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Propane grills are happy things, the heart of backyard barbecues, camping trips, and tailgating bashes. They’re surefire ways to cook up crowd-pleasing caramelized vegetables and juicy meats without much fuss. Best of all, gas grills can be as easy to use as your stovetop, with the bonus of smoky, charred flavor and an added element of outdoor fun. They heat up quickly, and all you need for fuel is a standard propane tank, which provides about 20 hours of cooking time.
Whether you’re searching for your perfect first gas grill or ready for an upgrade, here are the best of the best propane grills for the ultimate veggie burgers, steaks, and grilled chicken for years to come.
Best Overall: Weber Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill
What We Like: Easy to use, heats up quickly, comes with handy extras
What We Don't Like: Assembly can be tricky
Weber is known for its iconic charcoal grills but one would be remiss to overlook its gas grills. The Weber Spirit II E-310, which is also available for natural gas, boasts 529 square inches of cooking space over three burners, about 15 burgers worth of surface area.
You can start cooking on the Spirit II E-310's porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates by pressing the Infinity Ignition, which is guaranteed to ignite every time without any drama and is backed by a 10-year warranty. The left side table easily extends up for when you need an extra shelf, while the open-cart shelf and built-in hooks help keep everything within arm's reach. The grill is also compatible with Weber's iGrill 3 app so you can check your food's temperature from your phone.
These grills are well-equipped with neat extras like a gas gauge, an easy-to-empty grease pan, and lighted control knobs so you can keep the party going late. Plus, it heats up in just a few minutes.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 27 x 52 x 44.5 inches | Cooking Area: 529 square inches | BTU/hour: 30,000
Best Budget: Char-Broil Classic Series 3-Burner Gas Grill
What We Like: Easy to move around, compact, minimal maintenance required
What We Don't Like: Limited temperature control
This lightweight and easy-to-clean model—thanks to its porcelain-coated grates and lid—can’t be beaten for its very reasonable price tag and grilling prowess. Higher-end grills might get you more consistent heat and sturdier construction, but this is a great starter grill.
This Char-Broil Classic Series model is a 3-burner gas grill that delivers 30,000 BTUs of heat across its 360-square-inch cooking surface, with a secondary warming rack adding 170 square inches. Just flip the push button Piezo igniter and you’re in business, ready for ribs, chicken wings, or whatever else you’re craving. Two metal side shelves are ideal for holding sauces and plates, and it’s easy to cart around on its two wheels. Keep in mind that since the knobs have a smaller range than some other models, and it's tricky to get the exact temperature you want.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 24.1 x 51.2 x 43.5 inches | Cooking Area: 360 square inches | BTU/hour: 30,000
Best Portable: Napoleon TravelQ TQ285-RD-1-A Portable Propane Gas Grill with Griddle
What We Like: Even and consistent heating, sturdy quality, creates great grill marks
What We Don't Like: Legs do not lock
It’s almost like magic. This convenient, compact portable grill boasts 285 square inches of grilling area and 12,000 BTUs of flame power from two burners. The two legs fold in so you can easily transport and store it away.
Individually controlled stainless steel tube burners give you power for both direct and indirect heat, so that you can sear, bake, roast, and even smoke wherever your travels bring you (camping, picnicking, tailgating!). Durable cast iron cooking grids heat evenly for a fantastic sear, one of which is reversible to a griddle, and the domed shape fits thicker cuts of meat with barely any flare-ups and minimal smoke. A couple of downsides are that attaching the fuel tank can be a bit challenging and the legs don't lock when extended.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 19.25 x 24 x 15.5 inches | Cooking Area: 285 square inches | BTU/hour: 12,000
Related: The Best Portable Grills
Best for Small Spaces: Cuisinart All-Foods Roll-Away Portable Grill
What We Like: Can be stored and transported with ease, quick set-up, precise temperature control
What We Don't Like: Grate is hard to clean
This collapsible grill from Cuisinart is the little grill that could! The convenient roll-away folding cart makes this a great grill for balconies, decks, campsites, and grilling-on-the-move without compromising quality.
The compact grill features a 15,000 BTUs stainless steel loop burner, a porcelain-enameled cast-iron grill surface, and a reliable twist-start electric ignition. The double-walled stainless-steel cover distributes heat evenly for delicious food every time. Its collapsible base pops open and locks into place, so it’s easy to set up anywhere. Two shelves fold out to provide ample space for plates or condiments, then fold back up for your next grilling adventure. A few reviewers do note that the grate is hard to clean post-barbecue.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 21 x 42.8 x 36 inches | Cooking Area: 240 square inches | BTU/hour: 15,000
Best Large Capacity: Royal Gourmet GB8000 8-Burner Liquid Propane Event Gas Grill
What We Like: Powerful performance, expansive capacity, two separate grilling areas allow for multitasking
What We Don't Like: Bulky frame, no lid included
If the party's always at your place then this event grill from Royal Gourmet needs to be on your must-have list. Eight stainless steel tube burners boast 13,000 BTUs each over a supersized cooking area of 969 square inches (more than 60 burgers at one time, get flipping!).
