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Best Natural Gas Grills – Ultimate Buying Guide and Top Models in 2019

Although 64 percent of today’s gas grill owners in America use propane grills, natural gas is fast becoming the preferred fuel of choice.

Natural gas grills, unlike their propane counterparts, connect directly to the gas system supplying your home.

This means the supply is unlimited, there’s no heading out to swap canisters or to restock up on your fuel, and any risks of running out of fuel during a cook are completely removed.

As they’re becoming increasingly popular, so many options and variants are now available for you to choose from, so we decided to put this ultimate guide to the best natural gas grills together, to help people in their search.

Side view of burgers cooking on a natural gas grill

In this article, we first take a look at what natural gas is, the difference between it and propane, the benefits to cooking with natural gas, before taking a detailed look at what you should look for in the best natural gas grill for you.

We end the article with a roundup and mini-reviews of some of the best models available on the market today.

At a Glance: Our Recommendations for Best Natural Gas Grills

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon.

Best Natural Gas Grills – Our Top Recommendations at Different Price Points

As natural gas grills are becoming increasingly popular, a wide selection is now available in different categories.

To make your search easier, here is our selection of the best natural gas grills at different price points, with different features…and of course our obligatory ‘top pick overall.’

Best Overall—Weber Spirit Ii E-310 Ng Outdoor Gas Grill

Weber 49010001 Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Natural Gas Grill, Black

Combining performance, quality, and functionality, this natural gas grill is suitable for most families.

Offering a decade-long warranty, Weber is renowned for its durable products. Although compact, it gives you plenty of cooking space for four to six people.

Three burners will also give you the flexibility to cook even your most delicate food items through indirect cooking. The temperature gauge and high-quality grates will assist you in getting the best sear, while the porcelain-enameled cast iron material makes this grill easy to clean and maintain.

The Spirit ii E-310 is easy to assemble for most and gathers all the necessary technology for a successful grillout. A bright red hood gives a nice splash of color and fun at first glance. If red isn’t your thing, you can also choose from blue, white, or black.

What’s in the Box

You’ll find everything you need and more included.

Three powerful burners, high-quality grates, and a warming rack for additional cooking space.

The compact cart has six useful hooks, a temperature gauge, a lower open shelf and two side shelves for additional storage.

Features

  • 10-year warranty.
  • Porcelain-enameled grates and flavorizer bars.
  • Three high-quality burners.
  • Compact size, fitting small backyards.
  • 10-foot hose included.
  • Two large wheels for easy transport.
  • Six hooks to hang grilling tools.
  • Two side shelves.
  • Temperature gauge.
  • Warming rack.

Manufacturer’s Specifications

  • Number of main burners:
  • Secondary burners:
  • Ignition type: Infinity ignition.
  • BTUs: 30,000.
  • Primary cooking area: 424 sq. inches.
  • Secondary cooking area: 105 sq. inches.
  • Total cooking area: 529 sq. inches.
  • Build materials: Cast iron, porcelain-coated cooking grates.
  • Dimensions:5 inches by 52 inches by 27 inches.
  • Warranty: 10 years.

What We Like

  • Available in four fun colors.
  • Good heat distribution.
  • Three burners allowing indirect cooking.
  • Easy to clean.

What We Don’t Like

  • Thin lid.
  • No side handles to help move the grill.
  • Amazon’s free assembly service isn’t available in all areas.

Summary

If you’re looking for a compact grill to cook for your family or a small group of friends, the Weber Spirit E-310 might be a good match.

Made with durable materials and thoughtfully designed, you should be able to entertain guests for years to come on this product.

To learn more about this popular portable gas grill, please click here.

 

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Runner up to Best Overall – Napoleon Triumph 3 Burner NG Grill

Napoleon T410SBNK Triumph Natural Gas Grill with 3 Burners, Black and Stainless Steel

This grill fits well into small spaces, while providing both a large cooking area and durability. The three stainless steel burners don’t only facilitate easy cleaning, they appear to heat up faster than other grills, allowing optimum searing.

The compact design doesn’t give up on grilling space. The extra large primary cooking space is able to grill up to 25 burgers at once, while the additional warming rack and side burner allow different cooking styles.

On opening the box, it’s slick and elegant design immediately stands out, easily matching any backyard style and design. Easy to assemble, you should be able to start your first grilling session within an hour.

Durable stainless steel material is found throughout, making it sturdy and easy to clean and maintain.

What’s in the Box

In addition to the three burners, warming rack, and the side burner, the cart comes with four wheels, making it a breeze to move around. The two-door cabinet gives you plenty of storage space.

This grill also includes useful accessories such as a bottle opener, a built-in temperature gauge, and hooks to hang your grilling tools.

Features

  • Cart includes two closed doors for storage space.
  • Three high-quality burners.
  • Warming rack.
  • Side burner with cover.
  • Extra large cooking space.
  • Integrated bottle opener and hooks.
  • Durable stainless steel cart and side shelves.
  • Four wheels.
  • Built-in temperature gauge.

