Picking the right natural gas grill for your needs can be a chore, given the many hundreds of options available.
Luckily, we’ve ridden to the rescue with a breakdown of the best natural gas grills on the market and the critical information you need to know about choosing and running a natural gas grill.
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Our favorite natural gas grills for 2020
We’ve trimmed the fat to give you five recommendations based on overall quality, budget, and having a ‘built-in’ option.
1. Best Overall – Genesis II E-435 Natural Gas Grill
We’ve chosen the Weber’s Genesis II (E-435 model) as our best overall natural gas grill because of its outstanding combination of fantastic features and excellent build quality.
The four high-performance burners mounted on the E-435, in combination with the side burner and searing station, deliver a total of 69,000 BTUs of heat.
There’s also a more budget-friendly E-335 version of the Genesis II that comes with three burners at a reduced cost.
To use that massive amount of heat to its best advantage, the E-435 comes with porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates to provide both superior heat retention and easier cleanup. The after-grilling clean-down is also made easier by Weber’s grease management system.
The E-435 has up to 844 square inches of cooking surface, more than enough to cook a family’s worth of food. This includes the fold-out warming rack to let you cook in stages without food going cold.
Assembling the Genesis II is an easy task made all the more simple by the 3D interactive assembly instructions available through the free BILT app. Weber’s 10-year warranty covers the whole package.
What we like:
- With a combined output of 69,000 BTUs and 844 square inches of cooking surface, the E-435 has both the power and space to cook up a tremendous amount of food.
- Features like the fold-out warming rack, searing station, and the grease management system make cooking and cleaning much easier.
- The porcelain-enameled, cast-iron cooking grates have great heat retention and are non-stick.
What we don’t like:
- The assembly can be both complicated and time-consuming.
- Some customers complain that the wide side and back openings in the cabinet and at both sides of the grill chamber make it easy for wild animals to access the interior of the grill.
2. Runner Up – Napoleon Prestige 500 Natural Gas Grill
The Napoleon Prestige 500 comes in a close second on our list to the Genesis II E-435. The two grills are comparable in quality, but the Prestige 500 has a slightly different set of features that are less universally useful than those on the E-435
The Prestige 500 has four stainless steel tube burners that provide up to 48,000 BTUs of heat and 500 square inches of cooking surface supplemented by a 260 square inch warming area.
The stainless steel wave cooking grids allow for excellent heat retention and add in sear lines. Under the cooking grids are a set of stainless steel sear plates that help to vaporize drippings. This adds to the moistness of the food and helps to control flare-ups.
In terms of features, the 14,000 BTU infrared side burner for searing and an 18,000 BTU rear infrared burner. The rear burner can also be converted into a rotisserie, which, while nice, probably won’t see consistent use.
The hood of the Prestige 500 comes with an Accu-Probe temperature gauge, and one of the main selling points for the grill is that the controls are internally lit and turn from blue to red when a burner is in use. This makes it both easier and safer to use in low light conditions.
What we like:
- Much like the E-435, the Prestige 500’s 48,000 BTUs of heat and 500 square inches of cooking surface means it is capable of catering for even the most well-attended cookout.
- The addition of stainless steel sear plates helps to vaporize drippings and control. flare-ups
- The lightup controls are ideal for low-light conditions.
What we don’t like:
- The stainless steel tube burners and porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grids are the only parts of the Prestige 500 covered by a 10-year guarantee. The other working parts only have a 5-year guarantee.
- The rotisserie is a nice touch but isn’t as useful as the E-435 grease management system.
3. Best Budget Natural Gas Grill – Weber Spirit E-310 Natural Gas Grill
Natural gas grills are far from wallet-friendly, but the Weber Spirit E-310 manages to combine a decent range of features with good build quality to make it our pick for best budget natural gas grill.
The E-310 is the smallest of the grills on our list, with a total cooking area of 529 square inches, which combines 424 square inches of primary cooking area with a 105 square inch warming rack.
Three stainless steel burners provide 32,000 BTUs of heat, which, combined with the cooking space, is perfect for hosting a standard BBQ or everyday family grilling, but is probably going to be a little small for a grand cookout.
