- 1 Are Gas Grills Healthier?
- 2 How to Choose the Perfect Gas Grill
- 3 Reviews of the Best Gas Grills 2020
- 4 Top- Gas Grills Comparison Chart
- 5 Conclusion
Once upon a time, before the invention of built-in gas-broiler in the year 1950, charcoal grills were the sole authority centering every outdoor cooking session. As time passed by, gas grills have been developed and perfected gradually.
Nowadays, it’s difficult to find a family that doesn’t have a grill for the occasional barbecue, reflecting the fact that more than 50% of those families have a gas grill.
Hello, and welcome to Healthy Kitchen 101. Today, we’re going to do a review on the best gas grills of the current market, and why they’re worth buying.
It’s not much of a surprise to many that gas grills were once built and bought for the sole reason of time efficiency, to ensure a shortened prepping time.
Bursting up flames and intense heat with gas is simply quicker— substantially quicker, that is. That was how gas models secured their first step into the market dominated by the overpowering charcoal-burning units.
Over the years, with their potentials being recognized, gas grill models have grown more and more elaborate, if not sophisticated. Models of late, including residential units, are now made not only to offer swift undertaking but also to uphold professional standards.
Are Gas Grills Healthier?
Okay, straight off the bat: NO.
Scientifically speaking, any food that is cooked under the exposure to direct flames and/or extreme heat has higher chances of spawning carcinogens (more commonly known as “cancer substances”) than food that is handled indirectly.
That means no grills are 100% safe. Not charcoal, not electric, not anything! If a method can be categorized as “grilling”, it won’t be cancer-free.
But has that kept us from those wonderful weekend gatherings with friends and family, from a quick backyard escape on a hot summer day, or especially from that delicious, smoked, and seared piece of meat? Absolutely not!
However, for the making of a healthy community, if we’re not going to cut it out completely, the least we can do is reduce the frequency of such occasions, and ensure that those events are as risk-free as we can.
So, what are we to do? First, follow these food safety steps from the United States Department of Agriculture. They should help address more than half of the common foodborne complications. Second, get yourself the best gas grill you can afford to keep sideline health effects to a minimum.
How to Choose the Perfect Gas Grill
Other than taking recommendations from friends and family, the best way to spot the perfect gas grill is to get well-versed with the market yourself. So let’s spend some time learning more about the elements that are influential to the long term peformance of a gas grill.
1. Cooking Area
The size of your gas grill should depend on the number of family and friends who will be feasting.
On one hand, a one or three-burner is perfect for a family of four to celebrate the achievements of the little offspring backyard. But keep in mind that the limited surface might be a problem if the amounts of food to be cooked are large.
On the other hand, a four or six-burner might be a better fitting if you’re is hosting a gathering for a big number of attendants. The extended surface area is also extremely friendly to the versatility in one’s cooking intents.
Unrelated, some experienced chefs hint at the importance of adequate space in meat-smoking as the vacancy allows the smoke to swirl around the content before exiting through the vents. It’s something to keep in mind.
Today, decent models go with stainless steel builds with a few touches of porcelain here and there to lower the manufacturing cost while keeping the durability intact. Most of us know that so we’re not going to bother with an in-depth examination. Rather, we’ll dabble in the interior of the assembly, where the magic happens.
To be more specific, the grates and the flame tamers. Those parts are the ones that affect the integrity of the food and are in contact with damaging agents regularly. They need to be durable and resistant against rust and corrosion.
Of course, stainless steel comes to mind. Most popular and/or economical units have stainless steel tamers and burners, but not the rod grates. More expensive grills, however, are all about the stainless steel grates. The material is immune to corrosion and rust; it is easy to clean, and it won’t bend— it’s basically the perfect tool for the job.
An alternative to stainless steel is the porcelainized (or porcelain-enameled) cast iron. Its properties are quite familiar to stainless steel. Although chipping is more of a problem to porcelainized cast iron than to stainless steel, the balance between the reasonable longevity and the cost does reel people in. And that is with the heat retention of cast-iron already taken into account.
