The 3 Best Gas Grills for Summer 2022
Gas grill FAQs
What should you look for in a gas grill?
A gas grill can be a major purchase, and there are many factors to consider. Here’s what we look for in the best gas grills:
- Size: Gas grills come in all shapes and sizes, from compact portable grills you can take camping to large built-in units. The best grill size for you depends on how many people you’re cooking for and how much space you can dedicate. In general, a three-burner grill with about 500 square inches of grill space offers the most versatility without being overkill. Of course, you may consider smaller units if your household is small or you don’t have much room for a grill. Most folks won’t need a grill that is significantly larger unless you’re considering built-in units.
- Fuel type: Gas grills can run on propane, be hooked into your natural gas line, or both. For most people, we recommend propane gas grills, which offer more portability and are more user-friendly. Tapping your natural gas line is only a good choice if you grill many times each week, have a built-in option, or are fairly certain you’re not moving anytime soon.
- Number of burners: Two to four burners is the standard. Our top pick has a three-burner setup, which we think offers the most versatility.
- Power (or Btu): Unless you’re specifically in the market for a compact or portable grill, look for options with at least 8,000 to 12,000 Btu per burner.
- Materials: Most likely, you’ll be leaving your grill outside in the elements. Stainless steel construction offers the best protection from the environment, though you’ll likely want to invest in a grill cover no matter what unit you buy.
- Features: Bells and whistles aren’t necessary for good grilling, but many folks will make use of a side burner, propane tank holder, or storage cabinet. Keep in mind you’ll usually pay extra for these features.
- Price: It’s possible to get a great grill under $500. We only recommend spending more if you’re looking at built-in, specialty, or natural gas units.
Should I buy a natural gas or propane grill?
A natural gas is 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. However, you can’t move your grill around, which may not be ideal, depending on your setup.
Should I buy a gas or charcoal grill?
A gas grill is best for casual grillers and beginners because it lights easily and maintains steady heat. For pros or barbecue enthusiasts, a charcoal grill is better. However, if you’re really serious about grilling, you’ll want both.
A gas grill is great for everyday grilling, fast meals, and cookouts. However, a charcoal grill is the gold standard for barbecue since charcoal and wood chips provide a deeper flavor than you get from a gas grill. You’ll also likely burn through a lot of propane if you attempt to make a low and slow dish like barbecue brisket or pulled pork on a gas grill.
What is a Btu (British thermal unit)?
A Btu, or British thermal unit, is the precise amount of heat required to bring 1 pound (about a pint) of water up to 1 degree Fahrenheit at sea level.
This is a useful measurement for many heat-producing appliances but perhaps not as useful as you might think when it comes to deciding on a gas grill. Almost all gas grills reach a maximum temperature of 500 to 550 degrees, no matter how many Btu they have or what they cost.
A Btu measurement will give you some idea of how hot a grill will get, but it shouldn’t necessarily be a deciding factor in your purchasing decision. Since grills are designed to retain heat, you’re rarely at risk of buying an underpowered grill.
How do you clean a gas grill?
The easiest way to clean a gas grill is with a grill brush, but there are other options, too.
Most people choose to clean their grill before and after cooking on it when the surface is either preheated or still warm from cooking. The heat helps sterilize the surface and loosen grime. Once the grill is hot, you can simply swipe the
across the surface until the grates are noticeably clean.
Where should I keep my gas grill?
Gas grills are pretty hardy and can be left out in the elements, but you’ll want to buy a cover for your grill to protect it, predominantly from collecting water.
Cast iron elements in particular (like grill grates) are prone to rust if exposed to rain or snow. If you live somewhere with regular inclement weather, you may want to move your grill into a basement or shed for the winter. Just remember that propane tanks should always be stored outside.
How do you cook on a gas grill?
Mastering a gas grill takes time and practice like any cooking technique. Here are some general tips to get you started:
- Light the grill: Connect the propane tank to the grill using the grill’s hose, open the valve on the propane tank all the way, turn the burners to the lightning bolt symbol, and press the ignite button.
- Always preheat: Just like you would preheat an oven before use, you should also preheat a grill. This not only helps clean the grill but ensures the cooking grates get nice and hot for searing. You can preheat a grill by turning all the burners on and closing the grill lid for 5-10 minutes.
- Use cooking zones: Once the grill is preheated, you usually won’t need all the burners on unless you’re cooking for a crowd. Turn one burner off to act as a “cool” zone on your grill, where you can place food that is close to being done or needs to cook slower. Place foods that you want to sear or cook quickly over the lit burners.
- Close the lid: When you cook with the lid open, you let a lot of heat out. When you first place foods on the grill, close the lid to help the temperature recover. You can cook with the lid open when you get closer to your food being done.