There is such a huge variety of different types of grills coming from numerous brands that you can surely find something to suit your needs. However, going through all the options and finding the best product can be challenging. I have put together this gas grill buying guide to help you with finding exactly what you need.
This guide is divided into different sections that help you find gas grills based on different criteria. Maybe you are looking for a certain type of grill, like a built-in gas grill or a flat top grill. Or you might have a dedicated budget that you don’t want to exceed. You might even prefer to only look for grills with a specific number of burners. Whatever criteria you have, here you can find a section that will help you.
Each subsection of this guide has a link to a more specific article where you can find the best grills that meet that particular criterion. For example, if you are looking for the best gas grill that you can get for under 500 dollars, you can find a link to a separate article that contains the best options for that budget.
First, let’s take a quick look at the properties of gas grills and what you should consider in order to find the unit that will be just right for you.
Why Gas Grills Are Great
If you are not yet sure that a gas grill is the best choice, let’s take a quick look at the advantages and possible disadvantages that they have.
I think that the best thing about gas grills is the ease of use and convenience that they provide. This is especially important if you’re grilling often and don’t want to spend time worrying about starting a fire and disposing of used charcoal.
When you invest in a high-quality gas grill, you will have many years of carefree outdoor cooking to come. Once bought, the cost of using and maintaining one is very minimal. Just make sure that you have a propane tank with gas (or hook it up with a natural gas source) and make sure to clean it after each use.
Gas grills are also versatile. In addition to grilling the typical burgers, steaks, or chicken breast, you can slow cook and even smoke in a gas grill. This takes some extra effort but it’s not that difficult once you the hang of it.
However, if you really like smoking food or need to use extremely high temperatures, then I recommend getting a separate smoker and a charcoal grill. Or you could also grab one of the gas and charcoal grill combos (see the “Gas Grills By Type” section of this guide).
What to Consider Before Buying a Gas Grill
Before even starting to look at different options, it’s important to think about what kind of gas grill is most suitable for your needs.
Here are the most important specs of a gas grill:
Size and Portability
Do you already have a certain place in mind where you are going to place your grill? Maybe you have a patio with plenty of space and you like to host big barbecue parties. Then get a large and sturdy grill that can handle a lot of food.
On the other hand, if you like to move the grill around your backyard, or take it along for camping, tailgating, and road trips, you should get something light and portable. Also, if you are planning to cook just for a few people at a time, then there is no need to get a big grill. It makes more sense to spend your money on a smaller high-quality unit.
Price and Durability
Gas grills, even the bigger ones, come in all price classes. If you are not a big barbecue enthusiast and just want to grill occasionally, it’s not necessary to spend a huge amount of money. Yet, keeo in mind that the more affordable grills don’t usually have any fancy features and might not be very durable.
If you want to have a grill that looks sleek and is reliable and durable, then be ready to spend a bit more. Look for products with thick, high-quality stainless steel construction. It’s definitely worth it to invest in a grill that will last for years and always delivers when it comes to cooking performance.
Does it make sense to invest extra money into different types of special features? This is really a matter of preference. I usually go for a quality product that has the most important basic features such as reliable ignition, convenient grease management system, and foldable side shelves.
I also use a separate smoker for smoking meat, so there is no need for a smoker box. And when I want to fry eggs or boil some rice, I use a gas stove that is just a few steps away from my grilling area.
However, you might prefer having a grill that has all the bells and whistles, making it a complete cooking station. Let’s say your grilling area is a bit further in the backyard and you don’t want to run back and forth to the kitchen, it might be a good idea to have everything you need right there. A side burner for boiling rice, or frying those eggs and pancakes on a pan, and maybe a smoker box for preparing tasty ribs, roasts, or a whole turkey.
Built-in LED lights might come in handy when grilling after sunset. Or how about an integrated cabinet where you can put the propane tank so it’s out of sight and out of the way?
Then there are also grills with motor-powered rotisserie kits and separate infrared burners for grilling whole birds and roasts.
Number of Burners and Heating Power
The more burners you have the more heat zones you can create without effort. 2 burners could already be good enough, but if you have a large rig with 4 or 5 burners, you can grill many items simultaneously with different temperatures.
A large grill without proper heating power is not fun to use. The common unit for heating power in the product specification is BTU (British Thermal Unit). So you want to have enough BTUs to get your grill hot in a matter of minutes and to get that nice sear on your steaks and burgers.
I’m not going to give an exact value for BTUs per square inch of the grilling area that you should have. Instead, in the specific guides linked in this article, we will have a look at each grill individually to determine if it has enough heating power. Some units have a smart design and are well insulated, so they might not need as many BTUs as some other grill of the same size.
What Are You Going to Cook
One more thing to consider is what type of foods do you actually like cooking on your grill. If you’re just mostly grilling hot dogs and maybe some burgers and chicken breast, you don’t necessarily need a fancy rig with high heating power.
