As for maintenance, the Spirit’s flat grates were easy to keep clean with a grill brush, and its grease trap was easy to access for dumping and washing. We spoke with multiple makers of high-end grills, too, as they predominate at HPBE. During each test on gas grills, we record our personal experience with each grill, what we liked and disliked, as well as noting each model’s strengths and weaknesses. The Spirit II incorporates two features of the Genesis II that helped make that model our upgrade pick in 2017. After 10 minutes, the burgers at the rear (the hottest part of the grill) were medium-well and those at the front were medium-rare to medium (this difference might even be handy, if your diners have various preferences). Based on our extensive research and personal experience, the best gas grill is the Weber Genesis II S-335. But he will use gas grills to create a reverse sear on steaks. There’s nothing inside the burners to break, so don’t feel like you have to be delicate. Best gas grill prices Grills come in a wide range of price points, depending on size, features and quality. Previously, he was an editor at the International Culinary Center in New York. If you looking to buy a gas grill, we've rounded up the key features and things you need to look out for so you come away with the best gas grill for you. But given the Weber Spirit II E-310’s higher performance and lower cost, the choice was clear. Not the cheapest gas grill but worth the extra money for build quality and consistent performance. Over the course of an hour, we monitored the grills for temperature but kept any adjustment of the burners to a minimum. If you want to easily move your grill into and out of storage, you’ll also need to buy a quick-disconnect system, which can add another $150 or so. You’ll need to buy one separately; Weber’s dedicated Spirit II cover costs about $55, and a well-regarded generic cover costs about $20. Grills with more burners are usually overkill, while two-burner grills can feel cramped. Wirecutter is reader-supported. It can be a gas grill, or it can be a combo Grill. However, if space is tight, we recommend smaller models, such as the Coleman RoadTrip X-cursion, and tabletop models like the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet. Joe Salvaggio likes porcelainized cast iron because in his opinion it holds and delivers heat better than the even heavier stainless rods on his top-end wares. Our evaluation team included four members with years of experience grilling meals for large and small occasions. That’s a nice feature; you can keep trays, grill tools, or even a small cooler there. If you do have natural-gas service, you’ll need to hire a licensed technician to install a natural-gas outlet on your deck or patio, which may involve cutting into walls. Today’s gas grills include rotisseries, smokers, and even side burners to allow the barbecue master to cook beans in a pot while the main course sizzles on the stainless steel grates. For charcoal purists, we recommend the Weber Jumbo Joe 18″. To this grill’s credit, it made a nice indirect-roasted chicken—but then again, every tested grill did. Char-Broil Performance Black and Stainless 5-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill with 1 Side Burner. In regard to assembly, of the six grills we tested, the Spirit II E-310 was the simplest and had the most well-thought-out instructions; even if you lack much experience with this sort of work, you could likely assemble it easily. (However, actually moving the Spirit, still packed in its box, to your patio will require two people or a hand truck, because its shipping weight is 114 pounds.) Photo: Michael Hession. Whether you want a cheap gas grill to get the job done, or you want to go all out with a gas grill with a griddle and smoker, make sure you take note of how much power each grill offers. It was so easy to use. You can buy an exceptional, do-everything charcoal grill for $150; gas grills start at around $200, and you’ll spend at least twice that on a really good one. © 2020 Wirecutter, Inc., A New York Times Company, Upgrade grill pick: Weber Genesis II E-310, doesn’t seem to improve performance greatly, read why in our guide to grill accessories, Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill 22″. Above them are ceramic briquettes which heat to evenly distribute the heat for perfectly even cooking. To a degree, all grills suffer this problem, because the burners don’t extend all the way to the front of the firebox, but the Spirit offered the most consistent heating across the entire grate surface. Joe and his brother Tony have run Big Apple BBQ, one of the New York region’s leading grill shops, for 30 years. Model #463347519. Both turned out something close to the Platonic ideal: deeply browned chickens with skin so crisp it puffed up like a balloon. Learn more. We slow-grilled cut-up chickens to see if the grills could hold a low temperature evenly across the whole grate. There's also an all-new line of grills – the Ironwood. Though we wouldn’t be testing their grills, we felt that knowing what goes into making a $4,000 grill helped us evaluate the less expensive grills in our test. Its overall compact size (helped by a new fold-down side table) suits almost any patio or deck, but its grilling surface is big enough to cook a complete meal for a family, or a dozen burgers for a party. Charcoal grills are much cheaper, however, and can