- 1 How to Choose a Gas Grill
- 2 Gas Grills Price Ranges
- 3 Reviews of the Best Natural Gas Grill in 2019
- 3.1 1. Weber Summit S-470 Natural Gas Grill – Best to Buy in 2019
- 3.2 2. Lion L90000 Premium Grill – Best Built-in Natural Gas Grill
- 3.3 3. Napoleon P500RSIBNSS-3 – Best Value Freestanding Natural Gas Grill
- 3.4 4. Weber Spirit II E-210 – Best Small Natural Gas Grill
- 3.5 5. Char-Broil Signature 4-burner – Best Infrared Natural Gas Grill
- 4 Top-rated Best Natural Gas Grills Comparison Chart
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— of that I am certain.
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 a 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 I think we’re all glad to know 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/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 omelettes.
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 and/or built in, 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.
Gas Grills 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?”
1. Over $2000
$2000 seems to be the stop mark for essential additions. From here on up, you’ll start to see more sideline upgrades: 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.
2. Under $2000
Going past $1300 and approaching $2000 is when you’ll find the stuff of best value that a gas grill has to offer. And by “stuff” I mean the extra elements added to one’s repertoire that’ll make a grilling session all the more delightful.
I’m talking rotisserie systems with an integrated motor and a rear-infrared burner for spit-roasting action, and wing-side cooking zones for further maneuvering. You’ll also start to see extra lighting (backlit dials or under-lid lighting) and better-made details compared to the lower ranges. The holding area and burning capacity also increase.
3. Under $1000
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.
4. 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 3, a proper grill box, and decent ignition and flame control. Everything else is ordinary.
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 Grill in 2019
With all of that discussed, I 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 I’ll tell you this for sure: you’ll learn something.
- Weber Summit S-470 Natural Gas Grill – Best to Buy in 2019
- Lion L90000 Premium Grill – Best Built-in Natural Gas Grill
- Napoleon P500RSIBNSS-3 – Best Value Freestanding Natural Gas Grill
- Weber Spirit II E-210 – Best Small Natural Gas Grill
- Char-Broil Signature 4-burner – Best Infrared Natural Gas Grill
Here’s our picks for the best natural gas grills.
1. Weber Summit S-470 Natural Gas Grill – Best to Buy in 2019
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 Summit S-470 Stainless Steel is one prominent example.
At first look, you can immediately tell that it has a lot to offer. The somewhat excessive size, the abundance of burners, and the sleek look of a quality framework suggest something promising.
Taking a closer look, the unit stands at 66” wide, 30” deep, and 50.5” (57.1” with open lid) high. The dimensions give space for 468 square inches of cooking area, enough for more than 24 burgers. You can also use the warming rack for an extra 112 square inches, bringing the total area of effect up to 580 square inches.
Going inside, there are 4 main burners, each gives out approximately 12,200 BTU per hour, which adds up to 48,800 BTU per hour for the primary heating source. If that doesn’t suffice, there is the Summit S-670 with two more main burners to pull the grilling capacity up and expand the cook box.
As for subsidiary support, you will find an infrared burner situated in the back of the grill as a part of the complete rotisserie system. To the side there are two detachable/foldable wing tables, the right one of which houses a side burner.
To the far right is a smoker burner, which will work with an included smoker box. The box holds wood chips for anyone that wishes to add that smoked flavor to their grilled food.
They burn 10,600 BTU, 12,000 BTU, 10,600 BTU respectively.
That’s about it for the major components of the Weber Summit S-470. Let’s now the other details.
First, I think we’ll finish the rotisserie system. Apart from the burner, the rest of the system comprises of a rotator located on the left wing table, a spit/skewer, and a fork— all have their own storage space within the unit.
The cooking grates are made of stainless steel for the fullest potential of heat transfer. Not just that, stainless steel grilling grids are also incredibly strong, durable, and easy to clean. The flame tamers and the burners themselves are stainless steel for the same reason. Right now, it’s unquestionably the best choice for gas grills.
Additionally, the unit comes with the Grill Out light by Weber— which clings to the box grip handle— and backlit knobs. Both help make barbecuing after dark much less of a daunting notion. The add-on lights might not seem impressive, but they’ll come in handy when you need to check for doneness.
Even though the grill has many great features, it’s not perfect. There have been reports on how the rotisserie motor drive can be a bit flimsy to set up and the rear infrared burner is complicated to operate.
Other than that, the Weber Summit S-470 Stainless Steel is downright fantastic when it comes to backyard cookouts. You can basically do anything with it, from regular grilling to first-base meat smoking. If that’s still not enough, the 10-year limited warranty ought to do it.
