Gas grills for outdoor cooking and barbecue have become increasingly popular among users for a number of reasons. For a start, operating them is quick and efficient. An outdoor gas grill can be set up much more easily than a charcoal grill. They are also much easier to clean and not as damaging to the environment as a charcoal grill.
Since these grills use natural gas as fuel, they also tend to cost lower to operate as gas is more economical compared to coal or wood pellets.
In this blog, we review the types of outdoor grills available and the features to look for when buying a gas grill. We will also review 10 of the best outdoor gas grills available in the market right now.
Types of Outdoor Grills
There are so many varieties of outdoor grills available in the market that buyers can get confused when trying to select the grill that works best for them. Some of the popular types of outdoor grills include the following.
The preferred choice for traditionalists that want the smoky, chargrilled flavor and smell on their barbecue. However, these grills are messier to operate and clean. They also need a good level of expertise for operating.
Electric grills are the least messy and safest for a barbecue. There is no fire or smoke and cooking is carried out by heating elements where electricity flows through coils and cooks the food. The big disadvantage of using electric grills is that food cooked on them lacks the taste of a proper barbecue. They are also quite expensive in terms of fuel.
These are quickly becoming popular and the preferred choice for users as they are easy to clean and operate. Gas grills operate on natural gas that can be easily connected to your gas pipes. This makes them much easier to operate and clean. The flavor is not as good as a charcoal or wood-pellet grill but it is still quite good.
The propane grill is a type of gas grill that is connected to a propane tank instead of the natural gas that is supplied to homes. It is easier to clean, cheaper than electric grills and offers a decent, smoky flavor for cooked food.
A pellet grill uses grain sized wooden pellets as fuel to cook food. Some consider it the best grill for flavor and believe it is even better than a charcoal grill. Recent advances have allowed much better heating efficiency and you can use a variety of wood such as maple, cherry or hickory. Their main shortcoming is that they are difficult to operate as wood must be fed consistently to the burner to keep the fire going.
Portable grills run on propane, charcoal or wood pellets. Their main feature is that they are easy to transport from one place to another and useful for picnics, tailgating or parking lot barbecues. They are usually small in size or foldable and can be transported in a car.
Features of Outdoor Gas Grills
Whether you are looking to buy a gas grill for the first time or want to replace your existing grill with a better one in the market, there are a few features that you must consider before making a final decision on buying. Some of the important features to consider include the following.
The first thing to consider is the price of the grill. Outdoor barbecue grills are available in the range of $200 to $1200. The more expensive ones offer larger cooking space, more convenient cooking and quicker grilling.
If you look around your local hardware store, you may find grills in the range of $200- $300. However, they only offer a very basic cooking design with no cover lid, little or no gas adjustment and no fuel economy. Gas grills in a slightly higher price range offer more features that can improve your cooking experience.
If you only barbecue once in a year, then the lower priced gas grills should be alright for you. If you have barbecue parties or go tailgating more often, you would want to invest in a better grill.
Gas grills can be operated on natural gas or propane. Many grills support both types of fuel, but there are also models that operate only on a single type of gas. You cannot operate a propane gas grill on natural gas or the other way around. Make sure that you get the appropriate grill based on the fuel you will use or get a grill that can be operated on both types of fuel.
You can get natural gas from the gas line in your home by simply connecting the grill to an outlet. For propane gas grills, you can use a propane tank that can be bought or re-filled from a propane gas store.
You also need to consider the material of your gas grill. The main body of most new outdoor grills is made with cast aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron or some other sheet metal.
Stainless steel is the most preferred in term of strength and durability. It is also the most expensive. There are different grades of stainless steel and a grill made with better quality steel usually costs more.
Aluminum grills are also a good choice since the material is resistant to rust and erosion. Since you will probably be storing the grill in a shed, it is susceptible to rainwater and moisture.
Apart from the body and cooking area, you should also take note of the grill’s frame and legs. Sometimes, manufacturers cut corners by skipping out on the metal and using low-grade material for different parts of the grill to keep their prices low.
The next important thing to consider is the size of the grill. If you are going to be holding barbecues just for your family, then a small grill size would be sufficient. If you are planning on holding big parties with friends, neighbors or extended family guests, then you would need a bigger sized grill that can be used to cook for more guests.
A bigger grill can be used for spit roasting turkeys, pigs and beef or half a dozen burgers and sausages quickly. It is ideal for large gatherings.
The one downside is that big grills also require more space for storing and they are also more difficult to move unless you get the portable kind.
Outdoor grills should be resistant to temperature and moisture. They should also be sturdy enough to handle heavy cooking. The grill’s material, the thickness of metal and quality of components determine how long the grill would last.
Most grill manufacturers offer warranty of parts as long as the grill is used carefully and stored property. If you have the option, pick the grill that comes with the manufacturer’s warranty.