burn hotter than gas grills for a better sear. The Napoleon Prestige 500 4-burner grill is quite simply, an excellent propane gas grill. Are you building an outdoor kitchen island or replacing your old grill insert? in. We knew we would be looking at intangibles, too, such as how well the grills were packed, if the instructions were clear, and if assembly was reasonably straightforward. View Deal. But if you want to splurge on a grill with exceptional temperature control, go for our upgrade pick, the Weber Genesis II E-310. The burner hoods are usually the first to go, after a couple of years (these are the metal “tents” that sit over the burners and guide grease away from the flames, preventing flare-ups). He says: “It replaced a years-old grill (a Kenmore, I believe) that was totally serviceable but kinda old and gross. Finally, after all the tests were done, we performed routine maintenance by removing and replacing the propane tanks, emptying the grease traps, washing the grates, and scrubbing out the fireboxes. Dual-level stainless steel sear plates help to distribute heat evenly across the grill for perfect cooking every time. Because Salvaggio is an independent retailer, he was able to speak freely about what he saw as the relative strengths and weaknesses of various designs. You'll quite literally be cooking on gas! In 2018 we repeated these tests, pitting the new Weber Spirit II E-310 (successor to our previous top pick) against our upgrade pick, the Weber Genesis II E-310. And as a general observation, this grill is sturdily built from the ground up: Lots of metal, little plastic, and tight tolerances add up to a stiff chassis. The porcelain-enameled Flavorizer bars are great for distributing heat evenly as well as catching drips for smokey flavor, plus they're easy to clean and protect the burners. Even the rack is porcelain-enameled, a nice easy-clean feature for the price. In other words, our conclusions are based on our own real-life experiences. At 513 square inches, the Genesis II E-310’s grates offer roughly 20 percent more grilling surface versus the Spirit II E-310’s 424 square inches. We repeated this step twice more, rounding out the cook time at an hour flat. The Weber Spirit II E-310, introduced in January 2018, replaces the original Spirit E-310 as our top pick for gas grills. The best gas grills will combine ample cooking space and perhaps an in-built griddle or smoker if you’re a serious barbecue enthusiast. Plus, the frame is made of sturdy welded beams, not folded sheet metal like many grills in its price range. The ability to remotely monitor conditions is useful for 24/7 appliances like thermostats, security systems, and garage doors. We didn’t fret much over two other factors that grill-makers spend a lot of time talking about: total Btu count and the grates’ material. This is a drivetrain that features a 20-volt brushless motor with a one-piece direct mounted auger. Read 50 Reviews Sells built-in, freestanding and island grills. For the low-and-slow, whole-grate test—an indicator of the grills’ ability to maintain a uniform, moderate heat for foods that need a long, gentle cook—we brought the grills up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit on medium heat with the lids closed. The Napoleon Prestige 500 Gas Grill is our top pick as an all round superb grill. You can potentially spend thousands of dollars on a gas grill. One thing Weber does exceptionally well: It clearly labels the little bags of bolts and other fasteners (A, B, C, and so on) and cues them to the stages of assembly, so you rarely have more than one or two bags open, and finding the right component is always easy. The Spirit II E-310 also exhibited the most consistent heat across the entire cooking surface in the 2018 test, just as the original Spirit did in 2017. Have fun doing that if you plan to keep the grill next to a fence. Then we closed the lids for 45 minutes, occasionally checking for charring and redistributing the pieces as necessary (ideally, it wouldn’t be necessary at all). Napoleon’s signature is its wavy grates, and they do look cool—but they’re harder to clean than straight grates. I say that even as I spent years being obsessed with charcoal grilling. It excelled at every test, producing the best sear of any grill on our burgers and equaling or outdoing the others on our barbecue chicken and whole roasted chickens. The now-discontinued Broil King Signet 320 is similar to the other grills we tested in the $400 to $700 category, offering a cast-aluminum firebox, porcelainized iron grates, and three burners. Then, as usual, we oiled the grates, placed a 3- to 4-pound chicken in the dead center of the grate surface, and closed the lid. The freestanding gas grill accounts for most of the list because of its affordable price and various sizes. Over the course of four days in Spring 2017, we put our gas grills through a battery of tests designed to demonstrate their qualities and highlight their differences. Throughout, we also tested our “necessities”: grill accessories such as spatulas, tongs, grill brushes, and sheet pans. They fit easily in a trunk or even the back seat of a car. Then we had a taste, paying special attention to the breast meat—a long cook can dry it out. Photo: Michael Hession, The Weber Spirit grills (both the previous and current versions) produced beautiful barbecue chicken, with crisped skin and caramelized sauce. The