These Are The Best Outdoor Gas Grills for Your Next Backyard Party
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For many of us, summer means grilling. When the yard work is done, it’s time to cook outside. 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 can say is that most outdoor chefs opt for gas. That's because gas grills heat and cool down quickly, and do so with minimal mess.
Like a kitchen range, their heat output is also controlled by twisting a knob. For many people, that alone is reason enough to buy one. There are single- and two-burner gas grills, many of which are portable and features detachable legs for convenient countertop cooking. There are also large models with five or six burners if you frequently cook for a crowd.
Just imagine yourself preparing steak, fish, chicken, chops, brats, dogs, burgers, or a big skewer of marinated vegetables on a new outdoor gas grill. Hungry? You’ve come to the right place. To select your ideal grill, read on for the results of our testing and recommendations of our favorite models.
The Best Outdoor Gas Grills
What to Consider
Typically, most outdoor gas grills burn propane, like our best overall pick, or LPG (liquified petroleum gas), but some models may be available for use with natural gas (NG). Which you choose largely has to do with availability. If utilities supply natural gas to your home for heating, then it’s an option to use that to heat your grill too. In many cases, it’s possible to convert propane grills to burn natural gas using a kit available from the manufacturer. If you don’t have natural gas lines running to your home, propane is really your only choice. It comes in 20-pound cylinders that need to be refilled at hardware stores, home centers, rental centers, and gas stations or convenience stores. In some cases, if you already have propane for a kitchen stove or home heating, you may be able to run a gas line for your propane grill—check with your local HVAC contractor to see if it’s possible.
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 Test and Select Grills
Every outdoor gas 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. We also consider grill features, design, materials, and construction when selecting the models presented here. Most importantly, we leverage our 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 clearly shows where cold spots can produce under-cooked food.
Spirit 2 E-210 Gas Grill
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.
This outdoor gas grill's heat distribution is very 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.)
Commercial Series TRU-Infrared Gas Grill
As evidenced by our bread test, Char-Broil’s Tru-Infrared four-burner outdoor gas grill had remarkably even heat distribution. This is largely due to the burner design, featuring four stainless-steel heat emitters (plates that absorb and then release infrared energy).
Above those emitters is a set of porcelain-coated, cast-iron grates that imparted a typical wide sear mark. The propane 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 whatever you’re grilling.
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.
3-Burner Propane Gas Grill in Stainless Steel
People often disagree on aesthetics, but it was unanimous with our testers: This KitchenAid is one of the nicest-looking gas 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 of 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 then use it to add those dark grill marks.
Cruise Gas Grill
With its new Cruise Gas Grill, Char-Broil takes temperature control to the next level. Similar to pellet grills that allow you to set a temperature, like an oven, the Cruise can cycle its burner on and off to maintain a consistent temperature. During testing, we found this worked great for things like chicken that you want to cook over a longer time.
This outdoor gas grill uses porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates, which we found were easier to clean off than plain cast iron. Below those grates are full-width heat diffusers; they helped distribute the warmth but also were less likely to flare up with grease drippings. Between the cast grates and heat diffusers, there’s a lot of material to heat up, which helps maintain an even heat.
But one thing we noticed is that if you get them really hot and then want to cook something at a lower heat, you’ll have to wait a bit for them to cool down. We used the single knob on the Cruise to set the temperature for the whole grill, checked the heat distribution with the bread test, and found fairly even heating, with slightly cooler spots at the two front corners. The propane grill also features a timer and self-cleaning mode.
Victory 3-Burner Gas Grill
Victory’s three-burner propane grill is made from stainless steel, inside and out—including the grill grates. One of the things we like about stainless-steel grates is that they’re easy to clean and don’t rust over time.
Like most of the outdoor gas grills we tested, the Victory came unassembled. A couple of the steps to put it together required some patience, but we liked how well it was built. Using the bread test, we cranked the grill up to test heat distribution and found it to be very even, with two cooler spots at the front corners. The wide heat diffusers over the burners help to keep the heat consistent. Of course, with three burners, we could turn one or more down to create indirect heating areas easily enough.
We like large, full width drip tray, accessible from the front, which makes cleaning a lot easier than models with a smaller tray or drip cup. We found that Victory’s three-burner grill worked equally well for burgers and thicker, tricky-to-grill meats like chicken. The grill is also equipped with a side burner, a nice option for finishing things with a sear after cooking at lower temperatures on the main grill.
All Foods Roll-Away CGG-240 Gas Grill
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 outdoor gas grill has a relatively small footprint that makes it ideal for camping or an apartment with limited space. Once it’s open, the two shelves swing out to provide handy staging areas on both sides of the grill. The single 15,000-BTU burner sits beneath a metal cover to help distribute heat evenly under the 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.
Neevo 720 Plus Smart Propane Gas Grill with Air Fryer
Nexgrill’s Neevo 720 Plus is one of the first generation of smart gas grills. Paired with a smart phone, you can set and monitor grill temps, internal meat temps, and set timers through Nexgrill’s free app.
We were impressed with the push-button ignition that automatically lights burners, so you don’t have to fiddle with pushing/twisting knobs in the right combinations to light the grill.
The propane grill has a generous 714 square inches of primary cooking surface—plus, a built in 13 quart air fryer on the side. The second cooking option adds versatility and convenience to the outdoor cooking experience.
We used the air fryer to perfectly brown sliced potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper to complete a quick barbecue meal while we were grilling burgers.
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