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So Much at Steak: 8 Tips for Buying the Right Gas Grill

It’s grilling season, and gas grills are the fastest and most convenient way to BBQ. These 40 gas grills fit a variety of needs and budgets, so get your propane ready and start grilling.

1) Weber 66004001 Natural Gas Grill | 2) Weber 61010001 Propane Grill | 3) Weber 65010001 Gas Grill | 4) Napoleon Grills Rogue 425 Grill | 5) Weber 54060001 Q2200 Grill | 6) Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Portable Grill | 7) Atosa USA ATMG-36 Griddle | 8) Excalibur 32 inch 4 burner built in grill | 9) Weber 66010001 Genesis II E-310 Grill | 10) Char Broil Electric Patio Bistro 240 | 11) Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Electric Grill | 12) Nexgrill 720-0783C Grill | 13) SUPER SPACE 3 Burner Grill BBQ Gas Grills | 14) Thermos 480 4-Burner Gas Grill | 15) Blackstone 36 inch Stainless Steel Gas Grill | 16) SUNSTONE RUBY4B-NG 4 Burner Gas | 17) Lynx L30PSFR-2-LP Propane Gas Grill | 18) Char Broil Performance 650 Gas Grill | 19) Landmann 42202 Falcon Gas Grill | 20) Holland Grill BH421AG4 Epic Gas Grill | 21) Char Broil Classic 360 Gas Grill | 22) Broil King 986884 Signet 90 Gas Grill | 23) Char-Griller 3001 Gas Grill | 24) Royal Gourmet Regal GB2000 Gas Grill | 25) Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill | 26) Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D Grill | 27) Char-Griller Dual Function Grill | 28) Cuisinart CGG-200 Gas Grill | 29) Cuisinart CGG-049 Searin’ Sphere Gas Grill | 30) Coleman RoadTrip LXX Grill | 31) Smoke Hollow 6500 4-in-1 Gas Grill | 32) Char-Broil Patio Bistro 360 Gas Grill | 33) Char Broil Performance 475 Gas Grill | 34) Big Gas 3 Burner Grill | 35) Lion Premium Grills L75623 32″ Grill | 36) Char-Broil Infrared 500 Gas Grill | 37) Char-Broil Quickset 2-Burner Gas Grill | 38) Char-Broil 15601900-DI Gas Grill | 39) Char-Broil Quickset Gas Grill | 40) Cajun Express Smoker |

Before you get burned, seared, or otherwise broiled on your gas grill search, here’s a handy buying guide to landing the grill of your dreams: this checklist will help you separate necessities from the frills.

Pick Your Fuel Source

Using propane tanks is convenient and always having a spare tank around eliminates having to leave the BBQ to make a propane run. But natural gas is another fuel option; it’ll cost you less in the long run, but you’ll have to run a dedicated line from your home to the grill, and cheaper grills (under $300) aren’t usually built to accommodate this option.

You can outfit your propane grill for $100 or less with a natural gas conversion kit, but keep in mind that the grill you choose will otherwise take one fuel source and not the other.

How Will You Use Your Grill?

OK, we wise guy: We know you’re going to cook food on this thing. But have you stopped to consider how much food and of what type? A good rule of thumb is that your grill should hold enough food to prepare a meal for as many people as you regularly cook for.

If that’s two, a small grilling surface will do. But if you love to entertain, then surface size matters — and the bigger the better. What’s more, not all grills are equipped with the capability to, say, cook via rotisserie.

Grill Size: The Double-Edged Sword

Now let’s suppose that you’ve decided on a large gas grill. In some ways, that’s a wise decision because smaller grills tend to be less stable (though not necessarily less safe) and easier to steal, for starters.

But that said, you don’t want to buy the shiny, new grill, get it home, and discover that it doesn’t fit on your deck. So take some measurements of where you want to set up your BBQ hub — especially if you live in an apartment or condo — to make sure you’ve got the size issue settled. When it comes to gas grills, especially less expensive ones, wider isn’t automatically better: it’s just wider.

The Great BTU Debate

While in my case, BTU could stand for “Burgers That (Are) Undercooked,” it’s actually shorthand for British Thermal Unit. This measurement reflects a grill’s gas usage and heating potential. It’s not quite like horsepower on a car, though: “more BTUs don’t guarantee faster preheating or better cooking.”

But there are some magic numbers to look for. For a standard gas grill, look for about 80 to 100 BTUs per square inch, and 60 to 80 for an infrared grill like the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Commercial 2-Burner Gas Grill ($215.20 with in-store pickup, a low by $54), which uses radiant heat. Once again, this supposes that the grill you buy is efficient and well made.

The Efficiency Enigma, Solved

For grills, it doesn’t mean squat if your setup cranks out the BTUs, but lacks the efficiency to let the heat do its job. This efficiency boils down to the grill’s build quality. The best grills, whether expensive or thrifty, will use stainless steel or cast aluminum throughout; lid seals will fit tight; and the grill grates and lid will have enough heft to stand up to heat, and keep the BTUs in.

What’s more, a good grill will have “small vents to let a controlled amount of air flow through the grill, holding in heat so it heats up quickly to a high temperature.” Flimsy grills on the other hand, have lids and grates that simply feel light and may have poor welds and construction.

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