Are you a first-time griller, or do you want to invest in a new grill? There are many models to choose from, making it difficult to make an informed decision. Grills that use propane or natural gas aren’t the only options; you can also select charcoal, kamado, pellet, electric, or even a portable grill. However, gas grills are the most popular choice for most grillers.
Gas grills are an excellent alternative to charcoal or electric grills. Because they’re simple to use, quickly heat up, and big enough to feed the whole family, they’re a great place to start for new grillers. However, you can still get your hands on a small gas grill if space is an issue. A rotisserie burner, temperature gauge, sear burner, various cooking grids, and a stainless steel grill grate are all common additions.
We cooked up burgers, whole chickens, ribs, and more on six of the most popular gas grills to help you find the best one for your needs. Regular updates are made to this list.
This liquid propane gas grill is pricey. We won’t skip over that. However, if you’re serious about grilling and ready to make an investment in your outdoor kitchen, this Weber grill is absolutely a top choice.
This Weber model comes with plenty of high-performance specs. With 513 square inches of primary cooking space powered by 39,000 BTUs, plus a fold-down warming rack, a 12,000-BTU side burner and stainless steel rod cooking grates for heat retention, you’ll never want for cooking area space. Two cabinet doors hide a two-shelf storage area below the grill for utensils and supplies. That does mean the propane tank is stored outside the grill, but the provided hanging fuel gauge and easy access felt like a bonus more than an eyesore.
Weber’s iGrill 3-compatible models include the Genesis II E-335, other Genesis II models and the Spirit II line. The grill’s front panel houses up to four Bluetooth temperature sensors that can be plugged into this $100 accessory. A companion app for iOS and Android allows you to keep tabs on the temperature probes in your kitchen while you’re away.
Seared hamburgers with a slightly pink centre, crispy chicken skin, juicy meat, and fall off the bone ribs were the results of our grilling tests on the Genesis II E-335 liquid propane grill. Weber’s 10-year warranty on all grill parts ensures that this propane gas grill will serve you well for many years to come.
Char-stainless Broil’s steel three-burner model costs less than half as much as Weber’s model. With a price tag of $450, you’ll get a gas and propane grill capable of handling most cooking tasks.
Char-Broil uses a perforated emitter plate system called TRU-Infrared to distribute heat and reduce flare-ups evenly. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to see the flame when you’re fighting or adjusting the temperature, so keep that in mind when you’re cooking.
Compared to Weber’s 25,500 BTUs over 420 square inches of primary cooking space, you’ll get less power and no innovative grilling features. Char-Broil includes a side burner and tank storage behind two cabinet doors in this model. It has a 10-year warranty like Weber.
It was good, but not as crispy and seared as the Weber, what we cooked on our Char-Broil test unit! In terms of features and performance, this grill is the best option for those on a budget of $500 or less.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on a BBQ grill to be happy with it. The E3072 from Char-Griller proves it. Powered by 40,800 BTUs over a generous 438 square inches of cooking space, this budget model has a $180 MSRP and a 12,000-BTU side burner.
We were impressed by how quickly this grill reached temperature compared to other models. Additionally, it did an excellent job of retaining the heat that was applied to it. There were issues with our testing because of that, unfortunately. We were cooking grate-made burgers and chicken too charred on the exterior. You should start with less heat if you buy this model and keep that in mind. Because of the two smokestacks were designed for even low and slow cooking, the ribs were better.
This model does not include a storage cabinet. A decorative front panel conceals the tank. That’s a nice compromise, but it wasn’t easy to open and close the tank through the bars and around the board. This barbecue grill, despite its drawbacks, is an excellent value for the money, offering plenty of functionality and power.
Other grills we’ve tested
Since a few years ago, the editors of Smart Home have been cooking and serving grill data. Here are the other gas grills we’ve tested and the ones we just talked about. There are a lot of models we’ve tried over the years that are no longer for sale and aren’t on this list.
- The four-burner Char-Broil Signature Series: In 2019, we put this well-made and functional Char-Broil model to the test. It was about average in our tests, costing $650, which is a lot. It comes with a side burner and cabinet doors and has a lot of space to cook. If you like Char-Broil grills, this one is a safe bet, but you can get a better grill for your money from another brand.
- KitchenAid 720-0891C: KitchenAid has a lot of style and color options, but this two-burner, $300 gas grill didn’t do well in any of the three tests. The Weber Spirit II E-210 is better if you want a grill with two burners.
- Napoleon Rogue three-burner: Even though this Napoleon model looks cool and is made well, it didn’t impress us in our tests. It costs $599, which is a lot, and the Char-Broil 3-burner we tested worked better.
