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Grilling is an art form and if you’re going to be an artist, you should have the proper tools. Charcoal and gas grills each have their merits, but we particularly like the unfussy dependability of a gas grill. They heat quickly, they’re easy to use, and they’re not too much of a headache to clean up (relatively speaking). So how do you select the best gas grill for you? So glad you asked.
The world of grilling, barbecuing, and smoking is expansive and can get very complicated very fast. For our purposes, we’re just looking for a straightforward appliance that is more or less all-purpose. The best gas grills can be portable enough to move around your backyard — or to take to a tailgate. They should be able to grill up enough food at once for a large family or party too.
Even so, variances in fuel type, construction, materials, and even size can make a significant difference in how well your food turns out, so we founded up a few considerations to take before picking up a new grill.
What Are The Best Gas Grills?
Natural vs. Propane: Gas grills are fueled by either natural or propane gas. Propane gas comes in a refillable tank, which usually works out to about 25 hours of grilling time. A natural gas grill hooks up to your home gas line, which makes them less mobile than propane, and a bit of a process to install. But they also tend to be more economical and energy-efficient, and you never have to worry about running out of fuel.
Size: In general, the more burners a grill has, the more flexibility you have when it comes to multi-zone cooking and certain techniques. We find that unless you find yourself regularly feeding the entire neighborhood, two or three burners is plenty.
Material: It’s important to consider what your grill is constructed from, as cheap materials can chip or dent, and this is an item you should expect to keep for years. Stainless steel is the best material for the body of the grill, though cast aluminum, sheet metal, and cast iron are also common.
Cast iron is most preferable for the grill’s grates, however, as it is more durable than other typical materials — say, stainless steel and porcelain — which can chip or warp. It’s also important to note that even with the best materials, regular maintenance is the most important factor when it comes to preserving the life of your grill so you’ll want to wipe it down often.
Smokiness: The major point in a charcoal grill’s favor is the delicious smoky flavor it brings to meat. However, many gas grills also include a feature for adding charcoal or wood pellets, which provides the smokiness we look for.
Other Features: The latest gas grills are all equipped with built-in features, like a temperature gauge on the lid to let you know how hot it is inside, and pull-out trays and hooks to store your grilling utensils, plates, etc. We’ve even found an option with a built-in bottle opener.
1. Weber Genesis EX-335
When you think about grilling, there’s a good chance a traditional gas grill is the first piece of gear that comes to mind. We’ve been testing Weber’s Genesis EX-335, a lux gas grill whose extra features never get in the way of cooking meat and vegetables to perfection.
The three-burner grill was easy to assemble — we recommend asking a friend for help, though — and looks great once it’s put together. The EX-335 has 669 square inches of cooking space, which Weber says is enough room to hold around 20 burgers. In our experience, we could cook a mixture of dozens of wings, a handful of burgers, and an assortment of vegetables without running out of room. If you’re a fan of longer cuts of meat, think skirt steak or a full rack of ribs, you won’t need to sweat space.
What makes the EX-335 stand out is just how easy it is to use. Its burners ignite instantly, the grates get hot quickly, and its temperature is updated in real time on the grill’s LED screen, which is easy to read at a glance. The most important way to judge a grill is its heating consistency, and the EX-335 passed our tests with flying colors. Every part of its surface was heated evenly — so we never ended up with meat that was over or under done based on where we placed it on the grill. If you’re cooking for a crowd, this feature is key.
If you’re new to grilling, or like technology, you’ll appreciate the Genesis EX-335’s Wi-Fi connectivity. Stick one of the included meat probes into your cut of meat, and the Weber Connect app will let you know when it’s come to temperature. Just make sure to stick the probe directly into the center of your meat. If you don’t, you’ll get a bad reading.
The Weber Genesis EX-335 is an exceptional gas grill that never let us down. It’s a great addition to your backyard whether you choose to use its smart features or not.
2. Char-Broil 4-Burner Cabinet Style Gas Grill
Char-Broil’s Cabinet Style Gas Grill doesn’t have all of the fancy features found on the EX-335, but it’s a great option if you don’t need all the fancy bells and whistles.
This is a four-burner grill with 425 sq. in. of cooking space, plus a warming rack and side burner. You should have no problems making breakfast, lunch, or dinner for a dozen hungry people without making anybody wait. The grill’s exterior, burners, and heat tents are made from durable stainless steel, which can withstand the elements.
Below the grill you’ll find a respectable amount of space for grilling accessories, which are shielded from the rain by a pair of fold-out doors. If you need a full-sized grill that’ll supply food for cookouts for many years to come, get Char-Broil’s 4-Burner Cabinet Style Gas Grill.
3. Kenmore 3-Burner Outdoor Patio Gas Grill
If you want to host backyard cookouts this summer, but don’t have a lot of room, Kenmore’s 3-Burner Gas Grill is the right choice.
It’s just 32.5-inches wide when its side tables are folded down, which makes it easy to store when you’re not using it. Despite its size, the grill still has 381 sq. in. of cooking space on its main rack, and an additional 131 sq. in. on its top rack. There’s ample room for dozens of burgers, buns, veggies and other grilling staples.
Kenmore touts this grills durability, which it says comes down the to powder-covered surfaces on the inside and outside. We still recommend getting a grill cover if you plan on leaving it on your porch or patio during the winter long. If you’ve put off grilling because you’ve got limited space, Kenmore’s 3-Burner Gas Grill is the answer.
4. Royal Gourmet 8-Burner Gas Grill
If you do decide to cook for a crowd, Royal Gourmet’s 8-Burner Gas Grill is the way to go.
As its name suggests, the grill has eight burners, which you can control independently, and two cooking zones. You’ll need one propane tank per zone, which is understandable given the grill’s 969 sq. in. cooking area. We like that this grill allows you to create large hot and cool zones, so you can cook multiple types of food at once.
Royal Gourmet’s grill is made out of stainless steel, so it won’t scuff up or rust easily. The company includes everything you need to assemble the grill in the box except for a pair of AA batteries, which are required to power its electric starter.
It doesn’t have any smart features, but we like that this grill has a two-story storage system to hold all of your grilling accessories. It’s a wise use of space that’ll come in handy when you need to reach for the tongs, or a shaker full of your homemade spice blend.
Summertime is full of big events like block parties and family reunions; if you’re in charge of grilling for the guests, this is the right tool for the job.