As a result, a lot of manufacturers adopt porcelainized cast iron cooking grate in pretty much all of their mid-range models, which are substantial in numbers. If you prefer stainless steel— and have the bucks to spare, the higher-tier market is where you’ll find it.
3. Burner Layout
Gas grills can be categorized into two main types: traditional burners and infrared burners.
Traditional burners are what most common gas grills have as their heating element unless stated otherwise. The food cooked with this type receives the heat directly from the combusted natural gas, which is the flames themselves.
These burners are usually assisted by flame tamers. The tamers help divert and spread the heat evenly to the adjacent areas while protecting the burners from drips. The heat from the burners is not focused. It’s rather wavy like hot air, sometimes allowing flare-ups to kiss on the food for crusts.
The infrared burner type takes heat radiation to the core of its method. Instead of flames, concentrated infrared heat rays are used. The heat produced is more intense and more evenly distributed than that of conventional burners.
There are hybrid grills with both conventional and infrared burners built in. These days they’re getting the attention they deserve since they offer more utility. The usual layout for home grills is traditional burners for the main grilling capacity and infrared for the rotisserie option.
4. Additional Features
Other than the aspects mentioned earlier, there are several little conveniences that, though not likely alter the quality of a grill session to a great extent, are nice to have. Well, except for that one seemingly minor yet critical feature: the ventilation.
When we want to smoke the food for some extra flavor, we close the lid to keep the heat inside. That’s where the vents come into play. Too many of them will let the heat slip out rapidly, leading to insufficient concealed heat. Just a few would do splendidly. So, one had better check up on the ventilation before committing to some eye candy.
Apart from that, there are thermometers, digital or analog, to monitor the heat inside the cooking compartment which will, in time, be very much needed. Speaking of the cooking compartment, remember to also examine the lid thickness. It affects the quality of the food, especially when smoking.
Side burners are also quite handy when it comes to preparing or heating up, for example, a sauce on the spot. It certainly expands the range of possible task combinations.
Also, the fuel gauge is not a bad addition either. It’s not much of a deciding factor, but it’s definitely a plus. So is built-in lighting. If you’re a fan of late afternoon grilling, it will be of use.
Deny it one might, the price tag is always part of the pivotal factors when choosing any product. Be it the wealthy or average crowd, NO ONE likes to be cheated, as in falling for false advertisement. The bucks should always be rightfully earned.
That’s why many people feel cautious as they climb higher up the cost ladder. Afraid of grabbing on a punishing bad investment, they rather stick to what is safe, which is between where they’re at and the small-risk, low-buck threshold.
With that being said, the gas grill market is very fair and, for the most part, honest. That is to say, gas grills are built to the money. The more expensive they are, the more the durability and reliability customers get. As the price goes up, the quality of the material, features, and craftsmanship does too.
Rest assured that shopping for gas grills is pretty safe. If your pocket can handle it, there’s no need to hesitate. Just know what you’re paying for.
Reviews of the Best Gas Grills 2020
Looking for the most promising picks wasn’t easy at all because there are plenty of them, and as aforesaid, most of the gas grills now are well made. It was challenging to decide which one was better. What we have here can be the very definition of close wins.
- Weber Genesis II S-310 Gas Grill – Best to Buy in 2020
- Weber Summit S-670 Stainless-Steel – Best Natural Gas Grill
- Weber Q3200 Gas Grill – Best Small Gas Grill
- Cuisinart CGG-180TS Petit Gourmet – Best Portable Gas Grill
- Char-Broil Signature 425 3-Burner – Best Budget Gas Grill
Here’s our picks for the Best Gas Grills.
1. Weber Genesis II S-310 – Best to Buy in 2020
Weber, with its long history with grills, has been a trusted brand to the US residents for decades now. Its products have scarcely disappointed, and so does the Weber Genesis II S-310 Natural Gas Grill.
