Why You Should Trust Us
Before opening the valve on a single propane tank, we spoke with more than a dozen experts.
Joe Salvaggio of Big Apple BBQ spent two hours explaining the fundamentals of gas-grill design, function, materials, and maintenance. Joe and his brother Tony have run Big Apple BBQ, one of the New York regions leading grill shops, for over 30 years. The store carries grills from multiple manufacturers, ranging from $400 backyard portables to five-figure custom built-ins. Because Salvaggio is an independent retailer, he was able to speak freely about what he saw as the relative strengths and weaknesses of various designs.
At the 2017 Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo, we interviewed senior product managers from almost every major grill-maker in attendance, including all the brands that wound up featured in our test: Weber, Broil King, and Napoleon. We spoke with multiple makers of high-end grills, too, as they predominate at HPBE. Though we wouldnt be testing their grills, we felt that knowing what goes into making a $4,000 grill helped us evaluate the less expensive grills in our test.
We backed this reporting with comprehensive researchthe in-depth, professional reviews at AmazingRibs.com being a standout sourceand hands-on time with grills at the big hardware chains.
Should I Buy A Natural Gas Or Propane Grill
In general, natural gas grills are best for static grills or outdoor kitchens, while propane is best for grills with wheels. A natural gas grill hooks into your home gas line, which means you never have to worry about running out of propane. However, you can’t move your grill around, which may not be ideal, depending on your setup.
Weber Stephen Company 3 Burner
Weber Stephen is one of the few stainless steel gas grills that will give you value for money. It’s a grill that will enhance your world of backyard cuisine by ensuring you have an easy time grilling your steaks and burgers. There is no doubt that Weber Stephen has cemented its position in the industry. Below are some cool attributes that make it a top-level unit.
There is absolutely no other grill that can outdo Weber Stephen in terms of performance. This workhorse will get the job done perfectly. It comes with high-performance burners to ensure that you get enough heat to cook your meals evenly. Besides, the grill has a side burner that comes in handy when preparing side dishes.
Being one of the most advanced propane grills in the market, Weber Stephen 61004001 has a couple of cool features. For starters, it comes with Infinity ignition knobs that light burners with ease.
Secondly, this beast comes with flavorizer bars that are designed to add that smoky flavor everybody loves. The bars are angled in a way they can catch drippings from whatever you are grilling. In case the drippings fail to vaporize, they will be funneled away to a grease management system.
In addition, this gas grill is compatible with an iGrill 3 Bluetooth digital thermometer that keeps you updated on real-time temperature via your mobile device.
Plenty of cooking space
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Why Is Weber Expensive
Most of the mass-produced grills use cheap materials that rust and bend within a few years. Weber grills are made using premium-grade stainless steel or porcelain-coated enamel. All of these materials cost more to build but creates a durable, resistant, and rust proof surface.
The Best Gas Grill Under $500 And The Best Compact Gas Grill: Char
Originally, I planned to test the two-burner Char-Broil Performance Infrared as just a budget option, but because it seriously outperformed the compact competition, it won in both categories. This grill is small but truly mighty thanks to Char-Broils Amplifire Cooking System , which relies on what Char-Broil calls an infrared emitterbasically a wavy sheet of stainless steel with rows of tiny holes that the company claims to direct heat such that it produces juicier meat and prevents flare-ups. While I cant say I noticed a difference in the meat we cooked on this grill versus the other top grills we tested, the Performance delivers powerful, even heat. It also allows for the use of wood chips to add a bit of wood smoke flavor.
The Performance was easy for one person to assemble in just about an hour, and four casters make it easy to move. When the side tables are folded down, this grill takes up less than four square feet, which is only slightly larger than the footprint of the Fuego Element, the smallest grill we tested. Under the stainless-steel lid theres 310 square inches of cooking space plus a 95-square-inch warming rack. It even comes with a cute little nylon grill brush for safely cleaning the cooking surface.
Its hard to complain about a compact yet powerful gas grill at this price point. But if I had to complain about something, I guess the side tables feel a little flimsy compared to more expensive grills. But the tables fold down easily, so theres that.
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How Long Do Gas Grills Last For
Though you’re probably making your gas grill investment with this summer in mind, it’s worthwhile to think about how much use you can get out of it for years to come. Given the high temperatures used in grilling, it’s no surprise that wear and tear will have an effect on the quality of your model over time.
Rather than immediately thinking about replacing your gas grill when it loses its shine, it’s best to consider any repairs that can be done to save it. That might include fixing up its regulator or lighting system, so you can get back to flipping burgers, rather than searching for a whole new grill.
