How much do you want to spend on a gas grill and how long do you expect it to last? Most gas grills sold cost less than $300 and are used for 3 years on average, according to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association. If you're hoping your grill will last longer then check the construction of the grill when shopping—nudge from several points to test sturdiness. The more stable, the better.
Note the burner warranty (we point this out in the Features & Specs Ratings information for each grill we test). Burners are the most replaced part and a short warranty is a hint that this grill may not last many years. Keeping your grill clean and in tip-top shape not only improves the flavor of grilled food, but also helps extend the life of the grill. Here's what you'll want to consider when choosing a grill.
We measure each grill's main cooking space so you can match it to the number of people typically gathered around your table. Grills in our small category fit 18 burgers or less. Midsized can hold 18 to 28 burgers, and larger, 28 or more. Note that manufacturers might include racks and searing burners when tallying cooking area. Next factor in how much space the grill will eat up on your patio or deck. Some grills we tested are six feet wide. We note each grill's exterior dimensions in the Features & Specs section.
A basic grill is fine for cooking burgers and hot dogs, but if a whole chicken, turkey, or roast is on the menu look for a grill with a rotisserie burner and check how a grill did in our indirect cooking tests, a delicious way to slow cook these meats and tough cuts by placing the meat next to the fire, not over it, with the lid closed to retain heat.
Btu/hr. (British thermal units per hour) tells you how much gas a grill uses and the heat it can create, but our tests have found that more Btu doesn't guarantee faster preheating or better cooking.
Infrared burners typically emit intense heat to sear and cook food, though designs differ by manufacturer. We haven't found one infrared burner design that's better than other infrared designs or better than standard burners.
The more stable the grill, the better. When shopping gently push the grill from several angles to see if it tips. Check the cart, firebox, lid, and shelves for sharp corners and edges. Grip the handle. Your knuckles or fingers shouldn't be too close to the lid or your hand could get burned. And while some flaring is normal, typically the greater the distance between the grates and burners or flavorizer bars, the fewer the sustained flare-ups.
For more information on gas grills see the following