5 Best Gas Grills, According to Food Network Kitchen
When warm weather comes, we’re cooking outdoors as much as we can. That’s why we know which gas grills are best for everything from burgers to veggies.
Our Top Picks for Gas Grills:
- Best Overall: Weber Genesis II SX-335 Gas Grill
- A Weber at a Better Price: Weber Spirit II-310 Gas Grill
- Budget Buy: Nexgrill 4-Burner Gas Grill in Black with Side Burner
- Lots of Versatility: Cuisinart 3-in-1 Stainless 5-Burner Grill
- Best for Entertaining: Char-Broil Performance Series 6-Burner Gas Grill
By Sharon Franke for Food Network Kitchen
With a gas grill on your patio or terrace, you can make dinner outdoors on a weeknight, as quickly and easily as you can boil pasta on your stovetop. Come the weekend, a gas grill can help you entertain or experiment with recipes like slow-cooked pork or grilled Caesar salad. But figuring out which model to buy can be a challenge. Even the least expensive ones will set you back a few hundred dollars and many are priced upwards of $1,000. Regardless of how much you’re prepared to spend and whether your idea of a barbecue is grilling a hot dog, searing a thick sirloin, or smoking a turkey breast, we’re here to help you find the best one for your backyard.
What To Know About Gas Grills
Almost as easy to light as your indoor range, gas grills are super convenient to use, making them great for after work grilling, even in the winter months. They only take about 10 minutes to preheat and you control the heat with the turn of a knob to produce a steak that’s crusty on the outside and rare on the inside or chicken quarters burnished to a golden brown yet thoroughly cooked. Gas grill maintenance is minimal. After cooking, the grates need a quick once-over with a brush and the drip pan has to be emptied.
The one thing you do have to do is make sure you have a tank of liquid propane gas hooked up to the grill and check it after cooking so if the gas is running low, you can replace it before your next cookout. If your kitchen range is fueled by a propane tank in your backyard, you can have your grill connected to it, to give you a constant supply of gas. Another option to consider is a model that can that can access the natural gas line to your home.
Things to Consider When Buying a Gas Grill
BTUS: Don’t be overly concerned about BTU ratings. They indicate how much gas the grill uses, but more BTUs doesn’t necessarily mean higher heat or better cooking.
Construction: Look for a gas grill that’s made of thick metal or rust resistant stainless steel. The thicker and heavier the grill, the more heat it will hold in and the more resistant it will be to being easily knocked down or even blown over.
Wheels or Casters: At least two wheels on a grill make it easy to move it from place to place. Ones that are made of stainless steel or bronze will hold up better and won’t rust.
Lid: It should fit tightly to hold in heat.
Removable Grease Pan: There should be a pan or cup for the grease to drip down into. As you’ll want to empty it frequently, it should be easy to access and remove.
Other Features: Check how convenient it is to hook up the tank. Decide whether you need a side burner to heat up sauce or baked peans or sauté onions. Tool hooks give you a place to hang your tongs and basting brush when you’re not using them. Although they’re not precise, thermometers in the lid and fuel gauges on gas models are helpful.
For even cooking without flareups, you just can’t beat the Weber Genesis, whether you’re making quick-cooking items like and brats or slow smoking a leg of lamb. It has a special sear burner to give your T-bones a delicious crusty exterior without burning them. On the stainless-steel grates, you can cook about 25 hamburgers at once. The knobs are lighted and an LED light in the handle illuminates the grates, making it easy to see what you’re cooking even after dark.
This grill isn’t cheap but in addition to offering top notch performance, it comes with lots of extras. On each side there’s a work table and one has a burner to use for melting butter, warming up sauces, or frying up some bacon. Underneath there’s a cabinet to stash your mitts and paper towels. It sports tool hooks, a warming rack, a thermometer in the lid, and a gauge to give you an idea if the gas is running low. The Genesis works with Wi-Fi, so you can check cooking temperatures and times and even the gas level on your iPhone. You can set it to beep you in the hammock or the laundry room when the London broil is perfectly medium rare. For easy cleanup, you can access the grease pan from the front of the grill.
