Grilling Areas & Dimensions
Warranty & Support
Best Gas Grills
What is the Best Gas Grill?
We assembled a collection of some of the best gas grills on the market today. Our team of reviewers spent two days assembling, testing, rating and ranking them. At the end of our evaluation, we chose the Weber Genesis II as the overall best gas grill because it has lots of grill space and features. If grilling is more of a lifestyle for you than just another way to cook food, then the Genesis II's heating consistency, wide cooking area and sleek look are a good match for the tasty meals you plan to serve up this summer.
The Napoleon Mirage is another great option, and it includes useful features like an infrared side burner to cook your steaks just right. While a bit pricey, the Mirage has a limited lifetime warranty and can give you years of grilling enjoyment.
The Broil King Baron, is your best bet for even heating at a budget-friendly price tag. With its cast-iron grates and four burners, this patio grill performs remarkably well for nearly half the price of the two top-ranked models.
Each grill we tested costs less than $1,000, but to spend the least possible amount of money for a solid gas grill, check out the Char-Broil Stainless 463446017. It’s a compact and affordable grill that heats up quickly and gets the job done. You don't get a lot of extras, but you aren't paying for those extras either.
Another grill we enjoyed using is the Weber Spirit E-330. It's easy to use and clean, and every meat we grilled on it cooked evenly. It's a good choice for its price and heat consistency. For sheer size, the Char-Broil Signature and the Dyna-Glo 5-Burner are the largest gas grills we reviewed by cooking area.
Gas vs. Charcoal vs. Natural Gas
The debate over which fuel gives you the best grilling results has been going on for decades. The main reason for charcoal is the smoky flavor it imparts to slow-cooked meats like ribs and brisket, while propane grills offer more control and speed. One of the main drawbacks of charcoal grilling is the wait time. You have to stack the coals, spray lighter fluid, light the coals and wait until they are ready. Then there is ash cleanup after your cookout.
Gas grills let you make freshly grilled foods such as hamburgers, steak, chicken and sausage without the wait. They are also an excellent choice for slow-cooking meats because you don’t have to add coals to maintain a steady temperature. A propane tank may be heavy, but it is more cost-effective than charcoal. In fact, a full tank of propane can last for months on end with moderate grilling.
Many of the grills we tested can use a natural gas line with an approved conversion kit. This can save money if your home has a natural gas outlet you can connect to. Unfortunately, natural gas grills have limited mobility, as you can only go as far as the connection allows. This is problematic if you want to take your grill on a remote cookout or just move it to a different spot on your deck.
Gas Grills: What We Tested, What We Found
As we tested grills, we discovered that the best ones cook evenly, retain heat well and are easy to clean. Here are some important things to consider before you buy your next barbecue grill.
Grill Material & Construction
We discovered that gas grills with cook boxes made of a thicker stainless steel retain heat better. They took longer to heat up in our tests, but once they reached the desired temperature, they maintained it well, even when we opened their lids for a few minutes while we checked on the food. Grills made with thinner steel were less efficient; they lost heat through the lid, leading to drier, overcooked meat.
While stainless steel grates can give your food nice-looking sear lines, they don't retain heat as well as cast-iron grates do. This isn't a problem if you're whipping up a couple burgers or steaks, but if your meat needs to grill for a long time, cast iron is the better choice for heat retention and even cooking. Also, stainless steel grates take more elbow grease to clean than cast-iron grates.
Cheap grills are often made of thin metal, usually a variety of stainless steel or a similar material that reduces their overall cost. While this may make your wallet happy, cheap models tend to rust easily, and you'll find yourself replacing them more often. Thinner metal also bends easily, and the side shelves on some of the less expensive grills we tested felt flimsy and made us nervous when we moved the grills around the testing area.
Bigger Isn't Always Better
The grills we tested all have two to five primary burners. While more burners mean a larger grill with more room to cook and possibly more heat, we found that models with more burners or Btu aren’t always the best.
Our top-rated gas grills have three or four main burners, but what sets them apart from the rest is their high-quality, thick construction, which gives them better heat consistency and retention. This let us cook juicier steaks and chicken on a medium setting; we had to keep the grills made of thinner materials on high to maintain a consistent temperature with the lid closed.
Btu: What Is It?
Grill manufacturers use Btu, or British thermal units, to describe the propane output of their burners. But what does it really mean? A Btu is a unit of measurement that describes how much fuel your grill uses to generate heat. While this is a guide to the heat your grill can create, a higher Btu rating doesn't always mean it efficiently produces and maintains heat. Again, the grill’s design is key in how effective the Btu output is.
In our testing, we noticed that grills made of thinner steel had a hard time maintaining a consistent temperature on high – regardless of the maximum Btu output, too much heat escaped. This meant longer cooking times and unevenly cooked food. The bottom line: Btu should not be your main consideration when buying a gas BBQ grill.
As we assembled the grills, we realized that, regardless of how good you are with tools, they take a couple hours to put together. If you’re offered the option for free assembly, we suggest you take it.
Although it wasn't difficult to assemble most of the grills, it was time-consuming, and we would have rather been grilling. If you decide to put your grill together on your own, read the directions carefully so you don't assemble it incorrectly.
Features of the Best Gas Grills
It's easy to fall into grill envy as your eyes wander over the sleek curves of the shiniest, newest model, complete with more burners than you'd ever need and all the conveniences of an outdoor kitchen. Unfortunately, your pocketbook still has a say in your purchases, so finding the best gas grill you can afford can get tricky. Here are some essential features to consider when narrowing down your choices.
If you live in a townhome or apartment, you probably don't have much room to spare. Some grills, like the Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living, have foldable side shelves that are handy if you have limited porch or storage space. The KitchenAid 720-0891B, another small propane gas grill, is perfect for a small family.
On the other hand, if you often cook for large groups or plan to learn how to cook ribs this summer, a larger grill is good option. While a three-burner grill may initially seem too small, a top performer like the Weber Genesis II has enough room for plenty of burgers or a fair-size rack of ribs. It also has excellent heat control and consistency, which reduces the amount of propane you use to cook your food.
Many gas barbecue grills have an additional gas burner or a ceramic infrared burner installed on a side shelf. This is a helpful feature, especially if you want to boil some corn on the cob or sauté some onions and mushrooms for your steak without moving back and forth between your grill and the kitchen. While not in use, these side burners are covered up with a lid that sits flush, giving you a side table.
While some smaller grills don't have space for anything besides the propane tank, the best ones have storage room underneath to keep your accessories within reach, including your meat thermometer or digital grill thermometer. Some models have tool hooks or spice racks built into the side tables.
If you move your grill often, four swiveling casters make a world of difference. When there are only two swiveling wheels, you have to fight with your grill as you move it back and forth to get it in the perfect spot. With four, you can push your grill in any direction, including straight back or forward.
Picking the Right Gas Grill for Your Budget
While you could cook up your greatest backyard barbecue masterpiece ever with a brand-new, stainless steel gas grill that has seven or more burners, staying within a reasonable budget is a wise choice. The best barbecue grills aren't necessarily the largest or most expensive models. If you entertain often, you and your guests can benefit from a four- or five-burner grill. However, if you only cook for yourself, you likely don't need a grill larger than a three-burner model.
If you're on a tight budget, you can find the best gas grills under $300 from household names like Char-Broil and KitchenAid. However, it is more than worth it to upgrade to a higher-quality model from Weber, Napoleon or Broil King if you can afford it. While they are more expensive at the start, these gas grill brands are made with better materials, so they last longer and cook better.
Contributing Reviewer: John Carlsen, Danny Chadwick