The sizzling sound of juicy burgers on the grill. The smoky aroma of steak searing over an open flame. Is there anything better than gathering around a barbecue and enjoying delicious food fresh off the grill? There’s just something special about outdoor cooking during those warm summer months. But who wants to deal with the mess of charcoal or the hassle of propane tanks? This is where natural gas grills come in.
With a natural gas hookup, you can enjoy the convenience and flavor of grilling year-round without any of the usual barbecue headaches. No more buying and lugging around heavy bags of charcoal or propane tank refills. Just turn a knob and you’ve got instant, consistent heat ready to start grilling.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about natural gas grills. First, we’ll highlight the top 5 best models on the market right now. Next, we’ll go over what features to look for and how to shop for the perfect grill for your needs and budget. We’ll also provide tips on setup, use, and maintenance once you’ve made your purchase. Let’s get grilling!
Top 5 Outdoor Natural Gas Grills
With so many options out there, it can be tough to determine which natural gas grill is right for you. To make the decision easier, we’ve compiled this list of the top 5 contenders for best overall grill:
1. Weber Genesis II E-435 – The Premium Performer
If you’re looking for the ultimate outdoor kitchen setup, the Weber Genesis II E-435 is sure to satisfy. This high-end 4-burner model comes with an enclosed cart design that provides extensive storage and prep space. The primary cooking area provides 646 square inches, enough room to cook a full meal for a large gathering.
In addition to the excellent construction and generous sizing, the E-435 is packed with useful features. The Sear Station burner allows you to quickly sear meats before lowering the heat for slower cooking. An attached side burner lets you sauté veggies or simmer sauces. The built-in thermometer helps you perfectly monitor grill temperature.
Weber is known for exceptional quality and it shows in this grill. The heavy-duty stainless steel construction will hold up year after year. Owners praise this grill for providing excellent temperature control and evenly distributed heat across the cooking surface. And with Weber’s impressive 10 year warranty, you can grill with confidence.
With all these top-notch features, the Weber Genesis II E-435 sits at the higher end of the price spectrum. But devoted grillmasters agree that the quality craftsmanship and reliability are well worth the investment.
2. Napoleon Rogue 425 – Feature-Packed Functionality
The Napoleon Rogue 425 provides serious grilling capabilities all wrapped up in a sleek package. This 3-burner grill still provides an ample 625 square inches of main cooking space over sturdy stainless steel “wave” grids that allow you to get those perfect crisscross sear marks.
Napoleon packs great extras into the Rogue 425 like an infrared rear burner that provides intense heat for searing, stainless steel side shelves for prep space, and integrated thermometer gauges built into the lid.
Reviewers praise this grill for putting out some serious BTUs, allowing you to achieve high temperatures when needed for the perfect sear. The flame tamers on each burner help distribute heat evenly across the grates. Visually, the Rogue 425 looks sharp with polished accents and Napoleon’s signature style. And with a lifetime warranty on the stainless steel burners, it’s built to last.
Unlike some Napoleon models, the Rogue 425 doesn’t come with a cover included, so you’ll need to budget for that additional purchase. But overall, this is a fantastic grill packed with function and power.
3. Broil King Regal 500 – Royal Grilling Performance
When you need a grill that can handle big crowds, the Broil King Regal 500 is ready for royal feasting. This natural gas model comes equipped with 5 burners, including a powerful rear rotisserie burner, giving you a whopping 625 square inches of total cooking area.
The Regal 500 provides versatility with both direct and indirect heating options, adjustable Flav-R-Wave stainless steel heat deflectors, a handy side burner, and a convective cooking system inside the cabinet. Large fold-down side shelves increase your prep space.
Owners of this grill speak highly of its superior heat distribution and ability to maintain temperature evenly across the grates, allowing you to perfectly sear and grill all types of meats with ease. The stainless steel construction, heavy-duty caster wheels, and impressive warranty all point to lasting quality.
With all its commercial-grade features, the Regal 500 sits on the pricey side. But those who can afford it find that the performance and results are worth the investment.
4. Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living 5-Burner – Best Value Pick
For an affordable natural gas grill packing plenty of features, the Dyna-Glo Smart Space Living 5-Burner is a top choice. This enameled steel grill provides 5 main burners delivering 48,000 total BTUs along with a side burner, giving you 764 square inches of total cooking space.
Despite the lower price point, the Smart Space Living grill doesn’t skimp on useful extras. The electronic ignition fires up fast, while the enclosed storage cabinet provides room for your grilling tools and small tank propane cylinder for the side burner.
Reviewers say this grill delivers seriously solid grilling functionality and ample cooking capacity at an affordable price point. The stainless steel heat tents help prevent flare-ups while keeping food moist. Owners love the convenience of an LP grill with cabinet storage at this price.
The enameled steel construction won’t provide the same level of durability as the stainless steel models. But the burner warranty coverage still reaches a confidence-boosting 10 years. For budget-focused grillers, the tradeoff is worth it.
5. Weber Spirit II E-310 – Excellent All-Around Performer
Weber’s trusted quality shines again in the versatile and consistent Spirit II E-310. This 3-burner grill offers 529 square inches of cooking space over durable porcelain-enameled cast iron grates. The open cart design provides handy storage space below.
Thoughtful extras make the E-310 a pleasure to grill on including side tables that fold down when not in use, an easy-start infinity ignition system, and Weber’s effective grease management system.
Owners love the convenient, no-fuss grilling experience the Spirit II E-310 provides. The cast iron grates retain heat extremely well and Weber’s 10-year warranty offers peace of mind. With the ability to add on other accessories, it’s adaptable to your grilling needs.
The open cart and smaller cooking surface don’t provide quite as much functionality for large group grilling compared to larger models. But overall, this is a reliable, high-performing grill at a reasonable mid-range price point.
How to Choose an Outdoor Natural Gas Grill
Now that you’ve got a taste of the best options available, let’s go over what features and specifications you should consider while shopping for your perfect natural gas grill:
Size and Burners
One of the first factors to decide is how much primary cooking area you’ll need. Will this grill be used mainly for feeding large crowds at big summer blowouts? Or will it be just for occasional family meals? Consider how many people you plan to regularly grill for. That will determine how many total BTUs and burners you’ll require. More burners (4-6) provide more control over searing and heat zones.
Pay attention to the overall grill materials and quality of construction. Thicker, heavier stainless steel will hold up better long-term compared to thinner enameled steel. Look for sturdy lid hinges and cabinet hardware. Porcelain-enameled cast iron grates are ideal for even heating and heat retention. Solid construction means better durability.
Look for useful extras like side burners for simmering, infrared rear burners that provide more intense searing heat, integrated lid thermometers, ample prep space, and cabinet storage. If a rotisserie is included for slow roasting, that’s a nice bonus. Convenient ignition systems allow you to fire up the grill quickly.
Higher prices bring better quality materials, more features, and larger grilling capacity. But there are quality grills at lower price points too, often around the $500-800 range. Budget at least $800-1200 for higher-end materials and features. Built to last brands like Weber, Napoleon, and Broil King occupy the premium tier.
Stick with widely recognized brands like Weber, Napoleon, and Broil King that have proven reputations for quality construction and performance. Read reviews and check warranties. Typically, these major brands offer confidence boosting 10 year (or longer) warranties on key components.
Speaking of warranties, this is an important factor when investing in a long-lasting grill. Be sure to read the fine print. You want at least 10 years (preferably limited lifetime) coverage on the stainless steel burners. Coverage for at least a year is ideal for other parts.
Setting Up Your Natural Gas Grill
Got your new grill home? Here are some tips for proper setup and installation:
Hire a Professional for Installation
Unless you are very technically skilled, it’s best to have a professional install your natural gas hookup. They will ensure proper ventilation, clearance from combustibles, and adhere to local codes. A leak test should always be conducted to check for gas leaks before use.
Pick a Safe Surface and Clearance
Pick a level surface for placing your grill, safely away from any structures, overhangs, vegetation, or combustible materials. The NFPA recommends at least 10 feet of clearance on all sides, but farther is safer. Have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case.
