Gas grills are the future of grilling, and with each new day, they are leaving further behind their charcoal counterparts. It’s been ages since the humanity was using an open fire to cook their meat. Today, we have modern grilling systems that ignite with the press of a button and don’t make a mess all over the backyard.
Today, we are focusing on the best propane grills. We will briefly focus on how they work and what the difference is between them and natural gas. After that, we listed the models we believe that are worth your while. We also divided them across four categories, such as the top-rated propane grills, for your convenience. And if you would still like to know a bit more before deciding on a BBQ system or you, take a look at the list of things you need to consider when buying a grill below.
How Does a Propane Grill Work?
Let’s take a moment and explain how a propane grill works for those of you who like to know a thing or two about their grilling systems. These models include a gas source, hose (or more of them), burners, valves that regulate the temperature, an ignition system, the grill body, hood, and the cooking area. Just as with any other gas unit, a propane BBQ is started with an electronic spark. That is what leads the gas to the burner tubes and starts creating heat. You use the valves to set the desired temperature and adjust it during the cooking process. As you can see, everything is as simple as it can get and operating this type of grill doesn’t require any expert skills or knowledge.
The Difference between Liquid Propane and Natural Gas
If you are a grilling enthusiast, the chances are that you already know the difference. However, it couldn’t hurt if we remind you of the most prominent advantage that propane offers and that is convenience and portability. If you want to use natural gas, it means that you need to establish a line that will go through your home. That will considerably limit you when it comes to the available spots for placing your grill. On the other hand, propane is stored in tanks that you can purchase at your local store. According to experts, you can pack it so conveniently thanks to the fact that propane can be compressed. The tanks have a capacity of up to 20 pounds, which means that you can get more than an hour of grilling using just one cylinder. Maybe you did some math and concluded that natural gas is the cheaper option, but you need to think about the efficiency and power because you get a lot more of it with liquid propane. Plus, the fact that tanks are mobile and can go anywhere on the grill without requiring a long hose or a gas line is something that is worth a couple of extra bucks.
What Are the Best Propane Grills?
It’s not easy to answer that question because there are hundreds of different models out there. That is why we gathered and conducted in-depth research in our effort to provide an answer. As a result, we have divided the best propane grills across several categories. We tried to consider your budget, as well as features and various uses of grilling units. As experts, we know that we can’t neglect the opinion of existing users, which is why we also considered customer reviews. Take a look at our list of propane BBQs and fins the one that suits your needs the most.
Best Propane Grills for the Money
When you are purchasing a BBQ system, you want to get the most for your investment. That is only logical, which is why we will be presenting you some of the best propane grills for the money. Let’s start with the Broil-King Baron series. The 590 model comes in two different colors and boasts 805 square inches of grilling area in total. It features five burners that can produce up to 55,000 BTUs. Side and rotisserie burners are also included, as well as two shelves that you can use as working space of fold down when you don’t need them. If you don’t need such a large grill, you can also consider smaller units – Baron 420 has four burners, while Baron 320 is the most compact version with three burner tubes and 440 square inches of cooking space.
Weber also has its candidate for premium propane grills. Summit S-470 features four burners and a grilling area of 580 square inches. Bells and whistles are also there and include an infrared rotisserie kit for the crispiest chicken you will ever try, as well as a smoker, sear station, and the regular side burner. Summit is an actual outdoor kitchen and is built to last for years to come. Although it is a bit costly unit, it’s the kind of product that you will buy now and stop worrying whether you will need another one anytime soon.
We would also like to turn your attention to Kenmore 4-Burner Gas Grill. With over 600 square inches of grilling area, it falls into the category of large grills. The burners are capable of boosting the power of 40,000 BTUs, and that is without the side burners that have the strength of 13,000 BTUs. The lid is made of stainless steel which prevents the heat to escape during cooking, securing ideal and constant temperature for your meals. Believe it or not, even the catch cup is made of aluminum for extended durability. That’s the coolest thing about this grill – you can see that the manufacturer put effort into designing a reliable product every step of the way.
