Best Gas GrillsBy James Aitchison
We get it: Grilling over red-hot coals satisfies a primal urge, and the taste can be amazing. But for many people, smoky charcoal magic simply doesn't outweigh the sheer convenience of grilling with gas.
Gas grills lack the romance of charcoal, but they offer instant, even heat that puts charcoal to shame. They also boast precise temperature control, which makes it easy to cook delicate foods that might be wasted on a 700°F charcoal grill.
But while choosing gas is a relatively simple decision, picking which gas grill to purchase is considerably more difficult. From big brand names like Weber to the generic grills that crop up in your local grocery store every spring, there are hundreds of options to choose from.
We put six of the most popular gas grills through a battery of tests in our labs and backyards. We tested preheat speeds, recorded temperature distribution, measured assembly time, and checked the built-in temperature gauges for accuracy. Now we've analyzed the data, and we can say with certainty that each of these grills offers something for everyone.
Updated June 14, 2016
Napoleon Rogue 425Best Overall
The Napoleon Rogue 425 is our favorite gas grill. Your local big box store may not have one in stock, but its combination of high-quality materials, ample 625-square-inch grill surface, beautifully even cooking, and luxurious extras make it worth tracking down.
Unless you're a barbecue aficionado, you may be unfamiliar with the Napoleon brand. Based in Ontario, Canada, Napoleon has been manufacturing grills north of the border since 1976, and has developed a reputation for quality and reliability that rivals Weber.
Along with four capable burners, the Rogue 425 has stainless steel sear plates to prevent flare-ups, an infrared side burner, and folding stainless-steel side shelves. And if you still find yourself torn between charcoal and propane, you'll be pleased to discover an optional tray that converts the grill into a charcoal pit. It took one person 90 minutes to put the Rogue 425 together, which was a little quicker than other grills.
In our tests, the Rogue 425 exhibited the best mix of high- and low-temperature cooking evenness, and also offered a surprisingly accurate built-in thermometer.
Char-Broil Advantage Four Burner Grill
If the grill you have your eye on doesn't fit in your budget, you could do far worse than a Char-Broil Advantage. At just half the price of an entry-level Weber Spirit E-310, the Advantage four-burner gas grill still has all the same basic features.
Of course, there's a reason this grill costs less: The Advantage lacks the sturdy premium feel of a Weber or Napoleon, and if user reviews are anything to go by, it’s unlikely to last as long as more expensive products.
But what it lacks in refinement it makes up for with cooking chops. When it came to grilling up meats and veggies, the evenly heated cooking surface out-performed every other gas grill we tested—by a significant margin. It's also a breeze to put together and heats up in no time.
In addition to four burners housed under the 600-square-inch grill surface, the Advantage has a side burner for boiling and sauteeing, as well as a warming rack. It comes with a five-year warranty on the burners, and a two-year warranty on the firebox.
Weber Spirit E-310
A perennial favorite, the Spirit series is Weber's entry-level line of gas grills. Entry-level doesn’t necessarily mean affordable, though, and the Spirit E-310 isn’t exactly cheap. This popular grill will set you back around $500, and Weber grills rarely go on sale.
In our opinion, however, it's money well spent. This grill is constructed from high-quality materials and really feels like it's built to last. Weber has a reputation for longevity and reliability, and it's backed up by a 10-year warranty against corrosion and rust. Parts are readily available, too.
The E-310 features a 529-square-inch cooking surface, three burners, porcelain-coated grates, and a porcelain-coated exterior for extra protection. It was bested by the Napoleon and Char-Broil in our cooking tests, but it certainly wasn't a poor performer. If you’re a Weber loyalist or just want an incredibly well-made grill, the Spirit E-310 is your best bet.
Weber Genesis E-310
At $700, the Genesis E-310 is the most affordable mid-range gas grill in Weber’s line-up. Despite having the same burner setup as the Spirit, it offers a larger 637-square-inch cooking surface, and the overall construction is of a generally higher quality than its entry-level cousin.
Although the Genesis has a more premium build, we recommend sticking with the Spirit line. While it may last a bit longer and impress your friends, we don’t think the modest bump in quality is worth the additional $200 for most grillers.
The popular Huntington 665154 (also sold Broil-Mate 165154) might not be the most stylish grill, but what it lacks in looks it makes up for with affordability and solid performance. This $200 grill has a compact cast-aluminum body, a single H burner controlled by two dials, and a pair of side shelves. At 400 square inches, it has the smallest grilling surface in our test group, but it's also one of the easiest grills to assemble by yourself.
Despite the grill's low cost, Broil-Mate seems confident that the 165154 will last. The housing comes with a lifetime guarantee, while the burners and stainless-steel components are warrantied for five years.
Broil King Regal 490 Pro
Based on design and features alone, you'd be forgiven for thinking the Broil King Regal 490 Pro was indeed a gas grill fit for royalty. It's powered by four standard burners and also includes a side burner and rotisserie burner for the occasional spit roast. Condiment and tool caddies on either side of the grill provide ample storage space, and the burner dials are illuminated for ease of use.
But despite its high-end appearance and feature-rich design, the Regal 490 is more of a commoner than we thought. In our tests, we found heat distribution was decidedly sub-par, and it took longer to heat up than most other grills in our tests. On the plus side, however, it takes only slightly longer than the Napoleon to assemble.
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