Updated: June 8, 2015

Gas Grill Reviews:

gas grills As winter winds to a halt and spring arrives, more and more of my neighbors pull out their barbeques and start grilling. Gas grills have become the product of choice where I live and few people use the old fashioned charcoal BBQ's anymore. When I moved into my current home the natural gas line was routed to the backyard and so I can hook up my gas grill right to the gas line and never have to use a propane or natural gas tank. I will (in theory) never run out of gas and don't have to refill the LP tanks like other people need to. Stainless steel is all the rage and that has driven the price of even the basic gas grills up in price. The mid-sized grills will run between $400 and $1000 while the large gas grills have price tags upwards of $2000. The backyards of America are turning into full fledged kitchens where the entire neighborhood comes over for burgers and chicken. The midsized models have space for about 24 burgers with 340 to 500 square inches of cooking area. The large grills give you room for 30 burgers and usually have 500+ sq inches of cooking space. Smaller models can be very efficient for cooking while camping or tailgating such as the Weber Q 200 ($180) that rates very high in the latest Consumer Reports surveys.


Buying Guides - We found some excellent "buyers guides" on sites like About.com that cut through the new features found on the most expensive models and tell you what is most important to look for. Even Consumer Reports does a good job of pointing out key features and their latest comparison of 30 liquid propane models was quite thorough. You might think that Weber is the leader in all sizes and styles but that is not true. Even the most expensive models from Viking and TEC don't grill as well as the less expensive Kenmore (Sears) and the Blue Ember (by Fiesta). The basic gas grills without stainless steel can be had for $100 to $250 but you will sacrifice some features that some experts say are essential to a good tasting BBQ. The low end models tend to use thin porcelain-steel grates and they lack things like a smoker tray or a cart with 4 wheels for easy transport. You should be able to find a good grill for around $500 that gives you long warranties on the burners, premium grates, side burners, grease tray, smoker tray, rotisserie tray, and the convenience of an electronic igniter. My Weber has the pushbutton starter and I have heard those are the first parts to go out and to expect to get it replaced some day. I do have the coated cast-iron grates on mine which sear better and regularly provide grilling temperatures that are consistent. Side burners are good if you plan on needing a spot to keep food items warm while others are cooking on the grill. Some models let you convert the side burner into a griddle. The majority of grills are sturdy, but some do appear more wobbly than others so test the cart wheels at the store to see if it tips very easily. Flare-ups used to be a common sight when I barbequed but with the Weber I own the grease tray is removable so I clean it often to keep the buildup to a minimum. The top brand names for gas grills are Weber, Char Broil, Vermont Castings, Fiesta, Broilmaster, Kenmore, Ducane, Perfect Flame, Coleman, Charmglow, Viking, Aussie, and Brinkmann. If you want to follow the latest discussion boards online where avid grillers rate their gas grills you can find it all on sites like Grillforum.com or Barbequenews.com. Both offer extensive ratings and reviews of gas grills and a place for you to ask questions on particular models and makes. You can browse the most popular gas grills online here.


Best Midsized Gas Grill:

Midsize grills are best for most homeowners who have the occasional get together with neighbors or family. The gas grills in this class give you ample cooking area for 24 burgers and many offer stainless steel looks with side burners, coated cast-iron grates, and the performance to cook food evenly. Derrick Riches in the BBQ section of About.com recommends the Weber Genesis E-320 ($700) and this same model scored the highest in the Consumer Reports latest tests on gas grills. The Weber E320 scored well for cooking foods evenly, it did well while cooking at low temperatures and it has plenty of features which make grilling convenient. The three 14,000 BTU stainless steel tubular burners and the 500+ square inches of cooking area will make short work of any backyard BBQ. The built in LP fuel gauge is another feature most owners appreciate having so they don't run out of gas in the middle of grilling dinner. From all the reports we read, you don't have to spend over $500 to get a quality gas grill. The Blue Ember by Fiesta ($450) is a best seller at Home Depot. Customers like the side burner on this model, large shelf space, and the built-in smoker box. CR rates it a Best Buy and one of my neighbors bought this same model about 6 months ago and can't stop talking about how great it cooks. Another excellent buy per CR is the Char-Broil Commercial Series ($300) - made mostly of stainless steel and offering a lifetime warranty on the burner. See all the top selling Weber gas grills here.

Top Rated Large Grill:

Do you want to WOW your neighbors with a luxury looking gas grill? The Viking T Series ($3200) and the Weber Summit S-650 ($1750) would seem like the obviously choices and they do a great job, but at only $800 the Kenmore 16237 (Sears) is the best value buy for a large grill. Consumer Reports rated this at the top of the list for large gas grills since it's overall performance was unmatched by even the most expensive models. The Kenmore 16237 has 5 main burners and a 1-year warranty. You get a rotisserie burner, lots of shelf space, and a side burner for extra cooking for just keeping food warm. The one drawback on this model is that the stainless steel used to make it is of low quality (430). Derrick Riches of About.com has a much different opinion on the Kenmore grill, saying it's not worth the money. We are going with our gut feeling on this and the fact that Consumer Reports does a great job of comparing all features of gas grills to make their recommendations. RECOMMENDED - If we had to put one other model in this space, it would be the Weber Genesis S-320 ($824) which sells on Amazon.com. The Genesis S320 only has 3 burners, but you get 637 total inches of cooking area (cooking area + warming rack). Weber has the best reputation for solidly built products and that is our main concern with the Kenmore.


Portable Gas Grills:

The Weber 396002 Q 200 Gas Grill ($180) is top rated on Amazon.com by all the reviewers and Consumer Reports gives it the highest rank amongst portable grills. If outdoor grilling is your think while camping or tailgating before a big game, then you can't go wrong with the Weber Q 200. Nothing comes close to this model in tests and we can see why. You get a 12,000 BTU stainless steel burner with 280 square inches of cooking area. The cast-iron grates with porcelain enameling provide a surface for cooking foods evenly and consistently. The fuel type is liquid propane (LP) and the drip tray pulls out so you can easily remove the excess grease accumulation. Owners say the grill is easy to assemble and travels easily. The Q200 will last for years and provide you with quality grilling no matter where your adventures take you. Browse the top rated portable grills here.