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HomeClassic CarThe best natural gas grills in 2024

The best natural gas grills in 2024

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While several different methods exist for cooking up a juicy burger, steak, or portobello, natural gas grills are essentially unrivaled when delivering clean-burning convenience. They’re convenient because they can plug directly into your home’s natural gas pipeline, meaning that you can enjoy 24/7 use without having to mess around with refilling propane tanks all the time. As far as the clean-burning factor, natural gas grills deliver in two regards. First, they’re better for the environment as they release less CO2 than propane or charcoal grills. Second, they cook cleaner than charcoal grills, allowing you to enjoy the untainted flavors of your food (though admittedly, this is a matter of preference—some people prefer the mesquite flavor from a good charcoal grill, but to each their own). In any case, if you’re in the market for the best natural gas grills for outdoor barbeque excellence, we have suggestions.

How we picked the best natural gas grills

While searching for the best natural gas grills, we considered factors like heat distribution and retention, heating power via BTUs, cooking area, and additional BBQ cooking features, all of which combine to determine the quality of a user’s cooking experience. Aesthetics and durability are important elements as well, as every buyer wants a grill that will look good on the porch while lasting over the long run. We weighed these characteristics in selecting models that represent a variety of budgets and situational needs. To ensure that we truly found the best of the best, we examined products from over a dozen leading brands and lesser-known manufacturers and made our picks based on a combination of firsthand experience, outside expert assessments, and Amazon reviews from real-world buyers.

The best natural gas grills: Reviews & Recommendations

Once you’ve decided you want to go with a natural gas grill over charcoal, pellet, etc., they come in various sizes, heat levels, cooking area, features, and price points. Here are the best options we rounded up on the market today.

Best overall: Weber Spirit II E-310

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Specs

  • Burners: 3
  • Cooking area: 529 square inches
  • BTU per hour input: 30,000

Pros

  • Great temperature control for quality grilling
  • 10-year warranty
  • Reversible grill grates

Cons

  • Can be tricky to assemble without expert assembly package

Weber has long stood among the leaders in the realm of the grill, and the Spirit II E-310 is a perfect example of why. It delivers reliable temperature control, a workable cooking area, and is backed by a decade-long warranty.

Its three-burner, 529-square-inch cooking surface is the perfect size for the average home’s grilling needs. With stainless steel burners, porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates, and a porcelain-enameled lid, its heat distribution and retention deliver the temperature control you need for a reliable cooking experience, making the most of its somewhat lower BTU rate. The grill grates can be flipped over, with one side being thicker and one side being thinner to accommodate different types of food.

Other convenient design features include a folding side table for food storage while you cook and integrated hooks for hanging your grilling tools. If you’re looking for a natural gas grill that will do pretty much everything well, the Weber Spirit II E-310 checks all the boxes and is undoubtedly the best value we’ve found.

Best premium: Weber Genesis SPX-435

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Specs

  • Burners: 5 (including one side burner)
  • Cooking area: 994 square inches
  • BTU per hour input: 48,000 (Side burner is 12,000)

Pros

  • Sear zone for ultra-high heat
  • Connected features to monitor your grill’s temperature remotely on your smartphone
  • Deep top grate
  • Outstanding heat distribution
  • Side burner and large prep table for cooking convenience

Cons

  • Price
  • Can require multiple people to assemble

If you’re a serious grill master who needs the best of the best, Weber’s Genesis SPX-435 can oblige. It has ample cooking space on its main and top rack, allowing you to cook over a dozen burgers while toasting their buns simultaneously. When cooking large cuts of meat, you can attach one of the included meat probes and monitor its temperature using the Weber Grills app on your iOS or Android smartphone. The app will also show you the current temperature of your grill so you can track the SPX-435 as it warms up. The grill’s current temperature will also be shown on an LCD display, which is easy to read during the day and night.

