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 Grill
- Reviews of the Best Natural Gas Grills in 2021
- Top-rated Natural Gas Grills Comparison Chart
How to Choose the Best Natural Gas Grill
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.
While these features don’t directly affect food quality, they can further complement the entire grill nonetheless. A side table with tool hooks should keep cooking tools close within an arm’s reach and convenient. The same applies to the overhead grill light and thermometer on the lid as well.
In addition to the primary burners, you may want to consider secondary heating options as well. Those can be a separate side burner, an infrared burner in the back, or a rotisserie system. They can help speed things up.
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 material that the cooking grates 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 2021
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 Summit S-670 – Best To Buy In 2021
- Weber Spirit II E-310 – 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.
1. Weber 7470001 Summit S-670 – Best to Buy in 2021
The Weber Summit S-670 is our first pick of the bunch for all the right reasons. You can tell this grill means serious business from the get-go, with its colossal build, immense heating, and other extras.
Nothing but Real Estate
The primary grilling surface alone offers 624 square inches, which is already a compelling deal-sealer for many buyers. Plus, you’ll also get an additional 145 square inches from the warming rack. That’s 769 square inches in total, which should be ample for 12 adults, according to Weber.
Indeed, size matters, and so does substance.
Premium-grade stainless steel is the ultimate material for major components (burners, grates, heat tents, and lid.) Meanwhile, standard stainless steel— albeit with inferior quality but a fine alternative nonetheless— is applied for the grease tray, cabinet doors, and side tables.
The rest of the assembly includes a porcelainized steel cookbox, painted cast aluminum side caps, and regular steel body frame. Since these parts don’t directly alter the food quality, they’re understandably non-stainless steel.
Jam-Packed Heating Prowess
The six tube burners— each yields 10,000 BTUs on its own— handle the primary cooking tasks. Boasting 60,000 BTUs altogether is impressive on all counts, but the S-670 is further equipped with other secondary heating options, including:
- a sear station burner registering at 10,600 BTUs;
- a side burner boasting 12,000 BTUs;
- a low-power smoker box offering 6,800 BTUs; and
- a rear-mounted infrared burner with 10,600 BTUs for good measure.
Each additional burner specializes in a certain task and further diversifies the menu. While the searing burner gives steaks a caramelized texture, the smoker box offers pinkish smoke rings with an irresistible aroma. As you reheat cooked items on the side burner, you can spit-roast/rotisserie a chicken on the rear-mounted infrared burner.
An Abundance of Conveniences
Cooking prowess aside, the S-670 has more to offer with its wide array of additional features:
- a lid-mounted thermometer
- two side tables with tool hooks
- LED-lit control knobs
- handle light
- a cabinet for storage
The S-670 also sports a set of swivelable and lockable casters for easy movement. But you don’t get to shift the S-670 around too often or too far. Given the complicated setup of natural gas grills, they are to be permanently affixed to a designated spot. Save for heavy renovations or moving to a different home, the S-670 isn’t going anywhere.
Built to last, the S-670 is under a ten-year warranty— a no-brainer given its rather hefty price tag.
The Weber Summit S-670 is nothing short of a fine pick with top-notch craftsmanship and lots to offer. As such, it makes perfect sense when this grill ranks among the best gas grills to purchase this year.
2. Weber Spirit II E-310 – Best Value Natural Gas Grill
Weber has been a reliable brand name in the BBQ community for decades thanks to its well-rounded models. And the Spirit II E-310, a mid-tier natural gas grill with plenty to give, is no exception. While gas grills are often built for the money, you can settle for this model without splurging too much.
Well-Built from Start to Finish
For starters, the primary grilling area provides 424 square inches, with the warming racks adding another 105 square inches. According to Weber, you can cook as many as 15 burgers with plenty of room to spare for sides and veggies.
Now moving on to the cooking grates. Although stainless steel grates would be more preferable, there’s nothing wrong with porcelain-enameled cast iron ones in any way whatsoever. As far as transfer efficiency and heat retention go, cast iron is on par with stainless steel if not better.
But when cleaning o’clock strikes, it’s an entirely different story. Cast iron grates require more care and maintenance than stainless steel ones, which can severely dampen your cooking mood.