Outdoor grills also come with additional features. Some offer multiple level cooking and others offer infrared heating. Some grills come with the option of covering the lid during cooking to smoke the meat completely while others come with side burners that ensure more even cooking on all sides.
Built-in features cost money, so make sure that you choose the grill that gives you the options you want.
The heat produced by the gas grill determines how well the food is cooked. The heating on gas grills is measured in BTU and controlled by the burner. A grill that offers higher BTU consumes more gas and produces more heat overall. How that heat is distributed and applied on the food is determined by the grill’s design.
Generally, the BTU per hour on a burner is between 12,000 and 36,000. Some gas grills consume more and some consume less. When buying a grill, consider the cooking area that will be covered by the burners as well. Ideally, a gas grill should be able to produce 60-120 BTU per square inch of cooking area for best results.
The Best Outdoor Gas Grills in the Market
We have looked at some of the best outdoor gas grills in the market right now and their review is presented in the following section. The gas grills are listed in no particular order.
Weber 46110001 Spirit E210 Liquid Propane Gas Grill
Known for making high quality cooking grills, Weber is a trusted brand name when it comes to outdoor cooking. The Weber 46110001 keeps up with their practice of providing a high quality product with critical features.
This is a liquid propane gas grill that has two burners at the top that offer an optimal cooking temperature. These burners are made of stainless steel which is a high grade material. The grill has a storage compartment at the bottom for the propane tank. It features a fuel gauge that lets you know how much fuel you have at all times. There are 6 hooks inside the compartment for tools like spatula, tongs and brushes.
The grill has a cover at the top that can be closed for exposing the meat to the smoke for longer and giving it a better flavor. The burners can intake 26,500 BTU per hour and the cooking area is around 450 square inches wide. There are two folding tables that the side that can be used for preparing food or serving.
Built with porcelain enameled cast iron, the cooking grate is very easy to clean after a barbecue. The unit includes porcelain enameled flavorizer bars that are designed by Weber. The bars catch drippings that create smoke and sizzle when burned, adding flavor to the food. The drippings that do not get smoked are funneled away from the burner in the grease management system. This prevents the burner from getting clogged.
The Weber 46110001 grill can be ordered through Amazon for home delivery.
Weber Stephen Company 60014001 Propane Grill
This is a more advanced model from Weber that offers more features and built with a better quality material.
It has the high performance GS grilling system that is based on more than thirty years of research on grilling experience. The burners have infinity ignition, ensuring that the grill is easily turned on when the knobs are turned.
The grates are built with a high class of stainless steel and heat is distributed evenly across the entire grilling surface. Gas flow remains consistent from front to back due to its uniquely shaped burning tubes. This makes sure that the food is grilled evenly no matter where it’s kept on the cooking grate.
The grill comes with the signature flavorizing bars from Weber. These are angled to catch drippings which are heated to create the smoke and sizzle that coats the food with that great tasting grease. The grease management system helps reduce flaring and makes the grill easy to clean.
The grilling system has powerful LED lights at the top that make it easy to see food while cooking. The lights on the knobs can also be turned on to make them more visible when barbecuing at night. The grill also includes a side burner for simmering as well.
The grill comes in 4 varieties; the 240 series, 340 series, 440 series and 640 series. Each model offers different cooking space and BTU intake.
The 60014001 is available for purchase at the Amazon store.
Dyna-Glo DGB730SNB-D Dual Fuel Grill
This dynamic grill from Dyna-Glo gives a complete outdoor grilling and cooking experience to users. The dual-fuel grill can be run on charcoal or gas. This allows users the choice of barbecuing on charcoal for that authentic flavor and smell or turn up the gas when you need to cook your meals quickly and efficiently.
The cooking grate is made with porcelain enameled cast iron bars that retain heat and allow you to sear meat while retaining the tasty natural juices inside. The burners are built with durable, high-class stainless steel and able to withstand high temperatures. When using gas, the grill intake is 24,000 BTU allowing you to generate lots of heat. The well-designed burners ensure that heat is distributed evenly across the grill and food is cooked with the same heat at all sides.
The charcoal tray has an adjustment crank that allows you to raise or lower the charcoal and bring it closer to the surface for searing or lower it for more thorough cooking.
The DGB730SNB-D is a big one among grills. It offers a total cooking area of 952 square inches and you can cook dozens of burgers and sausages on it simultaneously. There are two folding side tables that have handles with hooks for utensils and mitts.
Both the gas and charcoal grills come with separate covering lids that can be used for smoking the food to give it a smoky flavor. The compartments under the grills can be used for storing fuel. It is available for purchase at Amazon store.
Napoleon Grills Prestige 500 P500RSIB-1 Natural Gas Grill
The Prestige 500 grill from Napoleon Grills is excellent for big or small barbecue parties and outdoor cooking. The grill has 4 main burners and over 900 square inches of total cooking area. You can cook over 30 burgers on the grill in one go. The grill also has two infrared burners, one at the rear and the other on the side.
