You’re in the market for a new grill but you’re not quite sure what to look for. If it has been years since you purchased your current grill, or if you’re buying your first gas grill, you might be completely lost with what’s currently available.
Buying a grill shouldn’t be difficult. If you know what to look for, you could even find the process to be fun. Before you open your wallet, take a look at the most important things to look for in a gas grill, and make an investment that will last for years to come.
The Size of a Gas Grill
When it comes to an outdoor cooking appliance, size matters. The size of your gas grill will have a huge influence on your overall experience.
The size of your gas grill will determine:
- What you can and can’t cook.
- How many people you can cook for at a time.
- How easy it will be to move the grill around.
- Where you can place your grill.
Consider your home and where you will keep your grill. If you only have a small patio, deck, or balcony to work with, then you’ll be looking for a smaller grill, typically with two burners.
A two-burner gas grill will comfortably cook for four people at a time, or up to ten people if you’re cooking basic ingredients like burgers and hotdogs.
A larger grill, such as a three-burner grill, will be much more versatile and is our recommendation for the best all-around gas grill. With three burners you can cater to friends and family when they come to visit.
You’ll have more room for a whole chicken, turkey, and large cuts of beef or pork. A three-burner grill also gives you more versatility to cook off the direct heat with the hood down.
If you’re constrained by space, stick with a two-burner grill. If you have space and want something more versatile, choose a three-burner model or larger.
Storage is often overlooked when it comes to gas grills, but it’s quite important. Where will you store your propane tank, or can you hang utensils and tools on the grill? Is there space inside for items that you want to keep with the grill, even when it’s not in use?
Then there’s also side storage in the form of shelves. While you’re cooking, you need a workspace. Most people use a grill as an all-in-one cooking station. They usually don’t have a countertop outside like in the kitchen. If this sounds like you, then side shelves on your grill will be essential.
Most grills with at least two burners include side shelves and some storage underneath. A cart design will offer the best storage option underneath for your propane and tools/utensils.
The materials your grill is made from will influence durability as well as the look and feel.
- For the body, stainless steel is the premium option. Thick enameled steel is also durable.
- Cooking grids should be made from stainless steel for maximum durability. If they’re not stainless steel, look for enameled cast iron instead.
- Plastic on a grill is OK, providing that it isn’t used extensively. Plastic side shelves won’t last as long as steel ones. Some plastic elements around handles and edges can make the grill safer and more ergonomic because you won’t be touching hot metal or sharp edges.
Look for the most premium materials that are possible within your budget.
Finally, we come to something that trips a lot of new buyers up. If you are asking what should I look for in a gas grill, you’ve probably seen a few features that you aren’t familiar with.
Rotisserie kit, rear burner, infrared heating… what do these terms mean?
- A rotisserie kit with a grill is a bonus but not always necessary. It will let you hang meat, fish, poultry, or other ingredients on a long skewer that rotates as you cook.
- A rear burner is designed to add more heat for a rotisserie or to the grilling area in general.
- An infrared grill typically gets hotter than a standard gas grill, with less gas used. This can be useful for searing food but isn’t necessary to get great results.
- Side burners are often included with modern grills. The side burner is integrated into one of the shelves, giving you an option to add a pot or skillet.
Some special features aren’t very useful and are simply marketing gimmicks. Think about how you will use your grill and what you expect to get out of it. Features like those listed above are actually useful and can add value but shouldn’t be the only deciding factor in your decision.
Two of the Best Mid-Range Versatile Gas Grills to Pick This Year
You now know what to look for in a gas grill. To get started, we’ve selected one model that meets many of the key requirements.
The Weber Spirit II E-310 is one of the most popular gas grills available today. It offers a large cart with a storage tray, premium coated steel and stainless steel parts, a deep hood with an integrated thermometer, and three high-quality burners.
With 529 square inches of cooking space, there’s plenty of room for family cooking and entertaining guests on holidays or other occasions.
If you are looking for something more affordable but with similar features, you can consider the Char-Broil Performance 4-Burner Cart Style Gas Grill.
It’s made from stainless steel but isn’t quite as sturdy as the Weber. It’s still a great choice and offers a larger cooking surface and a side burner.
Compare models within your budget range and use our advice to get a grill for your needs. There’s nothing better than grilling throughout the year on something perfectly suited to you.