Manufacturer’s Specifications

  • Number of main burners:
  • Secondary burners:
  • Ignition type: Jetfire ignition system.
  • BTUs: 44,700.
  • Primary cooking area: 550 sq. inches.
  • Secondary cooking area: 85 sq. inches.
  • Total cooking area: 635 sq. inches.
  • Build materials: Porcelain-coated cast iron grates.
  • Dimensions:5 inches by 22 inches by 45 inches.
  • Warranty: 5 to 10 years, depending on the part.

What We Like

  • Compact, yet offering large cooking capacity.
  • The integrated bottle opener is a fun touch.
  • Sturdy construction.
  • Easy to wheel around..
  • Independent controls allow different cooking methods.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Heats up fast.
  • Easy to light.
  • Classy design and style.

What We Don’t Like

  • A bit heavy for some, weighing 100 pounds.
  • The hood is made of different parts, not best for optimal heat retention.

Summary

If durability, movability, and grilling ability are important qualities for your next natural gas barbecue, this Napoleon grill might be one to consider.

For more details on this versatile, space-saving outdoor cooker, click here.

 

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Best Mid-Priced—Weber Genesis Ii E-410 Natural Gas Grill, Four-Burner

Weber 62010001 Genesis II E-410 LP Gas Grill, Black

If you have a big backyard and need a simple, but large grill that can feed a large number of hungry friends at once, this might be your go-to model.

When hosting large parties, the last thing you need is a barbecue that won’t start, leading to frustration. With this grill’s battery-operated ignition system, a push of a button gets it rolling.

The individual ignition systems of one per burner also provide better control over cooking styles and heat. Weber is so confident about its ignition system’s quality that it’s guaranteed for 10 years.

The high-quality burners, along with the porcelain-coated cooking grates, give one of the most even heat distributions on the natural gas grill market.

Because of its large size, it’s preferable to seek a friend’s help while assembling this grill. The smoky, red, copper, or black hoods would fit most patio designs and give this barbecue a unique touch.

What’s in the Box

The Weber E-410 is a simple grill which comes with an extra large cooking space (four burners and a warming rack) with separate ignition systems, and an extra thick lid to retain heat.

The grill also features two wheels and two locking casters, making it easier to move, although at 200 pounds, it’s still not easy.

As a bonus, convenient hooks are included, to hang your grilling utensils while you cook.

Features

  • Four stainless steel burners.
  • Porcelain-enameled flavorizer bars and cooking grates.
  • Hanging hooks.
  • Extra large cooking space.
  • Double-layered hood for better heat retention.
  • Warming rack which can be tucked away when not in use.
  • Separate ignition systems for each burner.
  • Two wheels plus two casters.

Manufacturer’s Specifications

  • Number of main burners:
  • Secondary burners:
  • Ignition type: Infinity ignition.
  • BTUs: 48,000.
  • Primary cooking area: 646 sq. inches.
  • Secondary cooking area: 198 sq. inches.
  • Total cooking area: 844 sq. inches.
  • Build materials: Stainless steel burners, porcelain-coated flavorizer bars.
  • Dimensions: 33 inches by 39 inches by 26 inches.
  • Warranty: 10 years.

What We Like

  • Easy to start and use.
  • Available in different colors to match the style of your backyard.
  • Open cart design for easy storage.
  • Sturdy construction.
  • Even heat.

What We Don’t Like

  • Side burner not included.
  • Open design cart lets dirt in and can attract nocturnal creatures.
  • Even with the wheels & casters, it’s hard to move due to the weight.

Summary

Although basic, the Weber E-410 has everything you need for most get-togethers. As it comes with one of the best warranties, you won’t have to worry about replacing parts through the years. And as it’s quite large, click here to ensure that its measurements will fit your backyard before you buy.

 

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Mid-Priced Runner up—Napoleon Grills Prestige 500 Natural Gas Grill, Stainless Steel

Napoleon Grills Prestige 500 Natural Gas Grill, Stainless Steel

Are you a master griller looking for the best gas grill, with all the bells and whistles to level up your barbecue game?

Mixing stainless steel gas burners and the newest infrared technology, this Napoleon grill gives you the flexibility to cook extra-juicy meat in eight different ways.

With a cooking capacity of 38 burgers—30 in the main cooking area and eight on the side burner—you shouldn’t have any issue extending your guest list.

Soon after opening the box, you’ll quickly realize that Napoleon has invested in quality material both inside and outside of the grill.

The infrared technology won’t only save you gas, it also heats faster and doesn’t dry up your meat, keeping it more succulent and tastier. And the stainless steel cart and parts make it extremely resistant to corrosion and rust.

We also love the wave-shaped grates, they give unique and uncommon searing marks to your meat, while adding a bit of visual style.

What’s in the Box

The extra large cooking space on the Prestige 500 includes four burners, two infrared burners (side and rear), and a warming rack. This grill even includes a high-quality rotisserie kit making it one of the most versatile and complete grills on our list.

The towel bar and the two door cabinet provides a convenient and well-needed storage space.