This grill is almost like two grills in one. It has two grilling areas, each with its own regulators and cleanup systems that include draw-out drip trays and removable grease cups. The heavy-duty, large-capacity open cart facilitates enough storage space for all the entertaining and feasting your heart desires. The metal frame isn’t as sturdy as it could be and it doesn’t come with a lid, but reviewers loved that the grill held up for major events.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 24.2 x 90.3 x 38.2 inches | Cooking Area: 969 square inches | BTU/hour: 104,000
Related: The Best Grill Brushes
Best Splurge: Weber Genesis II E-335 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill
What We Like: Can control temperature through app, solid warranty, side burner allows for sauteeing or simmering
What We Don't Like: Pricey, customer support can be lacking
This high-end Weber grill does it all, from a “sear station” designed to create an intense heat zone to quickly add sear marks to your meat to an iGrill 3 app-connected thermometer, which monitors food as it cooks, displaying the real-time temperature on your mobile device.
The Genesis II E-335 is definitely a major step up from the iconic black classic grill, but it still has Weber quality. This grill has 669 square inches of cooking space along with a stainless-steel side burner. Its solid stainless-steel rod cooking grates provide even heat distribution across the entire porcelain-enameled cast-iron grilling surface.
There are enclosed storage and side tables with hooks to keep your grilling tools in easy reach, and it's all backed with a 10-year warranty,
Dimensions (DxWxH): 29 x 59 x 47 inches | Cooking Area: 513 square inches | BTU/hour: 39,000
Best Tabletop: Cuisinart CGG-306 Chef's Style Propane Tabletop Grill
What We Like: Lightweight and compact, can be set up without tools or matches, heats up quickly
What We Don't Like: May be hard to clean
For grilling on the go or in small spaces, this stainless-steel tabletop beauty weighs just 22 pounds and works flawlessly with the addition of a 20-pound propane tank.
Cuisinart designed this with a powerful two-burner system that produces 10,000 BTUs each over the 276 square inches of cooking space. There's an electronic ignition and dedicated control knobs for each burner, so you can cook two things at once, a feature pretty rare in tabletop grills. Reviewers rave about its solid construction, the fast, and easy setup (no matches required), and how light and portable the grill is. There aren’t too many frills, but it delivers for a small, reliable grill.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 19 x 21.5 x 15 inches | Cooking Area: 276 square inches | BTU/hour: 20,000
Related: The Best Grills
What to Look for in a Propane Gas Grill
Choosing a gas grill can be overwhelming, as there are countless grills from dozens of brands, all marketed with a lot of fancy-sounding jargon.
Cooking capacity is a sensible place to start. The size of your cooking surface will determine how much food you can make at one time. How many people do you usually grill for, and how often will you need to cook up a neighborhood-sized ration of hot dogs and veggie kebobs? Smaller households can get away with 400 to 500 square inches. Bigger grills of 600 square inches or more usually including more than four burners, which means more opportunity for multi-zone cooking. This can mean searing a steak over high heat while you slowly roast veggies at a lower setting at the same time. Remember, you can always turn off a burner or two.
The next thing to think about is BTUs or British Thermal Units. This is a measurement of the amount of heat a grill can produce. More BTUs entail a more powerful and better grill, right? It’s actually not quite that simple. A better way to think about it is to compare the BTUs to the size of the useable cooking surface, dividing the BTUs by square inches of cooking space. You’re looking for a result between 80 and 100 BTUs per square inch, the sweet spot. Keep in mind, the more BTUs a grill has, the faster it will burn up fuel, so there’s no need to go overboard.
Just as important as the BTUs is the general quality of the grill—after all, this is something you want to use for a long time. Look for the weight of the grate, the materials used to construct the grill, and how tight the lid fits. You might also look for snazzy features, like a side burner (if your grill is right near the kitchen, a side burner might be overkill, but if you do a lot of cooking on your grill, it could come in handy). Gliding drawers for storing utensils and condiments are super convenient, and pullout grease trays make cleanup easier.
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Hannah Howard has been writing about food and cooking for over a decade, including the memoirs “Feast” and “Plenty.” She is married to a Kansas City Barbecue Society-certified barbecue judge and dedicated meat lover.
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