The 11 Best Gas Grills for the Money

2022-08-12 11:09:57 By : Ms. Bella Tian

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From Weber to Napoleon, we've tested gas grills that cost less than $100 up to grills that cost more than a used car.

This definitive guide to the best gas grills of 2022 explores everything you need to know to find a gas grill best suited to your needs, including features to look for, materials, looks and price. Gas grill not for you? Check out our guides to charcoal grills and pellet grills. And if you're looking for deals on a grill, we have that, too.

Convenience, ease of use and superior temperature regulation are why you buy gas over charcoal or pellet. And though grilling enthusiasts often see this as a strike against America’s favorite grill type, gas grills are not just burgers, hot dogs and half-seared steaks. Not the good ones, at least. The grills on this list reach near-charcoal temperatures, offer plenty of versatility with low-and-slow cooking and prioritize endurance over shiny stainless steel for the sake of it. From a $199 grill that out-cooks $1,000 grills to one of the best-designed products, let alone grills, money can buy, these are the 11 best gas grills for your money.

BTUs are an outdated and easily manipulated measurement of grill power. The numbers grill makers provide are calculated on per hour measurements, and are derived from data on how much fuel the grill burns, not its temperature levels. A bigger grill that chews through more gas could have a sky-high BTU figure and not breach the 500-degree barrier, which should be the absolute bare minimum. Ignore BTUs and look for max temperature output, which is a better (albeit imperfect) gauge of a grill's power.

Infrared burners get dramatically hotter than standard gas burners. Using standard burners, most gas grills will struggle to exceed 600 to 700 degrees, and won't develop a browned crust on a steak before you've overcooked it; the infrared burner solves this issue by channeling heat from a burner into a ceramic tile, which converts that convective heat into infrared heat, dramatically increasing its intensity. You need an infrared burner to brown a steak properly. It won't matter how long you let the grill warm up with the lid down if the grill's max temperature is meh. Note: some companies (like Weber) give infrared burners a branded name like Sear Zone or something in that vein.

Standard grates can be made of cast iron, enameled cast iron, cast aluminum, stainless steel, nickel-plated and a number of other materials. For gas grills, we like stainless steel or aluminum. This may come as a surprise given so many recommended grill manufacturers rely on cast iron or enameled cast iron grates to get the job done; there's a reason for this. Cast iron grates are heavy, absorb heat and are great for developing grill marks, but you don't necessarily want grill marks. Grill marks are a visual cue that you've only seared a small percentage of what you're cooking. You want that steak, pork chop or half-chicken to be covered in Maillard, not drawn up like a football field.

"There are users who swear by cast iron because of its increased mass which leads to better heat retention, and some users feel that food sticks less to the porcelain coating on cast iron. There are others who swear by the durability and corrosion resistance of stainless steel," Steve Schwarz, Napoleon’s director of grills research and development, says.

"Most cast grids are porcelain-coated which provides some protection against corrosion – but if users use their spatula to scrape their grills or tap their grills to loosen debris, then over time the porcelain coating will wear and chip and this will lead to the raw cast iron being exposed which will corrode," Schwarz says. "So as cast iron grids age, regular seasoning becomes important. The beauty of stainless grids is that other than a light brushing between cooks, they require no other maintenance."

There is nothing wrong with liquid propane gas grills, or the gas grills that run off refillable tanks most grillers are familiar with. But, if you have a natural gas line available, you should use it. And it's why we say natural gas is better than propane.

"If you move into a new home with an outdoor natural gas line on the deck, the main reason not to use natural gas would be that you don't have a natural gas grill," Max Good, director of equipment reviews at, says.

Why? Mostly the convenience of not needing to refill a propane tank (or forget to refill a propane tank) and the cheapness of natural gas as a fuel. Natural gas versions of popular gas grills are marginally more expensive than propane-fueled counterparts, but not problematically so. There's virtually no difference in cooking performance.

