- 1 How to Choose the Best Natural Gas Grills
- 2 Reviews of the Best Natural Gas Grills in 2020
- 3 Top-rated Natural Gas Grills Comparison Chart
- 4 Conclusion
It’s officially summertime, and you know what that means: the season of smoky, crispy meat is upon us. It’s time to have a check-up on the old grill to see if it’s still up for the task— given you already have one.
If it’s relatively new and functional then lucky you! But if yours can no longer satisfy your needs and makes you long for an upgrade, or you don’t even have one yet, then this collection of the best natural gas grills should prove useful.
To start this guide off, we’ll compare the two fuel options for gas grills: liquid propane (LP) and natural gas (NG) to see which one is the better choice. Next, we’ll examine the current market and shed some light on what it has to offer in different price ranges. Finally, we’ll look at some of our favorite picks for varied categories.
The ultimate purpose is to give everyone something to think about when it comes to natural gas grills. Hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll be inspired and well-versed enough to bring one home with confidence.
How to Choose the Best Natural Gas Grills
This how-to is always important. Why? Because it’s the same with almost every buy: we have to determine if it’s a good investment.
So, to make sure that not a penny is wasted, here are a few things that we consider to be most important:
1. Natural Gas vs. Liquid Propane
There are four popular energy sources for grills: charcoal, natural gas (NG), liquid propane (LP)— an extracted byproduct of natural gas, and electricity. Charcoal is classic but can be quite harmful. Electricity, environmentally speaking, is not a whole lot better either; it just doesn’t have that “feel” of good old-fashioned outdoor grilling.
That leaves us with either LP or NG, and it’s a good thing that both of them are among the cleanest-burning fuels for residential use. Productive use of natural gas is encouraged as it has positive impacts on the greenhouse cycle, and potentially even the economy. Liquid propane is comparably clean both before and after combustion, and it’s equally efficient when factoring in the cost.
So we’re good as far as fuel goes.
But to take it a step further: LP or NG, which one is better? To be honest, there is no clear winner. The only difference in properties worth noticing is that NG is lighter— meaning it disperses quicker if there’s a leak, so it’s safer for storing.
Other than that, it all comes down to preference. Models that use LP are more portable, and less complicated to set up, but you have to replace the empty tanks once in a while. NG models are usually hooked up to the pipeline which requires extra effort and also makes them more restricted mobility-wise. However, once it’s all up and grilling, it’s pretty much forgotten.
2. Other Things to Keep in Mind
Once you’ve settled on which fuel to go with, there are only a few more little details that might matter during a cookout. Again, these are mostly up to personal preference.
LP/NG Convertible Grills, Yes or No?
Yes! And, no.
First and foremost, it’s obviously more convenient to be able to change up the fuel settings to your liking. Both LP and NG have their ups and downs, so being able to adapt them to the needs that be is to maximize their potential. So, yes to that!
But here’s the “no”: safety concerns. Gas, unlike charcoal and electricity, can be more hazardous, and to meddle with its delivery system is not safe. It’s safer with conversion kits, but it’s never risk-free.
Cooking Area and Burners
Depending on the size of your typical gatherings, the required grilling surface will vary. As the cooking area increases in dimensions, so does the number of burners, but not always. And that’s the thing you’ve got to look out for. If a grill offers ample cooking surface but not enough burners, it’ll go to waste.
Then again, it’s difficult to say what the ideal number should be. Each grill burns a little differently. The easiest way is to take a grill that you’re most familiar with for reference. Do you like how the food is cooked on said grill? Do you like the doneness; the heat distribution? Then make your estimation and adjustment from there.
If you don’t have a grill in mind, the Char-broil Performance 4-burner is a favorite series of many. It’s a good one to start with.
Side Tables, Side Burners, Rotisserie Set, and Rear Burners
Make sure you also check for these. Side tables can be useful. Manufacturers also find ways to make them more versatile, adding conveniences such as an integrated mini cooler or hooks for tools.
The practicality of side burners depends on your grilling routine. They can be used to make or heat up sauces and side dishes like stir-fried vegetables or maybe omelets.
A rotisserie system is also the same. It’s not 100% necessary to a grill but it’s a welcome addition. It usually comes with a rear-infrared burner, but not always.