The cast-iron cooking grates are porcelain-enameled for corrosion resistance and to make them non-stick. The lid and cook box are also porcelain-enameled to make them equally corrosion resistant.
The E-310 doesn’t have a vast amount of features, but it does have two side tables, six tool hooks, a below grill cabinet, and an easy-to-clean grease management system.
What we like:
- The total cooking area of 529 square inches and 32,000 BTUs of heat is more than enough to handle standard family cooking.
- The cook box, grill plates, and lid are all porcelain-enameled.
- The E-310 has a grease management system for easier cleanup.
What we don’t like:
- The E-310 is a little on the small side if you are looking to cater for significant events regularly.
- Not all of the E-310 is made of stainless steel, some of it is just painted steel.
4. Best High-End Natural Gas – Blaze Professional 34-Inch Natural Gas Grill
If you’re looking to splashout to get the best in natural gas grills, they don’t get much better than the restaurant quality of the Blaze Professional.
The professional-quality, cast stainless steel H-burners deliver up to 18,000 BTUs each, for a total of 54,000 BTUs. They are covered by specifically designed extra thick hexagon-shaped stainless steel cooking rods to get the best sear possible.
The 615 square inches of primary grilling area is divided up by stainless steel heat zone separators to allow you to cook at different temperatures on each of the four burners. The Blaze Professional also comes with extra-thick flame stabilization grids to minimize flare-ups.
The entire grill and cart are made from 304 stainless steel, from the doubled-lined lid to the folding side tables. The 10,000 BTU infrared rear burner comes with a motorized rotisserie kit and a 201 square inch warming rack to stop food from going cold.
When the cooking is done, the Blaze Professional has an innovative full-width, roll-out drip tray and removable baffles for easier cleaning combined with two drawers and one cupboard to store your tools.
What we like:
- Built from substantial stainless steel, both cart and grill are exceptionally well made.
- The stainless steel heat zone separators give the grill a considerable amount of extra utility.
- The 615 square inches of primary grilling area is enough to cook up a football team’s worth of food.
What we don’t like:
- While the majority of the grill is covered by a lifetime warranty, all electrical and ignition components are only covered for one year.
5. Best Built-in Natural Gas Grill – Saber 670 40-Inch Natural Gas Grill
The most common use for natural gas grills is as a plumbed-in emplacement as part of a deck or patio. The Saber 670 is a free-standing design, so it can easily be added to any outdoor grill or kitchen set up.
Natural gas already offers cost savings over propane, and the patented Saber infrared cooking system lets you extend that with 30% less fuel consumption compared with traditional gas grills. The entire grill is also made from commercial-grade 304 stainless steel for added longevity.
The Saber has many innovative features, such as a unique cooking grate and flame tamer design that provides even surface temperatures and helps prevent flare-ups caused by dripping fat. It also comes with grate-level temperature gauges that allow you to grill with the lid up.
The Saber comes with four 8,000 BTU gas burners, which distribute heat evenly across its 670 square-inch cooking surface. The lid of the grill also comes with two internal halogen lights to help with low-light cooking.
When you’re done cooking, the porcelain-coated burner box, front-access grease tray, and removable firebox liners make cleanup easy.
What we like:
- The infrared cooking process means a 30% less fuel consumption compared with traditional gas grills.
- Commercial-grade 304 stainless steel for the entire grill.
- Cooking grate and unique flame tamer design creates a more consistent surface temperature and helps to prevent flare-ups.
What we don’t like:
- The compact design means the Saber 670 doesn’t have a massive amount of features.
Natural gas vs. propane
Now that we’ve reviewed some of the best natural gas grills on the market for you, it’s time to discuss what separates a natural gas grill from its propane cousin and their individual pros and cons.
