Whether you’re replacing a rusted grill, switching from charcoal to gas, or purchasing your first grill, a gas grill is an excellent addition to your backyard living space. But with so many grills to choose from and such a broad range of price points, finding the best gas grill for backyard barbeques can be a challenge.
Gas grills use either propane or natural gas to power burners that cook your food. These grills range from small, portable models that feature a single burner to 5-foot-long grills with four burners and an additional side burner for cooking sauces and sautéing vegetables. Gas grills feature high heat output, allowing grilling enthusiasts to achieve the grill marks and seared crusts that are a hallmark of barbeque dishes.
Read on to learn about key factors to consider when shopping for the right grill, and learn why the models below represent some of the best gas grills for backyard barbeques.
- BEST OVERALL: Weber Spirit E-310 Propane Gas Grill
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Char-Broil Classic 280 2-Burner Propane Gas Grill
- BEST HIGH-END: Napoleon Prestige 500 RSIB Natural Gas Grill
- BEST NATURAL GAS: Weber Genesis II 3-Burner Natural Gas Grill
- BEST DUAL FUEL: Blossomz Dual Fuel Combination Charcoal/Gas Grill
- BEST HIBACHI: Weber Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill
- BEST LARGE CAPACITY: Weber Genesis II 4-Burner Liquid Propane Grill
- BEST PORTABLE: Pit Boss Grills Stainless Steel Portable Grill
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Gas Grill
When shopping for a gas grill, there are numerous factors to consider—including the grill size that’s right for the space, its heating output, and the grill type that best suits the owner’s backyard barbeque needs.
Gas grills burn either natural gas or propane. A natural gas grill connects to the home’s gas line, while a propane gas grill typically uses a 20-pound propane tank. With natural gas, the fuel supply never runs out, whereas a propane tank might unexpectedly run out of gas mid-barbeque, requiring an inconvenient run to the local gas station. For this reason, it’s best to have a spare propane tank on hand at all times.
Natural gas grills and propane grills are not interchangeable. Attaching a propane gas grill to a home’s gas supply requires a conversion kit. Hybrid grills allow for cooking with either charcoal or gas in the same firebox, by using a metal insert that allows the charcoal to rest above the gas burners. Some hybrid grills allow both at the same time, using a side-by-side setup with two separate fire boxes—one for gas and one for charcoal.
Freestanding grill: This is the most common type of gas grill, featuring a firebox that sits on a cabinet or stand. The firebox features two to four burners and retractable trays on either side that grillers can use as a prep surface for platters of meat or vegetables that are waiting to go on the grill. They feature large lids with substantial handles for easy opening and closing, and wheels to position them where desired on a deck or patio.
Built-in grill: As the name implies, a built-in gas grill is built into a permanent structure, such as a stone or granite outdoor kitchen. As such, they do not come with a cart or base to support the firebox. Given the expense of outdoor kitchens, these models are typically high-end options. They usually use dedicated natural gas lines as opposed to propane tanks.
Kettle grill: A kettle grill is spherical, taking its name from its bulbous kettle shape. It includes a rounded firebox that holds the gas burners. A large, circular stainless steel grate serves as the cooking surface. A round lid promotes heat circulation throughout the grill and includes an adjustable metal air vent. The shape creates a narrower grill, making it ideal for smaller spaces. Kettle grills are much less common as gas models than they are as charcoal grills.
Barrel grill: Like kettle grills, barrel grills get their name from their shape. They resemble a metal barrel on its side, cut in half, with a hinge on one side that allows it to be opened and closed. They typically include a thermometer on the lid. The lower half of the barrel functions as the firebox and houses the gas burners. These grills are wide, featuring a broad cooking surface.
Hibachi grill: Although hibachi-style grills are more common with charcoal as fuel, some models use gas. Hibachi grills are small, at a foot or so high, less than 30 inches wide and about 15 inches deep. This makes them suitable for tailgating, grilling on the beach, or a barbeque at the park. These units typically use smaller portable propane gas canisters and cartridges that are much more manageable than a 20-gallon tank.
Size and Weight
Gas grills range significantly in size and weight. While most freestanding gas grills have similar depths to allow the user to reach the back of the grill without having to stretch over the hot cooking surface, they vary in width. The average gas grill is about 60 inches wide, including side tables. Smaller two-burner gas grills are narrower at about 45 inches wide, while larger four-burner grills might be 65 inches wide (or wider).
A midsize gas grill can weigh around 120 pounds, while smaller portable grills reach about 25 pounds. Most freestanding gas grills feature sturdy wheels or casters, so they can roll around a patio or deck with ease.
Grills generally list the size of their cooking surface in square inches. Midsize gas grills have about 500 square inches of cooking surface with two or three burners. This size provides enough room to create multiple heat zones, allowing the user to cook foods at different temperatures at the same time. Portable grills offer about 200 square inches of cooking surface, limiting the cooking to a single temperature. Larger grills that feature four or more burners can have cooking surfaces of 600 square inches or more. These behemoths might feature anywhere from four to eight burners, maximizing the ability to create different heat zones.