- Dyna-glo five-burner: With 63,000 BTU and a turbo burner for searing, this five-burner has a lot of power. Still, we found the cooking to be uneven, and little things like side shelves that don’t fold down, a weird hole for “condiment storage,” and no space for a tank feel big, even though the price is a reasonable $249.
How we test
We do three tests to find the best gas grill and get a feel for how these grills work in different cooking situations. Based on different types of meat, cooking methods, and heat settings, these tests show how well and evenly a grill cooks.
The ribs are our first test. Since it’s a round of stories, there isn’t a connected thermometer set or software that records specific data. We heat each grill for 10 minutes on high before turning it down to low heat that doesn’t touch the food. Depending on the size of the grill, this means turning off all of one or two burners.
We take the outer membrane off a rack of St. Louis-style short ribs and season them with a rub we use for ribs and chicken. The ribs are then put on a piece of aluminum foil and grilled with the lid closed for three hours
Rib lovers might not like this quick, smoke-free way to cook ribs, but it shows how well a regular propane gas grill can cook low and slow. Even though 3 hours seems like a short amount of time to cook ribs, the ones at the end of this test can be tender and juicy.
We grill a whole chicken to test the grill with a medium cook time and heat setting. We heat the grill on high for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to medium and turn off the burners to make an indirect heat environment.
After trimming and seasoning the bird, we put it in a roasting pan and put a temperature probe in each chicken breast, so each chicken has two probes (this is an important step — even if the grill has a built-in thermometer — because undercooked chicken is no good for anyone). So that our results are as fair as possible, all chickens weigh as close to 5.5 pounds as possible.
These temperature probes are connected to a data logger and a laptop with software that records the internal temperature of each chicken breast every two seconds. Each chicken is cooked until both breasts reach a safe temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
The skin of grilled chicken should be crispy, and the meat should be fully cooked but not dry. We do this test three times, giving us a good idea of how long each grill takes to cook.
The last test for our grill reviews is making burgers. We take 5.3 ounces of 80/20 ground beef and form it into patties of the same size. We put these patties in a grill basket and stick a temperature probe at a 45-degree angle into the middle of each one.
The basket goes after 10 minutes of high heat on the grill. After six minutes, we turned the basket over and checked the temperature inside. The batch is done when the last burger in the basket has reached 145 degrees Fahrenheit. In this test, a good burger has a nice char outside and a slightly pink center.
If one burger always reaches 145 F before the others, this shows that there are hot spots on the grill’s cooking surface.
In our tests, the difference between the patties that cooked the fastest and those that cooked the slowest was usually 15 to 20 degrees. This is a warning sign when differences are between 30 and 40 degrees.
A closer look at specs
Some differences between these gas grills make it hard to compare them. Since each outdoor gas grill has a different size, a number of cooking grates, and BTU level, its performance will be other. Still, there are a few things to notice.
Our test results show how fast a grill can cook on its medium or high setting. That doesn’t mean that each grill is set to the same temperature before it is heated. It means that we turned the knobs until each grill showed medium heat.
The chart below shows how long chicken and burgers usually take to cook on each grill, based on three tests that were all the same. We keep the clock going until the last burger reaches 145 F and the lowest chicken breast reaches 165 F.
Average cooking times
|Chicken||78 min||81 min||59 min||95 min||46 min|
|Burgers||11 min||9 min||13 min||15 min||8 min|
If speed isn’t essential to you, don’t worry. You can compare other things about the grills to find the one that’s best for you.
Which one is that, anyway? How you cook makes a difference. If you often cook for large groups, you’ll need a grill with a large main cooking surface, a warming rack, and a side burner. Some of you might also have strong opinions about the cooking grates: you need stainless steel, cast-iron, porcelain-coated, or even porcelain-coated cast-iron grates.
Check each item’s description carefully to ensure you get what you want. If you only want to use your gas grill to flip a few burgers now and then, stick with a cheaper or smaller model. And, of course, if you want a portable gas grill or a grill you can use inside, these aren’t for you.
After choosing the best grill for you, don’t forget about the extras. You should look at grill covers and buy grilling tools like a grill brush, a thermometer to ensure the grill is at a safe temperature for food, and drip tray liners. Check out this chart to compare size, power, warranty, and more.
Gas grills compared
|Dimensions (HxWxD) inches||47x59x29||49x49x28||47x53x23||48x51x25||47x55x24|
|Main burner BTUs||39,000||40,800||25,500||36,000||63,000|
|Warranty||10 years||5 years||10 years||15 years||1 year|
|Primary cooking space (sq. in)||513||438||420||425||473|
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