Features

  • Rotisserie kit included.
  • Warming rack.
  • Wave rod grates.
  • Large cooking space—four main burners and a 9-inch deep warming rack.
  • Includes a 10-foot natural gas hose and a brass connector.
  • Integrated towel bar which can also be used to hold your drink.
  • One infrared rear
  • One infrared side burner.
  • Two sturdy side shelves.

Manufacturer’s Specifications

  • Number of main burners:
  • Secondary burners: One rear burner, one side burner.
  • Ignition type: Jetfire ignition system.
  • BTUs: 48,000.
  • Total cooking area: 760 sq. inches.
  • Build Materials: Stainless steel grates and construction.
  • Dimensions:2 inches by 64.2 inches by 50.2 inches.
  • Warranty: 5 years to lifetime warranty, depending on the part.

What We Like

  • Efficient side burner reaching 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit in just seconds.
  • Durable and easy to clean.
  • Infrared technology.
  • Versatile grill allowing all cooking methods.

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavy.
  • Heats very quickly and beginners might need time to adapt.
  • Doesn’t include smoker function.

Summary

If you’re wanting to take your grilling skills to the next level and looking for a functional natural gas grill, this is it.

To find out more about this product and its infrared technology, please click here.

 

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Best High End—Weber Summit S-470 Stainless-Steel 580-Square-Inch Natural-Gas Grill

Weber Summit 7270001 S-470 Stainless-Steel 580-Square-Inch 48,800-BTU Natural-Gas Grill

If you’re serious about grilling, have a high budget, want close to the best with money no object, then this high-end Weber just might be what you’re looking for.

From infrared burners to stainless steel grates, the quality of the material used speaks volumes about the quality. And if any issues arise, Weber backs you up with a 10-year warranty.

Beyond the standard features, for those who prefer to grill at night, this grill’s included light system is a nice touch to support your endeavors.

The metallic smoker box—where you’ll place wood chips—sits on its own dedicated burner and gives food that extra flavor your guests will rave about.

This fully-loaded grill does have quite a large footprint and will take you some time to assemble. If you don’t want this hassle, many online retailers offer an assembly service.

What’s in the Box

This high-end grill should give you plenty of space to grill 20 burgers at once. Included are four main burners, a sear station burner, and a rotisserie kit which even comes with its own storage area.

The smoker box gives this grill that extra professional touch.

A lighting system, six hooks, and a built-in thermometer are convenient accessories, taking the list of desirable features a step further.

Features

  • Individual ignition systems.
  • Side burner.
  • Six hooks.
  • Sear station burner.
  • The infrared rotisserie kit includes a flip-up motor and separate storage area.
  • Smoker box.
  • Built-in thermometer.
  • High-quality stainless steel cooking grates
  • Two side shelves.
  • Two lights incorporated into handle for night grilling.
  • 10-foot hose included.

Manufacturer’s Specifications

  • Number of main burners:
  • Secondary burners:
  • Ignition type: Snap-jet battery operated ignition system.
  • BTUs: 48,800 BTUs total.
  • Side burner: 12,000 BTUs.
  • Sear station burner: 10,600 BTUs.
  • Smoker burner: 6,800 BTUs.
  • Infrared rotisserie burner: 10,600 BTUs.
  • Primary cooking area: 468 sq. inches.
  • Secondary cooking area: 112 sq. inches.
  • Total cooking area: 580 sq. inches.
  • Build materials: Stainless steel cooking grates, burners, and flavorizer bars. cast aluminum cook box.
  • Dimensions: 30 inches by 66 inches by 57 inches.
  • Warranty: 5 years.

What We Like

  • Grill-out lights on the handle.
  • Infrared technology for juicy meat.
  • Smoker box for tastier food.
  • Extra thick grates for better searing.
  • All-in-one solution.

What We Don’t Like

  • Light cast aluminum body.
  • Light can be flickery.
  • Venting gaps allow rain to get in, overflowing the grease tray, (easily solved with a barbecue cover!)

Summary

The Weber Summit S-470 grill can’t failt o become any serious pitmasters friend. With smoker box, rotisserie, infrared burner, and high-quality materials, this grill has got it all. And it’s great for late-night parties with its integrated lights.

To learn more about this product, it’s features, functionality and current price, please click here.

 

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High-End Runner up—Blaze 32-Inch 4-Burner Freestanding Natural Gas Grill With Rear Infrared Burner

Blaze 32-Inch 4-Burner Freestanding Natural Gas Grill With Rear Infrared Burner - BLZ-4-NG

Are you looking for the cream of the crop, the king of grills? Not only does this Blaze come with all the equipment you might need and more, but it’s also made with 304-grade stainless steel, ensuring lifetime durability.

If the thought of assembling the grill is putting you off, it arrives assembled; only the cart needs to be put together. Alternately, an expert assembly service is available at extra cost.

The individual ignition system and heat separators allow for maximal heat control for the best searing. The extra-thick hood increases heat retention while grilling.

What’s in the Box

This setup includes a freestanding cart and your Blaze 32-inch gas grill. The cart sits on four heavy-duty casters, and has two doors to store your accessories out of sight.

