Nexgrill is a name you’ve probably seen popping up on the shelves of Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sears, Sam’s club, and a host of other big box stores.
The brand offers a large selection of gas grills at a fraction of an equivalent Weber’s price and competes with brands like Brinkmann and Master Forge at the budget end of the market.
But are they great value, or just a false economy?
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Understanding the Nexgrill lineup of grills
Before we start our deep dive into Nexgrill, we need to take a moment to talk about their range. Confusingly, Nexgrill isn’t the only brand-name you’ll see them advertised under. The same grills are also sold under the Grill Master, Member’s Mark, Jenn-Air, and even Kitchen-Aid brands.
So if you’re in a Lowe’s thinking that the Grillmaster 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill with Side Burner looks an awful lot like the Nexgrill 4-Burner Gas Grill in Black with Side Burner, it’s because it’s basically the same grill with a palette swap.
If you head on over to the Nexgrill website, you’ll also notice that they do a massive range of different models and styles. There are tabletop grills, gas griddles, and freestanding gas grills that run from two to five burners. They even offer a charcoal kettle grill.
To try and trim down such a broad and diverse range into something we can legitimately review, we’ll be looking at NexGrill’s – rather than any of their 3rd party brands – top three best selling grills.
After reviewing these grills, we’ll give you our opinions on the brand as a whole, suggested alternatives, and what other considerations we think are essential when buying a gas grill.
The Best Nexgrill Reviews
To get a fairly even spread of the chunky Nexgrill range, we’re going to be reviewing their four- and six-burner freestanding gas grills and their one burner portable propane tabletop grill.
The Nexgrill 4-Burner is one of their more common models, and you’ll find similar designs across their other subsidiary brands. So, if you’re in a Home Depot, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find one.
The grill itself boasts 644 square inches of cooking space across its four burners and one side burner. The burners put out a combined 60,000 BTUs of heat, but as we’ve mentioned before, BTUs aren’t a great indicator of actual cooking power.
Nexgrill uses a proprietary Even-Heat Cooking System that uses angled “flame tamers” to prevent flare-ups and ensure a more even heat distribution.
The cooking assembly and cabinet are listed as being made of stainless steel, but multiple reviews have pointed out that most of the parts are carbon steel cores with a stainless steel outer cladding.
The entire system comes with individual warranties, meaning different lengths for different parts. Most parts have a one-year limited warranty. The stainless steel parts have a three-year limited warranty, and the burners have a ten-year limited warranty, but only against perforation.
What we like:
- Large cooking space – While 644 square inches of cooking space isn’t a considerable amount, but it’s more than enough to cook up enough for a family of four.
- Proprietary cooking system – The Even-Heat Cooking System helps to distribute heat evenly during cooking.
What we don’t like:
- Assembly time – Reviewers report that the grill arrives unassembled and takes an age to put together.
- Stainless steel cladding – Using carbon steel cores with a stainless steel outer cladding is going to reduce the grill’s lifespan significantly.
The Nexgrill 6-Burner is a step up in more than size compared to its smaller sibling. While it does boast an increased 560 square inches of cooking space across six (supposedly) stainless steel burners, there’s also a step up in the parts’ quality to earn it the ‘deluxe’ tag.
Instead of stainless steel grates, you get porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and an additional 200 square inch porcelain-coated warming rack to keep food warm. The dials on the front are also LED-lit for nighttime grilling.
Gas grills often struggle to reach proper searing temperature in the main cooking area, so it’s nice to see that a 15,000 BTU ceramic searing side-burner comes as standard. You also get a plug-in rotisserie kit thrown in.
Unfortunately, the 6-burner suffers from a lot of the same issues as the four-burner. The “stainless steel” rusts because it’s a coating over a carbon steel core, the grill takes an age to put together, and the parts degrade within a year or two.
What we like:
- Porcelain enameling – The porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates are a step up from the steel ones on the 4-burner.
- Ceramic side-burner – This model comes with a ceramic searing side-burner for a little extra searing power.
What we don’t like:
- Rusting issues – Despite being listed as stainless steel, Nexgrill grills seem to have a real problem with rusting.
- Poor quality parts – Small parts, like the button, wheels, and even sections of the burners seem to degrade relatively quickly.
The Nexgrill 1-Burner is billed as a portable grilling solution, and, at just 17.90 lbs (8.11 kg), it’s certainly light enough for travel purposes. Running from the 1lb propane cylinder, this H 13.5 In x W 28in x D 20in is squarely aimed at the comping/cookout market.
To its credit, it does have some neat little features, such as folding legs, a warming rack, and a lockable grill lid so it won’t flop around during transit. However, the main issue with the Nexgrill 1-Burner is that the open burner only puts out 11,000 BTUs spread over 347 square inches of cooking space.
This means that the grill is going to take a while to come up to temperature, and you’re just not going to be able to cook a lot of food on it. This is combined with the standard Nexgrill issues of not being made from stainless steel and having inferior quality parts.
What we like:
- Portability -The locking grill lid and foldable legs do make it more portable.
