For many of us, summer means grilling. When the yard work is done, it’s time to cook outside. Picture yourself preparing steak, fish, chicken, chops, brats, dogs, burgers, or a big skewer of marinated vegetables on a new gas grill. Hungry? You’ve come to the right place. To select your ideal grill, read on for evaluations of the best ones from our testing.
Why Go Gas?
We won’t take sides in the great grill debate of charcoal versus gas. Both work well, with their respective advantages and disadvantages. What we will say is that some outdoor chefs will naturally take to gas grills. These heat and cool down quickly, and do so with minimal mess. Like a kitchen range, their heat output is controlled with a twist of a knob. For many people, that alone is reason enough to buy one.
And there are many to choose from. New gas grills come with anywhere from one to six burners. They might have side burners designed for specific purposes, such as gently warming food in a pan. They might be engineered for increased infrared output, especially useful for quick cooking. You can even buy a grill with lighted knobs for night grilling.
How We Tested These Grills
Every grill on this list has been thoroughly evaluated and vetted by our team of test editors. We research the market, survey user reviews, and speak with product managers and designers. Most importantly, we conducted extensive testing on a range of grills to determine the best, which you see below. We prepared burgers, vegetable patties, and bone-in chicken with the help of a consulting expert, chef and cookbook author David Joachim, and we evaluated heat distribution by covering each cooking surface with white bread. This is a seemingly unconventional choice for grill testing, but Joachim says white bread is ideal because it will clearly show where cold spots can produce under-cooked food.
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First, Everything You Need To Know About Grilling
Watch as Joachim demonstrates how to get the most out of your gas grill.
Weber Spirit 2 E-210
$379.00 (21% off)
If you like traditional gas cooking, this is your grill. Its cast-iron grid sits above large inverted V-shaped deflectors to keep drippings off the burners. The deflectors were simple to remove and are coated with porcelain for easy cleanup. And while we’re talking cleanup and convenience, bonus points to Weber for the generous stainless-steel side shelves that give you ample surfaces for food prep. The Weber’s heat distribution is good. Two burner tubes run front to back, and a third connects them to keep heat rising toward the warming rack at the rear. Assembly? Simple and straightforward, complete with thoughtfully rendered illustrations. (If you want more space, consider the company’s Genesis II E-410, which has many of the same features and twice the burners.)
Best Heat Retention
Char-Broil Commercial Series TRU-Infrared
As evidenced in our bread test, Char-Broil’s Tru-Infrared four-burner grill had remarkably even heat distribution. This is largely due to the burner design, featuring four stainless steel heat emitters (plates that absorb and emit infrared energy). Above those emitters is a set of porcelain-coated, cast-iron grates that imparted a typical wide sear mark. The grill takes a little longer to heat up because there’s a lot of mass to warm in those emitters and cast-iron grates. It also takes longer to cool down, something to keep in mind if the temperature gets too hot for what’s being grilled. But the even heat meant we were able to cover the grill with burgers and have them all ready at the same time. Plus, we could turn one or more of the burners off or use the warming racks for indirect cooking while employing direct heat on the grates.
BEST GRILL WITH BUILT-IN SMOKER
Nexgrill Revelry 4-Burner
With 613 square inches of cooking area, including the warming rack, Nexgrill’s four-burner Revelry is a family-size grill with a feature you don’t see on every model. We were surprised by the long, narrow, integral smoker box. It slides in from the front and works far better than we expected. To get wood chips smoking we found the nearest two burners needed to be set a little above “low,” which holds the temperature a little above 300 degrees. Depending on what you’re smoking, that may be a little high—you may have to add more wood chips, we burned through them fairly quickly. When we ran our toast test, we discovered that the smoke box created a slightly cool spot between burners one and two because it occupies all the space between them—not a big deal, but something to be aware of if you’re loading the grill up wall to wall with burgers.
Speaking of burgers, we found cooking them on the Revelry to be straightforward, quick, and easy for hitting our choice of doneness. When we changed to marinated, bone-in chicken, we used the warming rack to cook them with indirect heat, moving them to the grates on higher heat to sear them right near the finish. The Revelry comes with a standard side burner and LED lights above each of the burner controls, which we appreciated when grilling in the late evening.