Top-Rated Propane Grills
When a product has an average rating of 4.5 or more on Amazon, it is considered a bestseller. That means we are talking about a high-quality item that delighted the users who purchased it in all aspects. One of those grilling systems is Weber Genesis II E-310. Its liquid propane version costs around $700, but it is one of the top-rated propane grills and therefore worth every cent. It has everything you could expect, including more than 500 square inches of a cooking area and a foldable warming rack. It is designed of stainless steel for extended durability, and the flavorizer bars provide that wonderful smoky flavor despite the fact that it is a gas unit.
Coleman Road Trip LXE is technically a portable grill, but it is one of the highest-rated grilling systems on Amazon. In fact, it managed to maintain an excellent rating after more than 4,400 customers reviewed it. The number of sold products also speaks of the quality of the item in this case. Road Trip LXE offers 285 square inches of cooking space, which is enough to serve a family of up to four people. The propane cylinder secures over an hour of cooking with only one tank, while the collapsible cart gets the grill ready for moving in seconds. Users also loved that you can replace the cooking grate with a stove grate or griddle, which are sold separately. The good news is that you get can both for extra $40, which is a fantastic deal.
Master Cook Outdoor BBQ 4-Burner is another product that customers loved. Thanks to four burners, it can provide even heat across 400 square inches of grilling surface. What we like about this model is that it has a side burner with 12,000 BTUs and a lid. A cover is not a thing that manufacturers usually place on side areas, and here it looks like a nice touch and a convenient feature. The enclosed cart beneath the grill offers ample storage space and turns the grill into a whole outdoor kitchen. The users commended its sturdy construction and high-quality components, and that only adds value to the product, especially considering the price.
Best Portable Propane Grills
While there are some rules that grilling experts established as to what makes a BBQ system portable, a pound more or less isn’t a crucial factor. What matters is how easy it is to move around and transport. That means that a unit needs to be reasonably lightweight and Cuisinart CGG-200 Tabletop Grill fulfills that condition with its 35 pounds. For a portable grill, the burner made of stainless steel that can produce 12,000BTUs per hour is more than enough. CGG-200 even offers shelves on the side that can be used as a working area. Of course, they are foldable to make the transport convenient. Aside from the regular unit, you can also purchase a version with a stand, which certainly pays off if you plan to use it often.
Napoleon TQ285X-BL is a bit pricier despite the fact that it produces the same BTU amount as the Cuisinart’s product. However, Napoleon’s unit has two burners that secure even heat across the entire 285 square inches of the cooking area. You can also use them to grill over both direct and indirect heat simultaneously. The manufacturer did not use the cheap material for the grids, which are made of cast-iron with a porcelain-enamel finish. That ensures excellent heat retention and extends their durability. The product comes with a foldable cart included.
We have now come to the lightest product in the category of the best portable propane grills. Weber Q1200 weighs less than 30 pounds and comes fully set up out of the packaging. That makes it as easy to transport as it can get. The unit comes from a renowned manufacturer, which means that you can expect excellent performance in combination with high quality. Everything you would expect is there – cast-iron cooking grates, infinite heat control, and grease management system. The only downside is a modest grilling area of less than 190 square inches. That is why Weber included just one burner that can provide up to 8,500 BTUs of heat. On the plus side, that is what enabled them to lower the cost of the product. The model comes in fourteen different colors, but we liked green and titanium.
Best Propane Grills Under $300
You might think that it is not possible to get a gas grilling system at an affordable price, but that is more than feasible if you conduct proper research. That is just what we did for you and here are some models that we believe are the best propane grills under $300. For example, take a look at Char-Griller 3001 Grillin’ Pro that costs just $185. You get over 400 square inches of the primary cooking surface, as well as a side burner and an ample warming rack. The product weighs less than 100 pounds, and it comes with a cart, which means you can change its location swiftly. However, the fact that it is lightweight also means that not the highest quality steel was used in manufacturing. It’s something you have to be ready for with cheaper grilling systems, but that still doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy several years of its excellent performance.
If you are a newbie, you might be worried whether you will have the skills to set up your grill once it arrives at your doorstep. With Char-Broil Quickset 2-Burner that won’t be an issue because the unit was designed with one thing in mind – smooth assembly! Its performance might not compare to some of the models from our list, but the price also differs, and nobody can deny that Char-Broil is exceptionally affordable. The unit can deliver excellent results, and it’s easy to transport thanks to the cart. However, we didn’t like the fact that the side shelves are of plastic and the wire grates could have also been better quality.