Most gas grills nowadays have two burners at minimum, but it’s important to know before buying. The number of burners and grill space will dictate the space you have for two-zone grilling, a technique that allows you to cook low-and-slow foods like pork butt or ribs. More burners also mean more and more consistent heat. Unless you're shopping for a very small grill if a manufacturer suggests they can get by with just two burners, know that you'll be battling hot and cold spots every time you use it.

Heat diffusers go by many names, but they’re just metal or ceramic shields fixed over a burner. As counterintuitive as it sounds, by absorbing and redistributing the heat directly from the flame, they create more even temperatures at grate level, cutting back on hot spots. Plus, because diffusers float over the burner, you're far less likely to experience flare-ups or grease fires. Don't buy a gas grill without them.

There are cheaper grills with most of the features and cheaper grills with comparable build quality and cheaper grills supported by healthy warranties and strong customer service, but there is no grill that matches the Weber’s Genesis E-325s complete package.

The Genesis E-325s features nearly 800 square inches of prime cooking real estate, featuring Weber's largest sear zone for super high-heat cooking. With its PureBlu burners, flames are hot and even, and ignition is reliable and consistent. The grill features Weber's new grease management system that makes cleanup easier than ever so you can spend more time grilling and hanging out and less time scrubbing and scouring.

Napoleon is a major player at the top of the mid-market grilling space and through the ultra-premium categories. This particular grill is in the middle of the pack in Napoleon terms, but it’s the quintessential shiny stainless gas grill. Above all else, you are paying for build quality and cooking payload. Most of the grill is made of sturdy 304 stainless steel and the firebox is ultra-durable cast aluminum.

There are four primary burners, each with a heat diffuser, as well as a rotisserie burner and an infrared side burner. And though Napoleon’s trademark wavy grates can be frustrating to clean at times, the brand gets the materials right (9.5mm stainless steel). The infrared burner is a step above those from Weber and other more budget-focused brands. Recorded with an IR gun, the burner was pushing 1,100 degrees. That is charcoal-level heat, available in seconds.

There is serious firepower inside what looks like you’re run-of-the-mill grill that sits on the curb at Home Depot. The three-burner, multi-vent, barrel-style grill reaches temperatures in excess of 600 degrees without the use of an infrared burner, a necessary tool for most non-premium grills to hit temps that high. At 600 degrees, you’re able to put a proper sear on anything, not just grill marks (which, for reasons that take too long to explain here, are not what you want). This power is aided by the addition of heat diffusers over the burners — upside-down, V-shaped steel shields that even out heat distribution — and good airflow.

As with any frugal-minded grill, you shouldn’t expect it to stay in top shape for too long, but you won’t find a cheap grill packing this much ordinance.

Char-Broil’s mid-sized, mid-market grill is an all-around great gas grill. You get the shiny, stainless look of the high-end grills in the $1,000-plus market for half the price, plus plenty of storage and a sauce burner on the side. Plus, it comes with all-important infrared tech, which raises its temperature ceiling substantially. The budget infrared grill uses perforated steel sheets over the super-charged burners to increase the max temperature to around 725 degrees.

The biggest downsides are assembly, which is a bit of a buzzkill at worst, and, again, cast-iron grates that aren't necessary at all. The grill hits the 600-degree mark before turning on the infrared burner; that's plenty of heat to achieve a brown crust before overcooking a piece of meat. The wheels also felt cheap, though they could likely be replaced without much issue.

Lots of budget gassers don't look great on the porch. Cuisinart's five-burner is easier on the eyes and, importantly, out-cooks most of its low-price competition. The most important part: it gets very hot, even compared to gas grills two- and three-times its price. At full tilt, you'll reach temperatures a shade over 700 degrees, which is a good benchmark temperature for searing proteins (any lower and your meat will likely overcook while you wait for a nice char).

Plus, because it has five burners, intrepid cooks won't have many issues rigging it up as an impromptu smoker by creating a two-zone cooking system. And while the built-in smoke tube isn't very useful, the window pane that allows you to look inside the grill without letting heat escape is a nice touch.

