Weber Q 1200 Gas Grill
Best portable grill
Reasons to avoid
If you want to grill away from home, the Weber Q 1200 Gas Grill is the best portable grill. You can depend on it for the same great cooking results you get from all Weber grills. Rather than a big tank of LP gas, it uses 14- or 16-ounce propane cylinders, which last about a couple of hours. Most likely youll be taking it to a park or beach, and using it for quick-cooking items like steaks or chicken breasts but not for smoking a turkey or a shoulder of pork, so a single cylinder should do per outing.
It has side tables that are just as handy on the road as when youre grilling in the backyard, but they fold up for travel so the grill is easy to transport. Other conveniences include a lid thermometer and an easy to remove and clean drip pan.
What You Need To Know About Burners On A Gas Grill
The burners are what is going to be generating your flame for grilling so they are kind of important. As with the price of gas grills, there is a huge range of burner options and features you should know about when choosing a grill. Typically, if you are buying a cheap grill, the burners are one of the places quality is sacrificed.
Good quality burners are made of stainless steel or brass. These will last longer and avoid problems that plague other materials aluminium and cast iron burners will rust out. Stainless 304 is the best quality.
While must gas grills do not get as hot as charcoal grills and cant get as dark of a sear, gas grills equipped with infrared burners can. These burners can be found on more expensive models. Infrared burners work by placing ceramic, glass, or metal plates over the gas burners. When the flame hits the plates, it superheats and radiates more heat than a normal burner, with the ability to heat grills into the 700 degrees ballpark. If you grill a lot of steaks or are on a quest to grill the perfect steak, you should consider this option.
The Best Affordable Gas Grill With Extras: Cuisinart 3
Courtesy of Cuisinart
Cuisinart’s 3-in-1 Stainless 5 Burner Gas Grill is a pretty nice package deal for a pretty low price. It’s called 3-in-1 because it’s a gas grill that comes with a smoke tube and a cast iron griddle. When grilling, the heat profile of 3-in-1 is remarkably even and has an impressively high temperature range. The smoke tube, however, is nothing to get excited about. As with all gas grills, 3-in-1 is so well ventilated for safety reasons that the little bit of smoke from wood chips in the tube blows out the large opening in the back without much effect on the food. But the big, heavy cast iron griddle is an attractive extra. If you haven’t tried outdoor griddling, you should. It’s not just for bacon and eggs. Griddles excel at sizzling meat and veggies. Shrimp don’t fall through the grates and griddles put a delicious brown finish on fish, burgers and chicken breasts.
This is a great gas grill for a nice price and the included cast iron griddle makes 3-in-1 a compelling choice. Just remember to keep the lids glass window clean. A little windex between uses does the trick.
Cooking Area: 442 square inches
Heat Flux: 108.60 BTUs/square inch
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Price Of The Pellet Grill
When youre looking for a new pellet grill, its essential to keep an eye out for a quality grill. Purchasing a strong and well-made pellet grill will be more beneficial to you in the long run than a cheaper pellet grill option.
Youll likely find less-expensive pellet grills that catch your eye. But when you look for a reasonably priced pellet grill that provides the quality operations a grill should have, youll thank yourself for spending a little more money. Search for the grill that fits your budget and provides you with the grilling necessities you need for your weekend barbeques.
Calculate Grill Surface Area
When deciding what size grill you need, its better to pay attention to the grill surface area rather than any abstract measuring factors.
Measuring by other factors, such as the number of burgers that can fit on a grill, is very dependent on external factors and should be avoided.
Instead, you would want to pay attention to the cooking surface area.
Cooking surface area
The cooking surface area is equal to the width of the grilling area multiplied by the length. This gives you the measurement in square inches.
Most gas grills will measure in between 400 and 500 square inches. This is a common size for the average household.
For those with a large family or want to host guests, choosing a larger grill up to at least 600 square inches is a good idea.
What about half shelves?
When calculating or reading grill surface areas, make sure to check if the number includes any half or top shelves in the calculation.
These shelves add extra cooking space, but they grill much differently than the lower shelf. In short, they are incredibly useful for two-heat cooking or indirect cooking.
Since most people will use each area of the grill for different things, you should know how much space is devoted to each section.
Without this knowledge, you might accidentally plan to cook too much at once on direct heat even though the space is unavailable.
If you need a grill with 400 square inches of active, hot grilling space, models with a top-shelf might not be ideal unless you go bigger.
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Pros And Cons Of Gas Grills
Gas grills are popular types of outdoor barbecue grills due to their fast heating, simplicity of operation and relatively minimal cleanup required.
Some charcoal grill enthusiasts prefer the smoky flavor of meat cooked over coals compared to natural gas or propane heating. However, many gas grills offer the option of adding charcoal or wood pellets while cooking to enhance the flavors. In addition, hybrid or combo grills are designed for both gas and charcoal grilling .