One of the SPX-435’s most convenient features is its side burner, which allows you to cook sides on a skillet alongside your main dish. The side burner’s temperature can be controlled independently of the main grill portion. Another handy feature is the SPX-435’s “sear zone,” a setting that activates three burners bunched closer together. Food cooked in this section when the feature is enabled will be blasted with a high concentration of heat to achieve proper grill marks.

This smart propane grill costs $2,149 (typically $1,749 after discounts), but it’s a major step up in both size and performance, so you’re getting what you’ll pay for. Looking for one of the best smart grills that’s only $1,649 (closer to $1,349 at retail) but that still offers Weber’s outstanding heat distribution and retention, plus real-time temperature alerts, set flip and serve reminders, and other functions from your phone? The Weber Genesis SX-335 offers fewer burners and less cooking area but that same high-quality experience and outcome. A Weber SPX propane grill is definitely not cheap, and you probably wouldn’t want to work on the assembly alone, but these are undoubtedly the best smart natural gas grills money can buy.

Best built-in: Bullet by Bull Outdoor Products 48108 Bronco

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Specs

  • Burners: 4 or 5 burner options
  • Cooking area: 630 or 736 square inches, depending on burner package
  • BTU per hour input: 75,000

Pros

  • Perfect for building into outdoor kitchens
  • Durable, stainless steel design is reliably weatherproof
  • Great heat performance for a solid cooking experience

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Some users have issues with assembly and customer support

If you’re looking for a natural gas grill to build into your permanent outdoor kitchen, check out the Yukon Bullet 48108 Bronco from Bull Outdoor Products. It’s a bit pricier than some other options, but when it comes to installing a fixed-in-place grill that will need to brave the elements, you don’t want to cut corners, and this stainless steel grill delivers the durability you need.

Performance-wise, the Bronco is similarly thorough. It distributes and retains its powerful 75,000 BTU heat output well, and its cast iron grills offer the reliable grilling experience you want out of an outdoor kitchen. It also looks sleek and timeless, making it an attractive addition to your backyard.

Best small: Magma Products Newport II Infrared Gourmet Series Gas Grill

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Specs

  • Burners: 1
  • Cooking area: 162 square inches
  • BTU per hour input: 11,200

Pros

  • Can use both natural gas and propane tanks interchangeably 
  • Highly portable for yard, camping, or boat use
  • Foldable legs—capable of mounting on boat rail

Cons

  • Moderate heat performance

If you need a grill that can go virtually anywhere—even or perhaps especially on a boat—the Newport II from Magma Products is an incredibly versatile option. At home you can plug it into your natural gas system, or you can convert it to propane when on the road or on the water. Its folding legs and numerous mounting options make it ideal for just about any on-the-go grilling situation. You can even mount it to your boat rail for safe grilling at sea.

Accordingly, it’s built to handle the weather. Its stainless steel body won’t rust in the rain and its hermetically sealed thermometer won’t corrode due to salt water, while its turbo burner/dual element combustion system is designed to stay lit in heavy winds. Heat distribution can be somewhat inconsistent, but as far as durable, portable grills go it’s an outstanding option.

Best budget: Nexgrill Deluxe 2-Burner Grill

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Specs

  • Burners: 2
  • Cooking area: 401 square inches
  • BTU per hour input: 28,000 BTU

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Compatible with two heat sources
  • Price

Cons

If you’re looking for a flexible grill at an affordable price, your best choice is this two-burner model from Nextgrill. It runs on propane out of the box but can be converted into a natural gas grill using a conversion kit. It only has two burners, which means you’ll only have a pair of cooking zones to work with, but this grill still has ample cooking space—including a top rack that’s perfect for toasting burger buns or using indirect cooking to finish your dish. A foldable side table offers space to keep your food containers while you’re loading up the grill.