You may think it’s okay to clean cast iron as you would with stainless steel, but it’s actually the opposite. While stainless steel is impervious to rust, the same property doesn’t apply to cast iron, which needs to remain moisture-free.
A Trio of Burners
Even without any additional heating option, the three burners should handle all cooking tasks just fine. And given the price, this is as good as it can realistically get.
On the highest setting, the triple burners combine for an output of 30,000 BTUs per hour. And unless you’re cooking something massive, this much heat should suffice for most barbecue staples like burgers and hotdogs.
The Finishing Touches
To further complement the entire assembly, Weber includes several add-on features, including two fold-down side tables with tool hooks. In addition, the cart provides maneuverability and some storage room as well.
The top thermometer helps monitor things inside the grill, so you can make timely adjustments without opening the lid too often. But the thing is, it doesn’t give an accurate reading for certain food, especially thick items with bones. If anything, an iGrill 3 smart thermometer would make a great tool if you smoke briskets or turkeys frequently.
The Weber Spirit II E-310 is a solid choice for aspiring grillers with little to no prior experience with barbecuing. Once you’ve built up enough experience and confidence, you can move on from this grill to something else without feeling guilty. But for the time being, let’s not cross that bridge until we get to it.
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!
A BBQ Island Built for Parties
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 1,030 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 six 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?
4. Weber Q3200 – Best Small Natural Gas Grill
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.
By itself, the Q3200 measures 50.2 inches wide by 21 inches deep by 43.5 inches tall. And even if you rest the grill on the cart, the entire assembly wouldn’t impose itself too much. If anything, you can put it within your patio or backyard just fine.
Let’s take a look inside. 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 exaggerated.
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.
To our surprise, the Q3200 preheats fast and distributes the heat uniformly throughout the grates, including the edges. Then again, the dual burners max out at 21,700 BTUs, which is fair enough for such a small grill.
And while the grill can cover a diverse menu, its limited heating range is unlikely to build up intense flames. If you’re expecting sear marks, chances are you’ll be disappointed, which is quite a shame.
Without the protection of heat tents, the two burners are fully exposed to all sorts of food dripping. One major safety concern is when grease droplets fall into the burner orifices, violent bursts of flames called flare-ups can catch grillers off-guard. One way to minimize this is to trim off the fat and properly oil the cooking surface before grilling.
The Little Extras
Additionally, there’s more to this grill. The glass-reinforced nylon cart is lightweight yet sturdy, which makes it easy for you to steer the grill around.
The two fold-down side tables may seem like a nice addition at first. That is until you realize they aren’t that sturdy and can support no more than a few seasoning and spice jars.
Other extras include some tool hooks, a lid-mounted thermometer, and a handle-mounted LED light for nighttime cooking. That said, they can only add so much value to the overall assembly.
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. While lacking firepower, this small gas grill is a perfect fit for grillers who are learning the fundamentals of barbecuing.
5. Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525 – Best Infrared Natural Gas Grill
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 smoker/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 still grill, albeit not as immediately effective as the others on this list. With 32,000 BTUs from four main burners, the heat manages to cover the entire grate without any irregular cold spot. And for good measure, the side burner can provide another 13,000 BTUs on its own.
Ample Cooking Area
Straight off the bat, the primary cooking grate provides 525 square inches, which should suffice in most cases. And for good measure, the warming rack adds another 200 square inches, though you won’t have much opportunity to use it.
By the time the heat gets going, you’ll have gone deep into a grilling session without using the warming rack once. But it also depends on the situation you’re in, so it’s entirely your call whether or not to keep it.
Both the cooking grids and the rack are porcelain-enameled 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.
You can find all sorts of small conveniences across the entire assembly, including the lid-mounted thermometer and the two side tables. In addition, the cart provides extra maneuverability and storage area for the fuel container. That said, you’d hardly have room for anything else once the propane tank is in place.
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.
The Char-Broil Signature Tru-Infrared 525 isn’t the prototype natural gas grill you’re expecting, but it gets things done nonetheless. This simple grill makes a quick purchase that requires little commitment and you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better.
Top-rated Natural Gas Grills Comparison Chart
|Model||Main burners||Primary cooking area|
|Weber Summit S-670||9||769||10 years|
|Weber Spirit II E-310||3||529||10 years|
|Weber Q3200||2||468||5 years limited|
|Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525||4||525||Limited warranty|
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.