5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Gas Grill

By Lyle Weischwill | Sep. 28, 2023 3:14 pm PST

gas grill features

Our buyer’s guide will help you find the perfect gas grill — just in time for your next cookout.

After suffering through an extremely hot summer, cooler fall weather has become the perfect time to barbecue. Now that football season is here, it’s time to get your fall grilling routine into top shape and shake things up a bit. Barbequing is one of the most exciting pre-game activities that many families and friends do together and a good gas grill is a must.

But how do you know which gas grill is right for you and your lifestyle?

When you’re planning on buying a new gas grill this fall, check out this buyer’s guide to help find the perfect grill for you. From searing burners and rotisserie sets to the infrared and convection options, this handy list of questions to ask will turn you into a grill master in no time.

Image of a large gas barbeque grill

1. What size grill do I need?

Size matters when you’re choosing a gas grill. First, determine how many people you usually cook for. Traditionally, you want at least 72 square inches of room on the main grill grate for each person eating. If you don’t have a tape measure handy, that’s about the size of a dinner plate. Speaking of size, make sure your grill has at least 12 inches of headspace between the cooking grate and the inside of the lid. This extra space will give your grill the versatility to sear steaks or even roast a whole turkey!

2. How many burners should I get?

If you’re cooking for a large group, the more burners, the better. Multiple burners give you more control over the cook temp, especially when you’re grilling for a large crowd. However, don’t spend money on unnecessary burners. A grill with two to three burners should be enough for the average griller.

Do you prefer the side dishes to the main course? Some grills come with side burners. They’re great for warming dishes, making sauces and getting that perfect sear on a cob of corn.

Image of a gas barbeque grill with a side burner

3. Infrared or convection?

Infrared technology could be your secret weapon for an amazing barbecue. Convection cooking can dry out food because it heats by circulating hot air. Infrared technology emits infrared waves to heat your food directly and reduce air circulation. What does that mean? Faster cooking time and food that retains more moisture.

Worried your new infrared grill will burn your veggies or chicken? Think again. Temperature is still easily adjustable, so you can steam veggies or roast a chicken with no fuss.

4. What will I be cooking most?

Does your mouth water with the thought of a juicy cut of steak? If so, you might want to spring for a searing burner. This high-heat burner will give your meat a beautiful crust on the outside and a medium-rare center, so you can make restaurant-quality dishes right in your own backyard.

If you like roasting your meats and veggies, consider a rotisserie set. This feature slowly roasts your food for juicy, flavor-packed results. Your guests will wonder how you achieved such intense rotisserie flavor with that right-off-the-grill feel.

5. What extra features do I want?

If you’re a barbecue fanatic, you might want to consider adding a built-in smoker to your new grill.

More into specialty beers and wines? Flip burgers while enjoying a cold beverage from a built-in fridge.

You can even add a small oven to your grill to fire up a pizza or bake desserts!

Bottom Line: Pick a grill with features that best fit your needs and lifestyle.

Check out all the grills at Sears.com for even more ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gas Grills

If you’ve been using a charcoal grill up until now, you may have some of these questions about gas grilling.

What are the advantages of using a gas grill?

Gas grills are convenient, heat up quickly, and offer precise temperature control. They are also easier to clean compared to charcoal grills and produce fewer ashes.

Propane or natural gas: Which is better for a gas grill?

This depends on your preferences and setup. Propane is portable and readily available in tanks, while natural gas requires a fixed gas line connection. Natural gas is more cost-effective over time, but propane is more versatile.

How do I control the temperature on a gas grill?

Most gas grills have temperature knobs that allow you to adjust the flame’s intensity. You can also create different heat zones by using multiple burners at different settings.

Can I use wood chips for smoking on a gas grill?

Yes, you can! Many gas grills have a smoker box or a foil pouch for wood chips. Soak the chips in water and place them in the box or pouch to add smoky flavor to your food.

How long should I preheat my gas grill before cooking?

Preheat times vary by grill, but 10-15 minutes is typically sufficient. This ensures the grates are hot and reduces the risk of food sticking.

How does a gas grill add smoke flavor to foods?

Flame tamers under the grates and on top of burners catch drippings from meat and foods. The burners sear the drippings and create smoke that helps flavor the meat and foods that you’re cooking.

Image of gas barbeque grills

Lots of new grill models are available in 2023. Find one that best fits your need and your grilling style. With the inspiration you get from having a new gas grill, you’ll be able to liven up your back yard this fall.

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