Best Portable Gas Grill for the Money

Choosing the Best Portable Gas Grill

Natural gas grills are great, but a grill on sale is even better, right? Sizzling meats is too much to resist. Hmm, charcoal barbecue can be obsolete? Here are some alternative:

Grills are considered “gas” when they are powered by natural gas or propane. Fuel is normally stored in a tank attached to the grill and is fed through a tube to the grilling element. Grills can range in size from being able to only cook a single steak at a time to being able to heat hundreds simultaneously.

What Features Do Natural Gas Grills Offer?

1. Even Cooking – The reason most people switch to gas grills from other types is the gas grill’s ability to evenly heat food on the grill. Heat radiates from burners, not from an open flame, so it is distributed evenly and cooks more predictably.

2. Clean Flavor – While some may enjoy the addition of smoke chips to a smoker box on a gas grill, most tout the benefits of food and meats cooked on a heat source that is clean, flavorless, and odorless.

3. Speedy Preparation – Similar to a stove top element in the kitchen, a grill heated with gas is ready to cook food much more quickly than grills fueled by wood chips or briquettes.

4. Inexpensive Fuel – If you heat your home with natural gas, you can attach your grill to the side of the house via a tube, feeding the grill cheaply with natural gas from your home.

What Can Be Added ?

natural gas grill accessoriesEvery year, manufacturers come out with ways to make natural gas grills more versatile. Some high end grills even come with built in sinks and refrigerators.

Most outdoor gas grills will use the cart style, which means the grill is mounted on a cart with wheels and the fuel tank is housed either underneath or on the side of the metal cart. That is where gas grill similarities end, however, as each brand has different options for accessories and features to add on to the basic grill:
1. Flattop Grill – Like a griddle top, flattop grills cook meats and side items without ever exposing them to open flame.

2.Smoker Box – Wood chips can be burned in a small metal box near the grilled food in a box to add a genuine smokey flavor.

3. Infrared radiant burner – a burner can be added to the back of the grill case that evenly heats meat mounted on a horizontal rotisserie.

4. Side Burners – Smaller burners on the side of the unit allow you to cook items in pots and pans while the rest of your meal cooks on the grill. These allow the preparation of the whole meal to take place in one area, including pasta and sauces.

5. Rotisserie – Rotisseries are metal spits that pass through the meat and rotate, cooking with indirect and even heat. Rotisserie devices to add on to gas grills can be horizontal or vertical, and can be hand turned or even turned by a small motor.

5. Side Table – A table may be a space, like a small counter top, on the side of the grill that either stays folds down to make the grill more compact while storing or stays permanently flat. Convenient for setting condiments, equipment, and sauces while cooking, an attached side table is one of the most popular gas grill accessories.

6. Tool Storage – Most grills come with hooks on which to hang your grilling tongs and other long, bulky tools. Others add the option for larger, covered storage.

7. Thermometer – Many grills come with a thermometer built into the lid to assist in safely cooking meat at your desired temperature.

8. Igniter – Most grills come with an igniter that makes it easy to start heating. Once the feed from the fuel source is opened, pushing or holding down a button ignites the flame.

9. Warming Rack – A metal basket or rack hanging from the lid or back of the grill is standard on many grills. Convenient for warming buns or quick cooking meats like hot dogs, it warms with indirect heat from the grill.

10. Flavorizer Bars – Placed under the cooking surface or grate, flavorizers are steel bars that lay flat and add heat-activated flavor to food cooking on the grill.

Why is it important to choose the right burner material?

Another factor to consider when purchasing a grill on sale is the coating of the burners. Coating material affects the heat distribution and durability of the grill. Keep in mind that one of the benefits of this type of grill is that if necessary, the parts can be easily replaced.

1. Cast Stainless Steel – Grease, heat and rust will not penetrate these hearty burners. They will likely not need to be replaced.

