The Best Gas Grill For $: Char
Low-cost gas grills are the instrument of choice for most residential outdoor cooks, so were always on the lookout for models that deliver a lot of bang for the buck. They are rare because, to restate the obvious, you usually get what you pay for. And apart from their Akorn Kamado, we have not been fans of Char-Griller products. However, Grillin Pros exceptional performance for a gas grill under $300 was a welcome surprise. Many gas grills, especially low cost models, can’t produce high enough temperatures for effective searing. Not Grillin’ Pro. We cranked this unassuming gasser way past 800°F to super sear steaks! You have to screw around removing the fold out warming rack to make room for a whole chicken, but you wont need to do a thing to enjoy Grillin Pros pure power. Shoppers with realistic expectations looking for a gas grill in this price range would do well to consider Grillin Pro. Its not built to last and will probably only provide a few years of optimal use, especially if it isn’t covered and maintained, but it will out-sear any comparably priced gasser we know of.
Price at time of publish: $279 .
The Best Gas Grill Under $200: Weber Genesis Ii E
Genesis is one of the most popular gas grills in the USA. Its easy to use, easy to clean, versatile, durable and backed by Webers excellent customer support. The basic models with an open cart and no sear burner work fine, but we highly recommend spending the extra money for models with a sear burner like the E-335. With all three main burners up high, we clocked E-335’s temp at 680°F. Not bad at all, but crank the sear burner and you blast past 800°F for super searing!
Our main complaint for just about every grill is the obligatory, built-in heat estimator in the hood. These 19th century gauges placed up high in the lid are almost always highly inaccurate. Its always better to use a modern, digital thermometer and position a temperature probe at the cooking surface. With their acquisition of iGrill Digital Thermometers, Weber is addressing this issue. Genesis II is iGrill3 Ready with a mounting location on the right side shelf for an optional iGrill 3 digital thermometer. iGrill let’s you clip a probe to the grill surface to ensure you’re cooking at the right temperature, and stick another probe into foods to monitor cooking progress. Download the iGrill app and keep an eye on what’s happening under the hood from your smartphone.
Price at time of publish: $1,319.
Straight To The Point
Our budget-friendly pick is the Char-Griller Grillin’ Pro Gas Grill . For under $1000, we recommend the Weber Genesis II E-335, which performs well, is incredibly easy to use, and is backed by Weber’s historically good customer service.
Gas grills are the first choice for most Americans, and have been for many years. Their appeal is clear: No need to get your hands dirty with charcoal and ashes, just hit the ignition and set your cooking temperature with the control knobs. A recent survey by The Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association revealed that of the 70% of adults in the US who own a grill or smoker, 64% own gas grills. Manufacturers know you love ’em, so they keep rolling out new models year after year.
A dizzying array of gassers is available with prices from under $100 to over $20,000. To grab your attention, manufacturers of cheap grills often include bells and whistles like cut-rate sear burners, side burners, rotisseries, and lights to entice you to buy their flimsy, low-quality junkers, built with low-grade stainless steel and held together with crummy fasteners that will rust and break apart after a couple seasons.
There’s something for everyone in the vast gas grill market. People always ask me, “Max, what’s the best gas grill? What should I buy? What would you buy if you were me?” Better to start by asking yourself, “How much do I want to spend and how big of a grill do I need?”
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The Best Luxury Gas Grill: Hestan Outdoor Gmbr36
If the nearly $8,000 price of Hestan’s superb GMBR36 gives you sticker shock, you’re not alone. Like the Landmann model above, these luxurious models are often part of outdoor kitchen ensembles that can include super-powered side burners, refrigerators, sinks, and kegerators. You may be further surprised to learn that in the heady world of luxury outdoor kitchens, Hestan is by no means the most expensive.
We’re very impressed with the engineering design, the workmanship, the functionality, and the durability of this grill, which is built entirely in Anaheim, CA. The powerful main burners are rated at 25,000 BTU apiece and can be swapped out with even more intense ceramic infrared burners. We tested a model with two standard burners and one infrared. The infrared burner produced a perfect all over dark mahogany sear on steaks and chops equal to a blazing, red hot charcoal grill!
The Hestan GMBR36-LP is one of the best gas grills we have tested and reviewed, and we’ve cooked on a multitude of gassers. We don’t recommend taking out a second mortgage to bring this baby home, but if you’ve got the dough, the Hestan sure is a beaut!
Price at time of publish: $8,000.
Five Burner Gas Grill
The Cuisinart® 5-Burner Gas Grill is the perfect BBQ for any level of griller! The 5 independently controlled burners produce a total of 50,000 BTUs of cooking power spread evenly across the 460 square inch cast iron cooking surface. The grill is also equipped with an additional side burner that provides 12,000 BTUs and is great for stews, corn, clams and more. And if youre looking for additional space, the warming rack above the cooking surface provides an additional 202 square inches. With a reliable and easy twist-to-start ignition your grill will start up time after time. And no grill is complete without side tables. The Cuisinart® 5-Burner Gas Grill has two 18-inch x 13-inch stainless steel side tables that allow for extra room while prepping and grilling. Unlock your inner griller with the Cuisinart® 5-Burner Gas Grill!
