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Best Gas Grills for 2020 – Top Models for Every Budget Reviewed

Here are 10 of the best gas grills available on the market today, with helpful, unbiased reviews to help you decide if any are the right product for you.

Last Updated: October 16, 2020

Steak, burgers, onion and mushrooms being seared on a gas grill

In this article, we take a look at the best gas grills on the market today, that have the right mix of features and quality at a reasonable price.

We’ll talk about why you might want a gas grill (in case you’re still on the fence), what features you should look for when buying to match your needs, and of course, what to avoid.

If you love to cook outdoors, but you’re not interested in messing around with charcoal, or you have a charcoal grill but would also like the option of simply firing up at a moment’s notice, then you’re in the right place with our guide to the best gas grills in 2020.

There are so many models available to choose from, with a confusing array of options and prices ranging from under $100 up into the thousands. How will you know which one is best for you?

Easy – you find that out right here! So read on to find your new gas grill today.

Best Gas Grill Reviews

First up, we’re ready to present our number one choice for your grilling dollar.

1

Best Overall – Weber Genesis II E-310

♔ Best Choice

There are two kinds of people in this world: people who know how great a Weber barbecue is and people who just haven’t owned one yet. If you fall into the second category, now’s the time to find out what everyone else already knows.

First impressions of the Genesis II E-310 3 burner gas grill are very good; it looks solid, well built, spacious, and shiny. Available in either propane or natural gas, this reliable grill covers most of the bases the average griller requires.

Let’s start with the three available burners. It’s easy to set up different temperature zones across the 669 square inches of cooking space for searing and indirect cooking. This means you can get those grill marks and then shift your steak over to finish cooking through, or you can leave a roast on to cook by convection.

Unlike on cheaper grills, you’ll get consistent, even heat along the entire length of the burner – no more hot spots near the back! You’ll even get a bit of smoke added thanks to the flavorizer bars catching and burning off the drippings.

Speaking of drippings, anything that gets past the bars will be collected in a handy drip tray easily accessed under the cookbox.

Below the grease collector, you’ll find a convenient shelf (one of two) for storage, and there are hooks for hanging your tools.

The tank mounts under the right-side shelf, freeing up a lot of room. There are also six handy hooks for hanging your BBQ tools while you cook.

The cooking grates are made of porcelain-enameled cast iron and will not only conduct heat evenly, but they’ll also last for years with proper care.

The rest of the grill is made of stainless steel, and the lid is also porcelain-enameled. The whole grill is built to last.

Unique to Weber Genesis is the iGrill3 thermometer system. This model is iGrill3-ready, meaning it was designed to accommodate Weber’s proprietary Bluetooth thermometer.

Not an essential feature, but it’s nice to have, and we do highly recommend owning a digital thermometer. There’s a thermometer built into the lid, of course, but these are never accurate enough for determining if your meat is ready.

Main Features and Specs

  • Number Burners: 3
  • Ignition type: electronic rotary knob
  • BTU: 37,500
  • Heat Flux: 73.10
  • Primary Cooking Area: 513 square inches
  • Secondary Cooking Area: 156 square inches
  • Total Cooking Area: 669 square inches
  • Warranty (years): 10
  • 4 wheels – 2 fixed, 2 swiveling/locking casters
  • Middle wire rack with a removable drip tray
  • Snap-in lower shelf slats
  • 2 side tables – 1 folding, 1 fixed
  • 2 grates and Upper warming shelf
  • Propane gauge

Pros

  • Three burners are enough to create different heat zones.
  • Grease management system reduces the risk of flare ups, gunk build up, and is easy to clean.
  • Four wheels including 2 locking casters for easy maneuvering.

Cons

  • A lack of side/accessory burners limits your cooking options.
  • Storage area is generous, but an enclosed space is more practical for long-term storage.

This is one of those cases where enough boxes are ticked to make a product stand out. It isn’t the best gas grill at everything, but it is very good at everything it offers. Grilling on the Weber Genesis II E-310 will be a genuine pleasure, no matter your skill level.

There are bigger grills, cheaper ones, and those with more bells and whistles. But, you will not likely find a grill that functions as consistently at this quality level. For straight-up grilling, this is the gold standard.

Check out the detailed pictures and a short video at the supplied link. You could even jump right in, skip the rest of the article (though you shouldn’t, ‘cos it’s really good) and place your order now. We certainly wouldn’t blame you 😉

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2

Premium Pick – Weber Summit S-470

♔ Premium Pick

For some people, nothing but the absolute best will do. Maybe you’re made of money; maybe you just know a good investment when you see one. Whichever group you’re in, you will not be disappointed with this primo grill.

First impressions? WOW! Where to begin?