This grill’s compact size is one of its biggest advantages over most natural gas grills. It’ll fit nicely onto a smaller deck or patio—especially if you’ve got outdoor furniture and a heat lamp for tailgating season. If you’re just getting into grilling or haven’t gotten a grill due to lack of space, this grill is your best choice.

What to consider when choosing a natural gas grill

For all practical purposes, it might seem like natural gas grills are more or less all the same, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are plenty of models on the market that fall short of excellence—or even competence—and end up delivering a frustrating ownership experience. Here’s what to look for in the best.

Heat delivery, distribution, and retention

Most subpar natural gas grills don’t produce enough heat for quality grilling, and the bad ones that do produce enough make poor use of that heat once it’s there. For a stationary backyard grill, look for a model that produces at least 20,000 BTU. On top of that, you want it to have cast iron grating that will distribute the heat evenly and, ideally, porcelain-enamel coating on both the grating and lid to support heat retention. All of this adds up to the ideal conditions for controlling the temperature of your grill and properly cooking your food.

Cooking area

The size of your cooking area—the grating area typically measured in square inches—determines how much food you can grill at once. It’s important to have a cooking area commensurate to your needs; otherwise, you’re not able to produce food fast enough, and the result is a trickle of food that prevents everyone from eating at once. If you’re only grilling for yourself, a small family, or a handful of friends, a small to medium-sized grill will get the job done. But if you’ve got a large family or plan on hosting large groups on the reg, get the most expansive grill you can.

Features

For some, a basic grill is all that’s needed. But avid grill-hounds cooking a variety of food in large quantities can benefit from convenience and cooking features like prep tables, a storage compartment, sear zones, side burners, a rotisserie, and so on. Consider how expansive your grill regimen might be, and feature up accordingly.

Durability

The craftsmanship of your grill can play a huge role in its lifespan and can mean the difference between safe and unsafe. Poorly constructed grills not only fall apart and deteriorate in appearance over time, but lids and other pieces can fall off and burn you, gas can leak, and they can even catch fire. Ensure you get a grill that will keep you safe and happy in the long run.

FAQs

Q: What are BTUs?

British Thermal Units—or BTUs—represent a measurement of the fuel consumption and therefore heat output per hour. It is calculated by determining the amount of thermal necessary to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree.

BTUs are important for grilling as they represent how hot your grill is capable of getting, but bigger numbers aren’t necessarily better, as grills with poor heat retention tend to waste a lot of the thermal energy produced.

Q: Is it cheaper to grill with propane or natural gas?

On one hand, natural gas is cheaper than propane, but on the other, it burns faster than propane. Propane burns twice as hot as natural gas, so over time, you’ll tend to go through less of it.

Q: Does a natural gas grill taste different?

Natural gas will not impact the flavor of your food.

Q: How far should a natural gas grill be from the house?

Most manufacturers recommend that a natural gas grill be placed at least three feet away from any structures. Always use them outdoors, as they are not safe for indoor grilling under any circumstances.

Q: Is it OK to leave a natural gas grill outside in winter?

A well-built outdoor grill should have few issues with being out in the weather, though it is advisable that you protect it with a quality cover.

Q: Can I convert my gas grill to natural gas?

The hookup on a natural gas grill will not work with a propane tank, though you can purchase a conversion kit. Typically you will need a manufacturer-approved kit.

Q: Is a natural gas grill worth it?

There are no major performance differences between propane and natural gas—your food will end up just as grilled either way. The key differences involve CO2 release and convenience. If you want a grill that’s environmentally conscious, go with natural gas. And if you plan on grilling frequently and don’t want to deal with the hassle of replenishing a propane tank, a natural gas grill will connect directly to your home pipeline and save you the trip.

Final thoughts on the best natural gas grills

If you enjoy grilling but want to keep it easy and minimize your impact on the environment, the best natural gas grills are worth your consideration. From high-end smart models to budget-friendly options, these grills allow you to plug into an existing energy source, cut down on your CO2 usage, and cook your food evenly for a premium experience.

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