Weber Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Natural Gas / Propane Grill is the best gas grill for the money. The top spot goes to the Weber Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill, because of its winning combination of attractive design, durable construction, and … This is a great performer with lots of features for the price, just don't expect as decent a warranty as the more expensive competition. No grill matches its combination of exceptional performance, usability, durability, and value. He has anchored our unequaled coverage of air purifiers and water filters since 2015. Our test grills sat through days of intense rain, and we didn’t notice a difference in performance between the two options. The push button ignition makes it easy to get going, the built-in thermometer lets you know how you're doing and the side shelves and side burner make for easy large scale cooking. And we love a couple of its design features: The externally mounted propane tank is easier to install and replace than traditional under-grill tanks, and it also frees up the area under the grill for storage of tools and other items. By Roy Berendsohn , … If you’re confused between the numerous options, it is better to always go with the combo grills. We didn’t notice a significant upgrade in performance over the Spirit II, but that’s okay—this grill is an exceptional performer, period. The Weber Spirit II E-310 is the best gas grill for most people, offering an unrivaled combination of top-notch grilling performance, a versatile three-burner design, durability, and an … Some of the gas grills in our guide come with an easy push button, others have an electric ignition. As it is, the warming-rack bars run edge to edge, and you have to awkwardly jimmy a spatula in there sideways. Cooking space: 189 square inches | Burners: 1 | BTU: 8,500 | Ignition: Electronic. If you’re doing something quick, charcoal is fine, but if you are doing a larger project you need the indirect heat that gas grills provide, Speaking about gas versus charcoal grills, Lexerot noted that gas grills give you even, long-lasting heat, whereas charcoal grills get hot quickly then “peter out over time.” His advice: “If you’re doing something quick, charcoal is fine, but if you are doing a larger project you need the indirect heat that gas grills provide.”, When asked about what he looks for in a good gas grill he said, “You want one that has some kind of flare-up control, so if you drip some grease it doesn’t turn into a tire fire and ruin your food – especially chicken.” The most important point Lexerot stressed was, “If you’re going to get a grill that you plan on using regularly, get a sturdy grill that has ample features, is easy to use and that will hold up over time. The Broil King model had the opposite problem, running way too hot, as high as 450 °F, even with the burners on low. They’re both sturdy enough, but the Genesis II is appreciably stiffer and more solid-feeling. The Genesis II is 3 inches wider (54 inches versus 51 inches) overall, and its grates are 25 by 19 inches versus the Spirit’s 23 by 18 inches. It can also be an infrared grill. Jesse Johnson of the Utah BBQ Association is a pitmaster for a competitive barbeque team. The new Pro Series grills have added two inches of cooking space and replaced their circular design with an oval one that raises the grill so you can cook more food. Moving the tank to the outside also frees up space below the grill, which Weber fills with a generous and sturdy storage shelf. The entire Genesis II line, like the Spirit II line, interfaces with Weber’s iGrill 3 “smart” thermometer (a separate purchase). For example, the Lynx L30TRF Professional has enough space for up to 40 burgers! We then oiled the grates and distributed 12 to 15 6-ounce patties across the whole cooking surface. Best Luxury Natural Gas Grills. First and foremost: Use a grill cover. At the end of each hour-long test, we noted the depth and evenness of browning, and finally we did a taste test, again paying special attention to the breasts—ideally, they’d be fully cooked but still juicy. Joe Salvaggio of Big Apple BBQ spent two hours explaining the fundamentals of gas-grill design, function, materials, and maintenance. Sam Sifton, editor of the Cooking section of The New York Times (parent company of Wirecutter) joined us for these tests. This design also let Weber put a sturdy shelf under the grill—a handy place to store pans, bags of wood chips, a small cooler, and other stuff you may need while grilling. You can replace them in-kind, or find third-party options that claim higher performance and long lifespans. But those judgments would have to wait until we got our hands on the contenders. We were surprised that the Spirit II once more outperformed, if only slightly, its larger, more powerful cousin, the Weber Genesis II; again, our theory is that the Spirit’s smaller firebox reflects more heat onto the grate surface. Michael Sullivan has been a staff writer on the kitchen team at Wirecutter since 2016. “Weber is probably the biggest name in grilling out there.”, Although he favors wood-burning grills, he says it’s all a matter of personal preference: “If someone is just looking to cook hamburgers and hot dogs, a gas grill will work just fine. Elite-level grills from Weber, Char-Griller, Longman and more. The former two’s models are generic and shoddy, and the latter two’s grills appear to be afterthoughts