These, except for the wing tables, come at an extra cost, so you might want to really think about what you need. But if you can afford them then better safe than sorry, right?
Needless to say, material is of great importance when it comes to cooking equipment. Truer so now that it’s outside, and has both the flames and the changeable weather to deal with.
Unless you have a backyard cooking station where your grill is relatively sheltered, better opt for a model with top-tier construction materials. You want it to last!
Additionally, the steel that the cooking grids are made of is also something to note. At the moment, there are two popular choices: stainless steel and porcelain-enameled cast iron.
Stainless steel is more durable, a bit easier to clean, provides better searing, and has better heat transfer, but is also considerably more expensive than the alternative. With cost efficiency in mind, their ability to handle heat is neck and neck, so not many grillers truly favor one over the other.
3. Price Ranges
Gas grills are one of those you-get-what-you-pay-for types of product— which is honestly a blessing. It’s a relatively competitive and rewarding market with decades of history. And gas grills are just risky enough to push most manufacturers to do their job wholeheartedly.
For that reason, you don’t really have to worry about the quality of details. Pick a solid brand, and all that is left to think about is “do I want to spend on that feature or not?”
$2,000 seems to be the stop mark for essential additions. From here on up, you’ll start to see more sideline conveniences: better material, improved framework, better aesthetics, enhanced control precision, etc. Right next to those are the usual upgrades: larger size (maybe extra compartments) and increased number of burners. But that’s about it.
The only thing that might really excite people and can have a real effect on the quality of a cookout is the integrated smoker box— it’s where you put and burn the wood chips, much like one in a meat smoker. If used wisely, the food will smell and taste much better. Not healthier, though, so go easy with it.
Going past $1,300 and approaching $2,000 is the sweet spot where you’ll find the stuff of best value that a gas grill has to offer. And by “stuff” we mean the extra elements added to one’s repertoire that’ll make a grilling session all the more delightful.
The most notable features include rotisserie systems with an integrated motor and a rear-infrared burner for spit-roasting action, and extra wingside cooking zones for further maneuvering. You’ll also start to see lighting (backlit dials or under-lid light) and more well made details compared to the lower ranges. The holding area and burning capacity also increase.
As the price reduces, so does the frequency of high-end features.
You’ll stop seeing rotisserie option. That means no spit rotator and no rear burner. Side-burners also become scarcer. The good news is compartment size and main burners mostly stay the same switching down from the upper price range.
Lighting will become less and less of a frequent addition, and the materials that build the rollout base will be mixed with lower grade metals on minor details. Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grids will begin to alternate with stainless steel grids.
Around & Under $500
Also known as the “affordable range”, models that belong to this sector are the most simplified of all. Technically, they’re built to suffice. You can expect working burners— usually no more than three; a proper grill box, and decent ignition and flame control. Everything else is ordinary, if not considerably minimized.
Details, like storage space, are manufactured with lower-grade materials if they’re not cut off entirely. Metal plates are thinner and the coating is less effective. But grills in this range, although they won’t last as long as higher tier units, can still do their job to an acceptable extent.
Reviews of the Best Natural Gas Grills in 2020
With all of that discussed, we think you’re now more or less equipped to judge our best natural gas grill picks and determine whether they are suitable for you.
Keep in mind that these selected few are handpicked based on our research and personal criteria, so there’s a chance you won’t find your next grill here. But there’s one thing for sure: you’ll learn something.
- Weber Spirit E-310 – Best To Buy In 2020
- Weber Spirit II E-210 – Best Value Natural Gas Grill
- Lion L90000 – Best Built-In Natural Gas Grill
- Weber Q3200 – Best Small Natural Gas Grill
- Char-Broil Signature – Best Infrared Natural Gas Grill
Here are our picks for the best natural gas grills.
To find a quality natural gas grill, one only needs to look at Weber and its collection. Highly regarded by experts and home users alike, several of its grills have made the list in various reputed review platforms. The Weber Spirit E-310 is one prominent example.
Decided natural gas grills may not be for you? That’s okay, we’ve got more to offer. Here are our picks for this year’s top grills.
One quick glance may not be able to tell you much about the Spirit E-310: after all, it’s not the biggest or the most expensive gas grill in this category. But what many people fail to realize is its immense heating.
