While there is certainly something to be said for the role of the chef in making delicious grilled food, all the best preparation in the world can go to waste if cooked on a bad grill. However, spending loads of money on a grill does not guarantee that the results will be as good as desired. There are plenty of low cost gas grills that can perform as well as the larger grills and for a lot less money.
To be honest, the ability to cook food over an open flame has been around since the dawn of time. What separates grilling from just cooking over a flame, is the heat production, retention and distribution of a grill. When cooking over an open flame, the majority of the heat escapes. The same situation occurs when performing open lid grilling. The majority of the heat is wasted and does not work to cook the food efficiently.
Grills focus the available heat and distribute it to the right points to get the right external sear and internal doneness. In some situations, the grills can over do it and end up over cooking the food. While any grill can do that, some grills have the right mix of heat production, retention and distribution to make the food come out just right, time and time again. This is where gas outperforms charcoal.
Gas supplied direct heat, while at the same time allowing for indirect heating because the heat is constant. Charcoal heating reaches a peak and then begins to decline as combustion reduces the available fuel. Therefore, there is only a small window of heat for the food to reach the correct internal temperature while protecting the external surface from being over cooked.
Five Great Gas Grills in the Affordable Range
Best Gourmet Portable Gas Grill
While this briefcase style, tabletop grill may take a while to feed the whole baseball team, the Cuisinart Model #CGG-180T Tabletop Grill can certainly handle a small group. The over 100 square inch cooking area will handle 8 hamburger or 4 pounds of fish.
This grill uses porcelain coated, grates for great heat distribution and the burner produces over 5,000 BTU of heat per hour. This grill is great for intimate settings, apartments, camping, tailgating and more. It has a small size but will produce big results.
Best 2-Burner Gas Grill for the Money
This great grill – Char-Broil Model #265 Dual Burner Grill produces over 26,000 BTU of heat per hour over the two burners. These burners are electrically ignited for fast lighting and it has over 200 square inches of cooking space. The body and lid is porcelain coated for great heat production and heat retention and this also helps resist damage from the elements.
The porcelain coated grates are great for heat distribution as well. The cart has dual wheels for mobility and it has two side shelves for plenty of storage space. This is a great, well built, affordable gas grill that will provide great food without breaking the bank.
Best Propane Grill while Travelling
This grill is designed to be portable as well as functional. The Coleman Model LXE Grill folds down and up in just seconds. It has over 200 square inches of cooking space covered by two burners producing over 20,000 BTU of heat per hour. It has a removable grease tray and the pressure system maintains exacting pressure even in the cold.
The cooking surfaces are porcelain and cast iron for superb heat distribution and it lights fast and cooks fast. This grill is great for camping, tailgating and even home use. The fact is folds down, means it can be put away for the next season when not needed.
Top Portable LP Gas Grill
Like the Coleman LXE, the Blue Rhino is portable and folds up and down in seconds. Blue Rhino is a recognized name in propane and it makes sense for them to carry their expertise to grilling itself. The Blue Rhino Model #GTC1205B Portable Grill can producing 15,000 BTU of heat per hour for 294 square inches of cooking space.
The porcelain coated grates offers great heat distribution and the burners are push button ignited for speed. The cart itself has dual side shelves for plenty of space and it has dual wheels for mobility. This is an excellent grill for cooking while camping, tailgating or partying in the backyard.
Best Gas Patio Grill
Designed for apartments and bistros, the Char-Broil Model #14601997-DI Bistro Grill is equally at useful at a house or party. This grill produces 12,000 BTU of heat per hour and does it using TRU infrared technology. Infrared cooking eliminates hot and cold spots while keeping the meat tender and juicy. It has over 300 square inches of cooking space and the burner is push button ignited for fast lighting.
The control knob offers a wide range of temperatures and the compact design keeps the tank and grill together for easy storage. This is an excellent grill that can be used almost anywhere. The dual wheels make it easy to move around and the small size makes it easy to store.
All grills need to be protected from the elements, therefore it is recommended that all grills be covered when not in use. As each grill is different, read and follow the cleaning instructions specific to your grill. Never operate a grill on an uneven surface to prevent tipping and never allow flammable material within five feet of a hot or cooling grill.