Four high-quality burners are included in this top quality grill, each providing 14,000 BTUs of power.

Another 10,000 BTUs on the rear infrared burner gives you a total of 66,000 BTUs over a huge, 738-square inch cooking area.

There’s a handy shelf on each side, a removable warming rack, and a full-width drip tray.

Features

  • Enclosed storage area.
  • Four sturdy wheels.
  • Infrared rear burner.
  • Removable warming rack.
  • Extra large, easy to clean drip tray.
  • Thick stainless steel cooking grates.
  • Double layered hood.
  • Rotisserie kit.
  • Heat zone separators.

Manufacturer’s Specifications

  • Number of main burners:
  • Secondary burners:
  • Ignition type: Flash tube ignition.
  • BTUs: 66,000—includes 10,000 BTUs rotisserie burner.
  • Total cooking area: 738 sq. inches.
  • Build materials: Stainless steel cart and 304 cast stainless steel burners and hood.
  • Dimensions:25 inches by 32.5 inches by 25.75 inches.
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty if registered within 30 days of purchase.

What We Like

  • Easy to assemble.
  • Larger preparation cooking area than most other grills.
  • 304-grade stainless steel ensures durability.
  • Heat zone separators create individual cooking zones.
  • Enclosed storage area.

What We Don’t Like

  • The protective coating covering the grill in transit isn’t easy to remove.

Summary

If you’re looking for a high-end grill featuring all your present and potential future needs, the Blaze might be one to consider. Although it may represent a heavier initial investment, it should last you for many, many years.

To learn more about the Blaze 32-inch 4-burner grill, please click here.

 

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Further Models Worthy of Consideration

In addition to the grills mentioned above, here are a few extra models that merit consideration.

Weber 48010001 Spirit Ii E-210 Black Ng Outdoor Gas Grill

Weber 48010001 Spirit E-210 2-Burner Natural Gas Grill, Black

This is the baby in the Weber Spirit II natural gas series. Maintaining the same level of quality as the Weber 301, it’s better suited for smaller patios and balconies.

With two burners and a large warming rack, you’ll have plenty of space though to cook for small gatherings.

What’s in the Box

Folding side tables on either side add to the compact, versatile nature of this grill. The cast iron cooking grates are porcelain enameled and reversible. A shelf under the grill is ideal for keeping essentials close at hand.

I love having the flexibility to choose a lid color that matches with my patio decor. The six hooks are also a nice addition and make the grilling experience smoother.

Features

  • Two burners.
  • One large warming rack—90 square inches.
  • Two sturdy side shelves.
  • Built-in temperature gauge.
  • Six hooks.
  • Two large wheels.

Manufacturer’s Specifications

  • Number of main burners:
  • Secondary burners:
  • Ignition type: Infinity ignition system.
  • BTUs: 26,500.
  • Primary cooking area: 360 sq. inches.
  • Secondary cooking area: 90 sq. inches.
  • Total cooking area: 450 sq. inches.
  • Build materials: Porcelain coated flavorizer bars, porcelain-coated cast iron grates.
  • Dimensions: 48 inches by 26 inches by 57 inches.
  • Warranty: 10 years.

What We Like

  • Large warming rack expands the existing cooking area.
  • Six hooks to hang grilling tools.
  • Comes in four different colors.
  • Rotisserie kit can be added (not included) to this grill.

What We Don’t Like

  • The grill is difficult to move, with only two wheels.
  • Exposed drip pan and storage.

Summary

If you’re looking for a casual grilling experience with a few guests or for a small family, the Weber E-210 is a good grill and a very easy-to-use choice. It’s also a great option if you’re limited for space.

For further details, please click here.

 

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Weber 57067001 Q3200 Natural Gas Grill

Weber 57067001 Q3200 Natural Gas Grill

Another great Weber gas grill, the Q3200 is one of the smallest models you can find, and ideal for apartments with small balconies. The side shelves are removable or foldable, allowing it to fit into the smallest of areas.

Easy to start, control valves give you the flexibility to adjust the heat to your desired level. The most exciting feature might be the built-in light system, for night time grilling parties.

Most of this grill comes pre-assembled. Only the cart needs assembly and doesn’t seem to take much more than half an hour.

What’s in the Box

This grill is easy to use, and gets started with the push of a button. Because the preparation space is quite limited, the three built-in hooks and the side shelves are a nice addition.

The Weber Q3200 provides a generous cooking space, composed of two burners, a warming rack, and a side burner. The built-in light makes it easy to use at any time of night or day.

Features

  • Grill handle light.
  • Two stainless steel burners.
  • Three built-in hooks.
  • Removable warming rack.
  • Storage cabinet.
  • Frame with glass-reinforced nylon.
  • Side burner.
  • Built-in thermometer gauge.
  • Bottom shelf.
  • Removable and foldable shelves.