Pizza ovens that can achieve temperatures up to 950 degrees and can be broken down and reassembled with ease.

If you just want to cook and don’t give a damn about looks, this is the gas grill you want. Its exterior is cheap-looking, but its guts are equivalent to high-dollar competition. The interior is rust-proof cast aluminum and is fitted with H-shaped burners instead of the usual straight-line design, a change that delivers more heat to more areas of the grill, and improves its capacity for low heat cooks. As with most grills, ignore the built-in temperature reader completely — it’s always wrong.

This grill’s design takes up as little space on your patio or porch as possible. And considering it can pull temperatures north of 500 degrees in 5 minutes or less (with max temps upward of 625), you’ve got a solid space-cost-firepower ratio brewing. It comes with enameled cast-iron grates standard and a cleverly offset lid handle, so opening and closing don’t threaten your arm hair. The Fuego can effectively grill about 15 burgers at a time, and, if it matters to you, was designed by a former chief computer designer at Apple, Robert Brunner.

A rule of thumb: if you want a portable or small grill, odds are you want a Weber. It couldn’t be more different than the iconic Smokey Joe, but its strength and value are just as clear. At first glance, it looks chintzy — it is not. A cast-aluminum body and lid provide balanced heat inside the grill and complete rust resistance. There’s space for about 10 burgers, and it gets hot enough (low 500 degrees range) to char them without overcooking. It’s ready to grill out of the box, and it’s about as good as truly portable grills get.

Our only qualm lies with the fold-out prep counters on the sides. While useful in theory, they're not quite big enough to use for most cooking tasks and the truth is we'd prefer Weber pump out a few more inches of grill space in their place.

The Nomadiq Mini is a lighter, more spacious portable gas grill than the Weber Q-series. Its temperature range is similar (up to 500 degrees or thereabouts), it is almost one-third of what the Weber does and it boasts more cooking space (226 square inches vs. 189 square inches). It's the perfect day-at-the-park or car camping grill, though still not light enough to warrant carrying on a hike.

We have one main quibble with it. While forgivable given the price and portability, the flip-out base isn't quite as sturdy as you'd like it to be and will wobble if you don't balance where you're putting meat on it.

Editor's Note [7/6]: Unfortunately, the Aspire By Hestan 36-Inch Propane Gas Grill is temporarily out of stock (but it will be back in stock in 12-16 weeks). If you need an alternative in the meantime, we recommend the Napoleon Prestige PRO 500 Propane Grill, which is actually our pick for best grill upgrade yet still falls at an even more affordable price point.

This is a grown man’s grill. Hestans come in many, many configurations, but most share a few key attributes: luxe materials, clever fixes to common gas grill issues and wicked looks. This configuration sports two primary burners that, instead of a typical tent-like diffuser, are covered by a ceramic and stainless plate that provides wildly even, hot temperature control that are designed in such a way that, when dirty, can be flipped completely over to burn off on direct heat. This is accompanied by an optional rotisserie burner, uber-powerful infrared burner and a slew of color options, which is extremely rare outside of the Webers of the world. Instead of cast-iron grates, the Hestan’s grates are thick-as-hell stainless steel, which is less prone to over-browning and easier to clean. It has no weak points.

Kalamazoo’s grills are made to order in Kalamazoo, Michigan, under the watchful eye of its chief designer, head of product and total gear nerd Russ Faulk. The price tag its grills demand means you’re not buying a summer cookout machine — you’re buying another kitchen. Thankfully, its functionality backs that up.

A fact: there is no grill like the Hybrid Fire grill. It can cook with gas, yes, but it can also cook with wood, charcoal and even pellets. The build quality is such that it feels like it was made out of aircraft parts. The gas burners are cut from cast bronze for goodness sake. If you’re in a place to comfortably spend nearly twenty grand on a gas grill, you buy this and you don’t look back.

From an affordable Weber to grilling technology of the future, these are the best charcoal grills you can buy at every price point and for every backyard.