Cuisinart CGG-750 Venture
Packed up, Cuisinart’s Venture resembles a picnic basket, making it about as portable as a table-top grill can get. And it took us less than a minute to set up its three pieces, including a wood top, grill body with handle, and base. The top and base combine to form an attractive prep surface that clips alongside the grill. The single 9,000-BTU burner is fueled by a 16-ounce propane canister that conveniently stores in the base. Being a single-burner grill, the Venture made it a little tricky to manage heat when cooking thicker meats like bone-in chicken, as it’s hard to get away from the heat for longer, indirect cooking. We set the burner on low for the 100 percent beef burgers we grilled, flipped them once, and then turned up the heat to imprint sear lines from the cast-iron grate. Generally, we found it relatively easy to grill thinner foods—it’s ideal for burgers, hot dogs, boneless chicken, or fish. The stylish Venture is a social media post waiting to happen every time it’s fired up, and ideal for a variety of uses, from an intimate cookout someplace special to tailgating at the game.
KitchenAid 3-Burner Propane
People often disagree on aesthetics, but it was unanimous with our testers: This KitchenAid is one of the nicest looking grills we’ve used. From assembling it, we could tell it’s well built, with excellent alignment of the panels, doors, and shelves. Resist the urge to pay extra for assembly, since putting this one together is easier than most. Instead of a blister pack with 101 pieces of hardware, most of it’s already screwed in the place it belongs, so there’s no question what goes where. During the heat distribution portion of the test, our bread indicated slightly hotter strips over each of the three burners. The stainless steel grates are spaced a little wider than normal, and we found this helped make them easier to scrub off. It also means there’s less mass to heat and hold heat, so the grill warms up and cools down a little faster than others. Plus, there’s a bonus ceramic sear burner on the side, so you can cook low and slow if you wish and use it to add those dark grill marks.
Best for Lots of Food
Monument ClearView 6-Burner
The Monument cuts an impressive figure amid the field of mid-price gas grills. You look at all that stainless steel and those six burners and think that it must cost $1,200. But it runs just about half that. Here’s the tradeoff. Assembling this big hunk of grill yourself may take at least two, maybe three, hours–there are that many fasteners. It cooks well once it’s assembled, though. Our bread test revealed the best heat distribution among the full-size grills. And we had more than enough control over its heat output with all those burners. We were able to mix and match the settings to dial in the temperatures we needed. Fan of night grilling? The knobs shine with blue LED lights.
Easy to Transport
Cuisinart All Foods Roll-Away CGG-240
No need to carry the stainless steel Roll-Away—its legs folds flat for maximum portability, so you can wheel it along behind like a suitcase at the airport. Plus, you can hang it on a wall like that for storage. When set up, this Cuisinart has a relatively small footprint of 18 by 34 inches that makes it ideal for apartments or places with limited space. Once open, two shelves swing out to provide handy staging areas on either side of the grill. The single 15,000-BTU burner sits beneath a metal cover to help distribute heat evenly under the grill grate. Our bread test revealed that there were two hotter spots, to the front and back of the cover, where the heat rose around it. Knowing this, it was easy to see where to cook things like chicken with indirect heat. The 18 by 13-inch enameled, cast-iron grate can fit 12 burgers with room to flip them—more than enough for a meal or small gathering.
Best for Simple Burgers and Dogs
The Q1200 is compact and light, the most robust table-top grill we tested. This one gets the job done almost entirely through conduction—its single burner provides heat to a porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grid that functions much like a 189-square inch pan. Narrow slots in the grid provided a path for drippings. With the lid down, we got reliable convection cooking as hot air circulated over the grid. The bread test confirmed that this Weber has good heat distribution, rating somewhere between the perfection of the rolling Cuisinart and the Coleman below. But because this grill doesn’t afford as much control over the heat as some of the others, carefully monitor your food or save this one for burgers and dogs: It will dry out or burn chicken and more substantial cuts of meat. For added convenience, Weber sells a separate stand–a nice accessory when you don’t have a picnic table on which to set the grill.
Best Multi-Burner Portable
Coleman RoadTrip 285
When camping or bringing the barbecue with you, the RoadTrip 285 is easy to haul and set up. It uses 16-ounce propane canisters (bring spares if you’re cooking for a crew or making multiple meals). The two-piece cooking grates are made of cast iron and sheathed in porcelain, covering three burners that yield 20,000 BTUs. The burners all sit under the solid center sections of the grates, which our bread test revealed to be the hottest areas on the grill. That does mean that the heat needs to be managed carefully when cooking thicker things like chicken on the bone so they don’t burn on the outside—we kept the meat over the open grates around the edges of the grill for even indirect cooking. The 25 by 12-inch cooking surface will hold a lot of burgers, dogs, or whatever your preference. And, if you want to mix things up, Coleman sells compatible griddle and stove grates that you can swap on.
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