Manufacturer’s Specifications

  • Number of main burners:
  • Secondary burners:
  • Ignition type: Electronic ignition system.
  • BTUs: 21,700.
  • Primary cooking area: 380 sq. inches.
  • Secondary cooking area: 114 sq. inches.
  • Total cooking area: 494 sq. inches.
  • Build materials: Cast aluminum hood and body, stainless steel burners, and porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates.
  • Dimensions: 30 inches by 2 inches by 55.5 inches.
  • Warranty: 5 years.

What We Like

  • Easy to start.
  • Compact size.
  • Fast and even heat.
  • Easy assembly.

What We Don’t Like

  • No side burner.
  • Plastic side shelves.
  • Heavy design.

Summary

Compact and practical, but still with that outstanding Weber quality, the Q3200 makes the perfect natural gas grill for beginners or small patios.

If you’d like to discover more about this grill, please click here.

 

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Weber Stephen Company 66014001 Genesis Ii Lx E-340 Natural Gas Grill

Weber, Black 66014001 Genesis II LX E-340 Natural Gas Grill, Three-Burner

Sticking with Weber, the Genesis E-340 grill has a couple of additional features over many in their range, enhancing your grilling experience.

Are you needing to grill at night or in low-light conditions? It comes with a handle light and lighted knobs for optimum visibility night or day. The lights even automatically turn off as you close the hood.

It has three burners on the main grill, plus a side burner to expand your cooking space, ideal to make a side sauce or soup. When not in use, this can be used as a side shelf for additional preparation space.

This grill comes in a well-conceived package, with minimal assembly required.

What’s in the Box

The Weber E-340 features three burners and a side burner, giving you ample space to grill your favorite meat. An overhead warming rack is cleverly tucked away in the lid.

A two-door cabinet offers plenty of concealed storage and hooks keep your grilling tools close at hand.

A built-in thermometer, a handle light. and illuminated control knobs complement this well-built grill.

Features

  • Thick—0.3 inches—stainless steel cooking grates.
  • Three main burners and one side burner.
  • Warming rack.
  • Stainless-steel flavorizer bars.
  • Four wheels.
  • Built-in lid thermometer.
  • Two-door cabinet.
  • Integrated hooks.
  • Handle light and lighted control knobs.
  • Two sturdy side shelves.

Manufacturer’s Specifications

  • Number of main burners:
  • Secondary burners:
  • Ignition type: Infinity ignition system.
  • BTUs: 55,500 (including 12,000 for side burner).
  • Primary cooking area: 513 sq. inches.
  • Secondary cooking area: 156 sq. inches.
  • Total cooking area: 669 sq. inches.
  • Build materials: Stainless-steel burners and flavorizer bars.
  • Dimensions: 29 inches by 59 inches by 48 inches.
  • Warranty: 10 years.

What We Like

  • Allows nighttime grilling.
  • Side burner with its cover.
  • Large storage cabinet.
  • Three burners allow direct and indirect cooking.

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavy—over 200 pounds.

Summary

Featuring a side burner, a generous cooking and storage space, and useful accessories, the Weber E-340 is designed to make your grilling life easier. This versatile grill would match most lifestyles.

To check it out further and decide whether this grill is for you, please click here.

 

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What is Natural Gas?

Where does natural gas come from, and how are natural gas grills different from liquid propane ones?

Natural gas is the admirable result of nature’s work. After millions of years withstanding heat and pressure, sediments become a non-toxic and odorless fossil energy source, mainly composed of methane.

Unfortunately, natural gas isn’t available in every area, in which case you’d need to find other alternatives, such as propane, electric, or a traditional charcoal grill.

What’s the Difference Between Natural Gas and Liquid Propane?

Propane delivers more than double the amount of heat of natural gas per cubic foot – 2,500 BTUs versus 1,000 BTUs.

This is one of the reasons propane grills are extremely popular, because they provide more heat per unit of gas.

However, they connect to reusable tanks through a connector, meaning that you’ll always need a gas tank or two to keep the party going.

One of the advantages of propane grills is their portability. Because they aren’t attached to a fixed natural gas line, they can go wherever you choose, whereas a natural gas grill is pretty much tied to there the hook up is.

Are There any Benefits to Cooking With Natural Gas?

Both affordable and green, there are several benefits which we’ll explore now.

Budget-Friendly in the Long Run

Although natural gas can potentially mean higher initial costs – if a gas main has to be extended to your house, for example – it will still represent significant savings in the long run.

For each BTU, natural gas costs on average one-third of the price of liquid propane gas, not to mention the saving on trips back and forth to the store for swapping propane tanks.

Less Smoke, More Fun

When it comes to smoke during a grilling party, less is more.

Natural gas emits the least amount of exhaust of any fuel, which would otherwise end up in your food, your backyard, and on your clothes.

No Refill Needed

This is one of the main advantages of natural gas grills. The line will provide you with unlimited fuel whenever you need it. Just ignite the flame and start grilling.

Unlike propane grills, you’ll never find yourself in the uncomfortable situation of running out of gas and needing to leave the party to refuel.

Eco-Friendly Solution

Conveniently, natural gas is also eco-friendly. It contains the smallest carbon footprint, leaving our environment as clean as possible.

