping 805 square inches of the cooking surface and six burners that deliver 74,000 BTUs are a potent combination that provides excellent results. You also get a rear burner that can accommodate a rotisserie kit, as well as a side infrared burner. The enclosed cabinet and side shelves that remind of a working area on a counter give away the impression that you purchased an outdoor kitchen.
Broil King also has its edition of premium grilling systems that belong among the best natural gas grills. Take a look at the Regal S420 Pro which has 500 square inches of the central cooking area powered by four burners that provide 50,000 BTUs per hour. The Flav-R-Wave system guarantees delicious and juicy food, while the side tables and enclosed cabinets offer ample storage space. There are also other models equipped with even more bells and whistles, such as Regal S490 Pro that comes with a rotisserie kit and a side burner. All the units are made in North America and components have a limited lifetime warranty.
Top Rated Natural Gas Grills
After researching Amazon for just a couple of minutes, it becomes apparent that one manufacturer dominates when it comes to positive customer reviews. If you thought about Weber, you’ve guessed it right, which is why we will present two of their units that are considered top rated natural gas grills, at least if you ask users on Amazon.
Genesis II E310 belongs to the series we previously mentioned, but it is one of the more affordable units. Despite the fact that you can get it for $700, it still is a premium grill that delivers three burners that can quickly heat over 500 square inches of cooking area. You also get a warming rack of 150 square inches, as well as extra working space on both sides of the unit. The model is relatively new, which is why it supports Wi-Fi control via a mobile app. The so-called iGrill3 accessory will cost you extra, but it will enable you to move up to 150 feet away from your grill and still monitor the temperature inside the cook box.
If you are willing to pay more, then you must consider Weber Summit E-470. The premium model provides incredible versatility and everything you might need related to grilling in just one product. There is a sear box, side and smoker burners, as well as a rear infrared heater that comes with a rotisserie kit. The central cooking surface spreads to 580 square inches with just over 100 inches reserved for a secondary warming rack. The construction is incredibly sturdy, which increases the durability of the unit. Each component is carefully designed and you get a 5-year limited warranty on the product.
We don’t want you to think that we are favoring Weber, but we can’t neglect what the customer reviews are showing. Napoleon can also be happy with the praises of their T410SBNK Triumph model. Although they don’t have the number of positive reports as Weber, virtually all of them are positive, which is an excellent indicator of the product’s quality. It features wavy cooking grids for the best heat retention and the cooking surface of 600 square inches. The stainless steel design secures extended durability, while four burners take care of the appropriate power, which goes up to 44,700 BTUs per hour. The side shelves are foldable, while the wheels on the bottom of the cart provide increased mobility.
Best Portable Natural Gas Grills
The very premise of a natural gas grilling system being portable might be a little hard to grasp. The fact that you need to supply a gas line to your grill limits you when it comes to taking your BBQ everywhere you go. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t bring it to a neighbor or friend who has the fuel supply required to run it. It is also not a reason not to be able to move it around your backyard. If those are the features you consider might be useful, take a look at the best portable natural gas grills we selected.
We are starting our list with Napoleon PRO285N-BK Portable Natural Gas Grill. It features 285 square inches of the cooking surface and two dual burners that can deliver both direct and indirect heat. The cooking grids are of cast iron with a porcelain finish, while the lid is of cast aluminum to ensure that the unit resists severe weather conditions and lasts longer. The total power that the product can deliver is 12,000 BTUs, while it weighs around 40 pounds. It also has an electronic ignition, as well as a temperature gauge and knobs to control the heat of the burners separately.
Weber Q3200 falls into the category of more expensive and also heavier units. However, some characteristics make it portable despite the fact that it weighs 100 pounds. The wheels secure that you can move it from one place to another with ease, while the side tables are foldable, which saves space when you are not using them. The BBQ system has an ample cooking surface of 293 square inches that gets heated quickly with two burners that deliver 21,700 BTUs. As you would expect with Weber, the quality of construction is superb and you wouldn’t have to worry for years to come if you purchase this unit.
As for the Cuisinart CGG-200, it’s a real bargain when it comes to the best natural gas grills. It is a tabletop model, so you can’t expect outstanding performance, but you can get a bundle of the product, stand, adaptor hose, and cover for just over $200 on Amazon. The unit has a single burner tube that delivers 12,000 BTUs. The good news is that it is of stainless steel, which secures excellent durability, and that the power it provides is enough to heat the cooking grate of 240 square inches. The base of the grill is made of painted steel, while the handle was specifically designed to resist the heat, which means that there is no danger of burning your hands. Keep in mind that some of these models can also use liquid propane tanks, which increases their portability.
Best Natural Gas Grills Under $500
Although we did cover some expensive units in this article, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a grilling system at an affordable price. Furthermore, you can buy some of the best natural gas grills under $500, and one of them is Broil King Monarch 390. You will get an average-sized cooking area that is enough to cook for up to six people and is powered by three dual-tube burners for even heat distribution. The cooking grids are reversible – one side enables juicy and delicious food, while the other gives those recognizable searing marks. There is also another Monarch 340 that doesn’t differ a lot from this one, but it has side shelves that are foldable for saving some space.
