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Tips for Buying Gas Grills

There's nothing like good food that's fresh off the grill. From veggies to burgers to main dishes, you can cook it all quickly, healthily, and with maximum flavor. This quick guide is designed to help you choose the gas grill that's right for your home.

What's better: charcoal or gas grills?

Grilling aficionados have been engaging in this debate for years on end and each one does have its own unique properties. For gas grills, faster, easier lighting and on-demand extinguishing is among the chief benefits. Adding wood chips or smoking boxes allows you to get extra flavor that you would normally get through a charcoal grill. Gas grills may be more expensive up front, but run cheaper per cookout in the long run. With charcoal grills cleaning can be more burdensome since you have to empty the ashes after each use. Whereas with gas grills, a quick scrub with a grill brush can do the trick. Ultimately, the answer to the question of the best grill is the one that you're most comfortable using.

What are the different gas grill types?

While there are lots of shapes and sizes to choose from, you have two basic types: stand alone and built in. Stand alone gas grills typically have a stand or cart with a shelf or cabinet. Built-in gas grills are ideal for placing in outdoor kitchens or counters.

The fuel source may differ among grills too. Propane grills are usually fueled from a 20-pound tank. Natural gas grills are typically permanently tapped into the home's natural gas line. It limits the amount of movement for the grill, but it also eliminates the need to refill tanks. You might also find charcoal/gas combination grills that let you burn a different fuel source on either side of this two-sided grill.

What should I look for when buying gas grills?

The amount of cooking surface matters, particularly if you frequently entertain or cook for a large family. If you have a small space and don't need to cook large volumes at one time, a grill with 200 to 400 square inches of cooking surface may be sufficient. Otherwise, look for a grill with at least 400 to 800 square inches for maximum versatility. Other considerations include the following:

  • Power: British thermal units (BTUs) are how you measure the amount of power a grill puts out. The larger the grill, the larger the number of BTUs it needs to give you a great grilling experience.
  • Finish: Stainless steel, copper, pewter, and fashionable colors like red, blue, and gray are all in the realm of possibility with today's gas grills. Choose a finish that will dress up your outdoor space with the look you like best.
  • Extra, extra: Having a side burner makes it easy to cook sides and sauces while you're grilling. A gas grill with an infrared burner allows you to sear foods, like steak and chicken, at extremely high temperatures that are difficult to achieve otherwise. Rotisseries provide a classic method for grilling meat on a spit that allows the food to self-baste, cook more evenly, and be generally juicier as the spit rotates.
  • Number of burners: Even heat distribution is essential to even cooking. Most experts recommend buying grills with at least three burners for this reason. As a rule, the larger the grill the more burners it should have.

Choosing a gas grill comes down to considering the size and power you want and need first and foremost. Then consider the finish and extra features to find the one that's best for you.

More: Visit our Gas Grill Buying Guide for more advice when deciding which gas grill to buy!

Need to Know: How to Clean a Gas Grill