What is the Best Gas Grill?
How Do You Grill?
The “best” gas grill is highly subjective. The best grill for your neighbor may not be the best grill for you. Your question shouldn’t be, “What’s the best gas grill?” Rather, your question should be, “What’s the best gas grill for me?”
Today, we’ll offer some helpful advice on how to make sure you’re buying the best product for your needs. While this article probably won’t answer all your questions, you’ll at least have a better idea of what to look for as you shop for your next grill.
Three Main Grilling Questions
Buying a grill really comes down to three basic questions:
- What’s your budget?
- How durable does your grill need to be?
- What do you cook / how do you use your grill?
By the time you answer these three questions, you’ll have already narrowed down your prospective choices to a more manageable level. Not sure how you’d answer those questions? Let’s break them down a little more.
What’s Your Grill Budget?
Grills can cost anywhere from $150 for a big box store budget model up to $15,000 or more for a top-of-the-line professional-style grill. Obviously, there’s a big difference between the high end of that range and the low end, but it’s safe to say there’s a grill for everyone.
At Kick Ass Grills, we only carry premium grills, and you can read why in our article, “Is a Luxury Grill Worth the Higher Price Tag?” To sum it up in one sentence, a luxury grill is worth the higher price tag if you’re looking for a higher-performing product with more features and more durable construction.
Including these “budget” models, there are essentially four price points you’ll find. From our experience & expertise, grills should fall into one of the four tiers of grills: budget, entry-level luxury, mid-range luxury, and high-end luxury
Budget Level Grills
These are the grills that can be found at all big box stores - they’re economical and work great as a first grill. That is if you’re comfortable knowing you’ll have to replace it in the near future and you’re okay sacrificing some of the better performance and features found in the upper tiers of grills. There’s nothing wrong with buying one of these budget grills - many of them provide value in their own right, but we can’t stress enough that these grills are simply not designed to be a luxury grill. Their price point ranges from $50-$750
Entry-Level Luxury Grills
Entry-level luxury grills feature much higher construction quality than you’ll find on budget models. While big-box store products feature low-quality stainless steel or even aluminum construction, an entry-level luxury grill will usually feature the same materials used on more expensive grills, albeit with a thinner gauge.
These grills offer great value for the money and combine impressive features with affordable prices. For grills in this price range, you can expect to pay a price ranging from around $1,000 to $3,000.
Example: Napoleon Prestige 500 Gas Grill
Mid-Range Luxury Grills
Mid-range grills usually borrow some of the features of high-end grills while remaining relatively affordable. It’s in this range you’ll start to see premium features like infrared burners more frequently. You’ll also find higher quality construction—usually 304 stainless steel construction on the grill head and grill cart (if applicable).
A mid-range grill will typically run around $3,000 to $5,000. While some may balk at this price at first, it’s important to remember these grills can easily last several decades if properly protected and maintained.
Example: Blaze Professional Gas Grill
High-end grills use only the highest quality materials and are designed to last a lifetime. In this price range, you’ll find overengineered burner systems, a wealth of features designed to allow versatile cooking styles, and handcrafted products with performance matched only by impressive appearance. These are the grills for professional cooks and those who refuse to accept anything less than the best.
How much will a high-end grill run? These products will typically fall in the $5,000 to $8,000 range, though large and specialty options can easily exceed $10,000.
How Durable Should a Grill Be?
We briefly touched on grill construction in the budget section, but product durability is an important consideration in its own right. Better materials mean better durability but come with a higher cost. What makes one grill “better” than another, though?
When purchasing your grill, consider build quality, location, and manufacturer quality.
The construction of your grill will make the most difference when it comes to how long it will last. A grill is an outdoor appliance—think about placing your oven outside and consider how long it would last. So what makes a luxury grill different from an indoor appliance (or a cheap grill, for that matter)? Construction material.
The most common types of stainless steel you’ll find on our grills are 430 stainless steel, 304 stainless steel, and 316 stainless steel.
- 430 stainless steel is the most economical option. While not quite as durable as 304 stainless steel, the cost savings can allow manufacturers to include extra features with the grill—like side burners and rotisserie kits—while keeping a lower price point.
- 304 stainless steel is typically found on most higher-end grills and allows for an extremely durable final product. A grill with 304 stainless steel throughout is a sure sign of quality and with proper care can last indefinitely.