The triple burners can dole out 32,000 BTUs per hour as a combined effort. And since these stainless steel burners are under warranty up to 10 years, you know they mean business, nothing substandard here. The E-310 receives a lot of praise for its even heat distribution across the grilling surface, a diverse temperature range, and fast preheat time.
Open the lid, and you’ll find the grates with 424 square inches of grilling surface. But that’s not all: there’s an extra 105 square inches from the warming rack above to keep cooked items from going cold— giving you 529 square inches in total. The E-310 can fit portions from five to seven diners, as claimed on Weber’s official website. Additionally, its outer dimensions are as follows: 32 inches deep by 52 inches wide by 63 inches tall with the lid open (and 45.5 inches with the lid closed.)
Now that we’ve covered its firepower, let’s move to other features.
The grates are porcelain-enameled cast iron, which would explain the immense and even heat distribution across the cooking surface. While cast iron is neck and neck with stainless steel in terms of conduction, it’s much more burdensome to retain its prestige condition since it can succumb to rust without proper cleaning techniques and storage. And so far, this is the sole flaw of this grill.
Weber also uses cast iron for the heat tents— dubbed as flavorizers by Weber— and the lid. Both are under Weber’s warranty policy for multiple years. These flavorizer bars keep droplets of grease and juices from entering the burners, preventing flare-ups and prolonging the burners’ overall longevity.
The stainless steel side tables are sturdy but seem to be unnecessary made of such high quality material. That said, these fold-down tables make it easier to expand the griller’s work area by holding multiple condiments bottles and food trays. For the cooking tools, the E-310 has three tool hooks on each wing table to keep all the cooking utensils conveniently within reach.
There’s also a cabinet below the temperature knobs, but it’s not for storage: it’s where the electrical wires, the gas hose, and the grease tray reside. The grill cabinet lets you access the grease tray easily when it’s about to fill up. The E-310 uses a double-A battery for the igniter.
The casters make it easy to move the grill when you have to renovate the kitchen or the BBQ island behind your back yard.
The lid-mounted thermometer comes in handy when you need a quick read inside the cooking chamber, so you don’t have to open the lid too often and lose the heat. But if you need to measure specific items inside the grill, especially when you’re dealing with thick items like briskets, turkeys, and/or ribs, get a grill thermometer.
For those who don’t already know, the Spirit E-310 has another cousin, the Spirit II E-310. They both possess three burners, but their looks and functionality are completely different.
The E-310 doesn’t have to be bulky or expensive to be the best; it simply performs well enough on a regular basis. Besides the hassles of handwashing cast iron components, otherwise, this is a well-rounded grill that you should consider getting.
The next one on our list is another Weber’s fine product, the Spirit II E-210. It’s a small-medium grill that does its job well without costing an arm and leg. As of the moment this article is written, it’s the one offering the most value for the money.
Much like its E-310 cousin, the Spirit II E-210 also possesses an immense heating capacity. Each burner doles out 13,250 BTUs per hour, even stronger than that of the E-310. Unfortunately, this grill’s small design only allows two burners.
Be that as it may, the dual burners have a diverse temperature range, so one can grill low-and-slow or sear to their likings. Many grillers have praised the grill for the uniform heating across the surface. Say goodbye to cold spots, especially those near the edges!
Now, come closer and take a look.
The biggest problem with this one is the amount of porcelain-enamelled cast iron involved in the cooking components— or to be more specific, it’s the lack of stainless steel options that spoils the fun for everyone. Those include the cookbox, the flame tamers/flavorizer bars, and the grates.
If it’s just the shroud or the flavorizer bars then there would be no issue. Their contact with food and foodborne agents is quite minimal, and they don’t have a direct effect on the food itself. They won’t be in any harm of corrosion or tarnishing— not until much later, and you won’t have to clean them often.
The grates, however, are the exact opposite. We’re not here to undermine cast iron or its ability to work with food. In fact, stainless steel and cast iron have similar strengths relating to heat conductivity and retention. But stainless steel is considerably more durable— as in rust-resistant— and easier to clean. It doesn’t sound like much as of right now, but for regular home use, it’ll matter a whole lot in due time.
