If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard or outdoor area that is solely yours, getting some fresh air easily is a beloved privilege. Don’t let that go to waste.

If you really want to make the most of your outdoor space (besides getting some nice new furniture), we can’t stress enough how great it is to have a grill. Not only will it provide you with plenty of new cooking opportunities, but it’ll also give you a reason to get out of the house for a moment and perhaps spend some quality time with your loved ones while you whip up a meal.

Summertime is synonymous with grilling, so we say it’s time to get with the program. And if you need some help choosing the best grill for you and your space, we’ve got you covered.

What to take into consideration

Gas grills come in all shapes and sizes (and prices), which means that picking one out can get overwhelming very quickly. Something that is vital to remember when shopping for one: Just because it’s the most, doesn’t mean it’s the best (for you). In other words, if you have a tiny backyard and prefer the concept of minimalism, the super expensive, gigantic, five-burner grill isn’t really going to fit your vibe. It might be for someone else, but we’re shopping for you, remember?

Now that we got that lesson out of the way, there are two major points you’ll want to get figured out before purchasing your very own gas grill:

  1. Size: Not just the amount of physical space it takes up (which is still important), but also take note of the amount of burners you need. How much food do you normally cook at once? Are you regularly feeding a whole family? The more food, the more burners and surface area you’ll want.

  2. Versatility and extra features: This can range anywhere from temperature regulation, to smart features, to warming racks, to external side burners, to equipment storage, and more. It’ll all come down to what you see as necessary, and what you see as superfluous.

Get those priorities in check, and you’ve already done most of the work.

Gas grills vs. charcoal grills

Ah, yes, the age-old debate: Gas or charcoal?

The answer to that question will depend on where your priorities lie — convenience or flavor? Gas grills are all about the former. You can light them immediately, and they’re normally ready to cook on within minutes. With a charcoal grill, it’s a different story. Those generally take 20 to 30 minutes to start up, which can be frustrating if patience isn’t your strong suit.

But, with patience comes reward — many say that cooking with a charcoal grill helps you retain the smoky flavor of whatever you’re cooking, ending in a better final result. Gas grills usually end up vaporizing a lot of the good stuff, even though it gets the job done more quickly. Of course, if you’re a crappy cook, the flavor factor might not even matter. Make sure you know what you’re doing before you fire up that grill or prepare for unhappy tastebuds for all.

Gas grills are also inarguably more versatile and easier to operate. In addition to quick startup and shutdown, gas grills allow you to more meticulously control the temperature of your cooking surface. Many also come with multiple burners and extras that charcoal grills just don’t. You’ll end up paying more, though, and buying charcoal is a whole lot easier than refilling your propane tank in terms of availability (not to mention that gas grills are typically much bulkier). What we’re saying is that both have their advantages and disadvantages.

You can’t really go wrong, though. Consider your cooking style, budget, and taste preference, then make an informed decision. Don’t stress over it — it’s just food after all, and both will give you the opportunity to make something truly delicious.

What is the best gas grill for under $500?

The best grill for under $500 also happens to be our top pick overall: The Weber Spirit II E-310.

You’ll be able to read our full take on it below, but in short, we think it’s a great all-around grill that boasts the features of more expensive options, just at a way better price. Plus, it’s compatible with smart devices. How cool!

What is the best gas grill, period?

We’re happy you asked. Without further ado, our picks for the best gas grills.


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