Gas grills tend to be more expensive than charcoal grills. They regulate the heat with temperature control knobs and reach temperatures between 400 and 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Gas grills may require maintenance or replacement of such parts as the burners, valves, vents or heat shields. Popular materials for gas grills include stainless steel, cast aluminum and porcelain-coated steel.
Best Gas Grill Under $500
- Wheels feel a little cheap
Cooking Space: 450 square incheszGas Type: Propane Max Temperature: ~725° F
Char-Broils mid-sized, mid-market grill is an all-arounder. You get the shiny, stainless look of the high-end grills in the $1,000-plus market for half the price, plus plenty of storage and a sauce burner on the side. Plus, it comes with all-important infrared tech, which raises its temperature ceiling substantially. The budget infrared grill uses perforated steel sheets over the super-charged burners to increase the max temperature to around 725 degrees. The biggest downsides are assembly, which is a bit of a buzzkill at worst, and, again, cast iron grates that aren’t necessary at all. The grill hits the 600 degree mark before turning on the infrared burner that’s plenty of heat to achieve a brown crust before overcooking a piece of meat. The wheels also felt cheap, though they could likely be replaced without much issue.
Also Check: Cleaning Char Broil Infrared Grill Grates
Traeger Timberline Fully Loaded Like No Other
The Timberline is the top-of-the-line, fully-loaded Traeger model. The 1300 is by far the largest of the Traeger grills and an absolute behemoth. It has a larger cooking capacity than 2 Pro 575s combined, handling 12 chickens or 15 racks of ribs or 12 pork butts.
So, along with everything listed above about the Ironwood, the Timberline has the following:
Fully Insulated Grill Interior with Gasket
In addition to the double sidewall panels of the Ironwood, the Timberlinefeatures an aluminized steel double-wall back panel and grill door for even more insulation. It also comes with a gasket that runs around the edges of the grill door, which helps keep heat in.
Stainless-Steel Grill Grates
Unlike the non-stick coated porcelain grill grates on the Pro Series and Ironwood, the Timberlinecomes with stainless-steel grill grates. On the one hand, this is a good thing because stainless-steel grates are much more durable than the porcelain ones. Steel is also a better conductor of heat, meaning they get hotter than porcelain grates, which allows for better searing capabilities. However, they are also more prone to having food stick to them. Therefore, you may need to oil your grill before placing food down, depending on what youre cooking.
Internal Grease Management System
How Many Btus Do I Need
For a grill, the BTU measures the total heat output, per burner, in a given amount of time. However, the higher the BTU doesn’t necessarily mean the better the grill. If the BTUs are too high, your grill may be over compensating for a design flaw, such as burning through fuel quickly or poor heat retention. If the BTUs are on the lower side, it might have slow preheat and recovery times.
For a standard grill, you’ll want anywhere from 80-100 BTUs per square inch of your main cooking grate. As you begin exploring our various grill options, check out the specification sheets and manuals for more information on their BTUs.
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What About A Rotisserie
A rotisserie is great for cooking whole chickens but are typically not a standard feature on a gas grill. If you cook a lot of whole chickens or turkeys then this might be a feature that you want to spring for. When selecting a rotisserie to add to your grill, keep in mind that the best rotisseries are baskets rather than the more common skewers.
Durability And Quality Of Construction
If youre looking for a grill that offers eye-catching style and high durability, a pellet grill is an ideal option. Since your grill will be outside, youll want it to continue to look great and withstand the outdoor elements.
While the inside of a Grilla Grills pellet grill has high-quality stainless steel grates, the outside construction of the pellet smoker is what makes this type of grill strong and durable. The exterior of a pellet smoker features:
- Strong and high heat-resistant powder coating to protect against the weather and retain heat
- Welded and caulked seams for extra protection against the elements
- A metal thermal jacket to retain the most heat for optimal cooking
- An incredibly sturdy stainless steel lid
- Wheeled products with strong, solid rubber wheels
- A tough stainless steel frame
Your pellet grill will thrive outside and will operate well in various outdoor conditions.
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Kamado Joe Best Overall Kamado Grill
The most well-recognized name in the Kamado grill market is Kamado Joe. These grills are known for their versatility, durability, and quality. Whether youre buying your first Kamado grill or working your way toward becoming a grill master, the Kamado Joe grill is arguably the best youll find.
- Steep learning curve
Choose Your Grill Size
Who said size doesnt matter? The amount of cooking surface your gas grill offers is extremely important because it determines how much food you can prepare. Larger grills typically include more main burners , which in turn dictate what kinds of cooking techniques are available to you. The more burners you have, the more flexible you can be when it comes to multi-zone cooking. To find the right size, ask yourself how many people you normally grill for, the maximum number of people youd grill for, and how often youd grill for that many guests. Then see where your answers fall within our 4 size categories: Small, Medium, Large, or XL. Just remember, you can always turn off a burner or two, but you can never make your cooking surface larger.
Small grills have cooking surfaces that are 26 inches wide or smaller with anywhere between 1 and 3 burners. We recommend grills in this size range as the best option for grilling full meals for small families or cranking out burgers a dozen at a time. Just keep in mind that fewer burners means fewer temperature zones, so indirect cooking and other advanced techniques may be hard to achieve.