The Genesis has a stainless-steel finish and is also available in in a version that can be hooked up to a natural gas line.
This Spirit gives you the quality and performance that Weber is known for at a more moderate price. While it’s smaller than the Genesis, there’s still room on the porcelain enamel cast iron grates for twenty burgers, more than enough for a family get together. And just as on the pricier Weber, you get good control of the heat to get food with appetizing grill marks that’s completely cooked through but still moist and tender.
On the Spirit, there’s a lot of convenient features like side tables, a warming rack, tool hooks, a thermometer in the hood, a gas gauge, and a storage shelf under the grill. The grease pan is easy to reach and empty. However, there’s no side burner for heating up the sides. This model is only available in black but a version that connects to natural gas is offered.
This is about as little as you can pay for a generously sized grill that will give good cooking results whether you’re cooking a hearty rib eye or delicate seafood. It can handle about 20 patties at once for those times when the after-the-game party is at your house. As the grates are made of cast iron coated with porcelain enamel, they’ll hold in heat to give those burgers distinct grill marks.
The Nexgrill has a sideburner for sautéing mushrooms to top the steaks. On the stainless-steel hood, there’s a thermometer and inside there’s a warming rack. However, you won’t find any tool hooks or storage space under the grill to stash your gear. While the grease pan is easy to access, it can only be removed from the rear of the grill and you may find it takes a bit of elbow grease to keep the stainless-steel hood looking spiffy, but it's worth it for the affordable price tag.
With the Cuisinart you can expand your outdoor cooking options. It comes with a cast iron griddle for frying eggs, bacon, or melted cheese sandwiches or making your famous smashed burgers. It also comes in handy for sautéing small items like veggies or shrimp that tend to fall through the grates. On the side of the grill there are hooks to hang the griddle when it’s not being used. A smoker tube is included that holds wood chips for infusing items like a turkey breast or a slab of ribs with smoky flavor. The porcelain enamel cast iron grates are ample enough to accommodate 20 to 25 hamburgers, depending on their size.
There’s a window in the hood of the grill so you can check to make sure your chicken legs or pork chops aren’t getting charred before they’re done without opening the lid and losing heat. Just be sure to keep the glass clean because once it gets black, it’s hard to scrape off the burnt-on gunk. On both sides of the grill, you’ll find side tables to rest your tools and in one there’s a burner for keeping a glaze or basting sauce warm. Other extras include a thermometer in the hood and a warming rack for heating the buns.
If your backyard is party central, you’ll love this huge, yet reasonably priced grill. With 6 burners it gives you room to cook up to 32 patties at once. Reviewers report that it cooks evenly both on high heat for weekday chicken breasts or tuna steaks and low and slow for weekend projects like smoking a pork shoulder to shred for pulled pork sandwiches or a whole side of salmon.
There’s a cabinet under the grill surface to contain the tank, making it easy to access the drip pan from the front, and giving you some space to stash your equipment. Tool hooks are one thing that’s missing on this grill. It does however have side tables, a side burner, a temperature gauge, and a warming rack, all of which are helpful if you do a lot of outdoor cooking.
How We Picked
To select our best gas grills, we relied on our experience using them both in developing recipes and in our own backyards. We checked review sites to see what other sources recommend and also pored through online user comments to see what real folks like you have to say about their experiences with various grills.
Our chief consideration was whether the grills cook evenly without flaring up, making it as convenient to cook chicken parts as burgers and hot dogs. However, we also reviewed how easy they were use and what special features they offered. Our picks contain a selection of affordable grills and one splurge so there’s a great choice for every type of backyard cook.
Sharon Franke has been testing and writing about kitchen equipment for over 30 years. Before becoming a cooking tools expert, she spent seven years working as a professional chef in New York City restaurants. In her free time, she's busy baking sourdough bread and rustling pots and pans on her own stove.