This is a gorgeous grill, an uber-professional looking ode to stainless steel. When it comes to impressing friends and neighbors, the shiny Summit S-470 scores huge points.

In terms of cooking, though, that’s where this model really shines.

All four main burners light individually with their own integrated ignition systems activated by the lit-up knobs – no holding down a button and waiting for a spark to catch. It’s easy to set up temperature zones for convection cooking, or searing and shifting to finish.

Did we say ‘searing’? If you love those grill marks, you’re going to flip for the dedicated searing zone for concentrated heat.

Like things slower? Flip up the rotisserie motor and turn some birds in front of their own infrared burner. There’s also a 12,000 BTU side burner for frying, boiling, and more. And, we’re in love with the built-in smoker box with its own burner. Now you’ve got the best of all worlds in a single barbecue.

The whole unit is solidly and carefully constructed with premium materials and craftsmanship. Weber knows this grill is an investment, and they want it to last. We wish the wheels were more robust, but we’re happy to see four of them.

Weber has provided a ton of convenient features, including two side shelves, six hooks, and a lot of storage inside the cabinet, including more hooks for the rotisserie pieces. Also inside the cabinet is the removable drip tray, where anything that isn’t burned off on the flavorizer bars will collect.

An LED fuel gauge keeps track of your propane supply (running out mid-cook sucks), and a light attached to the handle shines down on the grill every time you open the hood. Forgive the pun, but that’s a really bright idea.

Main Features and Specs

  • Number of Main Burners: 4
  • Secondary Burners: 1 side burner, 1 infrared rotisserie burner, 1 sear burner, 1 smoker burner
  • Ignition type: Individual electronic ‘Snap-Jet’
  • BTU: 48,800 main, 12,000 side, 10,600 rotisserie, 10, 600 sear, 8,000 smoker
  • Heat Flux: 104.27
  • Primary Cooking Space (Sq. In): 468
  • Secondary Cooking Space (Sq. In): 112
  • Total Cooking Space (Sq. In): 579
  • Warranty (years): 10
  • Hood thermometer
  • 4 swivel casters – 2 locking, 2 free rolling
  • Grease management system with removable drip tray
  • 2 fixed side shelves w/1 burner, 1 rotisserie motor
  • 2 grates and warming rack
  • Rotisserie spit and 4 rotisserie forks
  • Smoker box
  • Propane gauge

Pros

  • Light up knobs and grill light for evening/night grilling.
  • Lots of accessory burners so you can do more than just grill.
  • Closed in storage to protect your tools and accessories.
  • …Basically everything!

Cons

  • Side burner knob is lower quality than all the others (no integrated ignitor; have to depress to adjust flame height.)
  • Small casters may make it difficult to move on rough or uneven surfaces.

The Weber Summit 717001 S-470 is an extraordinary grill; there’s seriously not much it can’t do. You’ll have years of fun cooking your favorites and trying new things.

If it seems like a lot of money to spend, just think about everything you’re getting for your money, how often you’ll use it, and how long it will last. It’s a great investment and one of the very best gas grills out there.

You know you want to see more! Follow the link below to pictures, a video, and the chance to buy what might be the best grill you’ve ever owned.

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3

Best Budget-Friendly – Char-Broil Performance 300 2-Burner Cabinet Grill

♔ Budget Pick

Love to grill, but you’re sticking to a tighter budget than our top two picks allow? Or, are you more casual about your grilling and don’t feel the need to spend much on a barbecue? Then you’ll love our next pick!

Char-Broil has built a business out of making good quality, cost-effective gas grills for budget-minded consumers. They aren’t the very best grills out there, but that’s ok; not everyone needs the best. But no one needs the worst!

For casual grilling, this 2 burner grill is hard to beat.

At first glance, you might confuse the closed-cabinet style grill for some sort of tool locker for your garage or workshop. That’s actually not such a bad thing! It’s nice not to see the propane tank, and the cart looks durable and workman-like.

The stainless steel hood looks great, and we even like the position of the electronic ignitor, placed right between the two burner control knobs for aesthetically pleasing symmetry.

Under the hood of the Performance 300, you’ll find twin stainless steel burners and porcelain-coated cast iron grates. We’re happy about the quality of the grates, and they should last a long time.

With two burners, you’ll still be able to create temperature zones, though not as effectively as on a model with 3 or more. The warming rack is a nice bonus you won’t always find on a small grill, and it’s perfect for your buns, or doing up some veg while the meat cooks on the main grate.

The slide-out drip pan is another terrific convenience feature usually not found on budget grills. No soup-can-on-a-hook here!

Plus, you get two very generous fold-down side tables for holding your tools, condiments, seasonings, and food waiting to hit the grill. For more storage, just open the cabinet door and utilize any space that isn’t taken up by the propane tank.