Dyna-Glo 4-Burner is another model that is budget-friendly. Aside from the black and stainless steel design, you can also buy the bronze version that is a bit more expensive but still fits the under $500 limit. The total strength of this unit is 60,000 BTUs, but that includes a side burner that delivers 12,000 BTUs. Regardless, the remaining power is more than enough to heat the inner cooking surface of 480 and warming rack of 186 square inches. You can use the latter one even for simmering vegetables and prepare a tasty side dish. Each of the burners is made of the highest quality, as well as the other components. You have total control over the unit thanks to the power knobs on the front panel and the heat gauge that is mounted on the lid.
Weber is known for pricier models, but their Spirit series has been designed with the goal of making entry-level grilling systems that will be suitable for both newbies and experienced grillers. Spirit S210 is one of those units that prefer utility over power. That means that it might take a minute or two more to heat up, but it will deliver consistent performance and superb results. You get an average-sized grilling surface along with a small warming rack that is perfect for cooking for your family. There are side shelves and the enclosed cabinet that keeps you from juggling platters and other grilling tools. The overall impression is that this is the ideal choice if you are looking for an affordable entry-level grill that will last for years.
How to Choose the Right Natural Gas Grill for You
The critical thing you want to consider is your priorities. There are many units out there that deserve a place among the best natural grills, but not every one of them is suitable for your needs. Let’s try to answer some questions that you might have:
What Are BTUs and Why Do I Need Them?
BTU is an abbreviation for British Thermal Units, which is a measurement that indicates how much heat is a grilling system able to produce. You might think that you need to look for a model that has the highest potential in delivering the hotness. However, that might not be true all the time, especially if you are in the market for smaller units.
Experts agree that you need 80-100 BTUs per every square inch of your grilling area. In theory, that means that an average-sized grill of 300 square inches that can prepare food for a family of four doesn’t need more than approximately 25,000 BTUs. On the other hand, if you have 600 square inches or more of cooking space, you will want your unit to have a total heat from burners of at least 50,000 BTUs. In conclusion, the only reason why you should consider the British Thermal Units is to make sure that they provide the appropriate amount of heat for your desired BBQ size.
Do I Need More Burners?
The advantage of having more burner tubes lies in the fact that you can create different zones while grilling. In theory, having six burners means that you can adjust the three burners right side of your cooking grate to be extremely hot, but at the same time set the left half to simmer some vegetables on lower heat.
It takes a bit of practice to become experienced with this type of zonal cooking, but your job is made more comfortable by the fact that most of the best natural gas grills have separate control knobs for every burner. Despite that, the number of burner tubes shouldn’t be a priority over their quality. It’s much more critical to always go with stainless steel tubes as they have an extended lifespan.
How to Know If a Grill Will Be Durable?
Although natural gas is more affordable than propane, you are still investing a handsome sum of money into purchasing a grilling system. That is why you want to ensure that it delivers superb results and lasts as long as possible. The best way to check that is to see the materials that were used in designing a grill. Overall, stainless steel is accepted as the highest quality element for most of the components. You want to look for heavy gauge stainless steel, which is far more durable and resistant to severe weather conditions. A good indicator of the quality of steel used is the weight of the product. If it weighs less than 100 pounds (as long as it’s not a small portable grill), it’s probably not worth your time.
Porcelain-enamel finish is something that helps fighting rust, while cast aluminum is often used for cook boxes and lids for the same purpose. As for the cooking grates, experts agree that cast iron provides incredible heat retention, but stainless steel will also do the job.
Do I Need a Side or Rear Burner?
Just like other extra features, this should be solely your decision. As for the side burners, don’t expect that you will do any real grilling with them. However, if you need extra space to keep your food warm, whip up a sauce or simmer vegetables, it might be advantageous. Keep in mind that side burners, in most cases, offer uneven cooking, and hot and cold spots are nothing unusual. On the other hand, they might save you from going to the kitchen to make a side dish.
As for the rear burners, a bunch of grillers equips it with a rotisserie kit. While that is not something that is considered mandatory in a grill, it provides you with an extra cooking alternative. Aside from that, the whole chicken prepared on a rotisserie can have that additional dose of crispiness we all secretly desire. However, make sure that your rotisserie kit comes with a reliable motor that won’t break down after several uses.
Natural Gas Grill Safety Tips
In the end, let us give you some quick tips that will help you to use your natural gas grill safely:
- Make sure to keep everything clean – cleaning is an integral part of safety in gas grilling systems. You should ensure to clean your unit on a regular basis. Before each use, make sure to check the burner tubes for insects that love to nest there as that may cause a fire. If you are using your grill often, this is not something you should worry about, but if it has been a while, make sure to inspect the burners thoroughly
- Keep flammable materials far away – while your unit is working, you don’t need any paper products, clothing, or linens inside the cook box or near the burners
- Keep children and pets away – although this goes without saying, you should make sure that they don’t get anywhere near your grill, especially while it is hot
- Make sure to grill outdoors – not only you can cause a fire, but you can seriously endanger your health if you are grilling in an enclosed space
Finally, you should know that there is no danger of a fire in case of a leak. Unlike propane, it will just rise into the atmosphere since it is lighter than air.