next to their respective brands’ main areas of expertise, with materials and design to match. Best Gas Grill Under $300: Char-Griller Grillin’ Pro 3001 Our pick for “Best Cheap Gas Grill” sacrifices looks and some material build quality for cooking prowess. Like the other models we tested in that category, it has a cast-aluminum firebox, porcelain-coated cast-iron grates, and three burners. Heat consistency is superb on this grill, getting right back up to temperature - shown on the thermometer - each time you close the lid. We then tested six grills ourselves in 2017. Nexgrill 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill: $299 now $199 at Home Depot The Weber Genesis II E-310 gas grill is also an exceptional performer, and it offers several clever, life-improving design elements that we love. It’s such an obvious, life-improving feature that when Weber debuted it in 2017, we predicted it would start appearing on Weber’s other grill lines in the near future—and indeed it has, on our new top-pick Spirit II line. But I gotta say that the Genesis is one of the best propane grills I’ve ever used because it doesn’t flare up and holds temperatures very well. Despite being small enough to take in your car or RV, this packs in 189 square inches of grill space, a stainless steel burner ring for 8,500 BTU of power and a … We put our gas grills through a battery of tests designed to demonstrate their qualities and highlight their differences. He generally uses wood-burning grills because they create the Maillard reaction, which imparts more flavor to your meat. Also, during assembly we ran into an unforgivable design flaw: A key pair of bolts, which hold the firebox to the frame, are located in a tight space that’s almost impossible to get your fingers or a wrench into. First, you must have natural-gas service in your home already. (“Tastes like a Marlboro,” said Sam Sifton.). It’s her first grill, and she says: “I loved using it all summer. Find the best gas grill for the money from big brands, along with reviews, in this useful guide. Grill burgers and hot dogs with this Char-Broil gas grill. Here’s a deeper rundown of the process. The most powerful barbecues in our guide have a whopping 48,000 BTU and will make light work of cooking your hot dogs and burgers. Finally, keeping your gas grill clean without too much effort on your behalf is really important. of primary cooking space accommodates plenty of food. They keep your grill dry—which helps to prevent rust—and clean, which helps to prevent clogged burner ports and gritty grates. Gas and charcoal models available. The other grills also have easy-access grease traps—not much to ask for, really. After about 10 minutes of cooking (five minutes per side, burners on high, lid open), we compared how well each grill had seared the burgers, looked for any patties that were charred or still unacceptably raw, and took a taste. Hands-on time with some Nexgrill units in the store confirmed it: They’re junk. Both models have a fold-down side table that reduces their width to under 45 inches, for easier storage. Medium-size grills, such as the Weber Spirit II, have larger wheels and fit nicely into a truck bed. Instead, check out our handy hacks on how to clean your barbecue grill without much effort. About once a year (usually before winter storage), many grill enthusiasts do a deep clean of the whole grill, soaking the grates in hot soapy water and scrubbing them, and scrubbing down the firebox and rinsing it with a hose. If you need a cheap grill, spend the extra $20 for the Dyna-Glo. A good gas grill should last a decade or more, provided you clean it after every use and protect it from the elements. And on the face of it, we prefer the flexibility and easy access of the E line’s open cabinet. Switching a grill from propane to natural gas takes some effort. After carefully researching two new models from Weber, we stand by our picks. After grilling over 55 pounds of food, we’ve chosen the Weber Q 1200 as our portable gas grill pick. These are the 22 best grills available right now. Finally, at its current price of $500, it’s a terrific value. Essentially, the decision comes down to how you’ll use your grill: If you often cook for crowds, the Genesis II is worth the extra couple hundred dollars. In our 2017 test, the Broil King and Napoleon performed fine, but not spectacularly—we had to adjust the heat frequently to keep the temperature consistent, and the Napoleon ran about 20 degrees cool according to our probe thermometer, so we had to compensate for that. Top Ten Reviews acquires as many products as possible for side-by-side testing. In 2018, he established Wirecutter’s ongoing collaboration with The New York Times’s Smarter Living. Best gas grills of 2020: Weber, Char-Broil and more grills we love From backyard burgers to top-notch tailgates, these gas grills deliver seriously delicious meals. Best budget barbecue for large grill space, Cooking space: 480 square inches | Burners: 4 | BTU: 48,000 | Ignition: Push button. But when I’m cooking for the family I like to slow everything down. Weber added two new models to its Spirit line of gas grills in 2020, but we ultimately chose not to test them. Traeger’s flagship line, the Timberline, has everything you need for wood-pellet grilling. These gas grills from brands like Weber and Coleman have been tested by kitchen pros. Or it can cook a complete meal for five or six people—the three-burner design means you can, for instance, sear steak or fish on one side of the grill and cook vegetables on lower heat on the other. It cooked burgers acceptably, but to get an even cook we had to shuffle the patties around from hot spots to cool spots. Those two things will increase the quality of the final product.”