For a more detailed look at this grill, you can view our dedicated Char-Broil performance 300 review. Or even check out the video below:

Main Features and Specs

  • Number of Main Burners: 2
  • Secondary Burners: 0
  • Ignition type: electronic push-button
  • BTU: 24,000
  • Heat Flux: 80
  • Primary Cooking Space (Sq. In): 300
  • Secondary Cooking Space (Sq. In): 100
  • Total Cooking Space (Sq. In): 400
  • Warranty (years): Burners – 5, Cookbox/Lid – 2, Other parts – 1
  • Hood thermometer
  • 4 casters – 2 locking, 2 free-rolling
  • Grease management system with removable drip tray
  • 2 folding side shelves
  • 2 grates and upper warming shelf

Pros

  • Large side tables for holding tools and plates – and they fold down out of the way.
  • Enclosed storage is neat and tidy-looking, and protects your tank from the elements.
  • 4 casters for easy repositioning.

Cons

  • The cooking area is too small for cooking more than a few items at a time.
  • Harder to establish different heat zones with only 2 burners.
  • Having wheels is great, but they’re really small and may not be patio-friendly.

Sometimes it’s ok to look at a product, nod your head and say, “Yup. That’s good enough.”

This is a nice little grill that packs a surprising number of quality features into a wallet-preserving package. To call the Char-Broil Performance 300 gas grill “no frills” would be selling it short; call it “low frills” instead.

We definitely like this product for what it is, and it’s proof that no one has to make do with a lousy grill.

Check out our top budget-friendly choice right here, read all about it, find the current price and owners reviews:

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4

Weber Spirit II E-310

Recommended

Not convinced our top pick is the one for you? Try this beauty on for size! It was a tough decision, and this fantastic grill didn’t come in second place by much.

Weber again? While we aren’t just shills for the brand, we do recognize a good product when we see it. And this is a damn good product.

Like all Weber gas grills, the Spirit II looks great just sitting there. It has clean lines, just enough stainless steel to look pro-grade, and the stand inspires confidence with its robust legs and large wheels. You can even choose from four hood colors: black, white, red, and sapphire.

The Spirit II E-310 3 burner gas grill offers many of the same excellent features as our top pick, the Genesis II E-310, but in a scaled-down package, and that’s what kept it from winning top spot as our choice for best gas grill.

For starters, you have the same high-grade burner tubes that burn evenly from end-to-end. This allows for consistent cooking temperatures across the entire grate. There are three of them, allowing for easy set up of temperature zones for searing and finishing, or convection cooking of larger cuts.

Here, too, is the handy grease management system making this grill easy to clean, which may actually be even more nicely packaged on the Spirit II than on the Genesis II.

Channeling all the grease drips into a single pan makes for easy clean up when you’re done. Between this and the flavorizer bars, which vaporize most drips and turn them into flavorful smoke, you’ll have almost no worries about flare-ups scorching your dinner.

The cooking grates are high-quality porcelain-enameled cast iron, that conduct heat and cook evenly, and will last for years with simple maintenance.

The Weber Spirit ii E-310 comes standard with numerous convenient features including twin side shelves (one folding), tool hooks, and a lower storage shelf. All of these features combine to provide a superior grilling experience, free of “where the heck am I going to put this down?” moments.

Propane models come with a fuel gauge, so you’ll never run dry and be left stranded – assuming you remember to check it. And, it’s set up for the iGrill3 thermometer system, a nifty add-on for Weber fans to monitor cook temperatures via Bluetooth on their phones.

Main Features and Specs

  • Number of Main Burners: 3
  • Ignition type: electronic push-button
  • BTU: 30,000
  • Heat Flux: 70.75
  • Primary Cooking Area: 424 square inches
  • Secondary Cooking Area: 105 square inches
  • Total Cooking Area: 529 square inches
  • Warranty (years): 10
  • Hood thermometer
  • 2 fixed wheels
  • Grease management system with removable drip tray
  • Snap-in lower shelf slats
  • 2 side shelves – 1 folding, 1 fixed
  • 2 grates and upper warming shelf
  • Propane gauge

Pros

  • 3 burners for creating different heat zones with ease.
  • Comes in 4 colors – choose your style or match your patio furniture.
  • High-quality materials and finish.
  • Grease is channeled into a tray for easy cleanup.

Cons

  • With only two wheels, moving it around will be a bit awkward.
  • No side burners for extra cooking space.
  • Storage area is smaller than some we looked at (but at least it’s there!)

There is a lot to like about this grill, even though there’s not actually a lot of it there. Though for the average family, it’s hard to imagine needing much more.

Operation will be simple (the Infinity Ignition system is SO easy to use!), consistent, and hassle-free. If you’re sick of cheap grills and want a barbecue that functions so smoothly you’ll end up taking it for granted, look no further than the Weber Spirit II E-310.