2. Pipe Stainless Steel – Similar, but less expensive and more susceptible to heat damage than cast stainless.
-Stainless Steel Sheet Metal – Long lasting, but can be burned if temperature is too high

4. Cast Brass – Will not last as long as stainless steel, these are normally used for commercial gas grills. These burners will resist rust and burning, and will keep its shape.

5. Cast Iron – Iron distributes heat exceptionally well, but will rust over time.

6. Sheet Metal – The most inexpensive of burner casings, sheet metal will work well while it lasts, but will likely need to be replaced.

Why Buy a Gas Grill Over Other Types?

There are many different types of grills, and each has their advantages and downsides. It is up to each chef to decide which style is best for them.

1. Briquette Grills – A briquette grill is slow to heat to cooking temperature, and depending on the distribution of briquettes, may be much warmer on one side of the grill than the other. The fuel is also more expensive than a gas grill. On the plus side, many enjoy the flavor of meat cooked over briquettes. Some choose to have the best of both worlds by putting smoldering briquettes on the bottom of their gas grill to add flavor.

2. Smokers – A smoker cooks meat “slow and low,” using only the heat from the smoke of an indirect fire. This method creates food that is delicious to some, but overly smokey for others. It takes significantly longer to cook food in a smoker than on a gas grill.

3. Wood Burning Grill – Similar to a campfire, a wood burning grill uses wood as fuel. Wood gives food a hearty, outdoorsy flavor, but is also the most unpredictable of cooking methods as each piece of wood burns differently.
The best gas grills are those that fit the budget, size, and fuel preferences of the consumer. There is a lot to consider when purchasing a gas grill, but when the proper amount of research and forethought has been done by the buyer, finding the right grill on sale can yield perfectly delicious results.

There are many grills out there for the lovers of barbecue  The technologies develop constantly, and people are presented to newer and newer products throughout the years, which in turn make cooking outdoors much easier and convenient.

The fight has always been between charcoal and gas grills, since there is a difference of taste in each type of food cooked. Grills are generally used outdoors, but many of them are too huge to move about, making traveling with them impossible.

The portable grill is a different story – it can be brought to any location, making it ideal for big fans of traveling. It is designed for camping and presents a viable opportunity for those, who would like to both make barbecue parties at home, and bring a means of cooking with them on their trip.

A portable grill can fit almost any car and is not too heavy to carry around, making it truly easy to carry to the next destination. However, it is truly hard to decide which is better – a portable charcoal grill, or a portable gas grill.

The difference could be spotted easily – gas grills will always kill a little of taste, but they are easier to maintain and carry about. There is a special flavor which every charcoal grill can provide for the food, but not many people are prepared to sacrifice twice as much space in their car to achieve that.

In general, the price for the components required in both types of grills is almost the same, but charcoal is much harder to fit into a small space. Propane bottles might be a little heavier, but they are much more compact, and this is something which should be taken into consideration.

Choosing the Best Possibility

Walk around a display of grills and you’ll be inspired by the high-tech designs. With so many features and impressive styles it’s hard to know which grill is best for you. Don’t go by looks alone, use this downloadable checklist to find the grill that’s perfect for you.

  1. Determine how big your grill needs to be to suit your grilling habits. The average cook requires 400 square inches of primary grilling area. This will give you enough grilling space for several dishes or to feed a larger party crowd. Depending on the size of your family, and what your requirements are, you will find the right grill for you..

  2. Decide if you want to just grill, or if you want to cook too
    Side burners, cutting boards and extra shelves on the inside of the grill make cooking a full meal outside very convenient. Ask yourself if you will ever use these extras. If the answer is yes, enjoy picking all the features you want. If the answer is no, skip the extras and save the money.

  3. Give the grill you’re thinking of buying the wobble test
    A good grill does not wobble when you move it. It is on solid footing which means you’re not worried that the pot of boiling corn on the side burner is going to tip to the ground. If the grill wobbles in the showroom it most certainly will wobble on your deck. Pass it up and head for the grill that feels solid to your touch.