Check out the warranty of each potential gas grill model before you buy too. Even though most grills are said to last around 5-15 years, it’s always best to have a guarantee you can fall back on should anything go wrong.
Can You Convert A Propane Gas Grill Into A Natural Gas Grill
It is possible to convert a propane grill into a natural gas grill, but it requires some know-how. First of all, youll need to determine whether your particular propane grill model is eligible for conversion. To do that, consult your owners manual and see if the grill is a dual fuel model. If so, youll be able to convert it into a natural gas grill with the help of a conversion kit, which can be purchased at hardware stores. Be sure to buy a conversion kit that is specifically compatible with your grill brand. If youre unsure, contact the manufacturer, as conversion mishaps related to incorrect kits can damage your grill and could cause a dangerous fire.
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Best Gas Grill Overall
If you’re looking to buy your first gas grill or upgrade your outdoor entertainment space, the Char-Broil Performance 5-burner grill is the best you can get. Each of the 5 burners features stainless steel construction to resist rust and corrosion, and the cast iron grill grates have a porcelain coating to prevent food from sticking and damage from the elements. A 10,000 BTU side burner lets you cook sauces and sides or keep appetizers warm while you grill ribs, whole chickens, steaks, or burgers.
The right-hand side of the grill has a fixed shelf to keep seasonings and utensils close by, and if you need more space, the side burner has a lid which folds down to convert it into a second shelf. An electronic ignition button ensures quick and easy grill lighting while the built-in thermometer lets you check cooking temperatures at a glance. The main grill grates give you 495 square inches of cooking area, while a warming grate lets you move things around to stay warm without getting overcooked this is perfect for quick-cooking proteins like fish or vegetables that you want to char, but not let get mushy. When it’s time to clean up, the removable, porcelain-coated grease pan makes disposing of burnt food and waste fat fast and simple.
Most Reliable Gas Grill Brands
How to find a model that lasts based on CR members’ ratings of more than 38,000 gas grills
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Compared with other appliances, gas grills take a beating.
Some of that comes with the turf. You’d never expect your fridge to hum along smoothly or your range to light effortlessly if you shifted it around your deck, moved it in and out of your garage for storage twice a year, or left it out in the rain. But that’s what we ask of our gas grillsand it shows. In Consumer Reports’ latest survey, members reported on just over 38,000 gas grills. We found that many brands eventually suffer from problems with ignitions as well as with rusting and corrosion. What’s more, we found that the rate of problems far exceeds other categories of appliances we test.
“When you browse our ratings, you’ll see that our survey responses have been translated into predicted brand reliability ratings for the gas grills we test,” says Simon Slater, CR’s associate director of survey research.
“And those ratings are now integrated into our Overall Scores, which, in turn, paint a much more robust picture of product quality,” he says. These changes will help you make a more informed choice when looking for a grill that will hold up for years to come.
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Pit Boss Portable Grill
In case you are looking for a small and portable grill, then Pit Boss is your best bet. It is one of the best 2 burner gas grills mainly because of its size and efficiency. Amazingly, you can use the Pit Boss grill both indoors and outdoors since it is portable and lightweight. It is ideal for RV enthusiasts and small families who are looking for a reliable stainless steel gas grill. Below are some of the notable attributes of the Pit Boss Portable Grill
Stainless Steel Construction
All the metallic parts of this gas grill are made from stainless steel. Even the cooking grids feature a 343 stainless steel construction in order to allow even distribution of heat. This is a clear indication that this grill will serve you for long and most importantly, it won’t rust when exposed to outdoor conditions.
Despite the Pit Boss being one of the smallest gas grills in this roundup, its burners can provide up to 20000 BTUs of heat. Besides, the grill has 275 square inches of cooking space, which is more than enough for a small family. Lastly, each burner is independently controlled.
The Pit Boss grill was designed to be a mobile unit. Its compact and lightweight nature allows you to carry it to the beach or when camping. Moreover, it has foldable legs to allow for maximum mobility. You can always carry it around whenever you are on the move with your loved ones.
How We Chose These Products
To select the best gas grills, we scoured popular retail sites, searching for grills that were well-reviewed, fit the above categories, and matched different price points. From there, we cross-referenced the user reviews on other websites to ensure they were accurate, and checked other sources to see what they recommended. Additionally, we consulted with experts to see what they consider of utmost importance when looking for a grill.
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Most Versatile: Coleman Roadtrip 285 Portable Stand
Cant decide between a freestanding or tabletop grill? Not sure if you want a grill, griddle, or combo? Luckily, with the Coleman Roadtrip 285 Stand-Up Propane Grill, you dont have to choose. This versatile portable grill has a large number of features, allowing it to be used in a wide variety of situations.