- COOKING POWER: Five 10,000 BTU burners provide a total 50,000 BTUs of cooking power, with an additional 12,000 BTU side burner
- COOKING SPACE: The grill is equipped with 460 square inches of cooking space with an additional 202 square inch warming rack
- CAST IRON GRATES: Heavy-duty cast iron cooking grates are great for retaining heat
- PREP SPACE: Two 18″ x 13″ side tables provide ample space for food prep while grilling
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Ignition: Houston We Have A Problem
3-in-1 has dedicated, piezoelectric ignition at each burner. Piezoelectric ignition has no battery and uses a small, spring-loaded hammer to hit a crystal and produce an electric charge to light the burners. Many manufacturers feel piezoelectric igniters are less susceptible to failure than battery powered igniters. While that may be true, Cuisinarts are some of the more difficult to use that weve encountered. The manual contains lighting instructions that accurately describe the awkward procedure: Push and hold down the control knob and turn SLOWLY to HIGH. You should hear the igniter click. Note: This may need to be repeated 2-3 times to light the grill. Unfortunately, 2-3 times was a conservative estimate. After firing up the grill a few times, we began to develop a feel for the igniters, but they always required more effort than expected. Just be sure to follow the manufacturers directions to a T.
The Best Gas Grill/griddle Combo Under $: Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600
Sometimes you need a big surface area to cook a lot of food at once. Designed to feed a crowd fast and leave ’em smiling, the 600 is the most popular size in Camp Chef’s Flat Top Grill line. While Cuisinart’s model above is a gas grill with a griddle accessory, Camp Chef’s is a griddle that converts to a gas grill. Remove the griddle top and underneath is a standard grill grate which lets you use Flat Top as a 4-burner gas grill. But you may end up leaving the griddle top in place. A solid metal cook surface like Flat Top’s delivers intense conductive heat to food and produces an even, luscious brown crust, so you can make smashing smash burgers and fabulous fajitas. It has no lid for smoking and roasting, but you can still use the four burners to set up a hot direct zone and moderate indirect zone and griddle just about anything your heart desires.
Price at time of publish: $430.
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Five Burner Dual Fuel Gas Grill
The Cuisinart Five-Burner Gas Grill offers a range of cooking versatility by allowing you to grill and griddle meals all on the same unit. Experience the cooking versatility that is the Cuisinart Five-Burner Gas Grill. Easily adjust the Cuisinart Five Burner Gas Grill to fit your needs with dual fuel valves for propane or natural gas .
Why You Should Trust Us
I’ve been reviewing grills and smokers full time since 2012. To my knowledge, nobody else does this full time, and nobody else has cooked on as many grills and smokers as I have. I assemble products, measure temperatures, slam lids, turn dials, kick casters, study warranties, take pictures, and cook a lot of food.
I also consider look, feel, functionality, durability, and price. Given the enormous variety of products and designs, there is no one-size-fits-all test. I cannot simply plug a cooker into a computer and measure its myriad qualities. My tests are both rigorous and thorough, objective and subjective. My overall goal is to provide useful and accurate information to help you select the best equipment for your needs. For additional detail on the many tests we run at AmazingRibs.com, read more about our testing procedures.
The cooking tests I use vary by the product in question. For example, I wouldn’t test most smokers by trying to sear steaks because they’re usually made for low and slow smoking, not high-temperature grilling. A gas grill that boasts its high-heat capabilities? On go the steaks.
For temperature tests, I use multi-channel digital thermometers with temperature probes clipped to the cooking surface. Gas grills often have uneven heat. When testing gas grills, I always spread bread slices across the cook surface, then flip them to reveal the heat profile. Bread slices that vary from white to brown to black across a grill’s surface indicate uneven heat.
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What’s The Difference Between A Gas Grill And A Charcoal Grill
There are many! For a TL DR, check out the chart below or read our in-depth guide about the differences between gas and charcoal grills right here. When it comes to price, it’s easier to stick to a lower budget with a charcoal grillyou can even get a good one for $99. A good gas grill will set you back further. When it comes to quick cooking, a gas grill will serve you well, but if you prefer longer, slower cooks where you want that smoky charcoal flavor, charcoal grills are best. Temperature-wise, charcoal grills can get much, much hotterup to 1,200 degrees. They also can help you achieve that low and slow temp, whereas a gas grill’s range is more limited.
|Occasionally emptying grease trap and cleaning bars
|Regularly disposing of ash and cleaning bars
The Best Affordable Gas Grill Under $500 With Extras: Cuisinart 3
Cuisinart’s 3-in-1 Stainless 5 Burner Gas Grill is a pretty nice package deal for a pretty low price. It’s called 3-in-1 because it’s a gas grill that comes with a smoke tube and a cast iron griddle. When grilling, the heat profile of 3-in-1 is remarkably even and has an impressively high temperature range. The smoke tube, however, is nothing to get excited about. As with all gas grills, 3-in-1 is so well ventilated for safety reasons that the little bit of smoke from wood chips in the tube blows out the large opening in the back without much effect on the food. But the big, heavy cast iron griddle is an attractive extra. If you haven’t tried outdoor griddling, you should. It’s not just for bacon and eggs. Griddles excel at sizzling meat and veggies. Shrimp don’t fall through the grates and griddles put a delicious brown finish on fish, burgers and chicken breasts.
This is a great gas grill for a nice price and the included cast iron griddle makes 3-in-1 a compelling choice. Just remember to keep the lids glass window clean. A little windex between uses does the trick.
Price at time of publish: $397.
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We Flipped For The Warming Rack
Warming racks are useful and most gas grills have one. However, they can be a nuisance when you just want to fill up the main cooking grates with burgers for a big crowd. Cuisinart has a simple remedy: just flip it up and out of the way. Great idea!
A large drip pan with a small, removable grease tray slides out from the back, another useful feature.
3-in-1 also has tool hooks on the left side shelf, and its open air cart rolls around on four locking casters.