Gas grills


Gas grills

Gas grill buying guide

Last updated: October 2015

Getting started

How much do you want to spend on a gas grill, and how long do you expect it to last? Most gas grills cost less than $300 and are used for three years on average, according to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association. If you're hoping your grill will last longer, 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 include it 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 the 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:  

Cooking area

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.

Your menu

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. 

Beyond Btu

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 claims

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.

Safety concerns

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.


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You can spend $700 or less for a grill that can handle most of your cooking needs. Spending more will get you more stainless steel styling and convenience features, and perhaps better construction, but not necessarily better performance. Some midsized grills that cost $300 or less performed as well in our tests as ones that cost $1,700. Here are the types of grills we test.


These cost $350 or less and should do if you need a small or medium grill. Typical features include a painted steel cart, cast aluminum firebox and hood, and thin grates.


At $400 to $900, grills in this category include large, no frills models that can fit 28 or more burgers, as well as medium grills that fit 18 to 28 burgers and boast extra features. Mid-priced grills typically come with an electronic igniter, side burner, lights for cooking after dusk and backlit knobs, double storage doors, and more stainless trim. Many have premium grates or burners with warranties of 10 years or longer.


Priced around $1,000 and up, these medium and large grills have lots of style. They have the features found on mid-priced grills, but high-end grills typically are all stainless—and a higher quality stainless—and have more seamless construction, better quality burners and more burners, longer burner warranty, thicker grates, gliding drawers, and extra storage space.


Some features are handy, such as gliding drawers for storing utensils and condiments, while others make grilling and cleanup easier, such as a pullout grease tray. Here are other features to consider.

Premium quality burners

They're made of high quality stainless steel, cast iron, or cast brass, and typically carry a warranty of 10 years or longer. Keep in mind that burners are the grill's most replaced part. Burners with a warranty of 10 years or longer should last longer than plain steel burners.

Heavy-duty grates

Stainless-steel and coated cast-iron grates tend to be better for searing and maintaining even grilling temps—and note that stainless is more durable.

Quality construction

Check the cart, wheels, lid, and firebox. Stainless-steel carts with seamless construction and welded joints are sturdier than painted-steel carts assembled with nuts and bolts. Wheels or casters at all four corners make a grill easier to maneuver. And wheels with a full axle are better than those bolted to the frame, which might bend over time.

Electronic igniter

An electronic igniter is usually easier and more reliable than a rotary or push button starter.

Fuel gauge

It indicates how much propane is in the tank and keeps tempers from flaring. If the grill doesn't come with one you can buy a gauge separately.

Extra work space and storage

Food prep is made easier when the grill has a folding table or side shelf. Cabinets and drawers are great places to keep utensils, platters, and condiments.

Side burner

Cook a kettle of corn or keep the baked beans warm while grilling meat or fish. Some side burners are also searing burners.

Pullout tray for propane tank

It makes turning the tank on or off a snap and simplifies changing it when you run out of gas.

LED-lit controls and lit cooking area

For grilling after dusk, LEDs light up the grill surface and light the control panel or knobs.

Dual fuel valves or natural gas conversion kit

Most grills use propane but some have dual fuel valves for conversion to natural gas or you can buy a conversion kit for about $50 to $100. Once hooked up to your home's natural gas line, you'll never run out of fuel and there's no need to refill propane tanks, but the grill is less mobile and you'll want to call a pro to run the gas line from your home to the grill.


Char-Broil, Kenmore (Sears), and Weber are big in gas-grill sales overall. At Consumer Reports we test those and other less familiar brands. 


Char-Broil positions itself as an affordable brand that offers innovative features across its wide product lines. The grills are sold at retailers nationwide. Note that some lines are sold only at specific big-box retailers. 


Ducane was acquired by Weber-Stephen (owner of Weber grills) in 2004. Its models are sold primarily through specific big box stores, independent dealers, and home hardware centers. 


Fiesta grills are known for featuring such add-ons as a condiment tray and a smoker box. You can find them at Walmart and regional retailers, while their Blue Ember grill is sold at Home Depot and Lowe's. 


Kenmore offers a wide range of gas grills, from the low-end to the premium category. The brand aims to offer full-featured grills. Kenmore offers a natural-gas version of most mid- to high-priced grills. The grills are sold at Sears stores nationwide, range in price from around $200 to $1,800.


Napoleon grills are made in Canada. Almost all have a natural-gas version. Napoleon also markets the Ultra Chef line of grills.

Vermont Castings

The company's grills are known for their cast-iron grates, cast-iron end caps on the grill hood, and many features. Natural-gas versions are available in almost all models.


Weber is known for its grills in the midpriced to high-priced categories. The company offers a natural-gas version for most of its grills. Weber grills are available at many retailers nationwide.  

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