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Best gas grills 2021: our top 5 gas grills for a backyard barbecue

Prepare for summer 2021 with the best gas grills from Weber, Saber, Napoleon, Alfresco, and more

best gas grills
(Image credit: Amazon)

Gas grills are popular for one reason: they're easy to use. Once you’ve hooked a gas grill to a full propane tank (or natural gas line), all you have to do is light the burners, and in 10 minutes, you’re ready to grill. In comparison, charcoal grills take upwards of 25 minutes to reach grilling temperatures and they're notorious for having a significant amount of prep and clean-up time. 

However, not all gas grills are created equal. In this guide, we’ve included freestanding and built-in grills to accommodate any type of backyard design and shared which grills are best for large meals or certain dishes. Some of the best gas grills have additional accessories like charcoal trays and Wi-Fi capabilities that will dazzle even the most expert grill masters.

With summer approaching, make sure you have the best gas grill for the most flavorful barbecues with out top picks below. Want to reconsider a charcoal model or smoker? See all the best grills in our alternative guide.

Napoleon PRO500RSIBPSS-3

(Image credit: Napoleon)

1. Napoleon Prestige PRO 500 Propane Gas Grill

The best grill overall

Specifications
Burners: 6
Cook surface: 900 sq-in
Dimensions: 25.5 x 66.5 x 51.75 in
Best for: Grilling and rotisserie meats and vegetables
Reasons to buy
+Reaches 1800 degrees in 30 seconds+Infrared zone burners offer an unmatched grilling experience +LED Spectrum knobs glow red when gas is left on
Reasons to avoid
-Not 100 percent stainless steel construction

Napoleon describes the Prestige PRO 500 as a ‘work of functional art’ and it’s hard to argue with them. This professional style grill has a 900-square-inch cooking surface with infrared zone burners that produce 80,000 BTUs. Propane or natural gas makes its way through thousands of small holes in the ceramic plates of the burners producing temperatures that reach 1800 degrees Fahrenheit in 30 seconds. 

A sear on a steak would be unmatched with this grill, especially on the infrared side burner. The versatility of the grill is exemplified in the infrared rear rotisserie burner. Skewer a chicken, quail, ribs, or al pastor and watch as the infrared evenly and quickly cooks the meat to perfection. Measure the grill’s temperature with the built-in thermometer for a more detailed grilling experience.

If you thought the cooking surface was impressive, you’ll love the style of the Napoleon Prestige PRO 500. The grill’s stainless steel material is sleek and shiny and the chrome details give it an upscale flair. However, take note that not all materials are made of stainless steel. Cast aluminum and porcelain steel are mixed in, too. The lower cart has a spot for the propane tank, as well as three shelves to store your grilling accessories. Turn the side shelf with an integrated cutting board into an iced drinks station or a place to marinate the food.

Our favorite element? The LED Spectrum knobs. They glow red when the gas is left on so that you can protect yourself, your home, and your family.

best grills

(Image credit: Saber)

2. Saber Elite 3-Burner Gas Grill

The best infrared grill

Specifications
Burners: 3
Cook surface: 675 sq-in
Dimensions : 56.5 x 25 x 48.4 in
Best for : Grilling and rotisserie meats and vegetables
Reasons to buy
+Infrared burners help food retain more moisture+Uses 30 percent less propane than other gas grills+Rotisserie kit and side burner for additional cooking options
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best for cooking at low temperatures

This three burner grill offers 500 square inches on the primary cooking surface, with a further 175 square inches on the second rack. The SABER Elite 3-Burner Gas Grill uses propane or natural grass to cook via radiant heat, as opposed to the convection heat of most gas grills. And the result? This directs the airflow away from the surface of the grill, meaning food retains moisture. In addition to juicier meats and veggies, this means no flare-ups as it vaporizes dripping and debris, and reduced cooking times. Most importantly, it results in using 30 percent less propane than other gas grills. 

It is easy to use, too. The push-button electronic ignition with start the burners, producing 24,000 BTUs on the main ones. It might sound low, but thanks to the SABER Elite being an infrared gas grill, the BTU ratings aren't as note worthy. To the left you will find a dual tube side burner – great for making sauces and cooking any side dishes. There is also a rotisserie motor kit and rod included, so chicken, lamb and beef roast fans will love this grill.

For added practicality, you can find a side table for prep and a cabinet basket below for storing condiments and breads. There is a pull-out tray – concealed behind doors – to store the propane tank, and halogen lights with above-knob LED lighting for night time grilling.

Weber 66011001 Genesis II E-310

(Image credit: Weber)

3. Weber Genesis II E-310 Gas Grill

The best grill for novice and intermediate grill masters

Specifications
Burners: 3
Cook surface: 660 sq-in
Dimensions: 29 x 59 x 47 in
Best for: Grilling meats and vegetables
Reasons to buy
+Warming rack tucks away for rotisserie+Center-mounted thermometer+Flavorizer bars helps circulate moisture and juices back into the food
Reasons to avoid
-Low BTU output

The easy-to-use and dependable Weber Genesis II E-310 Gas Grill is a favourite among novice and intermediate grillmasters. There are three stainless steel burners leading to a modest but efficient 39,000 BTUs. The warming rack is Tuck-Away, meaning it can be used to extend the 513 square inches of cooking area up to 660 square inches when in use. 