2. Lion L90000 Premium Grill – Best Built-in Natural Gas Grill
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” wide by 21 ½” deep by 9 ⅝” high. The unit itself measures 40” wide (no side tables), 24.25” deep and 21.5” 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 BTU, which means 18,000 BTU 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 1 after 6 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?
3. Napoleon P500RSIBNSS-3 – Best Value Freestanding Natural Gas Grill
This one is quite easy. The Napoleon Prestige 500 series has been on my radar for quite some time. Not just because Napoleon as a brand is a solid one, but also because they offer highly competitive pricing on strong features. I simply couldn’t think of a better candidate.
On first impression, the grill usually does great. If it’s not the generous sizing then it’s the flashy, sleek-looking appearance with modern back-lit knob design and shiny stainless steel exterior that catches people’s eyes. Made mostly of stainless steel, the grill and base look and feel sturdy enough, and with normal maintenance, could easily last for a decade, give or take.
But here’s the catch: the steel is actually flat— meaning it’s a lower tier compared to high-end units, namely the Lion Premium. Material is priority number 1 when it comes to budget cuts; this is expected from a grill in this price range. But with a 15-year limited warranty, we can all rest easy about the grill’s longevity
Apart from that little detail, everything else on the Napoleon P500RSIBNSS-3 yells ‘decent’.
There are 4 primary burners in total, each burns at 12,000 BTU; 1 sear-station infrared burner which gives out 14,000 BTU per hour; and a rotisserie (kit included) infrared burner offering up to 18,000 BTU. In short, burning power is as abundant as it should be.
As for size, the grill measures 64 ¼” by 26 ¼” by 58” (WxDxH) with the lid up. Consequently, the holding capacity is up to 760 square inches. That includes 500 square inches on the stainless steel cooking rods and another 260 square inches on the warming rack. That’s more than 22 4-inch burgers heating up at the same time.
However, to have 4 burners supporting a grilling surface area of this size is a challenge. Speaking from experience, it’s very likely that the grill may suffer from heat inefficiency and imbalance in cold weather.
Regardless, the Napoleon P500RSIBNSS-3 Prestige 500 is, in my humble opinion, a natural gas grill with surprisingly good value for money. You won’t be amazed, but you’ll most certainly be pleased.
4. Weber Spirit II E-210 – Best Small Natural Gas Grill
As a fan of stainless steel, especially for cooking equipment, I was not satisfied with the end result of the search for this category. While the Weber Spirit II E-210 is nothing short of a proper pick, it wasn’t what I had hoped to find.
My biggest problem with this one is the amount of porcelain-enameled cast iron involved in the cooking components— or to be more specific, it’s the lack of stainless steel options that ruins it for me. Those include the cookbox, the flame tamers/flavorizer bars, and the rod grates.
I can manage if it’s just the shroud or the flavorizer bars. Their contact with food and foodborne agents is quite minimum, and they don’t have a direct impact 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. This is not to undermine cast iron and the material’s ability to work with food. In fact, stainless steel and cast iron have similar strength relating to heat conductivity and retention. But stainless steel is considerably more durable— as in rust-resistant— and easier to clean. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but for regular home use, it’ll matter a whole lot in due time.
The rest of the grill is fine, maybe even a bit better than its competitors— the free standing base, in particular. Weber makes arguably the best stands for grills and you’ll find many that agree with me. That’s one of the reasons why even though the Spirit II E-210 costs comparably more, people are still happy to pay.
In terms of specifications, this grill is a small one, only 48” W, 26” D, and 44.5” H (57” with the lid up). Its 2 main burners operate at 26,500 BTU per hour— about 13,250 BTU each, which is quite plentiful. Thanks to that, it’s able to work a grilling area of 360 square inches and a warming surface of 90 square inches.
There are 2 foldable side tables, but no side burner. Between them, the tables have 6 tool hooks and 1 accessory compartment for the Weber iGrill 3 (sold separately). It’s a device (up to 4 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”.
Overall, the Weber Spirit II E-210 is not for everyone, but I seriously doubt that there’s any small, natural gas grill that can decisively beat this one.
The grill is covered by a 10-year limited warranty.
5. Char-Broil Signature 4-burner – 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 charcoal. 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 4 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-enameled cast iron. It’s fine as a cooking material as I 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 Best Natural Gas Grills Comparison Chart
|Model||Main burners||Primary cooking area (square inches)||Side burner||Rotisserie system||Warranty|
|Weber Summit S-470||4||468||Yes||Yes||10 years|
|Napoleon P500RSIBNSS-3||4||500||Yes||Yes||15 years|
|Weber Spirit II E-210||2||360||No||No||10 years|
|Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared||4||525||Yes||No||n/a|