. When you buy a gas grill, you should consider what you’ll be using it for and how much you intend to move it. Zero complaints except for cleaning it at the end of the summer, but I’m sure that’s an issue with all grills.”, After scoring the Weber Spirit at an end-of-season sale in 2018, senior editor Mark Smirniotis has “no complaints so far.” He also says that it “starts reliably, [and it’s] as easy to clean as anything.” On top of that, he says it’s “certainly more stable than the couple of cheaper grills I’ve owned.”. After five days of cooking burgers, barbecue, and chicken on seven top-rated grills—and weeks of researching the dozens available—we’ve decided that the Weber Spirit II E-310 is our pick as the best gas grill for most people. Maintaining a grill is not hard, and doing it right can add years to the life of the grill. And poorly finished parts can have dangerously sharp edges—sharp enough to cause a nasty cut. It also replaces the traditional chimney for downdraft technology that improves its smoking capabilities. The Genesis II, however, features a frame made of welded rails, while the Spirit II is made of folded metal (like most grills in its price range). The LX models, which cost about 75 percent more burner-for-burner (the three-burner LX model retails for $1,200, for example, versus the E-310’s $700 price), employ stainless steel in place of some of the powder-coated plain steel and aluminum, and have a cabinet base rather than the open design of the E models. The result was flabby barbecue. The Napoleon Rogue 425 ($750 at the time of this writing) is the Canadian company’s flagship in the $400 to $750 range. We brought the grills to temperature with their two outer burners lit and the middle burner unlit. Second, clean your grill before or after every use. It can be tough to find a great quality grill for under $500, but with its gleaming stainless steel, the NexGrill 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill with Side Burner is an A+ choice for the price tag. Best Built-In Gas Grills. It also struggled to hold a steady heat on the barbecue-chicken test. The Spirit II performed beautifully during our 2018 indirect-cooking test, producing a pair of perfectly cooked chickens (and holding a steady 440 °F). Best grills of 2020: Gas, charcoal and kamado models for your backyard. The Genesis II’s most obvious design innovation—and our favorite by far—is the externally mounted propane tank. Despite showing 650 °F heat on our burger test, it failed to achieve a good sear—a combination, we expect, of the pyramidal grate bars making minimal contact with the meat, and the grill’s thermometer overstating the actual temperature by about 50 degrees (we measured it independently with an accurate probe thermometer). Since you’ll be parting with quite a bit of cash when you buy a new gas grill, take note of the warranty so that you’re covered for years to come. (We like the Best BBQ Grill Brush; read why in our guide to grill accessories.) The store carries grills from multiple manufacturers, ranging from $400 backyard portables to five-figure custom built-ins. Char-Broil Performance Stainless 6-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill with 1 … The new S-315 features a stainless steel lid, a cabinet-style grill stand with a door, metal dials, and four swivel casters, while the E-310 has a black enameled lid, an open cart stand, plastic dials, and two fixed wheels. When choosing a gas grill, first decide what size you need. Same for assembly that requires lots of screws and bolts, or screws and bolts of multiple sizes. The environment of cooking with the family is more important than blasting meat on a gas grill.” And he said that while a wood-burning grill imparts more flavor, you can get a similar experience with a gas grill. Unfortunately, it has limited availability and is only sold at the top Traeger retailers. We assembled the six grills alone and in teams of two, to see if the former was even possible (answer: yes, when the instructions were clear and the assembly was well-thought-out) and if the latter made much of a difference (answer: yes, in every case). Take the battery out of the igniter before you store the grill long-term. These are all good models that will get your food cooked with almost no problems. Instead of comparing the different options, you can go through my list above to choose the right one. It doesn’t, nor did any grill in our test group. Extras like infrared grills and a rotisserie make this a real top-end performer. With equal performance, 20 percent more grilling space, and brilliant design and construction, the Genesis II E-310 is our top choice for dedicated grillers. But if they were originally porcelain-coated (as our pick’s and upgrade’s are), you may get chips of porcelain in your food, and that’s not a good thing. We think you’re better off saving over $200 with the Spirit II E-310. Top Ten Reviews is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. If you need a bit more room on your grill, get the Weber Genesis II E-310 Gas Grill.
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