Summertime cookouts are as American as baseball or apple pie, and while charcoal grills have traditionally been the go-to appliances for these get-togethers, gas grills have become increasingly popular thanks to their simplicity and overall ease of use. And while all gas grills operate in the same basic manner, they hugely vary in size, performance, style, mobility, and overall quality, making it exceedingly difficult for the uninitiated to sort through the proverbial sea of gas-powered grills that constitute today’s market. With this in mind, we’ve explored the latest available offerings in this space, to help simplify the segment and bring you this easy-to-digest guide to the best gas grills.
The reality of the situation is there really is no one best grill, but rather models that are the best choice for specific grilling applications. To fully understand this, it helps to have a cursory knowledge of the types of grills that exist, what distinguishes them for each other, and what aspects and features make for a “good” grill. Below, we’ll be delving into the main classes of gas grills and how to figure out which kind is right for you, the elements to take into account before purchasing, and finally, our picks for the best available gas grills using these aforementioned criteria.
The Benefits Of Using A Gas Grill
There are numerous key benefits to cooking with a gas grill that make it a more attractive proposition than utilizing their charcoal-powered counterparts. The first and most obvious benefit is that gas grills are substantially easier to use, requiring the turning of a few knobs, the press of a button, and little else. Furthermore, gas grills offer hugely superior control and precision, with the ability to adjust the heat on the fly, and an unparalleled ability to maintain stable heat levels. Gas grills also get up to operating temperatures within a few minutes, eliminating the wait time involved with using pellets or charcoal.
Unlike charcoal grills, gas grills don’t involve any messy ash and require pretty much zero cleanup. Gas grills also produce substantially less carbon dioxide compared to charcoal grills, making them a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable choice — as well as a more economical one, with gas generally being a cheaper fuel source. You can also connect a gas grill directly to your house’s gas line. Because gas grills give off steam, they also have the supplementary benefit of adding moisture to whatever proteins you’re cooking (though this depends on construction). And for those that can’t live without smokey flavor, there are several gas and charcoal hybrid grills that offer the best of both worlds.
Grilling With Gas
Ten Factors To Consider When Buying A New Gas Grill
Construction: The materials and construction techniques used to craft a grill is what will determine its overall quality and longevity. More high-end materials also allow for superior performance, not just bolstered durability.
Size & Cooking Space: The best way to determine what size your grill should be is to consider how many people you’re typically cooking for in normal situations. If you’re the type to host family reunions and backyard barbecues with dozens of guests — which most of us haven’t been doing much since March – then you’ll want to think about how often you’re hosting these kinds of gatherings and how many people are typically attending, and then finding a sweet spot somewhere in the middle between the first and second application.
Gas Type: The two main types used for gas grills are natural gas and propane. Today’s grills offer pretty much identical performance and burn temperatures, so this area mainly comes down to whatever is easier for you to access. It’s also worth noting that fuel conversions can at times void factory warranties, so be mindful of this before doing so.
Burners: The number of burners a grill is equipped with will hugely affect the ability to precisely control different parts of the cooking space. More burners almost always mean higher-performance, as well.
BTUs: Short for “British Thermal Units,” this metric is used to measure energy, or more specifically, the amount needed to bolster the temperature of a 1lb (or 15.33oz) of water by 1° F. Today, this is seen as a fairly antiquated metric that provides little value considering it focuses on the amount of fuel consumed rather than the temperatures generated, and can be manipulated fairly easily.
Cooking Style & Intended Use: Everyone has their own grilling preference and style. If you prefer the high-heat, short cook-time method (aka a “turner and burner”), then you may want to consider a gas grill with supplementary infrared burners. For those interested in a more traditional “low and slow” approach, then you’ll probably want to steer towards either a hybrid gas and charcoal grill or a gas model equipped with a supplementary smoker box or charcoal tray, or a model with a low-heat infrared burner.
Mobility: Gas grills hugely range in overall portability. There are permanently installed grills, freestanding grills that can be moved around a backyard or patio, and mobile grills made specifically for travel and off-grid use. This area should be determined by where you intend to do the lion’s share of your grilling.
Smart Tech: It seems like smartphone and Bluetooth connectivity has permeated just about every industry, and the gas grill sector is no exception. There are now grills that feature individual thermometers that relay real-time temperature data to a smartphone app, units that can be adjusted remotely, and so on. There are also aftermarket items that can be added to existing grills to afford them some of these same smart abilities.
Additional Amenities: In addition to smart tech, there are numerous other supplementary amenities found on modern grills. This can include external side burners for heating saucepans and the like, charcoal trays and smoker boxes for adding some extra flavor, built-in LED lighting, motorized rotisseries for cooking full birds or cuts, and integrated storage solutions. A lot of the more high-end grills are also built to accommodate add-on items like coolers or pizza ovens.