However, if you like to prepare well-seared steaks you better have some blast on that baby!
When making barbecue ribs and cooking slow and low, you want to be able to create heat zones. This means you should have a minimum of 2 burners. And make sure you have enough vertical space under the grill lid if you like to grill whole chickens and turkeys.
Gas Grills by Type
If you are looking for certain type of gas grill, then this section is for you. Let’s have a look at different types of grills and their features.
Tabletop gas grills are usually quite small and lightweight, so it’s easy to move them around. They are perfect for balconies and small patios. You can also take them along to camping and other outdoor activities like picnics.
If you are just grilling occasionally, you can take your tabletop gas grill out of storage and set it up in few minutes when you need it. Then pack it up after grilling and store it without using too much space.
One nice thing is that tabletop grills are often very affordable, so you don’t need to spend a month’s salary on one. Just remember that this kind of grills are usually quite small, so if you are often cooking for a large group of people, it’s better to get a bigger and more permanent option and set up a proper grilling area.
Read this guide to find the best products in this category: Best Tabletop Gas Grills
Small gas grills fulfill pretty much the same needs as the tabletop grills. The key difference here is, that I have included mostly stand-alone units in the small gas grills buying guide. This means that they include a stand and so you don’t need a separate table or elevated platform to grill comfortably.
Find the best small gas grills here: Top 5 Best Small Gas Grills
When you want to do more than just grill, like fry some eggs and pancakes, a flat top grill could be just what you need. They are very versatile and easy to use, so you can cook a large variety of dishes for a big family or organize a backyard fiesta.
And you don’t have to give up on anything because there are models available with interchangeable regular grill grates.
Here is a guide with the best flat top units available: The 5 Best Flat Top Gas Grills and Griddles
If you are serious about grilling and want to set up a proper outdoor kitchen, then a built-in gas grill is the way to go. When it comes to grilling space and heating power, these units deliver.
They are also durable and often come with a variety of features. This means that you will also have to invest some serious cash to get a nice built-in unit, but it’s definitely worth it as you will have years and years of unforgettable outdoor cooking ahead.
Check out my guide with the best options here: Best Built-in Gas Grills
Getting a natural gas grill makes sense when you have gas service already. You are always ready to start cooking right away and don’t have to worry about running out of fuel. Also, if you are looking for a built-in grill for your outdoor kitchen, natural gas is the best option.
Here is my guide with the Best Natural Gas Grills.
Gas and Charcoal Combo
Can’t decide between gas and charcoal grill? It’s kinda nice to have both, but then you have to buy 2 units and also allocate space and maintain both of them.
One nice option is to get a gas and charcoal grill combo. It’s hard to find a good one though. Most units that are available seem to be unable to handle both methods of cooking properly. However, there are a few good options.
I have done the research and put together a guide with the best options: Best Gas And Charcoal Grill Combos
Gas Grills by Number of Burners
Another way of approaching the buying decision is to choose your grill by the number of burners. More burners usually mean more heating power and more grilling space. You can also use the burners to create heat zones for indirect and slow cooking.
NOTE: Also a guide for 4 burner gas grills coming soon.
2 burner gas grills are usually affordable and compact but they can still have an adequate sized cooking area. You are able to create heat zones by adjusting the 2 burners individually.
Read this guide to find the best one for your needs: Best 2 Burner Gas Grills
3 burner gas grills are kind of the middle class both in size and price. Of course, there are also more expensive premium models available.
These grills are excellent for cooking food for the whole family but you can still fit them on your patio or even on a large balcony. Having 3 burners also in your gas grill gives you more flexibility when creating heat zones.
When you need a big and powerful rig a 6 burner will the right kind of grill for the job. Having plenty of burners also gives you more control and allows you to create several heat zones for slow, indirect cooking, or even smoking.
If you are planning on buying one, check out our guide to find the best 6 burner gas grill for your needs.
Gas Grills by Price Range
If you have a certain budget allocated for the new gas grill, then you should probably take a look at one of my guides based on the maximum price of the product. This way you can find the best possible unit in your preferred price category.
Under 1000 Dollars
With a maximum budget of 1000 bucks, you can really choose the kind of grill that you always wanted. This is a great buying position since it allows you to choose a premium product built with durable materials and reliable parts.
Here is the guide you should check out to find the best option: Best Gas Grills Under $1000
Under 500 Dollars
You can still find a host of excellent products available for under 500 dollars. Now you just need to think which are the most important aspects and prioritize them. Do you prefer a smaller unit built with premium parts and features, or go for maximum size and heating power?
No matter what is your preference, you can find the best mid-range gas grills in this guide: Best Gas Grills Under $500
Under 200 Dollars
Ok, so you’re on a limited budget but still want to have a decent gas grill. No problem, there are some good products available for a very reasonable price.
I have put in hours of work to find the 5 best gas grills you can get for under 200 dollars and there is even a large 5 burner unit included.
Read this guide to learn more: Best Gas Grills Under $200