Which propane grills are the best?
Nothing says summer like firing up the grill. Whether you go for burgers and veggies or class it up with cedar planks and salmon, these outdoor cooking appliances are backyard staples across the country.
Propane grills are the perfect solution for those who love to cook outdoors but would prefer to do so without the mess, prep time and inconsistency of charcoal or wood pellets.
What to know before you buy a propane grill
Propane grill benefits
- Instant ignition: No more waiting for the charcoal to catch fire. Gas grills light up with the press of a button, so you can get those steaks sizzling in no time.
- Easy cleaning: Coal dust and greasy lighter fluid can make charcoal grills a real mess. Propane grills are much easier to tidy up when you’re done eating.
- Quick preheating: Propane grills reach high heat almost immediately after ignition. This makes achieving a safe cooking temperature quick and easy.
- Temperature control: With multiple burners and dials that let you adjust the flame across your cooking surface, propane grills offer temperature control that charcoal grills can’t match.
- Efficiency: Because you can choose which burners you want to ignite, propane grills let you cook more efficiently without wasting fuel.
Your cooking preferences
For the most part, anything you can cook in a charcoal grill you can also prepare in a propane grill. What you will miss, however, is the characteristic broiled taste that cooking food over burning coals creates. If you feel that the ease of gas grilling outweighs the loss of a little summertime flavor, a propane grill will set you up with everything you need to get started.
From built-in appliances with huge cooking surfaces to portable grills designed to feed a few hungry campers, there is no shortage of choices for those who want to experience the simple, primal satisfaction of cooking food with an open flame.
Think about where you intend to use your grill, how many people you will usually be cooking for and whether or not you will be bringing it with you while you travel.
What to look for in a propane grill
Shelves and racks
Most propane grills feature side shelves, racks and utensil hangers to make preparing and serving food a breeze. Shelves that fold up let you store your grill with ease during the winter months.
Aside from tabletop and portable gas grills, just about all of them include a wheeled cart. These can keep your cooking surface at a convenient level, store propane out of sight and let you roll the grill out of the way when you’re not using it. Select a grill that has a cart with sturdy casters and accessible shelving to get the most out of it.
Some grills include a fuel gauge that lets you know how much propane you have left. Since it can be hard to determine how full your tank is, this feature could make the difference between enjoying a quick dinner or getting your preparation interrupted by a spent propane supply.
An interior warming rack lets you keep your finished food toasty while freeing your grill up to cook your next batch of burgers or dogs.
Select a grill with a thermometer on its lid that is easy to read. While a meat thermometer is still needed to ensure that your food is cooked to a safe temperature, having a gauge you can look at without having to open the grill will keep you from releasing the hot air inside it and extending your cooking time.
Best propane grills
Top premium propane grills
What you need to know: This compact grill from Weber has a sleek, modern look and is packed with useful features.
What you’ll love: A folding side table, utensil hangers and a fuel gauge make this gas grill the star of any cookout. It comes in four colors and features Weber’s classic Flavorizer bars that sizzle drippings for added smokiness.
What you should consider: Buyers say that this grill is challenging to assemble and is a bit on the expensive side for its size.
What you need to know: Stainless steel and slick black trim make this large grill from Char-Broil stand out from the competition.
What you’ll love: The side burner built into one of the shelves allows you to heat a pot of soup or sauce while you cook. Stainless steel construction and four burners put this appliance in a class of its own.
What you should consider: This grill is large, and its side shelves don’t fold down.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: Rule the cookout with this generously-sized, stainless steel gas grill.
What you’ll love: Built into a large cabinet with ample storage space, this grill features a side burner and a whopping 683 square inches of cooking area. LED knobs let you see your controls in the dark
What you should consider: Buyers have complained that this grill is not packed well and sometimes arrives dented.
Top budget propane grills
What you need to know: With three burners and two side shelves, this grill is a great value.
What you’ll love: You can roll this grill easily, thanks to its rugged wheeled cart. It includes a warming rack to keep prepared food from getting cold, and the gloss black finish looks great on any patio.
What you should consider: Some buyers find that this grill’s handle gets too hot to grab without using an oven mitt.
What you need to know: This grill’s grates are coated in porcelain to prevent sticking and make cleaning easier.
What you’ll love: This grill’s three burners give you a wide range of options for cooking foods at different temperatures at the same time. It includes a warming rack and features a porcelain-coated lid and firebox.
What you should consider: Some users are disappointed with this grill’s inability to reach very high temperatures.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top travel grills
What you need to know: This portable grill is inexpensive but still large enough to feed a family.
What you’ll love: With its carrying handles and legs that fold up to keep its lid on during travel, this little grill is made to move. Just as at home in the backyard as it is at the campsite, this grill is fueled by a small propane cylinder as opposed to a heavy tank.
What you should consider: Some buyers have noticed quality control issues with the way this grill’s metal parts fit together during assembly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This travel grill folds up for easy transport and storage.
What you’ll love: Unique in its design, this gas grill includes a cart that can fold up. With a surface large enough to cook 15 burgers, this travel grill does not skimp on cooking power.
What you should consider: The latch on this grill’s lid can come loose while you’re rolling it, causing the grates to fall out.
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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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