Factory Warranties: When investing in a high-end grill, it’s nice having the added assurance of a factory warranty, and considering most premium grills are designed to last years (if not decades), the majority of reputable manufacturers will stand behind their respective products with generous factory warranties. This area can also be used as somewhat of a metric to determine how long manufacturers expect their grills to last.
The Four Main Classes Of Gas Grills
While grills will vary from model to model within each class, gas grills are usually broken down into four distinct categories (or “classes”).
Economy Grills: These are the least expensive and most widely-available grills, sold at department stores and intended for occasional use. These are often fairly minimalistic products that employ cost-saving measures to help keep prices competitive.
Practical Grills: This class consists of models that are rugged and well-built, though lack the bells and whistles and super-premium construction found on more elite units. In terms of performance, these are professional-grade through and through.
Premium Grills: As the name implies, these are thoroughly top-of-the-line grills that boast fantastic performance and robust, high-end construction. Like practical grills, these are very much built to last and as such require a steeper investment, though they do tend to come with a host of high-end features as standard.
Luxury Class Grills: These are quite literally the very best grills that money can buy. And while they are the most expensive, these grills are made using the finest possible materials and latest and most cutting-edge construction techniques and are brimming with amenities and peripherals.
Coleman RoadTrip 285 Grill
When it comes to grilling, you really don’t need to spend a lot to get the job done, case in point, Coleman’s RoadTrip 285 model. Equipped with a cool 285-square inches of cooking space (hence the name), this grill features a trio of burners configured in an oval ring setup that generates a collective 20,000 BTUs. Powered by standard 16.4oz propane cylinders, the RoadTrip 285 also comes with push-button ignition and folding side shelves with stainless steel inserts. And, though it weighs in at a bit over 50lbs, this road trip-ready grill’s large-diameter wheels and quick-fold legs makes it incredibly easy to transport it to campsites and other off-grid locales. Coleman also sells interchangeable cooktops for this grill, as well as a slightly smaller 225-square-inch version.
Total Grilling Surface: 285 sq-in
Fuego Professional F24C
Fuego’s Professional F24C is a small grill that punches well above its weight, with the performance and construction quality of items double or triple its price. Built on a set of sturdy industrial caster wheels with a 21” wheelbase, the perforated cylindrical design of the F24C houses the grill’s fuel source inside a hinged and clasp close system. Up top is a domed grill, adorned in new porcelain enamel, and boasting a clever 45-degree hinged lid design that adds durability while also allowing the lid to be opened without an arm reaching over the burners. True to its name, this Fuego grill can reach temperatures of 650-degrees Fahrenheit, plus with a total of 26,500 BTUs, the F24C can get up to 500-degrees in as little as 5 minutes.
Total Grilling Surface: 525 sq-in
Weber Genesis II E-335 Gas Grill
Weber’s Genesis II E-335 may sit towards the bottom of our list, though by most metrics, is a fantastic grill, offering the performance and amenities to satisfy just about everyone short of professionals and diehard grilling and barbecue connoisseurs. Good for cooking 20 burgers at once, this grill features a full stainless steel and porcelain enamel lid, a tuck-away warming rack, stainless steel side tables with tool hooks, internal cabinet and storage, side burner, and porcelain enamel cast iron cooking grates and stainless steel flavorizer bars as standard. Weber also sells an electric rotisserie and sear grates for this grill, which is also compatible with the brand’s iGrill 3 app-connected smart thermometer. The E-335 grill is also backed by a ten-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Total Grilling Surface: 669 sq-in
Lion L90000 Grill
When most of us think of grills, we think of freestanding units, though the reality is that countertop and built-in grills are a fantastic option, offering top-notch performance and features, without having to pay the premium for the materials and construction of the legs and cabinet. Tipping the scales at 200.1lbs — making it the heaviest in its class — Lion’s L90000 is a premium, no-nonsense grill brought to life by five cast stainless steel burners that are backed by a lifetime warranty. The rest of the grill is equally rugged, with 304-16 gauge commercial grade stainless steel construction, double-layer seamless welded stainless steel smoker head, and solid stainless steel cooking grates. The L90000 also gets dual interior lights, an infrared rotisserie back burner, and is sold with an included cover, rotisserie, griddle, and smoker box.
Total Grilling Surface: 1,030 sq-in
Weber Summit S-670 Gas Grill
For those looking to do some serious grilling, without having to shell out what feels like a small fortune, Weber’s Summit S-670 is a stellar choice, with quality American construction backed by equally impressive performance and amenities. Inside, six burners generate 60,000 BTUs, supplemented by an infrared, 10,600 BTU “sear station” burner and a smoker box for adding a bit of extra flavor — all cooking on 9mm solid stainless steel rod cooking grates with stainless steel flavorizer bars. The outside of the S-670 is just as trick, with stainless steel side tables that pack a 12,000 BTU side burner, LED handle lights and backlit control knobs, an LED propane tank gauge, and a tuck-away rotisserie system with a flip-up motor, among several other top-shelf extras.