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Whats The Difference Between Gas And Charcoal Grills
It seems like most people start out with a charcoal grill, but many eventually make the switch to gas. Both have a lot of pros and cons, though, and which one you get often comes down to your needs and grilling style. Charcoal grills are generally cheaperhence theyre good starter modelsand theyre often more portable.
Thats because charcoal grills are far simpler than gas alternatives you need a bed for the charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid to help get them started. Gas grills, in contrast, need a fuel source like a tank of propane as well as fuel lines, valves and burners to deliver a carefully-controlled flame to the grilling surface. And most gas grills also include a starter mechanism to light the gas.
What Kind Of Grill Grates Should You Get
The grates on your grill can make a big difference on your sear marks and can have very different lifespans depending on their material. Generally, you want a nice wide grate to create a thick sear mark on your steak.
- Porcelain coated cast iron these are the best they leave great sear marks and are easy to clean
- Stainless steel grates / porcelain coated stainless leave nice sear marks and are easy to clean
- Cast iron grates these conduct heat well to the meat and leave nice sear marks but need to be oiled to avoid rusting
- Chrome / nickel coated wire grates these are cheaper, tend to rust, and dont leave wide sear marks
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Best Gas Grill Under $250
- Goes out of stock somewhat regularly
Cooking Space: 430 square inchesGas Type: Propane Max Temperature: ~600° F
If you just want to cook and dont give a damn about looks, this is the gas grill you want. Its exterior is cheap-looking, but its guts are equivalent to high-dollar competition. The interior is rust-proof cast aluminum and its fitted with H-shaped burners instead of the usual straight-line design, a change that delivers more heat to more areas of the grill, and improves its capacity for low heat cooks. As with most grills, ignore the built-in temperature reader completely its always wrong.
In The Market For A New Grill We’re Cookin’ Up Some Recommendations For The Most Popular Types Of Grills
The warm weather is finally here and like us, youre probably ready to get some tasty grilling recipes on the table! But if youre in the market for a new piece of equipment, it can be hard to know exactly how to choose a grill, because youve got way more options than charcoal vs. gas.
Dont worrywe did all the research so you dont have to. Whether youre cooking burgers for two or smoking turkey for the whole fam, weve got you covered. Lets take a look at the top types of grills:
On This Page
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Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire K750hs Grill
Fuel: Propane, charcoal, wood | Cooking surface: 726 square inches
- Cast bronze burners will last a lifetime
- Very expensive
This grillalthough calling it a grill is like calling a multitool a pocket knifefrom Kalamazoo is both impressive and intimidating. The Hybrid Fire can be fueled with propane, charcoal, or wood, so you can cook just about any way, or anything, you like. And to be honest, its so versatile, it would take weeks to fully test it. Kalamazoo grills are made by hand in Michigan using very heavy-gauge 304 stainless steel thats three to four times thicker than most grillsour test grill weighed about 500 pounds. The Hybrid Fire features three, 25,000 BTU, cast-bronze burners sitting below a full-width grilling drawer where charcoal or wood can be added. With this setup, lighting the wood or charcoal is super easy using the burners. Our test grill came with three optional laser-cut, stainless steel cooking surfaces, one each for meat, vegetables, and fish. There are also two 18,000 BTU side burners, and a built-in rotisserie system with an infrared burner.
BEST TRADITIONAL GAS
Fuel: Propane | Cooking surface: 360 square inches
- Easy to use
- Shelves don’t work well as handles to roll the grill
BEST KAMADO GRILL
Fuel: Charcoal | Cooking surface: 262 square inches
- Will outlast most metal grills
BEST HEAT DISTRIBUTION
Fuel: Propane | Cooking surface: 725 square inches
- Impressively even heat distribution
EASIEST TO TRANSPORT
Consider The Way You Like To Cook
All this talk of configuration, fuel type, size, and class can make it easy to forget what this journey is really about grilling! Nows the time to step back and look at what you grill and how you do it. Your grilling style determines what aspects of a grill should matter most to you, and how you’ll want to customize your grill to fit your needs.
Are you after high heat and steakhouse-level sear marks? You may enjoy an all-infrared grill capable of searing the thickest steaks. High heat, moisture retention, and less flare-ups are just some of the many benefits of infrared grills.
Maybe you prefer low-and-slow smoking? Look for gas grills with an optional charcoal tray accessory or gas/charcoal combo grills that let you use gas fuel alongside charcoal in two separate fireboxes. A wood chip smoker box will help you infuse your BBQ with amazing flavor.
Is it your goal to become the best outdoor entertainer on the block? A grill with gorgeous LED backlit control knobs or internal stadium lighting will illuminate your culinary artistry and dazzle your guests.
Or would a dependable grill with simple controls make you happy instead? Weve got you covered with straightforward and effective gas grills like the Victory gas grill or the Blaze Prelude LBM collection across multiple grill classes, all primed to deliver consistent results each time you cook.
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