And who says you can’t get a Weber at an affordable price? Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill might be a bit older model, but it still has a lot to offer. It is a modest-sized grill with 190 square inches of grilling space and just one stainless steel burner. However, the 8500 BTUs are more than enough for the cooking area to receive proper temperature, while the cast-iron grates are there for heat retention. You have a valve that controls the temp, but you can consider getting the unit in a package with a thermometer. Overall, Weber Q1000 is not a big grill, but it is perfect for everyday use as long as you are cooking for smaller crowds.
Things to Consider When Buying Propane Grill
When it comes to grilling systems, you can’t say that there is one unit that fits all. We can’t claim that we are the smartest of state something like “you should buy that model.” The truth is that everyone has different needs and that is what you need to take into consideration when choosing between the best propane grills we selected. Here are a couple of questions that you need to consider
The dimensions of grilling systems matter, but it’s the cooking surfaces that decides whether a grill is small, medium, or large. However, the only reason to be impressed by an ample grilling area is if you cook for big crowds often. Why would you need 700 square inches or more of space when you are only grilling for you and your loved one?
A cooking surface of 400 square inches should be enough to serve a family of four. You can also consider a side burner or warming racks that you can use for preparing gravies or side dishes. While we are on this topic, let’s mention that you should always carefully read the numbers. Some manufacturers will claim that they have 600 square inches of TOTAL grilling area, trying to confuse you and impress you with the size. When they mention the word total, it includes both the cooking surface and warming racks. That is why you should always ask for information on the primary grilling space. While warming trays and side burners are a sweet addition to have, the central area is the core of your grill.
And if you plan to take your grill with you on the beach or camping trip, you should consider sacrificing some of the cooking surfaces for more comfortable transport. Our experience tells us that in those cases people prefer having a grill that can be moved around swiftly than a bit more space for grilling.
If you are looking for a portable propane grill that you can take with you anywhere you go, the primary consideration should be the weight of the unit. In general, mobile grilling systems shouldn’t weigh more than 50 pounds and “the less, the better” rule applies here. Also, pay attention if the manufacturer offers a cart with the product. You will want that stand to be collapsible so that you can quickly pack it into the trunk with your product.
But we are not discussing only portability here. We suggest you take into consideration the general mobility of the product. What if you need to move it from one part of the backyard to the other? The best propane grills usually have carts with two or four wheels. It’s needless to say that the latter one is a better option. However, there is another thing that requires attention on your side. If you want to keep your unit moving, make sure that it comes with a couple of locking casters. That is what will make them suitable for any surface. If you use the locking feature, you can even place it on an inclined surface. That is particularly vital if your backyard or patios have a decline for whatever reason.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Considering that each of the best propane grills delivers brilliant results, we won’t focus on the performance. However, if you go some other way than the products we suggested, keep in mind that functionality should be your high priority. Cleaning and maintenance also should be close to the top of that list because they can make your life with a grill a lot more manageable.
Cast-iron cooking grates with porcelain-enamel finish are the ideal way to go to prevent food from sticking to the surface. That will also make it harder to clean afterward. You should look for a grease management system, which is just a fancy name for a catch pan or cup that collects all the drippings. It doesn’t take much effort to clean a grill if you have made a right choice when purchasing it, but you should make sure to get a cleaning kit and do the necessary maintaining action on a regular basis.
There are many different features that you should take into consideration, but we made a list of some of the essential ones that could make your grilling experience better:
- Thermometer – most of the best propane grills come with a built-in heat gauge on the lid. However, you can also consider purchasing a digital thermostat for more accurate results
- Side burner – if you want to cook some vegetables to go with those tasty burgers, an excellent way to do that is by using a side burner. They usually don’t have as much power as the primary burners, which is why they are also perfect for simmering onions or mushrooms
- Rotisserie kit – who doesn’t love the whole chicken fresh off a grill? Some models come with rotisserie kits included, while in other cases they are sold separately. Take a look at the OneGrill Universal Rotisserie Kit with an electric motor and various sizes available.
There are other additions that you can consider, such as a smoke box or even lighting if you want to do some nighttime grilling. Weber’s products have support for iGrill3 Bluetooth thermometer that enables you to monitor your grill from up to 150 feet of distance. In the end, it all comes down to the bells and whistles you need or want. However, the accessories should not make you forget that the primary thing you should be looking for is performance.