The grill is made with stainless steel both inside and out. The tube burners run on gas and allow dual-level sear with. The rods in the cooking grid are made in a wavy design and provide even heating all over the surface area.
The model comes with a single cover lid at the top for smoking and two folding tables at the side. There is a storage compartment at the bottom. The whole grill is made with high-quality steel and has a sleek design. It is perfect for throwing big barbecues and can be purchased at Amazon store. The price is inclusive of all installation charges.
Char-Broil Signature 425 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill
The 3-Burner propane gas grill from Char-Broil is their flagship outdoor cooking grill. It comes in a beautiful stainless-steel design with steel burners, steel compartment doors and steel cover lid with iron support at the sides. It comes with support for propane gas but can be converted for a natural gas intake.
The grill is ideal for people who want excellent grill performance and uniform cooking. It has a V-shaped firebox with removal partitions that offer greater cooking options where you can use the grill wholly or partially. It has a quick, reliable ignition. The three main burners offer 24,000 BTU per hour intake with the side burner offering 13,000 BTU per hour intake.
The grill has 425 square inches of cooking space allowing you to grill a dozen burgers simultaneously. There is an additional space of 165 square inches with the side burner that can be used for warming up food. The grill has really high ratings at the Amazon store where it’s available for purchase.
MASTER COOK Outdoor 4-Burner Propane Grill
Master Cook has been a reliable manufacturer in the outdoor grills market for small grills. However, they have been really impressive with their new Master Cook 4 burner that offers plenty of power, space and new features that barbecue enthusiasts will love.
As the name implies, this grill offers 4 main burners with 36,000 BTU power. It also has a side burner with 12,000 BTU that can be used for warming food. It has 400 square inches of primary cooking grate area with an additional 118 square inches of secondary cooking space. The cooking grill is made with heavy duty casted iron grates covered with porcelain coating that hold the heat much longer.
The grill’s body, cover lid and burner are made of premium quality stainless-steel that gives the unit a great look and also makes it more durable than standard grills. It has a quick ignition system that supports a reliable startup. The stainless-steel burners and grate are easy to clean after a barbecue. The grill has 4 casters under the stands making it easy to move around.
The Master Cook 4-Gas with side burner can be purchased at the Amazon store.
Char-Broil Performance 650 6-Burner
If you are looking for real power and a grill that can keep up with heavy demand then you should go with the 6-burner Char-Broil 650. This grill comes highly recommended by professionals and it is the grill that is used by steakhouse chef’s and party caterers.
This powerful outdoor gas grill has 6 burners and it can generate 60,000 BTU per hour when set to full use. The grill is made with stainless steel all over and quite sturdy and resistant to heat. It has large and foldable metal side shelves, double cabinet doors with plenty of space and easy to move on the wheels at the bottom.
The cooking grates are built with porcelain-coated cast iron and offer consistent, uniform cooking all over the grill. It has 650 square inches of primary cooking area and an additional 280 square inches of secondary cooking space. It is available for purchase at Amazon store.
Weber 45030001 Spirit II E-310 Outdoor Gas Grill
This is another real beauty from Weber where they design style and appearance to their Spirit range of grills without sacrificing too much on performance and build quality. The 45030001 has the signature GS-4 grilling system with 3 burners that deliver 30,000 BTU per hour.
It has a cooking area of 424 square feet that allows some serious grilling. There is a secondary rack that is around 105 square inches and can be used for warming. It has the same reliable infinity ignition system found on bigger model and comes with a stylish cover lid and folding side tables.
The grill has two large wheels on one side that can be used for carting it around. There is a small rack under the cooking grill trays. It has an excellent rating on Amazon with more than 200 positive reviews.
Thermos 300 2-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill
The Thermos 300 is a low range outdoor gas grill that offers a good option for occasional barbecues and outdoor cooking. It is a compact grill with 2 burners made of stainless steel that can generate 30,000 BTU per hour and has a cooking grate of 300 square inches.
There is a steel cover lid at the top and two side tables for serving and working. The grill has a Piezo ignition system.
The grill is reliable and durable. Although it lacks some advanced features, there is nothing lacking about its grilling capacity. It is a good choice for people who want a budget option and available on Amazon for purchase.
Bull Outdoor Products 69101 Steer Cart
Bull is a premium quality and design gas grill manufacturer. They offer some of the best outdoor gas grills that cover all aspect of grilling. Their grills usually carry 5 years or lifetime warranty. Their grills have a variety of features such as large cabinet storage, excellent quality burners, cartwheels for easier portability and porcelain-covered grates.
The street cart range of grills comes in 3, 4 or 5 burner variety. The burners can generate 45,000 to 70,000 BTU per hour and have cooking areas that start from 800 square inches and go up to 1,050 square inches. The downside is that their grills are often quite expensive. You can browse their range of products at Amazon.