Propane gas pros & cons
|Propane is more expensive than natural gas, but it does produce more BTUs of heat. One cubic foot of propane equals 2,516 BTUs. By comparison, one cubic foot of natural gas equals just 1,030 BTUs, nearly half the heat of propane.||The largest and most commonly cited downside to using propane is that you have to switch out the tanks and every pitmaster has a story of this happening mid-cook or in the middle of the night.|
|Propane is the cleanest burning fossil fuel available. It is also a green fuel, which means that a leak won’t harm the local water or soil.|
|Propane tanks are portable.|
Natural gas pros & cons
|Connecting your grill to the natural gas pipeline that supplies your house means a steady and reliable stream of fuel without the need to change out any tanks.||Natural gas burns at about half the heat of propane, with some customers complaining that this means their grill doesn’t get hot enough for a proper sear.|
|While not as clean-burning as propane, natural gas is still considered a green fuel.||Natural gas grills are only portable if you have another natural gas hookup to attach them to at your destination.|
|Pound for pound, natural gas is cheaper than propane.|
Is it true that propane burns hotter than natural gas?
Yes, it is true. As we mentioned earlier, one cubic foot of propane produces 2,516 BTUs when burned, while natural gas produces just 1,030 BTUs when the same amount is consumed.
This discrepancy has led to some pitmasters claiming that natural gas grills just don’t get hot enough to properly sear. While this might have been true for earlier models, modern natural gas grills have overcome this issue by increasing the amount of gas released by their burners, thereby increasing the temperature.
A lot of high-end models, and most of the grills we’ve reviewed here today, also include an infrared high-temperature searing station. These searing stations present a more convenient solution to getting the perfect reverse sear than heating your entire grill up to a high temperature.
Why are natural gas grills more expensive?
Most natural gas grills end up being $50-100 more expensive than a similar propane grill without any additional features. The reason for this is relatively simple.
In order to connect to a household natural gas supply, most natural gas grills come with a longer (10 ft plus) gas hose and a quick-disconnect system.
The longer gas pipe and the brass quick-disconnect connect fittings are what add that little extra bump of cost to your natural gas grill.
Can your grill be converted to run on natural gas?
Yes, most propane grills can be converted to run on natural gas with the addition of a natural gas conversion kit. The kit normally contains new gas jets, a longer flexible gas hose, the brass quick-disconnect gas fittings we mentioned earlier, and gas valve limiter stops.
However, there are other considerations to take into account if you are thinking about converting your propane grill.
- It is essential to check with your local plumbing inspector to make sure that you’re allowed to connect your grill to your household supply with a flexible hose. Some state regulations require a more permanent fixture.
- If you’re installing a new gas line specifically for your grill, you may require a permit from your local planning authority. Failing to get the right licenses might result in some fairly hefty fines.
- You’ll want to make sure that using a conversion kit doesn’t void your warranty. Weber, for instance, refuses to sell conversion kits for their grills and using one completely voids their warranty.
Are natural gas grills safe?
For the most part, a natural gas grill comes with all the same health and safety risks as a propane grill, with most of the hazards being heat-based. However, since a natural gas grill is connected to your home supply, there is a very small chance that things can go spectacularly wrong if you don’t take the proper precautions.
If you have, or are thinking about getting, a natural gas grill, here are some simple safety tips that you can use to minimize any potential risk:
- Make sure you have two gas shut off valves, one near the grill and one near the house. This means that, in the event of a fire, the gas can be shut off without getting near the grill.
- As with any gas grill, never close the lid when you are trying to light it.
- Keep your grill as clean as possible. Removing grease buildup from your grill can help to prevent fires and flare-ups.
- When siting your natural gas grill, make sure to position the grill well away from your house any deck railings or awnings, and out from under eaves. Don’t underestimate how hot the air above your grill can become.
- Always remember to turn off both shut-off valves for the gas the moment that you are done with cooking.
Wrapping it up
A natural gas grill brings you all the benefits of grilling with gas without the tedium of continually having to refill or replace propane tanks, which will inevitably run out at the worst possible time.
Now that we’ve given you the information you need to pick your own natural gas grill, dispelled some of the myths, and reviewed some of the best grills on the market, you’re ready to get out there and find the perfect natural gas grill for you.
Do you have a particular recommendation for a specific model of natural gas grill, or perhaps you have one of the grills we’ve reviewed, and you’d like to tell us about it? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Last update on 2020-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API