Clean Thoroughly Before First Use
Once assembled, give your new grill a thorough cleaning before firing it up, especially the burners and grease management system. This removes any packing debris or residue from manufacturing. Use a brush and cleaning solution for the grates.
Preheat on High Before Cooking
It’s important to preheat your grill fully before the first use. With the lid down, turn all burners to high for 15 minutes. This burns away any lingering manufacturing oils or residue. Once preheated, brush the grates clean again before cooking.
Tips for Using Your Natural Gas Grill
You’re all set up and ready to start grilling! Here are some helpful tips and pointers for making the most of your new natural gas barbecue:
Open Lid Slowly
Always open the grill lid slowly and cautiously to allow heat to escape gradually, preventing flare-ups from sudden oxygen rushing in. Keep the lid closed as much as possible once cooking to maintain interior heat.
Utilize Side and Rear Burners
Take advantage of the extra burners on your grill for indirect cooking. Use the side burner to simmer BBQ sauce, boil water, or sauté veggies. The rear infrared burner provides intense searing heat, perfect for finishing thicker cuts of meat.
Keep It Clean
To maintain optimal performance, your grill needs regular care. Brush the grates after preheating. Check and empty the grease tray frequently. Do a thorough deep clean of the burners and igniters every year. Keep exteriors clean.
Use a Meat Thermometer
Taking the guesswork out of doneness, a good digital meat thermometer is a worthy investment for any griller. It provides precision, lets you nail the perfect medium rare steak every time. Check poultry internally to ensure it is cooked through.
Infuse Extra Flavor
Looking to add extra flavor? Try using wood chips by soaking in water before wrapping in foil pouches. Or use metal smoker boxes designed for gas grills to hold chips or pellets over the burners. This adds a delicate infusion of smoky flavor.
Weatherproof When Not In Use
Keep your grill covered with a heavy duty grill cover when not in use for extended periods to protect from weather and debris. For extra protection in cold climates, have your gas line disconnected and shut off the valve during winter months when not in use.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re still hungry for more information about natural gas grills, let’s answer some common FAQs:
What are the advantages of a natural gas grill vs charcoal or propane?
Convenience is king when it comes to natural gas. With a direct hookup, you’ve got instant, reliable heat at the flick of a switch, no charcoal mess or propane refills. Temperature control is easier and more precise with natural gas. Just turn a knob and start grilling anytime.
How difficult is the natural gas hookup process?
If you already have an existing natural gas line on your property, the process is surprisingly straightforward. A licensed technician will tap into your home’s gas supply line, add a shutoff valve box, and run and connect gas piping to your desired grill location. Leak checks ensure safety.
How much distance should I allow between my grill and structures?
For optimal safety, the NFPA suggests providing at least 10 feet of clearance around your grill on all sides, keeping it away from your home, fences, walls, and vegetation. Provide even more buffer space if possible, and always keep a fire extinguisher within reach just in case.
Can natural gas grills be converted to propane?
Yes, you can purchase LP conversion kits that allow you to switch the valves and orifices of a natural gas grill to propane use if desired. You would need to get propane tanks and proper regulators to run it. A professional technician should handle the conversion.
What maintenance does a natural gas grill require?
Keep it clean by brushing the grates after each use and clearing any charred debris. Remove and empty the grease tray frequently. Deep clean the burners and igniters periodically by removing parts and clearing obstructions. Weatherproof the grill with a cover when not in use for extended periods.
The Joys of Year-Round Grilling with Natural Gas
Nothing beats the satisfaction of grilling your own delicious cuisine during the warm sunny months. But why pack up your barbecue once summer ends? With a conveniently connected natural gas model, you can keep grilling tasty meals all year long, rain, snow, or shine.
Choosing the best outdoor natural gas grill for your needs provides a lifetime of memorable meals conveniently cooked over an open flame. Do your research, shop smart, and before you know it, you’ll be a devoted grillmaster! What are you waiting for? Get grilling!