  4. Stainless steel is considered to be the top of the line by experts. Consider quality vs. cost.

  5. Measure the area of your deck dedicated to the grill – buy a grill that fits your space or you’ll be forever bumping into the ‘too big grill’.

  6. Look for two grill burners, they offer better heat distribution and control.

  7. A built-in thermometer will help you ensure your meal is cooked to perfection.

  8. Look for a drainage system that gets rid of fat and drippings so you can enjoy grilling without flare-ups.

  9. Lava rocks, ceramic briquettes and metal plates and bars help to distribute the heat of the grill. Check to see if they are included.

  10. If assembly is required take a look at the instructions before you buy the grill. If it seems complicated ask the retailer if they will assemble it before you buy.

For those who are fans of great cooking, the charcoal grill is great. However, if convenience is at stake, attention must be turned to the portable gas grill. There are many possibilities out there, each model carrying its own pros and cons. The choice may be tough, but with a little research online, everything could become clear.

portable grillSome of the possibilities for a good gas grill might include: a classic propane gas grill, an infrared combined gas grill. A gas and charcoal combo grill for increased flavor.
The price of each portable gas grill for camping will vary. Probably the most costly will turn out to be the combo, because it requires more maintenance and ingredients to function properly.

It is up to the person to decide which would be best for them during a camping trip. The relationship between price, convenience and cooking performance, should be carefully measured before buying the product.

The Q-220 model of the Weber portable gas grill is a perfect example for convenience at a higher price. The 14-inch propane bottles attached to it make for a good flow of gas, used during cooking, making it quite economic for everyone, who can use it properly. At the same time, it could fit a whole chicken, with its size being considerably bigger than most portable grills.

However, this is where the trouble with it presents itself – it has a significantly higher price, and due to its size it is hard to fit it into just about any vehicle, together with more packed things.

Quite the contrary example of a good grill comes in the face of the Fuego Element grills. They are quite less costly, and definitely pack much less space when carried in a standard car. The base principle with them is the same as with the Weber example above, but they are much more consuming and present quite a bit less cooking space when operational.

These grills are for people who would like something to carry around town, even by foot, and who do not want a lot of grill space during their trips.

The Element of Safety

Your most important source of safety and maintenance information is the owner’s manual that came with your grill. Refer to it for specific instructions and maintenance suggestions.

To keep your natural gas grill operating safely take a little time every few months to:

  • examine your grill for rust or wobbles, fix both immediately

  • check for gas leaks by turning your gas supply on, rubbing your gas hose with soapy water and seeing if bubbles appear. Don’t ignite the grill if you suspect a leak, purchase a replacement hose and install

To keep everyone safe while you are grilling, follow these suggestions:

  • light your grill with the lid UP, if it is down gas can collect under the lid and cause serious burns and injury

  • if your grill doesn’t light on the first try, turn the burner off, wait for the gas to dissipate and try again

  • keep water handy in case of flare-ups that get out of hand

  • follow manufacturers recommendations when determining the location to set up your natural gas grill

  • keep children and pets away from the grill

  • keep flowing clothing away from the grill, they can be very dangerous

It is easily accountable that the portable gas grill is much more convenient to use than its counterpart. But, the drawback to it is the fact that it requires certain safety protocols to be carried out at all times while traveling with it.

gas grillA propane or natural gas bottle could burst at any moment and cause a lot of damage.

Charcoal grills do not present this problem, and this is why, when choosing a grill, a person should take that into consideration, as well.

It is evident that barbeque is a passion for many people, and this makes possessing a grill a necessity. Many people, however, will not be content in having a grill in their backyard alone, and would feel incomplete when traveling. This makes the portable grill a great option for both home and outdoor cooking. Choosing the best model should come after a lot of research, as each person will have different requirements.


Jay Green
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