Easy Installation

As they need to be hooked up to a main supply, natural gas grills always require some sort of installation. If you have an existing gas line at home, then it only needs to be connected to it, and most grills come with detailed instructions on how to set them up.

If you don’t have a main line already installed, some companies offer this service for free, so it’s usually an easy fix.

In the rare event that the gas main isn’t located near your house and you need an extension, you’ll need to contact your gas company.

Can You Use Propane in a Natural Gas Grill?

Propane and natural gas contain a different amount of energy, with propane burning with 2.5x more heat generation than natural gas. The pressure, and the oxygen to gas ratio needed for optimum combustion differ between the two as well.

This prevents natural gas and propane grills from being easily interchangeable. Orifices, attachment hoses, and regulators need to be converted before using propane in a natural gas grill.

Converting from a Propane Grill to a Natural Gas Grill

Not all grills have the ability to be converted from natural gas to propane. You’d first need to consult the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer.

Most companies supply converter kits which make the procedure safe and fairly simple. The basic process is as follows:

  1. Turn off and disconnect the natural gas supply.
  2. Access the inside of the grill by removing the panels.
  3. Replace the existing regulators and valve with the new converter kit pieces. Make sure they all fit tightly.
  4. Pour a small amount of soapy water around the connections and turn on the gas supply. If you can see bubbles, there’s a leak.

Obviously, there’s more to it than just this, and perhaps a video ‘how to’ is useful that shows how to convert a grill from propane to natural gas.

 

What to Consider When Shopping for a Natural Gas Grill?

What makes a good natural gas grill? What are the key features to look for?

Many hobbyists would only consider looking at BTUs to compare quality and performance, but there is much more to it than this.

What Size Grill do You Need?

Think about how many people you’ll most often be feeding. You don’t want to have some of your guests waiting around for food when others are already finishing their meal and grabbing up all of the sides!

But on the flips side, if you’re only going to be cooking for a family of 3, you don’t want a 6-burner behemoth! It’s just a waste fo money, and will cost more fuel than is necessary to heat it through each time you want to cook.

Consider Cooking Surface Area

Selecting the right cooking space could make or break your barbecue gathering. For your guests to eat their meal together and have a good time, selecting the right size cooking space will be the key.

For optimum grilling, plan about an inch of space between each food item. A grill containing three burners—up to 500 square inches—should be enough for an average-sized family. Larger families or groups should probably aim for five or six burners—up to 650 square inches of cooking area.

You’ll often hear the technical term “primary cooking space.” It merely represents the space located right above the main grates and burners.

A warming rack and a potential side burner allow for additional cooking space and different cooking methods—slow cooking and boiling for instance. They represent your “secondary cooking space.”

Consider Number of Burners

The number of burners doesn’t only increase your cooking space, it also impacts your grilling methods and techniques. Most natural gas grills are built with two to six burners.

Most grillers aim for crispy meat on the outside with a soft and tender inside. With the correct techniques—and grill—this outcome can easily be achieved.

The direct cooking method allows you to grill your steaks at high heat that comes from the burner located right underneath. Indirect cooking, or slow-cooking, can be used if your grill contains several burners—at least two.

Turn on one burner and place your meat over the second which isn’t turned on. Most multi-burner grills come with individual ignition systems, allowing you to control the heat of each burner.

While considering the number of burners needed, be aware that they aren’t only high-maintenance, but they also need to be replaced more frequently.

Consider Required Footprint

Where are you planning to place your grill? Do you have a large backyard or a small balcony? Gas grills—along with their side shelves—can take up a significant amount of space and you’d be disappointed if it doesn’t fit in its designated place.

While considering the footprint, you might want to plan for an extra two or three feet all around to keep it away from your home and any flammable objects.

If you’re tight on space, keep in mind that side shelves can either be removed or folded down as needed.

Options also now exist—warming racks, side burners—to expand your cooking space, while keeping your grill at a minimum size.

Types and Configuration of Burners

Theypes of burners on your grill will influence how hot they get, how resistant to corrosion they are and how long they will last.

The configuration of the burners decides your flexibility, how many different types of cooking you can do at once, how many different temperatures and varying heat zones.

Let’s take a look at the possibilities.

Materials Used

Burners need to withstand a large amount of heat and pressure, therefore the quality of your burners will have a large impact on the quality and longevity of your grill.

Stainless steel burners seem to be the most popular and can withstand corrosion. Don’t be fooled, they also come in different qualities and grades.

The best grade available is 304 stainless steel grade and is composed of 10 percent nickel and 18 percent chromium. 430 stainless steel grade is less expensive, but will corrode and rust much faster.

With the right care and cleaning, cast iron burners would probably outlast a stainless steel burner. Although they may have longevity, they are high maintenance and require more cleaning than stainless steel burners, making them unpopular to many.

Cast iron burners should be brushed at least on a yearly basis, to remove flakes, grease, and debris. The gas ports should also be cleaned with a paperclip or toothpick to ensure full functionality. Once your burners are fully cleaned, a thin layer of vegetable oil can be applied that once heated, forms a layer that will resist corrosion.