In terms of specifications, this grill is a small one, only 48 inches wide by 26 inches deep by 44.5 inches tall (57 inches with the lid fully up). Its interior includes the main grilling area of 360 square inches and a warming surface of 90 square inches, giving you a total of 450 square inches. Weber claims the E-210 can cook for three or four people, so it should suffice for a small family.
Moving the grill is rather difficult, considering its weight of 103 pounds. Unlike models with four swivel casters, the E-210 only has two, and you have to tilt the whole thing back on its wheels and push ahead.
The E-210 has an abundance of extra features, including two fold-down side tables where the griller can put various spice bottles and food plates. For the cooking utensils, there are three tool hooks on each side table to hang them, keeping things tidy and neat. A thermometer on the lid lets you know how hot it is inside the grill without opening the lid too often.
Also worth mentioning is the accessory compartment for the Weber iGrill 3 (sold separately). It’s an in-house designed grill thermometer with four probes that lets you monitor the temperature of the food you’re cooking through an app on your phone. Not exactly a “must”, but a nice “maybe”.
Of course everyone has a budget when it comes to shopping, and the Weber Spirit E-210 gives you the best bang for your buck. Sure, it lacks the glitz and glamor, but it delivers its promises. And if that’s not enough to entice you, the 10-year limited warranty ought to speak volume.
With its beautiful design and full-on commercial grade construction, the Lion L90000 hit the market with nothing but strong and quality characteristics. Judging by how people have been responding to its performance, it’s safe to say that they love it!
Let’s talk about its size first— the cut-out dimensions in particular. For the grill to settle in comfortably, it requires a vacancy of 38 ½ inches wide by 21 ½ inches deep by 9 ⅝ inches tall. The unit itself measures 40 inches wide(no side tables), 24.25 inches deep and 21.5 inches high, which is large but not TOO large for what is packed within.
There’s a difference between the cutout and the listed dimensions of the grill because only the bottom half needs to fit, not the entire unit.
A spacious cooking area is of course the first result. Able to accommodate up to 40 burgers at a time (measured with a regular burger press), the grill provides 802 square inches at the grates, or 1030 square inches if we include the removable/adjustable warming rack. In the context of rotisserie cooking, that’s 2-3 whole chickens with space to spare.
From the outside, you can also see that there are a total of 6 knobs. Among which, five are primarily responsible for most of the grilling that happens on the rod grates. Together they make for an impressive 90,000 BTUs, which means 18,000 BTUs each. If you don’t already know, that’s quite generous as far as burning capacity goes.
The last dial is for the rear infrared burner that’s in charge of any type of spit-roasting. The rear burner is designed for that sole purpose, but you can use it however you see fit— a bit of supplemental heat on the rack, for example.
Moving on to material, it’s another highlight of the Lion L90000 Premium Gas Grill. More than 90% of the grill framing is commercial grade, 16-gauge 304 stainless steel, from the shroud to the grilling grid to the grease tray. Numerous owners praise its longevity, saying the grill still works like it’s day one after years of use with only minimum cleaning.
That’s also the reason why this grill is quite heavy (~200 lbs), even claimed by the manufacturer to be the heaviest of its specs. Keep that in mind and make sure that your station/counter is built to support that kind of weight.
As for included accessories, there’s a bunch of useful stuff: a stainless steel griddle (plus its remover) to help crank up the versatility of the grill, two interior lights to aid in after dark cooking, one mini smoker box for a touch of that alluring, smoked flavor; and a head cover for a bit of extra protection against the weather.
Basically, the Lion L90000 Premium Gas Grill has everything it needs to be the best built-in natural gas grill, and that’s not just the opinion of a few. Still not convinced? Then, how about a lifetime limited warranty to seal the deal?
Most natural gas grills are gigantic models that need to be permanently installed or built into a fixed position, like a kitchen or a grill station. If you aren’t ready to commit to one as such or if you prefer something smaller, then perhaps it’s about time you considered getting the Weber Q3200.
The Q3200 measures 50.2 inches wide by 21 inches deep by 43.5 inches tall (55.5 inches with the lid open). Inside the grill, you’ll get 393 square inches from the primary grilling surface, with another 75 square inches from the warming racks. That totals 468 square inches altogether. Weber claims that this grill can feed up to six people, but we felt that estimation may be a little bit exaggerated.
