You might notice that the grill section at your local home center looks a little different this spring. The 2018 fleet of gas grills is filled with new brands, revamped models from old brands, and new features meant to make grilling easier—and maybe even make you a better cook.

More on gas grills

“There’s just a lot more to choose from this year, even from long-established brands,” says Mark Allwood, a ­senior market analyst at Consumer Reports.

Among the more than 100 gas grills CR has tested in the past two years are seven new brands, all of which offer models in the highly competitive price category of $650 or less, and some of which have features often reserved for pricier ­models.

New grills from these and established manufacturers feature LED task lighting under the lid, built-in windows for peeking without letting the heat ­escape, and Bluetooth temperature probes that ping your phone when that bourbon-­marinated tender­loin is cooked just right.

Last season, the grill giant Weber revamped its widely sold Genesis line for the first time in about a decade. Certain changes are improve­ments, such as moving the propane tank to the side to free up storage space under the cart. Others, not so much. The back panel of the LX cabinet models is attached with plastic fasteners instead of bolts, which could explain why it’s already coming off one of our test models through typical use.

“Construction quality varies widely among the models we tested,” says Cindy Fisher, Consumer Reports' grill test engineer. “Some are wobbly and made of lower-quality parts, while others feel solid from the lid down.” Her advice? Be sure to look at a grill’s construction and cross-reference our newly devised sturdiness score before you buy. 

Before You Buy

Of course, you don't just want a grill that's sturdy. If you've got questions about the size and style of grill you should buy, start with our gas grill buying guide. Zero in on the right size and configuration, then use our complete gas grill ratings to find the right fit for your yard. 

Choose a model that fares well in our evenness test if you cook a lot of burgers and hot dogs; they'll finish at the same time on a grill that heats evenly. Look for a high score in our preheat test to find a model that heats quickly and evenly. Grills with solid scores in our temperature range and indirect cooking tests can handle a broader variety of foods at a wide range of temperatures—think low temps for delicate items like fish and higher temps for pizza or searing steak. 

And last, look closely at features. They track pretty closely to price, with more expensive models offering more premium features. See our top picks for grills in every price range:

Best Gas Grills for $400 or Less

Best Gas Grills for $400 to $700

Best Gas Grills for $700 to $1,000

Best Gas Grills for $1,000 and Up

From the 'Consumer 101' TV Show

Sturdy construction, even heating, flare-up reduction—Consumer Reports' experts explain to 'Consumer 101' TV show host, Jack Rico, what to look for when buying a gas grill.