The Roadtrip Grill has 285 square inches of cooking space on its porcelain-coated cast iron grates, which sit over three burners that you can control separately. The grill produces up to 20,000 BTU per hour, and you can buy interchangeable cooktops that allow you to swap out the grill grates for griddles or stove grates. This handy portable grill also has two sliding side tables, an InstaStart ignition, and a built-in thermometer, but the best part is arguably its quick-fold design, which folds flat, allowing you to tow it behind you on its wheels.
Dimensions: 30.25 x 19.19 x 16.13 inches | TotalCooking Area: 285square inches | BTUs: 20,000
What Gas Grills Last The Longest
The materials used to make cooking grids include stainless steel, porcelain, and cast iron. Each material has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but in the end, stainless steel is the best choice since it is the most durable on the grill. Warming Rack: The warming rack is a second rack above the cooking grid, which allows the food to be kept further away from the heat of the cooking grid.
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Lion 32 Inch Stainless Steel Propane Gas Grill
The Lion 32 inch gas grill is an ideal purchase, especially if you are looking for a commercial grade stainless steel grill. Its unique and shiny design will definitely give you enough reason to invest your money. This powerful unit will provide you with the opportunity to grill all your favorite meals at a go.
Nice Build Design
It goes without saying that the LION company has done a great job in terms of designing a highly durable propane grill. This beast has been designed to tolerate extreme weather condition. In fact, it has a double layered and seamlessly welded head for maximum durability.
Lion grills do not disappoint when it comes to performance because they are all built to deliver great grilling results. For instance, this model features solid stainless steel cooking grates that enhance even distribution of heat.
Secondly, it has 4 cast iron burners that provide 60,000 BTUs and a cool infrared rotisserie back burner that provides 15,000 BTUs on its own.
Just like most of our top picks, this gas grill comes with a few additional features to enhance your grilling experience. For instance, it has a built-in temperature gauge that helps you monitor the inside temperatures of the grill. What’s more? It comes with a griddle remover that has a bottle opener, built-in paper towel holder, interior lighting, side shelves and chrome trimmings on the handles and knobs.
Does An Expensive Gas Grill Guarantee More Durability
The answer is yes. The logic is quite simple, that a durable gas grill is made of durable materials as well. The more durable a material is, the more expensive the price will be.
In addition, the high price you pay will certainly make more money for the manufacturer. So that they can do better research and development to create a gas grill that has more durability.
However, you can also find gas grills that are durable but at a more affordable price. You can choose the Weber Q series gas grill or the Cuisinart brand that offers quality gas grills at affordable prices.
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Weber 47510001 Spirit E310 Gas Grill
- Company: Weber
- Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
- Price: $
This grill, developed by Weber in 2013, has been popular for multiple years running 2017, 2018, 2019, and will likely be just as great in 2020! Its a perfect size grill for a small family or couple!
This isnt an overly fancy natural gas grill, but it does have everything you need to cook great tasting, juicy food! In standard Weber style, it is built from high quality stainless steel and black painted steel, and has a clean, sleek look thatll be a great addition to your backyard patio!
It also comes with the following features that we think make this grill a fantastic buy for your buck:
- Porcelain-enameled cast iron cooking grates cast iron seasons well, retains heat, and clean very easily!
- The cooking area at 424 sq inches is big enough to cook a small turkey or do meats and veggies at the same time!
- SS flavorizer bars, that capture the grease drippings and turn them into smoke that infuses your meat with flavor AND keeps your grill clean!
- Integrated utensil hooks on the sides of the stainless steel prep tables, so you can keep the tops clean and organized while youre grilling
- A front-mounted control panel and built in thermometer that gives you more control over your cooking
- A flexible 10 gas hose so you can connect to your gas line easily
For a grill under $500, you cant top this Weber Spirit E310! We think its a great choice for anyone who wants a good quality, long lasting, budget friendly grill!
Weber Q1: Best Portable Gas Grill
Reasons to avoid
If youre on the move a lot, youll be grateful for the Weber Q1200 Gas Grill. Its super-compact yet performs like a champ. In fact, we think its the best portable propane barbecue you can buy, both in terms of build quality and overall performance.
Despite being small enough to easily take in your car or RV, this packs in 189 square inches of grill space, a stainless steel burner ring for 8,500 BTU of power, and a lid that does a great job of blocking any wind.
The result is consistent heat for your food, but Weber has also put usability in mind when coming up with its design youre even given side tables so you don’t feel cramped while cooking up a storm on the road.
Realistically, this is also pretty great for a couple or family that want to save space in a small garden theres enough space for a good meal, and its easy to tuck away in a garage. It’s not the cheapest but does have a decent warranty and is easy to clean too.
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