Most grills are rated in BTUs (British thermal units), which measure how much heat the grill can produce. Generally speaking, the more burners, the more heat output the grill can generate. A grill with two burners might have around 20,000 BTUs, or about 10,000 BTUs for each burner. Larger three- and four-burner grills might produce 30,000 or even 40,000 BTUs.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that a 36,000-BTU grill will sear meat better than a 24,000-BTU grill. It might simply mean it is covering a larger surface area. To truly determine how powerful the surface can get, divide the total BTUs of a grill by its square inches of cooking surface to determine the intensity of heat it can deliver.
Some grill makers understand how crucial the ability to sear is to grill enthusiasts, so they’ve created specialized burners that focus high heat on a specific part of the grill surface. This function is designed specifically to put a crust on meat.
Gas grills offer convenient additional features to support grilling efforts. Many include side burners that enable the user to cook sauces or sauté toppings while grilling the main dish. Side shelves provide a convenient place to prep food before putting it on the grill. Other features include built-in hooks for grilling tools and thermometers mounted to the grill lid to monitor the inside temperature when the lid is closed. Some grills even include smart thermometers that connect to an app on a smartphone.
Ease of Cleaning
Though gas grills require much less cleaning than their charcoal cousins, they still need a good scrubbing from time to time. Many gas grills include ceramic or stainless steel grates that enable easy cleaning. Gas grills also have trays at the bottom of the firebox that serve as a convenient grease catch that can be removed and cleaned periodically.
Our Top Picks
The gas grills below feature durable construction, innovative designs, and powerful cooking outputs. The list and review of features should help you when shopping for the best gas grill for backyard barbeques.
With its solid construction, 32,000-BTU output and Weber name, the Spirit E-310 Propane Gas Grill is worthy of any backyard barbeque. It features three stainless steel burners for creating multiple heat zones. Side tables that fold easily from a down position to a service position provide plenty of prep space. Two heavy-duty cast iron grates create 529 square inches of cooking area, providing ample room for large steaks, racks of ribs, or a Fourth of July’s worth of hot dogs and burger patties. Large control knobs allow for fine-tuning the temperature control.
This gas grill is built to endure, with a porcelain enamel lid and a cookbox that resists peeling. Four large swivel casters make moving this grill around a deck or patio easy, while six built-in hooks keep grill tools organized and at the ready. A cabinet door conceals a 20-pound propane tank.
With its small profile and affordable price, the Char-Broil Classic 280 2-Burner Propane Gas Grill is an excellent option for those on a budget. It features 280 square inches of cooking surface that will accommodate a meal for a family of four. With its two stainless steel burners, this grill puts out 20,000 BTUs of heat. A Piezo push-button ignition system can get this grill started easily, while two large metal side shelves offer ample prep space for burgers and steaks going on or coming off the grill. Porcelain-coated grates keep food from sticking while making cleanup easier.
The cookbox rests on four sturdy legs. Two legs feature 6-inch wheels that can move the grill around the deck or patio easily. At just 45 inches wide and 24 inches deep, this grill won’t hog space in an outdoor living area.
With its numerous burners and high heat output, the Napoleon Prestige 500 Natural Gas Grill is a formidable cooktop. It features four main burners that put out a staggering 48,000 BTUs of heat. Two additional stainless steel sear burners, which can be controlled from two smaller knobs on the control panel, create intense heat zones for achieving grill marks and crusts on steaks and other meats. If that isn’t enough heat, an infrared side burner can help grillers simmer or sauté sides, or sear a steak with its maximum temperature of 1,800 degrees.
This grill also includes a rotisserie kit that works with an infrared rear burner to cook whole chickens and other rotisserie-style meats. Its more than 500 square inches of main cooking surface is plenty of room to handle food for large backyard BBQs, while its Jetfire ignition system allows for easy starting. Other features include knobs that glow blue when the burners are lit, multiple hooks for grill tools, and a spacious undercabinet for storage.
The impressive Weber Genesis II 3-Burner Natural Gas Grill features three burners, so cooks can control multiple heat zones on its wide grilling area, which measures 513 square inches. The Genesis II includes a smaller fourth burner—the high-intensity Gs4 burner—which sears grill marks on steaks and burgers. A side burner can cook sauces and side dishes while the cook manages the main courses.
Use of this natural gas grill requires professional plumbing to the grill area. The grill is built to last, with stainless steel rod cooking grates and a porcelain enamel lid. Additional features include a built-in thermometer to monitor the real-time temperature in the grill via an app. An additional warming rack keeps food warm or toasts rolls, while two cabinet doors under the firebox open to provide ample room for storing grill accessories. A side table offers plenty of space for prep work, and hooks keep grill tools conveniently within arm’s reach.