Side Burner

If your gas grill comes with a side burner, it’s placed—as its name indicates— on the right or left side of the main chamber. A side burner doesn’t only give you extra cooking space, it allows for an additional type of cooking other than direct grilling on grates: It’s used for cooking in pots and pans, things such as homemade soups, sauces, BBQ sides, pasta, rice or anything else you would cook in a pan.

Having a side burner makes cooking easier by letting you have everything you need right in front of you, rather than having to nip in and out of the kitchen to cook things on your standard hob.

Some side burners come with a cover, giving you the option to use it as a shelf when not in use.

Infrared Burner?

Infrared burners are the new kids in town. The innovative technology cooks and sears super quickly, giving it a full flavor.

Instead of heating the grates directly, the gas heats up the infrared emitting plate which then radiates the heat evenly through the grates.

Not only does infrared technology make your food more consistent and hence enjoyable, but it also consumes less gas while still providing high-intensity heat.

If interested, you can check out our guide for more information on infrared cooking and the best infrared grills.

Flavorizer Bars

Flavorizer bars are often undervalued. Roof shaped, they’re placed beneath your grates and above your burners.

A flavorizer bar’s main role is to protect the burners from grease. By redirecting excess drippings to a separate container, they prevent the burners from becoming dripped on, clogged and obstructed.

Also, the fat burning and vaporizing on the flavorizer bars creates complex smoky aromas that take your food’s flavor profile up a notch or three.

They also prevent flare-ups by directing fat away from the naked flames, protecting your food from burning.

Although flavorizer bars can come in different levels of quality—from stainless steel to porcelain coated—whichever you choose will still need to be hand washed on a regular basis with soap and water.

Cooking Grates

Grates are considered the engine of your grill, and low-quality grates will give you a poorly cooked meal. Just like burners, they need to be able to last through considerable stress, the repetitive heating and cooling to very high temperatures. The nature and thickness of your grates will determine how fast they’ll decay.

Most cooking grates are built with cast iron, porcelain, or stainless steel, with cast iron being great at retaining heat and creating sear marks, porcelain coated being the easiest to keep clean, and stainless steel being the best naturally non-stick surface.

Let’s look at each in more detail.

Steel Grates

Heavy steel grates (NOT stainless steel) are one of the most economical options. However, they tend to flake faster, allowing a lot of your food to stick to the grates.

Even though they don’t hold as much heat as cast iron grates do, stainless steel grates are more durable, resistant to environmental conditions such as salt, rain, and sun. They’re also rather low-maintenance as far as grates go, and will require very little cleaning.

Porcelain Grates

Porcelain grates are cost-effective and found in many kinds of grills. Although they don’t retain heat as well as stainless steel grates, they heat up quickly and have a faster heat recovery after opening the hood.

Cleaning has to be very delicate and gentle as these grates will easily chip, leaving the metallic underlayer exposed to rust and sticky to any food. Gentle brushing is recommended.

Cast Iron Grates

Many hobbyists will choose cast iron grates. These heavy grates can hold a large amount of heat, keeping them a stable temp as you add and remove food, and will cook your food faster than any other grates.

They usually leave strong searing lines and with the proper maintenance—the grates need to be oiled after every use—they will last for years. These grates are indeed long lasting but need to be nurtured at the same time!

Because cast iron grates are very sturdy, they let you use the tools of your choice, for both cooking and cleaning.

A Quality Ignition System

You’ve got everything ready, and your hungry guests have just arrived, what could be more annoying than a gas grill that won’t start? A high-quality ignition system will help you to avoid this kind of embarrassment, and you’ll be able to keep your matches for the candles on your next romantic date.

To launch the burner, most ignition systems use a spark. The quality of the spark generator, the cable holding the spark, and the electrode sending the current to its final destination, will determine the caliber of the ignition system.

If you’re looking to use the direct and indirect cooking method, you might want to choose a gas grill with individual igniters to better control the heat. Ignition systems are, however, quite costly to change or repair. If, or when, it fails, a manual option should be easily accessible.

You’ll usually find one of these three ignition systems built in a natural gas grill:

Battery-Powered Ignition

They’re most often the easiest ones to fix when a problem arises. Simply change the batteries – AA, AAA, or 9-volt batteries – whenever the ignition is giving you a hard time.

Piezo Ignition

Piezoelectric ignition is easily recognized by its singular clicking sound. It’s the pioneer ignition system that gets your grill started in no time by simply turning a knob and pressing a button.

Hot Surface Ignitor

These types of ignition systems are mostly found in very fancy grills and require a connection to mains electricity to operate.

A Nice Big Hood

If you’re looking to grill meat thicker than a couple of inches, a high-quality hood will be needed to ensure it’s well cooked throughout.

By allowing heat to circulate, and heat transfer by convection, a nice, tall, well insulated hood allows you to roast foods, rather than relying on purely direct heat grilling.