The whole assembly is an open cart design, measuring 31 inches deep, 59 inches wide, and 62 inches high with the lid open. When it’s time for concealed heat, the closed lid is no higher than 47 inches. Compared to normal grills, counting charcoal grills, the 59 inches wide is quite big, giving you the space to mix it up.
With such figures, the grill offers a 513 square inch cooking area and a warming rack with the surface area of 159 square inches. Technically speaking, the grilling space can accommodate more than 19 5-inch burger patties while toasting up to 10 burger puns at the same time. There’s demand, and there’s supply.
One of the reasons why this Weber Genesis II finally made the list was the stainless steel construction. Most of the unit, namely the lid, the flame tamers, and the side tables, are made from stainless steel— one of the safest and most appropriate materials when it comes to cooking. Plus, it doesn’t corrode or rust under average conditions, making cleaning a breeze every time.
Even better, the stainless steel rod grilling grates are the cherry on top. It’s durable, more so than cast iron, and is better at searing. These grates can hold the heat comparably well and drop it pretty quickly when the need for low heat tasks arises. Basically, the material is, in our opinion, superior.
The Weber Genesis II S-310 is equipped with three conventional burners, vertically arranged. Together with the burners are the flame tamers or heat deflectors that prevent drips from clogging the nozzles and vaporize those drips back onto the food.
This familiar duo is adopted in most popular models of gas grills, thanks to the natural consistency of temperature it provides and the well-spread heat distribution.
As for the fuel, there are two versions of the Genesis II S-310: one runs on liquid propane and the other on natural gas, which really frees up some options. With liquid propane, a typical 20-pound tank can last the 39,000 BTU per hour of the assembly for up to 11 hours before it requires a replacement.
Let’s first observe the vent. The burners of the Weber Genesis II S-310 are perpendicular to the back of the drill so excess ventilation would compromise the heat with the lid closed.
That won’t be a problem since there is only one long and thin opening at the back of the unit: not too much that heat and smoke would slip out, and just enough for them to regulate the flavor before exiting the compartment.
As for the other conveniences, the analog thermometer on the lid is a part of the package. No need to worry about whether the food is being overcooked as we can monitor the temperature when the lid is closed.
There are also two side tables. All the prepping for the whole round of food can be performed there, with the tools hanging from the six hooks. A pity is that there is no side burner.
Weber also designs a new grease management system. The system reduces the risk of frequent flare-ups and helps with the disposal of the grease. Also, the newer models of Weber are now compatible with the iGrill 3— a device developed to allow cooks’ supervision over the temperature of the food through their phones.
Weber Genesis II S-310 Natural Gas Grill is one exemplary assembly. The reputation of Weber aside, the grill has what it takes to be the best gas grill of this whole year, easily catching and satisfying the demands of all grill lovers.
The Weber Genesis II S-310 is covered with a 10-year warranty.
2. Weber Summit S-670 Natural Gas – Best Natural Gas Grill
If one has already decided to go full natural gas, as the grill is not going to be moved around too much, one might as well go full-blown. If it’s not one of those semi-large four burners like the Weber Genesis II E-440, which gives around 650 square inches of cooking area, it should be something huge like the Weber Summit S-670.
Quite bulky, the grill seemingly offers nothing but real estate. The dimensions of the entire unit with the lid open are 57.1 inches in height, 30 inches in depth and 74.1 inches in width. When closed, the total space occupied goes down in height and depth, which are 50.5 and 26.5 respectively.
Going with such a spacious assembly is the 624 square inches of heating surface— that is without the 145 square inch warming rack and the side burner. In burger size, more than 24 5-inch burger patties can be cooked at the same time while having much room for veggies.
As expected with any high-tier model, the materials used are high-quality metals. For the most important parts— the burners, the grates, the flame tamers, and the lid, premium stainless steel is the fabric of choice for maximum lifespan and ease in cleaning.
The rest of the assembly— including the doors, the side tables, and the grease catch-tray— is still stainless steel but perhaps with slightly inferior properties. Sadly, the porcelainized steel cook box, the painted cast aluminum side caps, and the standard steel frame are not.