The Blossomz Dual Fuel Combination Charcoal/Gas Grill features two grills in one, for simultaneous cooking with gas and charcoal. The gas grill side features three stainless steel burners that offer a combined 24,000 BTUs of cooking heat and 295 square inches of grill space. The other side features a charcoal grill with 262 square inches of cooking space.
The charcoal side includes a height-adjustable charcoal tray to customize the heat level, as well as a removable ashtray for easy cleanup. Both grills feature independent covers with large handles for opening and closing. Additionally, a 12,000-BTU side burner can cook sauces and side dishes.
This combination grill has a durable construction that includes black enamel lids with stainless steel trim. Other features include a large side tray for prep work and two 6-inch wheels for smoothly moving the grill around the patio. Keep in mind that this double grill, at 64 inches long, is larger than standard gas grills.
The Weber Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill suits the size and power needed for tailgating, grilling from a balcony, or just cooking dinner for a couple. With a small profile—only 27 inches wide and 16.5 inches deep—and a weight of just over 26 pounds, the Q1000 will fit in the trunk of a car. Even with its small size, it packs plenty of power, featuring a circular 8,500-BTU burner that provides ample heat for its small, 189-square-inch cooking surface.
This hibachi-style grill is easy to light, thanks to a push-button ignition. It runs off of 14- or 16-ounce disposable liquid petroleum gas cylinders. The grill features sturdy aluminum construction, so it can hold up to trips to the big game, camping excursions, and other grilling adventures. The enamel grates prevent sticking and make the grill easy to clean.
With a whopping 646 square inches of cooking space, the Weber Genesis II S-435 can hold enough burgers and steaks to handle a family reunion. It’s powerful, too, with four burners to fire that extra-large grill top putting out a scorching 69,000 BTUs of heat. If that’s not enough, a fifth GS4 burner creates an intense heat zone for searing.
A stainless steel rod grate creates excellent grill marks while being easy to clean. This grill is also loaded with plenty of nice add-ons, including a side burner for sautéing and making sauces, as well as a warming drawer under the firebox for keeping those burgers and dogs from getting cold. This grill also works with Weber’s iGrill app for real-time temperature checks via a smartphone.
The diminutive but powerful Pit Boss Grills Stainless Steel Portable Grill combines a portable size with attractive stainless steel look and a powerful set of burners. The grill measures just 23 inches wide, 19.5 inches deep, and 16 inches high, weighing just 27 pounds, so it is easy to take along on trips to the beach, tailgating parties, or family get-togethers at the park. Folding legs and a latchable lid make it easy to carry.
This grill features two burners that put out a hefty 20,000 BTUs for a 276-square-inch cooking surface that is fueled by a 20-pound tank or 1-pound canisters. A push-button ignition makes lighting the grill easy. Its stainless steel construction, which includes the cooking grate, is durable, attractive, and easy to clean.
FAQs About Your New Gas Grill
Still wondering how gas grills work? Look below for answers to the most common questions about these outdoor appliances.
Q. What is a gas grill?
Gas grills use propane or natural gas to create a gas flame that either heats food directly or heats a grilling element that radiates heat to the food. Gas barbeques usually include two or three burners that sit below a metal grate that serves as the cooking surface.
Q. How do I choose a gas grill?
Choose a gas grill by determining what size is required, whether the grill will be fueled by natural gas or propane, and how much is in the budget. Since grills spend their lives exposed to the elements, pick a grill with high-quality parts, such as stainless steel or cast iron grates, and stainless steel or enamel-coated metal exteriors that will resist rust. Quality might cost more upfront, but it will pay off in longevity.
Q. Does a gas grill use charcoal?
Traditional gas grills do not use charcoal for fuel. Instead, they use propane or natural gas. Some dual-fuel models function as both charcoal grills and gas grills.
Q. Do I need to season a gas grill?
It’s a good idea to season gas grill grates to create a protective layer against rust and prevent food from sticking to the surface. Season the grill by cleaning the grates, then cover them with a thin layer of oil. Allow the grill to cook the oil for about 30 minutes to season the grates.
Q. How do I cook on a gas grill?
Always preheat the grill by turning the burners on high and letting the grill heat up for 15 to 20 minutes. Once the grates are heated, clean them with a grill brush and then lightly coat the grates with oil. Next, add the meat. For steaks and burgers, sear the outer layer of the meat, giving it a nice dark-brown crust. For thinner meats, cook with the lid open, turning the meat several times during cooking. For thicker cuts and chicken, brown the exterior on both sides, then close the grill and reduce the heat to allow it to cook through to the desired temperature.
Q. How often should I clean grill grates?
Regular grillers should clean the grates thoroughly about every two months. This will preserve the grates while allowing the grill to cook more efficiently.