- 316 stainless steel, also known as “marine-grade stainless steel” because of its applications in the marine industry, is a more durable product than even 304 stainless steel and is great for grills used in salt-water climates.
In addition to the type of stainless steel, you’ll want to find out the gauge of the stainless steel being used. Gauge, or thickness, is another measure of quality. In most cases, the thicker the stainless steel, the higher the quality of the material being used. Remember, though, when it comes to gauging, a lower number is better (e.g. 16-gauge stainless steel is thicker than 18-gauge stainless steel).
Where will your grill be located? Will it be on an outdoor grill island in the dry desert Southwestern United States? Is your grill going to sit in sunny Southern California where it rarely rains but ocean breezes bring salty air? Maybe your grill will be facing harsh Midwestern winters with long periods of no use (be sure to winterize your grill in that case).
Your climate will play a large role in how durable your grill will need to be. If your grill will be facing harsh conditions, you’ll want to consider a product with a higher grade stainless steel. You should also consider whether or not a special weather-resistant cover is available for your grill.
Even the best grills in optimal conditions will face regular wear and tear. Salt is corrosive and cleaning a grill after every use is important, particularly for those who frequently use marinades, rubs, and other fat-based enhancers.
Beyond proper care and maintenance, be sure to research manufacturer warranties before buying your grill. The grills at Kick Ass Grills are constructed from premium materials and feature the backing of trusted manufacturers. Many are even based out of North America to ensure the highest levels of quality and service.
Luxury grill brands will often feature warranties of some kind. However, the details if each policy may vary, so always be sure to check what is covered and under what scenarios a warranty claim is justified.
How Do You Use Your Grill?
Grills are not a one-size-fits-all product. How you use your grill should always be one of the biggest factors in your purchase decision. Not sure how to answer this question? Think about how frequently you cook, what you cook, and the number of people you cook for.
How Frequently You Cook
This consideration is much more open-ended than the other two, but it’s still worth mentioning. How frequently you use your grill relates back to our budget and durability questions from earlier.
Regarding budget, are you someone who uses your grill multiple times per week? If so, you may be able to justify upping your budget slightly for a more impressive grill. From a cost-per-use standpoint, a grill you use more frequently pays for itself faster. Throw in the fact you’ll likely be dining out less and dining at home more and the added cost makes even more sense.
Frequency also relates to durability. Do you need your grill to be as low maintenance as possible or are you willing to do extra maintenance to keep your grill in top shape? There’s also the location factor to consider again—will your grill be in a permanent BBQ grill island or do you want something on a cart you can store in winter? Details like these are important, but they’re easy to overlook.
What You Cook
What will you be cooking on your grill? If you’re going to stick to burgers and brats, pretty much anything we sell will cover your needs just fine. What if you’re looking for more versatility, though? Here are some common features and why you might want to consider them.
Ceramic briquettes and infrared burners are great if you’re looking to create restaurant-quality meals at home.
Grills with smoker boxes or charcoal trays can enhance the flavor by introducing smoky notes to your dishes.
Consider a rotisserie kit if you’re looking to expand your repertoire into “low and slow” cooking.
Extra accessories can include everything from skillets to vegetable baskets and rib racks. Always know what’s compatible with your grill model.
Even if you’re just getting started with grilling, buying a grill with more features may be a better option. After all, if this is a product you’re looking to keep 10 years, 20 years, or even longer, you’re going to want to make sure it can still meet your needs should you decide to expand your cooking style.
The Number of People You Cook For
The number of people you grill for can be an easy factor to overlook when grill buying. If you’re regularly hosting parties or cooking for a large group of people, you’re going to want a larger cooking surface—unless you want to spend all evening manning the grill.
On the other hand, if you only ever grill for small groups, buying a grill too large will unnecessarily add to your cost, which could potentially eat into your budget—money you could be spending to get extra features or a more premium grill.
Consider, too, not all cooking surfaces are made the same. Do you want a grill with all conventional burners, all infrared burners, or a mix of both? While conventional burners can accomplish most grilling tasks, infrared burners are able to sear at much higher temperatures but lack the low heat control. This may affect how much of your grilling surface you will be using at a given time.
Let Us Help You Even More
We hope this article helps you get started on your search for the best grill for you. If you’re still unsure about your next step, give us a call and let us help. We’re here Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. We can also be reached through our contact us page.
We’re looking forward to working with you.