- Warming rack – Models this size don’t normally come with a folding warming rack.
What we don’t like:
- Low power -The burner is underpowered, even for the small size of this grill.
- Stainless steel cladding – The ‘stainless steel’ parts are carbon steel with a stainless steel outer cladding.
The budget end of the grilling market has always been a competition-heavy arena, and some cut corners here and there are expected, in order to keep prices low.
That being said, cutting corners like advertising your grills as being stainless steel, when they’re only mild steel clad in a thin layer of stainless steel, is the kind of cut corner you’re better off avoiding at all costs.
One of the things we didn’t mention in the product reviews because it needed a little extra space, is the consistent issues buyers have with Nexgrill customer service. Owners experiencing problems are often directed to the customer service departments at Lowe’s or Home Depot, where the grill was sold, who have no idea how to fix technical issues.
When customers do get through to Nexgrill, which is primarily based in Taiwan, there are plenty of horror stories of extremely long waits to get replacement parts or parts just not arriving at all.
Overall, despite having a vast range and being popular with the big box store, you can get better quality for your money, even at a budget price point. So, what do we suggest?
In the same price bracket as the Nexgrill 4-Burner, the Char-Broil Performance makes use of a TRU-Infrared Cooking System. Infrared cooking systems place an infrared element, usually made of glass or porcelain, between the grates and the flame. The gas heats the infrared element, which then radiates intense heat to the food.
These systems not only save gas, about 30% on this model, but they are also capable of achieving very high temperatures, something gas grills tend to struggle with.
The grill is made from full stainless steel and comes with a five-year warranty on the stainless steel burners and a two-year warranty on all other parts.
There are also several quality of life additions to this grill, from a warming rack, side burner, and lid-mounted temperature gauge to something as simple as locking casters to stop it shifting around while you’re cooking.
If you’re looking for something a little more compact, this grill also has a 2-burner model.
What we like:
- Faster infrared cooking – The TRU-Infrared Cooking System gives you higher temperatures and saves on gas.
- Full stainless steel – The Performance Series is made of full stainless steel and comes with a minimum two-year warranty.
What we don’t like:
- Hand assembled – Like the Nexgrill range, the Char-Broil comes in a mass of different pieces that need to be assembled by hand.
If you want more information we a full Nexgrill vs Char-Broil breakdown.
What else do you need to know before buying a grill?
If you’re thinking about getting a gas grill, there are a few factors you need to consider, even if you’re only getting a starter grill from a big box store.
As we’ve spoken about in other articles, grills tend to adverse themselves on how many BTUs their burners kick out, but that’s not a great measurement of how quickly they actually cook food.
If you still want to include BTUs into your calculation, then as long as your grill is well made and the part, particularly the lid and base, fit together tightly, a heat flux range of between 80 to 100 means the grill you’re looking at will heat up quickly and maintain a consistent cooking temperature.
What you’re better off looking for is if the grill has multiple burners and if they are individually controlled. Multiple small burners produce more heat more consistently than one large one. Individually controlled burners, which all Nexgrill models use, give you the flexibility to cook different foods at different temperatures.
Infrared grilling, even in the form of a side searing station, is an excellent feature to look for. The added heat of an infrared grill can make up for one of the significant downsides to a gas grill, not being able to get hot enough to sear a steak.
The secondary benefit of infrared cooking is that it is more fuel-efficient, so you’ll spend less on gas.
There can never really be enough storage on a grill cart, so any model that offers different storage solutions, like folding side trays, or an extra under-grill cabinet, is worth looking for.
While it might not seem like something important, grilling often involves needing space for cooked food, food waiting to be cooked, cooking implements, plates, and a dozen other things.
Having a few folding side tables, which you can find on most of the Nexgrill freestanding models, can make a pitmaster’s life a whole lot easier.
One of our major complaints about the Nexgrill grills is the quality of the grills grates. These grates are going to see a lot of use, and cleaning, over the lifetime of your grill, and they need to be good quality to stand up to that level of abuse.
The grill grates on the 4-burner model are made of carbon steel with a stainless steel outer cladding. Constant cooking and cleaning is going to remove that cladding reasonably, quickly and then your grates are going to start to rust.
The deluxe model comes with porcelain-coated, cast iron grated, which are non-stick, corrosion-resistant, and do a better job of transmitting heat consistently.
Wrapping it up
Not everyone has the cash handy for a high-end gas grill, but even at the budget end of the market, the popularity of gas grills means you have a certain amount of choice.
While there is a vast range of Nexgrill models to choose from, there are also fundamental issues that they all share, such as short warranties, poor construction, and are made from stainless steel clad carbon steel, rather than 100% stainless steel.
Overall, we’ve recommended you go for the Char-Broil Performance Series 4-Burner instead because, for the same price, it avoids a lot of the corner-cutting that causes most of Nexgrill’s issues.
Do you have a Nexgrill and want to tell us about it? Perhaps you’ve got a budget-friendly grill you think would make an even better alternative. We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Last update on 2020-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API