Total Grilling Surface: 769 sq-in
Napoleon Prestige PRO 825 RSBI
Though it’s not without a substantial bump up in price, Napoleon’s Prestige PRO 825 is undoubtedly a premium grill through and through. Featuring all stainless steel construction with chrome details, the 825 is outfitted with a smoker-box-equipped main gas grill head, helped along by a second head with dual ceramic infrared burners for restaurant-quality searing. Part of this grill’s top-shelf price also gets you a slew of proprietary amenities such as Napoleon’s integrated “Accu-Probe” temperature gauge, instant “Jetfire” ignition, “Lift Ease” center-gravity roll top lid, and 9.55 stainless steel “Iconic Wave” cooking grids. Other thoroughly premium touches include adjustable RGB spectrum knobs, a two-stage power side burner with a reversible cast iron grid, interior grill lights, dual-level stainless steel sear plates, and an integrated ice bucket and cutting board.
Burners: 6 (+2 Infrared Burners)
Total Grilling Surface: 1,430 sq-in
Primo Oval G420 Kamado Gas Grill
Japanese for “stove,” Kamado grills are constructed with ceramic bodies, affording them superior heat retention properties compared to metal items. And while the majority of Kamado grills on the market are of the charcoal variety, Primo managed to deliver a clever gas-powered version that utilizes the brand’s “SuperCeramics” construction as an insulator of sorts in order to generate natural moisture that is then bestowed upon the contents of the grill. Made in America and adorned in fully-weatherproof ceramics, the Primo Oval G420 also has a powder-coated steel and aluminum frame and cart, fold-down stainless steel side shelves, and ultra-durable, quad 304-grade stainless steel tube burners. Furthermore, this grill also features low-temperature burners that can slow-cook meats similarly to a traditional smoker at as low as 220-degrees Fahrenheit.
Total Grilling Surface: 420 sq-in
Lynx SMART36F Grill
A genuine premium grill outfitted with a host of modern tech, the Lynx Smart36F is a cutting-edge item made by a highly-reputable and elite brand. At the core of the grill is Lynx’s Trident infrared burners that deliver just shy of 70,000 BTUs directly onto its stainless steel grilling grates (which are covered by a lifetime warranty) or internally-powered dual-position rotisserie. What really sets this grill apart is all of its integrated smart tech, with remote cooking and monitoring capabilities thanks to the brand’s MyChef system and a 1.5Ghz Intel processor with 64GB of storage, all housed in a weatherproof case beneath the grill. This system also supports voice-control functionality. The lid-opening mechanism manages to bare 95% of the lid’s weight, halogen bulbs illuminate the main head, and the control knobs are back-lit. This grill is also sold with a carbon fiber vinyl cover.
Class: Luxury Class
Total Grilling Surface: 935 sq-in
Hestan 42-Inch Natural Gas Grill On Double Drawer Tower Cart
If you don’t work in the culinary business, then there’s a decent chance you won’t be familiar with the name “Hestan Commercial,” as the elite brand generally trades in high-end appliances and equipment for some of the world’s leading chefs. This ultra-top-shelf grill from Hestan offers that same world-class quality to the general public, with one of the most capable, high-performance grills that money can buy. Cooking is done on laser DiamondCut 5/16-inch stainless steel cooking grates and is powered by heavy-duty 321-grade stainless steel Trellis tubular style burners, a radiant ceramic briquette tray system, and an 18,000 BTU multipurpose ceramic infrared top burner. Adorned in an all-stainless-steel Steeletto Hestan signature finish and featuring heavy-gauge welded-body construction, every detail on this made-in-America grill is thoroughly top-shelf, with LED control panel lighting, internal halogen lights, Zamak die cast knobs, burner indicators, and bezels, and Hestan Marquise panels and handles throughout.
Class: Luxury Class
Total Grilling Surface: 1,064 sq-in
Kalamazoo K750 Hybrid Fire Grill
Kalamazoo unequivocally produces some of the finest grills in the world, with products that are ridiculously calculated down to the last detail and designs that consider form just as important as function. And while it has a slightly less artistic edge compared to some of the Chicago-based company’s other offerings, the K750 Hybrid is no less world-class. Combining the best of both worlds, this ridiculously exclusive grill offers the convenience and versatility of a gas unit with the flavor of a charcoal grill or smoker. Constructed from heavy-gauge 304 stainless steel — though also available in a marine-grade stainless steel version — the grill packs custom cast bronze “Dragon” burners that each spit out a cool 25,000 BTUs, plus an infrared-powered rotisserie system and a hybrid fire grilling drawer that accommodates wood or charcoal. In terms of fit and finish alone, this company’s grills really are second to none, and that’s before factoring the legitimately world-class performance.
Class: Luxury Class
Total Grilling Surface: 725 sq-in
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