The only hard part will be choosing your color!

You can peruse the color choices, and inspect detailed pictures of the grills many features at the link provided.

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5

Bull Outdoor Products Angus Cart

Recommended

There really are some exceptional grills in this category. So many that we couldn’t recommend just one. Here’s our number 2 pick that’s anything but number 2.

Even if you don’t cook like one, you’ll look like a professional griller with this thing in your yard.

Clean lines and all-stainless steel construction make the Bull Angus Cart look like something out of a commercial kitchen. It looks solid and serious, and we like it.

With four cast-stainless steel propane gas burners spread out over a generous 1,020 square inches of cooking space, there is a ton of room here for everything from a burger for everyone on the team to roasts and poultry slowly cooking.

You’ll set up temperature zones with ease, plus you can pop a bird on the rotisserie and let the dedicated infrared burner cook it to perfection.

We fully expect this grill to last a very long time. It’s made from some of the best stuff there is – 16-gauge, 304 stainless steel. Yes, there are heavier gauges, but we’re not talking about an airplane here. This is very good for this application. Plus, there are two layers of it on the hood for even better heat retention.

Check out the casters, too; these are really heavy-duty and should hold up to plenty of movement.

There are two integrated hooks on each side shelf, and a towel bar on each, as well. Inside the double doors, you find additional storage space for your tools and accessories.

Since the pull-out drip tray is above the storage area, it won’t interfere with storage.

Inside the cookbox, twin lights will keep you grilling long into those warm summer evenings, or those way-too-early winter nights.

Main Features and Specs

  • Number of Main Burners: 4
  • Secondary Burners: 1 infrared back burner rotisserie
  • BTU: 60,000 main, 15,000 infrared
  • Heat Flux: 74.07
  • Primary Cooking Area (Sq. In): 810
  • Secondary Cooking Area (Sq. In): 210
  • Total Cooking Area (Sq. In): 1,020
  • Warranty (years): Grates – lifetime; burners – 20; heat shields, flame tamers, warming rack, manifold, lid handles and caps – 3; all other parts – 1
  • Hood thermometer
  • 4 casters – 2 fixed, 2 swivel/locking
  • Grease management system with removable drip tray
  • 2 fixed side shelves
  • 4 grates and warming rack
  • 2 internal lights
  • Rotisserie spit, motr and 2 rotisserie forks

Pros

  • Heavy-duty casters for easy maneuvering around the patio.
  • Rotisserie included with its own burner.
  • Closed off, vented storage space under the cookbox.

Cons

  • No side burners for cooking extras.
  • With the rotisserie in place, you lose a lot of workspace.
  • No fuel tank gauge for keeping track of your propane situation.

The Bull Outdoor Products 44001 Angus Cart is an exceptional grill. The burners are second-to-none, and the overall materials and construction are virtually flawless.

There are fewer ‘extra’ features than we might expect on a high-end unit (Bull sells separate side burners and other accessories as part of their lineup of outdoor kitchen products), but it’s so well made it’s hard to be too upset.

If you value longevity and performance over anything else, your money will be well invested in this grill.

Get to know this outstanding barbecue in detail by clicking the link to pics and specs, current price and owner reviews:

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6

Monument Grills Stainless Steel 4 Burner w/Side Sear Burners

Recommended

Without question, this is a great looking gas grill. With stainless steel as far as the eye can see and a pair of neat and tidy doors on the storage area, plus LED-lit control knobs, it sure seems like a high-end product.

Surprisingly, it actually falls in the moderate price category.

The main grill is quite wide, so there’s a lot of room for cooking for a crowd. The porcelain-coated cast iron grates are durable and give good heat distribution.

Down below, there are four swiveling and locking casters – the only model we reviewed with this feature. Rolling around on the deck should be a breeze.

With four main stainless steel propane gas burners putting out 12,000 BTUs each, you’ll establish different heat zones with ease (the classic is two outside burners on, and two inside burners off for great convection cooking).

Additionally, you get not one, but two side burners – one for searing and one for less intense cooking. If you want to do steaks for two, you might not even need the main cookbox. You could also do a reverse sear without sacrificing main grill space.

The slide-out drip pan is accessed from the back, which isn’t optimal, but at least there is one. There’s a second, smaller one under the sear burner that you can get at from the front.

Additional features include ample storage behind a pair of doors, a hood thermometer, and four hooks on the right shelf for your tools. We really like the light-up knobs, with their cool blue glow – perfect for night grilling!

If rotisserie is your thing, Monument Grills sells a separate kit that is compatible with the 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill.