For such a small grill, the Q3200 preheats fast and distributes the heat uniformly throughout the grates, even at the furthest corners. Then again, its limited temperature range since the dual burners max out at 21,700 BTUs per hour— fair enough for a grill of this size. That means you won’t be able to make sear steaks on high heat, which can be quite a shame.
While the firepower seems lacking, the Q3200 is a perfect fit for those with limited open space like a small back yard or a patio. The cart is glass-reinforced nylon, meaning it’s lightweight yet sturdy. The large wheels make it easy to move the grill from place to place when you need to renovate the kitchen.
One safety concern that many grillers share is that since there’s no heat tent on the Q3200, droplets of grease and juice will fall in the burners, creating violent bursts of flames— these are called flare-ups. One way to minimize this is to trim off the fat and properly oil the cooking surface before grilling.
Similar to other Weber grills, the grates are porcelain-enameled cast iron. But the lid and body are cast aluminum. At its current price, you’d expect it to be more well-built than that. The igniter uses four triple-A battery cells, to add.
Additionally, there’s more to this grill. The two fold-down side tables may seem like a nice addition, until you realize they aren’t that sturdy and can support no more than a few seasoning and spice jars. The three utensil hooks are a stark reduction compared to the six on other Weber grills, while the lid-mounted thermometer is basically the same. The only distinction is the handle-mounted LED light accessory that lets you see the grill’s inside when cooking late at night, but that can hardly improve the Q3200’s overall value.
In short, the Weber Q3200 is an okay-at-best natural gas grill, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a smaller grill that does its job as well as this one.
There are two things that most owners love about the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525. Firstly, they adopt infrared heat as the main heating method, which resembles the ambient heat of embers. And secondly, they’re convertible between liquid propane and natural gas.
It has been surprisingly hard to find infrared grills. The market for them is admittedly quite limited. Since they burn slow like charcoal/barbecue grills, they somewhat defeat the whole purpose of grilling. However, if you want to barbecue on a gas-fueled unit, this is the closest you’re going to get.
The current heating method of gas grills focuses on balanced but intense heat. Even if it’s indirect heat, the results simply can’t parallel with ambient cooking. But with an infrared burning base, you might just be able to create that medium-heated, slow-cooking box for barbecuing.
Of course, the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared can grill still, albeit not as immediately effective as the others on this list. With 32,000 BTU from four main burners, it may seem lacking for the 525 square inches. While that holds true to some extent, infrared cooking allows for evenly distributed heat across the grids, resulting in high heat efficiency.
The 200 square inches of the warming rack, however, do feel like a stretch. You’ll be a long way into a grilling session before the extra space might be useful (as the heat won’t be enough early on). But it also depends on the situation you’re in, so it’s your call whether or not to keep them hooked on.
Both the cooking grids and the rack are porcelain-enamelled cast iron. It’s fine as a cooking material as we addressed earlier. But maintenance can be a pain as there are more DOs and DON’Ts with cast iron. That being said, as long as you know what you’re doing, you’re fine.
A little tip: heat the grill after cleaning to make sure there’s minimum moisture when it goes into storage. That reduces the risk of rusting greatly.
Finally, this Char-Broil is convertible. By default, it runs on liquid propane. With a conversion kit (sold separately), it can switch to using natural gas fairly easily. When you do so, remember to be extra careful with the connections.
Top-rated Natural Gas Grills Comparison Chart
|Model||Main burners||Primary cooking area (square inches)||Extra Features||Warranty|
|Weber Spirit E-310||3||424||- Side tables|
- Grill cabinetry
- Built-in thermometer
- Tool hooks
|Cookbox, lid, burner tubes: 10 years
Flavorizer bars, grates: 5 years
All other parts: 2 years
|Weber Spirit II E-210||2||802||- Side tables|
- Built-in thermometer
- Tool hooks
|Lion L90000||5||500||- Side burner|
- Rotisserie system
|Weber Q3200||2||360||- Cart|
- Side tables
- Grill light
- Tool hooks
|Cookbox, lid, burner tubes, grates, plastic parts: 5 years
All other parts: 2 years
|Char-Broil Signature||4||525||- Side burner||n/a|
There are lots of things to consider when finding the best natural gas grill on this huge market. But when you do manage to find the one that suits you most, it’ll be worth the trouble. Hopefully, with the help of our guide, the process will be simpler for everyone.