Indirect cooking – where the food sits on the grates away from the heat source (burners are off under the food) – is only possible with a nice large lid. The roomier and stronger the hood, the more heat it retains, not to mention you need quite some height if you’re to stand a rib roast or a large bird under there to roast.

To avoid burning yourself while opening or closing the hood, ensure that the part of the handles you touch are placed at a fair distance away from the hood.

Easy to Clean

All gas grills need some kind of maintenance to keep them in good order. When selecting your natural gas grill, you might want to ensure that all parts—including grates and flavorizers—are easily removable or accessible, to facilitate cleaning.

Your grate and burner material will also have an impact on the amount of cleaning needed. Generally speaking, stainless steel grates and burners require the least amount of maintenance.

Here’s a video with some useful tips on how to efficiently clean your grill:

 

Look for Extra, Modern Features Making Use Easier and More Precise

Now that we’ve covered the basic components and characteristics of natural gas grills, let’s accessorize it!

Accessories will take your grilling experience to the next level, providing convenience, space, and additional cooking tools.

Additional Space

As they’re attached to your gas line, most natural gas grills already come with a stand. The side shelves don’t always offer enough space to handle your barbecue paraphernalia.

Some models come with a handy drawer or open shelf to place or store your grilling tools. Others may include double doors to keep everything clean and tidy. Convenient hooks allow you to hang your tools while you’re grilling.

An island or mobile cabinet can create an additional portable storage space. Most come with wheels and are easily foldable to be stored in your garage during the winter months.

Many natural gas grills come with two foldable side tables for additional cooking preparation space.

Rotisserie

If you’re a slow-roast meat devotee, a rotisserie will be the first accessory you’ll want to invest in.

A tiny electric motor slowly turns a spit rod, connected to the grill through brackets. The meat is attached to the spit rod, with spit forks holding it into place.

As the meat rotates slowly above the cooking grates, it will cook on all sides and the meat is self-basting as it cooks..

Grilling Tools

A set of grilling tools are a must-have for any outdoor cook, and should include tongs, brushes, spatulas, and other cookware specifically designed for outdoor grilling.

By purchasing all stainless-steel grilling tools—without plastic or wooden handles—you can simply throw them in your dishwasher to clean.

Protective Covers

If you’re not using your gas grill all year around, a cover is a good investment.

Look for one that’s made of high-quality waterproof materials, protecting your grill from the weather, dust, and humidity, such as our recommendations in our guide to the best grill covers.

Other Useful Features

If you’re a savvy outdoor cook, a built-in thermometer is a nice add-on, giving you an estimation of your grill’s temperature at all times.

Warming racks don’t only increase your cooking space, but they also give you the ability to slow cook your delicate food items.

Build Quality, Materials, And Durability

A natural gas grill can represent quite an investment, and you’ll want to ensure that it lasts.

First, you’ll want a sturdy and stable product that won’t tip over with the slightest wind. Quickly inspect how the cart is assembled, checking the wheels, lid, and firebox.

Although you’ll find models made of sheet metal, cast iron, or even cast aluminum, most devotees choose stainless steel. When in doubt, proceed with the magnetic test. Do magnets stick to it? Some metallic grills—coated with stainless steel—can be advertised as the real deal when they’re not.

Beside your grill’s quality and materials, your barbecue’s maintenance will play a large role in its durability.

Finally, I’d recommend going for branded grills as they usually need to meet high standards and a certain level of quality to protect the brands reputation.

Warranty

A manufacturer’s guarantee will depend on the brand and the materials used. From one year to lifetime warranties, manufacturers usually offer different warranties for the burners, the firebox, and other parts of the grill individually.

When selecting your natural gas grill, make sure to choose a reputable company that will stand by its guarantee in case of any quality or product defects.

Price and Value

Before making a purchase, you might want to set a budget.

With so many options out there, it’s easy to leave with a barbecue three times the price that you intended to spend.

Generally speaking, quality comes at a higher price point. However, by knowing the features, quality, and material you need, you’ll be sure to get the most value for your bucks.

We advise to be realistic with the quality and features you can expect at different price points, but to set a budget and stick to it.

Conclusion

Grilling parties are important social events and owning the right grill for the occasion is crucial to ensure your guests’ satisfaction and entertainment.

Whether you’re looking for a basic gas grill to host small family gatherings or a high-end barbecue with all the bells and whistles, you’re sure to find a natural gas grill option to suit you.

I often hold casual grilling parties with only a few guests. Because I also value multi-purpose and durable grills, the Weber Spirit II E-310 would be my go-to. I’d certainly pick the red hood to match the rest of my backyard furniture!

I hope this information will ease your search and allow you to pick the right natural gas grill for your home. Do you own a natural gas grill? Which one did you pick? Please leave us your comments below and we’ll make sure to answer them all.

 

Product image credits: © Amazon.com

Mark Jenner

Hi. I'm Mark Jenner, owner and creator of FoodFireFriends.com. I grill and smoke food outdoors at least three days a week on a wide range of equipment, have done so for years, and love nothing more than cooking good food, over live fire, enjoying it with friends. The aim of this site is to educate and help others to do the same.

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