Main Features and Specs

  • Number of Main Burners: 4
  • Secondary Burners: 1 side burner, 1 side sear burner
  • Ignition type: Push-button electronic
  • BTU: 48,000 main, 24,000 combined sides
  • Heat Flux: 93.57
  • Primary Cooking Area (Sq. In): 513
  • Secondary Cooking Area (Sq. In): 210
  • Total Cooking Area (Sq. In): 723
  • Warranty (years): Burners – 8, rest of the grill – 1
  • Hood thermometer
  • 4 locking swivel casters
  • Grease management system with removable drip tray
  • 2 fixed side shelves – 1 w/side burner, 1 w/ceramic sear burner
  • 3 grates and warming rack

Pros

  • One of the largest main cooking areas we reviewed, with lots of burners meaning lots of ways to cook.
  • Lots of bonus features for a modestly-priced grill.

Cons

  • Casters never roll as well as wheels.
  • Stainless steel is very thin.

If you covet the high-end grills but don’t want to spend the money, the Monument Grills Stainless Steel 4-Burner may be your solution. Certainly, that’s what the manufacturer is aiming for.

Do not, however, expect to get Weber-like performance from this grill; you do tend to get pretty much what you pay for. But, it’s still a good-looking, perfectly functional product with some sweet bonus features that make it more than worth considering.

Want to know more? Browse pics, stats, and a video just by following the link. You can place your order when you’re done, if you’re so inclined, and get this really nifty grill for yourself.

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7

Napoleon Prestige P500RSIBSS

Recommended

Image credit: napoleon.com

  • Excellent build quality and great looking bit of kit
  • 85,000 BTU…some serious grilling power!
  • Dual level stainless steel sear plates for ultimate control
  • Infrared side burner for searing or cooking sauces.
  • Infrared rotisserie burner
  • Can purchase a charcoal tray separately for authentic BBQ flavor on a gas grill

Just in case you thought Weber had the monopoly on mid-range to lower high-end grills, Napoleon is here to make you think again.

The Prestige Series grills are all excellent, but we especially love the P500RSIBSS. Take one glance at the stainless steel construction and you’ll have some idea why; this is a sharp-looking grill that says, “Hey. I know what I’m doing. My steaks will be delicious.”

Under the hood, you’ll discover Napoleon’s innovative wave grates. The curvy lines are meant to create additional surface area for more even cooking. Yes, you give up the traditional straight grill marks, but so what? As long as it tastes amazing!

Here you’ll also find one of two infrared burners, this one for the included rotisserie. Roast chicken, anyone?

The other infrared burner is built into the left side table. Here, on a miniature wave grill, you can sear steaks, chops, and more to perfection before finishing on the main cooking area. In fact, thin cuts can be seared and finished to a gorgeous medium-rare here with ease. Turn down the heat to use the 14,000 BTU side burner for sides, sauces, and more delicate items.

Convenience features are plentiful, including a slide-out grease catcher, a lid that pivots at the center instead of hinging at the back for easy opening, light-up control knobs for night grilling, and storage in an enclosed base. The twin side shelves each feature three hooks and a towel bar for holding your gear while you pause to chat or enjoy a beverage.

Not included, but available as a highly recommended option, is Napoleon’s exclusive charcoal tray. Designed to fit perfectly in the Prestige 500RSIBSS’s cook box and tuning this gasser into a charcoal grill, you can actually cook with charcoal inside your gas grill for that back-to-basics experience and delicious smoky flavor. Now, that is very cool, and just one more awesome reason to buy this grill.

Main Features and Specs

  • Number of Main Burners: 4
  • Secondary Burners: 1 infrared side, 1 infrared rear
  • Ignition type: Electronic “Jet Fire” system
  • BTU: 48,000 main, 18,000 rotisserie, 14,000 side
  • Heat Flux: 96
  • Primary Cooking Area (Sq. In): 500
  • Secondary Cooking Area (Sq. In): 260 warming rack, 133 side grate)
  • Total Cooking Area (Sq. In): 893
  • Warranty (years): Stainless steel base, lid, grates – lifetime; burners, sear plates, rotisserie burner – 10 years full, 50% off for life; all other parts – 2 years
  • Hood thermometer
  • 4 casters – 2 swivel, 2 swivel/locking
  • Grease management system with removable drip tray
  • 2 side shelves – 1 fixed w/infrared burner, 1 folding
  • 2 ‘wave’ grates and warming rack
  • Rotisserie spit, motor and 2 rotisserie forks

Pros

  • All-stainless steel construction for maximum longevity.
  • The ability to sear on the side without using main grate space.
  • Rotisserie included for perfect chicken.

Cons

  • Not including the charcoal accessory is a little stingy.
  • We really prefer wheels to casters, but for a deck or a cement pad that’s not a big deal.

It’s very hard to say something negative about the Napoleon Prestige P500RSIBSS-1 gas grill. This is easily one of the most versatile and dependable models we’ve seen.

