How to Choose the Best Gas Grill

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Summer can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. A day water skiing at the lake. A trip to the beach. Cold drinks on a patio. One of the most common summer images many people look forward to throughout the rest of the year is firing up the grill on the patio to make your favorite meat and veggies with a cold beer in hand.

The most important part of making that image happen is the backyard grill. And one of the most popular versions of a backyard grill you’ll find is the gas grill.

The Benefits of a Gas Grill

While some people love the flavor of a charcoal grill in spite of the extra work involved, and others will always choose the convenience of an electric grill, most grillers prefer to go with something that falls somewhere in the middle.

Gas grills don’t take as long as charcoal grills to heat up, so you can get your food cooking faster. Gas grills are also much easier to use and clean than charcoal. Further, if you like the idea of being able to grill food year round, then charcoal becomes an impractical option, whereas with a gas grill you can get the grill going no matter the weather outside (although it will need to be under a cover of some sort if it’s pouring out, naturally).

While you’ll pay more upfront for a gas grill, they also cost less to use, since gas is cheaper to buy than charcoal. And they still add some nice smoky flavor to the items you cook in them.

Electric grills on the other hand are more convenient still and a bit safer than gas, but they don’t provide much extra flavor and, at the end of the day, many people won’t find the results all that different from just cooking on their stove.

Gas grills provide the happy medium of convenience and flavor.

Types of Gas Grills

When figuring out the best type of gas grill to go with, you have a few different categories to decide on.

Gas Grill Style

First, you need to figure out whether you want a stand-alone gas grill, or you want to build one into an outdoor kitchen.

  • Stand-alone Gas Grills

The vast majority of customers will want to go with a stand-alone gas grill. They’re easy – all you have to do is buy it and set it up. You may have to set yours up close to a natural gas line if you don’t use a propane tank, but otherwise you can put it pretty much anywhere outside that’s safe. Stand-alone grills are more affordable and convenient than built-in gas grills.

  • Built-in Gas Grills

On the other hand, if you’re building an outdoor kitchen and want something that’s integrated into the space, a built-in gas grill will do the trick. It will blend in better with the space and arguably look better than a stand-alone gas grill.

Fuel Type

When you choose to buy a gas grill, you’ve already narrowed down the fuel type, but you still have a choice to make: natural gas or propane.

Natural Gas

A grill that uses natural gas will be a bit more complicated to hook up and you’ll be more limited in where you can put it. If you already have a natural gas hookup in your backyard then you’re set, but if not you’ll need to hire a certified contractor to set it up.

Make sure before they do so that you make certain you like the spot you’ve chosen because you won’t be able to move the grill to a new one. The big benefit of natural gas is that it’s easier to use once your grill is set up. As long as you pay your gas bill, you’ll never run out and have to go out and buy more. It will always be there for you. In addition, it’s also cheaper in most places than using propane.

Propane

If you don’t want to deal with bringing out a contractor to run a gas line to your grill, then you can stick with using a propane grill. You’ll have a much easier setup process in exchange for a bit more effort over time as you’ll have to buy new tanks to replace empty ones every time you run out.

And if you don’t keep a backup tank on hand, you run the risk of prepping your meat for the grill only to realize you have to run an errand before you’ll be able to cook it. Propane will also cost you more over the life of using your gas grill, but you have the benefit of being able to move the grill to whatever spot is most convenient whenever you want.

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