Flavorizer bars catch grease and food to protect the burner tubes, and also prevent flare ups. Is grease does hit the bars, it vaporizes before being absorbed by the food leading to added moisture and great taste. There is a center-mounted thermometer on this grill, but if you want a more high-tech experience Weber offer an iGrill 3 thermometer that can be paired with the Weber Genesis II E-310 to monitor the temperature of up to four cuts of meat at once. Once cooked through, this sends a notification to your phone – a must for a more hands off cooking experience as you entertain.

While it is a good looking gas grill with a black and stainless steel frame, the propane tank is only partially hidden by the side doors. While this may detract from the aesthetics for some, the practical addition of two side shelves for prep and two storage shelves below make this a convenient grill to use.

best gas grills

(Image credit: Fire Magic)

4. Fire Magic Echelon Diamond E790s 36-inch Natural Gas Grill

The most luxurious grill

Specifications
Burners: 5
Cook surface: 1,080 sq-in
Dimensions: 79.25 x 30.5 x 52.5 in
Best for : Grilling, rotisserie, and smoking meats and vegetables
Reasons to buy
+Massive cooking surface+High BTU output +Charcoal/smoker basket can be used for a smoky flavor
Reasons to avoid
-Need a nearby outlet to use the hot surface ignition system 

The Fire Magic Echelon Diamond E790 Gas Grill is a state-of-the-art investment that will last a lifetime. This is the Rolls-Royce of grills and that’s not just because it will make for a luxurious and stylish addition to your backyard with its stainless steel material, rounded oven hood, and back-lit knobs.

The primary cook surface is 792 square-inches but with the warming rack, the cook surface totals 1,080 square inches. Add the double side burner – to cook side dishes or sauces – and you'll have no problem making a large meal for a big group. Whereas the primary burners produce 90,000 BTUs, the double side burner produces 15,000 BTUs, and the backburner, 13,000. You won’t want for heat with this grill and can utilize the recessed quantum backburner for rotisserie cooking.

The Fire Magic Echelon Diamond E790 Gas Grill is outfitted with heat zone separators and flavor grids to help you better cook different foods at different temperatures at the same time. To add a wood or smoky flavor to your food, take advantage of the included charcoal/smoker basket. Place charcoal or soaked wood chips in the basket, and set it on the burner. The flame will ignite the fuel and produce a smoky flavor effect. The basket catches the ash making for a quick clean-up. 

And just to make cooking on this grill even easier, Fire Magic has outfitted it with a hot surface ignition system, however, it must be plugged into a 110V outlet to work. Once you've done that, push the control knob to activate the hot surface, then turn up the gas, and the grill lights immediately. 

best gas grills

(Image credit: Alfresco)

5. Alfresco ALXE-42-NG 42" Built-In Standard Grill

The best built-in grill

Specifications
Burners: 3
Cook surface: 770 sq-in
Dimensions: 27 x 44 x 14 in
Best for : Grilling, rotisserie, and smoking meats and vegetables
Reasons to buy
+Large cook surface for a built-in grill+Rotisserie designed to make little noise+Wood chunks drawer and burner to add wood-flavor effect to meals
Reasons to avoid
-Matching drawers, side burners, and storage are sold separately-Push-button ignition requires electric hook-up

Have you built a beautiful outdoor kitchen and need to add the perfect built-in grill? Look no further than the Alfresco ALXE-42-NG 42" Standard Grill.

You’ll be able to utilize 770 square-inches of grilling space which is pretty extensive considering it doesn’t come with side burners. You can turn the grill on with a push-button ignition when the grill is hooked up to an electric power source. To eliminate hot and cold spots so that your food cooks evenly, Alfresco outfitted the grill with refractive ceramic briquettes and stainless steel cooking grates.

This grill has a three-position warming rack that can be stored away during rotisserie cooking. The rotisserie system is heated by an infrared burner, but that’s not what makes it special. It has a chain-driven design meaning it will make little noise as it rotates. Just push the rotisserie button on the front control panel and let it go.

The grill's Signature Taste integrated smoking system will definitely be of interest to the culinary master. Fill the dedicated drawer with wood chunks and once it's lit, it'll create an infusion of smoked wood flavor to your meals.

Take note that the grill doesn’t come with drawers or a bottom pantry, but Alfresco offers matching additions if you so desire. 

How do the best gas grills work?

How many burners do I need?
The number of burners on a gas grill determines the amount of food you can grill at a time. A six-burner gas grill is the better choice if you plan on having a lot of large gatherings. However, for the most part, a three or four-burner stove will accommodate your grilling needs on a regular basis. 

Are infrared burners a good thing?
Most gas grills use convection heating to cook food, which basically exposes food directly to fire. The problem with this type of energy is that it can dry out meats. Infrared burners, on the other hand, are designed to help meats retain their moisture, resulting in a juicier dish. This is because they use radiation heat versus convection heat. Essentially, the fire heats ceramic or metal plates which then transfers heat evenly to the food. 

What does BTU mean?
BTU stands for British Thermal Units. It’s simply a way to measure the energy (or the heat) output of a grill. In theory, the higher the BTU rating, the better -- right? Unfortunately, it's not that simple. The BTU rating should be relative to the surface size of the grill. This means, that a quality grill should have at least 75 to 100 BTUs per square inch of the grill surface. This doesn’t quite apply to infrared burners in the same way, which makes this all the more confusing. Just remember that BTUs aren’t the end all, be all for gas grilling. There are many other factors to consider.

Do I need a side burner?
Some grills come with side burners, and while you don’t necessarily need it to grill a meal, they can come in handy for cooking side dishes and sauces in pans or searing a steak if the side burner has a grate covering.