It offers a premium grilling experience at a price that’s pretty good for everything you get. As a long-term investment in outdoor cooking, it’s difficult to do better.

Ready to dive in and make it your own? Just follow the link for more pics (there’s a blue-lidded version, too!) and details, and to order one today.

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8

Char-Broil Classic 405 4-Burner

Recommended

Do you like burgers, dogs, sausages, chicken pieces, steak, and chops? For a classic cookout, this basic grill is all you need.

We won’t lie – it’s not impressive to look at, but you can tell right away it’s a classic, simple barbecue. Nothing wrong with that!

For a small grill, there’s surprising versatility under the hood. There’s enough space on the grate to cook plenty of hamburgers or steaks at a time, enough to feed an average-size family.

With four burners, you can even set up multiple heat zones and do some searing and finishing, or roast some larger cuts or chicken.

Since this is a budget grill, it’s light on accessories and bonus features. You do, however, get two more-than-ample side shelves for resting your tools, condiments, rubs, etc.

There’s also a swinging warming rack under the porcelain-coated steel lid for getting your buns toasty and for keeping finished food from cooling off outside.

Main Features and Specs

  • Number of Main Burners: 4
  • Secondary Burners: 0
  • Ignition type: Piezo system (non-electronic sparking)
  • BTU: 32,000
  • Heat Flux: 79
  • Primary Cooking Area (Sq. In): 405
  • Secondary Cooking Area (Sq. In): 190
  • Total Cooking Area (Sq. In): 595
  • Warranty (years): Burners – 5; cookbox and lid – 2; all other parts – 1
  • 2 fixed wheels
  • Grease cup and clip
  • 2 fixed side shelves
  • 1 grate and warming rack

Pros

  • Steel shelves instead of the plastic ones seen on some low-cost grills.
  • Four burners for lots of cooking and multiple temperature zones.
  • A good length, confidence inspiring warranty period

Cons

  • No extras like side burners, or even hooks (but it will accommodate an optional rotisserie.)
  • Tubular carts are not as sturdy as other options.

For many casual grillers, a basic but functional unit like the Char-Broil Classic 405 is all they really need. It isn’t fancy, but it is reliable, and it’ll get the job done.

With four burners for some cooking options, there’s enough here to keep the burgers-and-dogs-with-the-occasional-roast crowd happy all summer long. For the price they’re asking, you can’t really go wrong.

You can mull this one over as you read through some sales copy and specs, and look at a few more detailed pictures. Order one, while you’re at it, have it dropped off right at your doorstep, and satisfy that BBQ craving!

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Factors to Consider When Buying a Gas Grill

man grilling over gas grill

Here are some key factors to think about to help you narrow the field from the many thousands of features and options available today.

What do You Intend to Cook?

If having a bit of barbecue means only searing medium rare steaks, grilling chicken breasts, or flipping burgers and dogs, you don’t need to break the bank.

Any typical, low-featured gas grill will do the job. You’ll want to focus more on general build quality and adequate surface area than on the variety of burner types.

If you’re looking to mix things up with ribs and roasts, you’ll need to aim a little higher.

Not only will you require a lot of grilling real estate, but you’ll also want a high-grade unit with reliable temperature control, and probably options for rotisserie and side searing.

Essential Features

large 6 burner gas grill on a wooden deck

The following are some of the features we think should be on just about everybody’s grill.

Side Burners

There’s more to barbecuing than just grilling the meat. When the weather is fine, it’s a total outdoor experience, and it’s a shame to have to leave the yard.

With a side burner (or two), you can cook your side dishes at the same time as you’re roasting or grilling the main attraction.

Quality Ignition System

Before there’s fire, there must be a spark!

Waiting for a low-quality ignitor to light the gas is not only annoying it’s also wasteful and potentially dangerous. The more time that passes before ignition, the more gas builds up, and the more likely a fireball becomes.

Choose a reliable ignition system and leave the matches in the box. Our preference is for electronic starters, but a good Piezo sparker is ok, too.

Grill Hood

Yes, there are good and bad grill hoods. Look for one with plenty of space and height, that has room for good convection cooking, necessary for roasting and big cuts of meat.

A double lining is a nice feature for heat retention, which is key to good convection cooking. Also, looking to the outside of the grill, choose one with a handle that won’t get hot.

Flavorizer Bars or Diffusers

The bane of good grilling is flare-ups. These happen when grease or juice from the meat drips onto the burners and catches fire. A flare-up can burn a good piece of meat to an inedible crisp in seconds.

To prevent, or at least minimize flare-ups, you absolutely must have some kind of barrier between the burners and your food.

This could take the form of a diffuser that spreads out the heat, or flavorizer bars for turning those juices into a bit of tasty smoke.