Weber Summit S-670 is arguably one of the best natural gas grills available thanks to its heating capacity. It’s not just because of the 60,000 BTU burners, but also the assisting sear burner and low power smoker burner, each yields 10,600 and 6,800 BTU per hour respectively.
With the support of the sear burner, the grill now has a dedicated cooking zone when the need for extra searing power arises (right in the middle where the burner runs straight).
There’s the addition of a smoker box, powered by the smoker burner to the far right. The grill is geared with a 10,600 BTU rear infrared burner. Normally, it’s not that useful in grilling but it will be when it comes to spit-roasting.
Basically, there are a bunch of conveniences that the unit offers, being high-tier and all. To make it short, there is one high-quality, integrated analog thermometer, two side tables, one side burner, and six hooks for the tools, integrated rotating station for the rotisserie, lighted control knobs, and handle lights.
By any definition of a gas grill, the Weber Summit S-670 is an absolute beast. With all the elements that gas grills do and should have, the grill isn’t just a luxury model, but also a standard to measure all gas grills.
The grill is under a 10-year warranty from Weber.
3. Weber Q3200 Gas Grill – Best Small Gas Grill
If your yard is not as large as you’d like but the love for grilling is undying, a compact quality-built gas grill like the Weber Q3200 Gas Grill is the ultimate pick.
The whole unit is designed to have a minimal frame yet sustain sufficient cooking space for the food. It measures 43.5 inches in height (cart taken into account) and 50.2 inches in width (side-table extended). Accommodating 393 square inches of cooking area, the surface won’t be as limited as one might fear. Not to mention the 75 square inches of the warming rack.
With the typical 5-inch burger, you can technically grill more than a dozen patties while having plenty of room for vegetables on the grill at the same time.
The grate is not stainless steel, which was expected. Rather, it’s porcelain-enameled cast-iron. Porcelainized cast iron is fairly durable, with decent corrosion resistance that will not underperform within 5 years.
The lid and the body are both cast aluminum for that extra anti-rust property and sleek look. Additionally, the frame is built with glass-reinforced nylon, supposedly to create a rigid-enough platform while being cost-efficient.
The Weber Q3200 Gas Grill has two stainless steel burners. One is a traditional O-burner that runs along the edges of the grill; the other one runs across the grill from left to right. This way the entire grilling surface is covered. It’s compatible with both 20-pound liquid propane tanks or pipeline natural gas.
Do note that, with these smaller size grills, there is usually no flame tamer or any cover to protect the burner. Try to clean the product right after it’s done being used to prevent debris and drips from hardening and clogging the flame nozzles.
There’s an integrated analog thermometer on the lid for convenient heat monitoring. Even for a quick, relaxed session, everybody wants to grill their food with just the right temperature without opening the lid.
There are also two side tables for prepping tasks. Not only does the cleverly designed tables can be folded or detached to save space, but they are also considerably sturdy.
For a gas grill of its size, the Weber Q3200 Gas Grill is hard to beat. Offering all that is useful to mini grilling sessions, it is adored by folks everywhere and often recomended for compact, portable grills.
The model is covered with a 5-year warranty.
4. Cuisinart CGG-180TS Petit Gourmet – Best Portable Gas Grill
Next, we’ve got the Cuisinart CGG-180TS Petit Gourmet— a mini grill for camping that is loved by the masses for quite some time. It has been reviewed by its users as a capable, storable, and affordable unit.
First and foremost, this grill is comparably small, which is both good and bad. ‘Good’ as in it’s almost effortless to carry. Being about 18 inches wide, 16 inches deep and 12 inches high, the whole assembly is no bigger than a suitcase, albeit heavier.
The grill is built to be portable, so limited heat surface area is reasonable. Indeed, with no side tables, the total area that one can work on is only 145 square inches. Now for a backyard party, that’s even beneath lacking. But for camping with two or three people, the figure is just right.
The stabilizing legs of the grill, which is foldable, are made of aluminum. The material is known for its corrosion resistance and rigidity despite the fact that it adds very little to the total weight.