Non-Essential but Convenient Features

gas grill with sink isolated on white
Thiunk carefully – Do you really need eveything, including the kitchen sink?

These are what we call the “nice-to-haves” – they aren’t deal-breakers, but they can make grilling a better experience.

Extra Storage and Workspace

You never know how much you need work and storage space until you don’t have it.

At minimum, get yourself a grill with side shelves for resting your condiments, sauces, rubs, tools, drinks, etc. while you tend to the food. Hooks for hanging your tools are also a godsend sometimes.

You might also want storage space underneath. This is great for stashing stuff you want every time you grill, but need to keep out of the rain and/or snow.

Quality Grates

Crappy grates suck. There’s no way to put it any plainer than that. They rust, they flake, and they ruin food.

Stainless steel grates or porcelain-enameled cast iron are both durable in the short term, and they’ll last a long time if properly used and cared for.

Avoid cheap, flimsy metal and thin coatings.

Good Burners

The burners in a gas grill have a tough job, what with the constant fire blasting out of them. Low-quality burners may rust over time or weaken from the heat. Your best bets are burner tubes constructed of brass or cast iron, or even heavy-duty aluminum.

Lower grade grills may use thin stainless steel. This is great for keeping costs down, but it’s really bad for longevity.

Fuel Gauge

Unlike with charcoal, you can’t tell just by looking if you’re running low on fuel if you cook with propane. Fortunately, some clever soul invented the fuel gauge.

Choose a grill that comes equipped with a gauge and never get caught short.

Rotisserie Attachment

Once the grilling bug bites, you’ll find yourself wanting to expand your repertoire of techniques. Soon, you’ll be experimenting with stuff like cedar planks and gas griddles. A rotisserie is another fun option that many grills come with.

Typically positioned at the back of the grill, and often equipped with its own burner, a rotisserie is amazing for slow-roasting meat enely, especially poultry and fowl.

Infrared Burner

If cooking a steak in a matter of minutes sounds ideal to you, you might enjoy having an infrared burner.

These burners work a little differently than standard burner tubes. Instead of cooking directly over the flame, food rests over a solid surface, typically made of ceramic or glass, which absorbs heat from the flames and then radiates infrared energy into the food.

Infrared burners cook evenly and quickly thanks to the very high temperatures they can reach. Yes, you can turn them down and cook veggies, too, but they’re best reserved for rapid searing and cooking of burgers and thin cuts of meat.

Think About Materials and Build Quality

When you spend your hard-earned money on something (we’re assuming you work hard for it – we surely do!), you expect it to last a reasonable amount of time. Your best odds are with a gas grill made of quality materials and assembled with skill and care.

Many cheaper models are made of very flimsy metal painted to look like the good stuff. Cheap grills will rust quickly and/or leak so much heat that they have a hard time cooking in a reasonable amount of time.

Signs of a well-built grill include solid welds and cookboxes made of single pieces of stamped metal.

Look for terms like, “porcelain-enameled cast iron,” and “304 stainless steel” to know you’re getting high-end features – especially if you’re paying high-end prices!

Portability – Need Wheels?

gas grill with wheels isolated on white
If you will move your gas grill around, wheels are essential!

A propane grill is a self-contained cooking unit, and unless you’ve bought an outdoor kitchen-style model, you might want to move it sometimes.

If you think you’ll be stashing your grill in storage occasionally, or that you might want to change locations from time to time (maybe to stay in -or out- of the sun?), consider a unit with wheels.

Choose solid-looking wheels that won’t crack easily, and will roll easily over pavers or decks. The bigger the better if you have really rough or uneven surfaces. For smooth decks or cement pads, casters should be just fine.

BTU Level / Heat Flux

BTU (which stands for British Thermal Unit) has long been the measurement of choice for grilling power. Specifically, 1 BTU is the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of a pound of water by 1 Fahrenheit at sea level.

In truth, it’s not really a measurement of heat generated. When you read the BTU specs for a grill, you’re really learning how much gas a unit burns through at maximum output in an hour.

A more efficient grill will get more heat out of less gas than a less efficient one. So, while the less efficient model might have a big BTU number to grab your attention, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to be hotter or cook better than a grill with lower BTUs.

How, then, can we know how hot the grill will get? By knowing its heat flux.

Simply put, heat flux is a measurement of the BTUs per square inch (divide the BTUs by the cooking surface area in square inches.)

This is a much better, though still not perfect, indication of how much heat a grill produces.

The average score of our 10 choices is about 85. If you’re really into fast, high-heat cooking, look for heat flux around this level or higher. If you have a little more patience, a lower score is ok – especially if there’s a searing burner included.

Size

Think about how many people you plan to cook for – how many burgers, steaks, or whatever, will you want to be able to grill at the same time? While there might only be two of you most of the time, maybe you’d like to leave room for the possibility of entertaining?

You’ve also got to figure out where the grill is going to be situated in your yard. Do you have the space to accommodate the footprint of the model you want?

There’s no point buying a giant ‘cue to impress the neighbors if you can’t park it anywhere. If you feel you do need a smaller model, check out our guide to the best small grills.

Remember too that you must keep your grill away from plastic surfaces and siding, so you have to plan for free space AROUND your grill too.

Budget

Your budget is your business. The good news is there’s a grill to suit every price point.

What you might want to consider, however, is what extra features might be worth stretching the budget for. Or, maybe you could save a few bucks by going with fewer options, especially if you don’t think you’ll use them much?

Fuel – Propane or Natural Gas?

gas grill with propane bottle
Propane is more flexible and portable, but natural gas is cheaper and more convenient.

When it comes to gas grills, you’ve got two choices with fuel: propane or natural gas. Or, possibly you have no choice at all – natural gas isn’t available everywhere.

If you’ve already got a hook-up installed, then going with natural may be an easy decision. They’re convenient, as they never run out of fuel. If you’d have to have it put in, though, you’ll need to decide what’s best for you.

Is there a good place to have the line run to? Will it be cost-prohibitive? Do you want to be tethered to a single spot for grilling?

Propane is the most flexible, but natural gas is incredibly convenient. Think carefully before making your choice. By the way, some grills can be converted from propane to natural gas, giving you the freedom to opt-in to LNG cooking later on.

Or maybe you’re still on the fence about a gas at all and are considering a charcoal grill? If so, be sure to check out our guide to charcoal vs gas grills which should help you make the right decision once and for all.

The End of the (Gas) Line

That does it for our look at the best gas grills for 2020. There really is something for everyone on this list, no matter your gas grilling skill level or budget. In fact, you just might find the grill you never knew you really wanted.

Just remember to pick the grill that best suits your needs, both current and future.

If there’s anything we didn’t cover that you want to know, please fill out our contact form or drop us a line in the comments below. We will absolutely do our very best to answer every question and address every concern that comes across our virtual desks.

Don’t forget to join us online for even more chances to interact with us, and others in the BBQ community – look for the links to your favorite social channels below.

Thanks for choosing us for your grilling education. We are literally nothing without you!

Happy grilling!

Professional member of the NBGA (National Barbecue and Grilling Association)

I'm a self-proclaimed BBQ nut, and the founder and chief editor here at Food Fire Friends.

I love cooking outdoors over live fire and smoke whatever the weather, using various grills, smokers, and wood-fired ovens to produce epic food. My goal with this site is to help as many people as possible enjoy and be good at doing the same.

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10 Comments

Mike Shevlin

Awesome article.

Reply

Mark Jenner (Author)

Thanks 🙂

Reply

Craig

Hey Mark. Amazon don’t seem to sell the Napoleon grills anymore. I clicked through and every single one is not available. Where might you suggest to buy them from?

Reply

Mark Jenner (Author)

Thanks, Craig.

Yes, seems none of the Napoleons are for sale on Amazon right now. I would guess they either have supply problems, or are pulling out from selling there. Not sure. I’ll monitor what happens over the coming weeks.

For another place to purchase, BBQGuys.com are a large, reliable store that stock a large part of their range. I would try there myself. Bets of luck…let me know what you purchase, if you do. I love a good ‘new grill story’ 🙂

Reply

Bobby

You really should check out Memphis grills if you want to see the very best.

Reply

Mark Jenner (Author)

Hi Bobby,

It’s my understanding they are wood pellet grills only? They’re certainly very high end, and a quality product, but they wouldn’t qualify for this list.

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Donald Volkers

Very nice article, totally what I needed.

Reply

Mark Jenner (Author)

Thanks, Donald.

Reply

matt

I am torn between 2 grills that i am looking to purchase. Was trying to get some professional opinions. Napoleon Prestige 500 vs weber genesis II- Special Edition SE335. (9mm stainless grates and grill light). Both seem to get great reviews. Please help. what is your opinion

Reply

Mark Jenner (Author)

Hi Matt,

Ass you’ve rightfully said, both get great reviews, so it comes down to personal preference really, and I’m sure you’d be happy with either. Distinguishing features is looks first and foremost. The Napoleon is stainless steel, with bright lights a plenty, the weber is nowhere near as ‘in your face.’ Depends what you prefer. The Weber has a slightly larger cooking surface area, but the Napoelon comes with a built in IR burner and rotisserie, which could be a very useful feature if you feel you’d like to venture into that form of cooking.

So yes, sorry I cannot tell you which is best for you, they are both great and I’d be happy with either.

Reply