Meanwhile, the metal cooking grate is porcelain enamel coated. By being so, it possesses a relatively enduring characteristic against oxidation and high temperature. There might be a problem if this was the high-heat league, but at 5500 BTU, the grate won’t fall short.
Having to deal with only a limited heating space, the burner of the Cuisinart CGG-180TS Petit Gourmet is a simple, single-tube traditional burner. To aid with the heat coverage around the grilling area, a flat heat regulator is installed right above, protecting the burner at the same time.
Unfortunately, there is no natural gas option for the grill. It only runs on liquid propane for the sake of portability so do mind that. For every hour, the grill gives out 5,500 BTU, which means it can run for as long as 3.9 hours on one can of 1-pound propane.
Given that it’s a mini grill, plus the model is quite old, the fact that it doesn’t have a thermometer or any side shelf is understandable.
All things considered, it’s safe to say that the Cuisinart CGG-180TS Petit Gourmet is not half bad. It’s cheap, it’s compact, and it’s portable. What’s not to like?
5. Char-Broil Signature 425 3-Burner – Best Budget Gas Grill
Being making grills since 1948, Char-Broil is another brand name that is considered trustworthy by grillers all around. In the current market, the company is reputed for capable products tagged with economical prices. And the Char-Broil Signature 425 3-burner (no side burner) is one of such products.
The whole unit is 46.3 inches high, 49.8 inches wide and 27.6 inches deep, not necessarily large nor small. Such dimensions are enough to devise a 425 square inch primary area and a 165 square inch area on the warming rack, giving a total of almost 600 square inches of cooking surface.
Granted, the 425 square inches falls a little short to general standards for 3-burner grills, but the extra burner is there to make up for the lack of space by enhancing the quality of the fire. Heat is sure to cover evenly across the cooking surface, leaving out no gaps of insufficient temperature.
The grates are stainless steel. They hold and releases heat quickly, which is fantastic for searing; they almost never chip; and they’re easy to clean. Plus, the material is dishwasher friendly. Scrub the pieces a little with warm water before putting it in the dishwasher.
The burners, the side shelf, and the lid— or heat shroud— are all made of stainless steel. Corrosion- and rust-resistant, the assembly is built for sanitary and for the battle against time.
Traditional gas burners are the core of this Char-Broil 3-burner. They each produce 8,000 BTU per hour, which makes up for the total 24,000 BTU. Hidden inside the side-table to the right is a 13,000 BTU side burner to help make sauce and other side dishes.
Regarding the types of fuel, both propane and natural gas are compatible with the grill (conversion kit sold separately). If propane gas is the choice, one might like the fact that the grill can operate for up to 17.9 hours on a 20-pound propane tank.
The grill has a built-in analog thermometer— a necessity if the cook plans on roasting or flavor smoking, convenient side tables, and a storage compartment.
For a budget gas grill, the Char-Broil signature 425 3-burner (no side burner) definitely holds its ground. Offering material, the propane/natural gas grill deserves a spot on the list.
Top- Gas Grills Comparison Chart
|MODEL||FUEL||COOKING AREA (primary)||GRATES||BURNERS||PROPANE CONSUMPTION (hours)|
|Weber Genesis II S-310|
|Propane/Natural gas||513 square inches||Stainless steel||3||11 (20 lb tank)|
|Weber Summit S-670||Natural gas (propane optional)||624||Stainless steel||6||n/a|
|Weber Q3200||Propane/Natural gas||393||Porcelain-enameled cast-iron||2||20 (20 lb can)|
|Cuisinart CGG-180TS||Propane||145||Porcelain-enameled cast-iron||1||3.9 (1 lb can)|
|Char-Broil Signature 425 3-Burner||Propane/Natural gas||425||Stainless steel||3||17.9 (20 lb tank)|
Good gas grills are incredibly convenient for those who throw the occasional cookouts. Not only do they save time, but they use it so efficiently. We hope that our guide gives enough information for you to make the most informed decisions and bring home the gas grill of your dream.