Not everyone can afford to refill liquid propane tanks on short notice and not everyone has the means or will to buy, store, or carry tanks just so they can host a party. If you have a connection to a natural gas main, you might want to consider the next best grilling alternative – one of the best natural gas grills within your budget.
You’ll find that these are so similar in terms of what they can do, and that there are just some pricing and installation differences between them, easily overlooked in most cases.
9 Best Natural Gas Grills for Perfect Grilling
- 9 Best Natural Gas Grills for Perfect Grilling
- Advantages of Natural Gas Grills
- Disadvantages of Natural Gas Grills
- Features to Look For
- Other Build Features to Look For
This natural gas grill is very sturdy and puts up to 32,000BTU from its main burners. It’s a powerful grill by any standards and comes with porcelain-enameled cooking grates made of thick cast-iron. Although it takes a while to get going, the Spirit E310 can reach very high cooking temperatures.
I like this combination not just for its non-stick properties but also for its superior heat retention. Neither the coating nor the cast iron interact with the food in any way so as to alter its taste, which is even better.
The lid features the same coating on the inside which means that cleaning it will be a breeze. It also means that the Spirit E310 is heavy-duty and can be used on a daily basis without worry. On top of that, it shows impressive heat retention properties due to the extra thickness and protective coating on the lid.
The grill is big, make no mistake, and as such it’s been fitted with durable caster wheels, two of which can be locked into position. One minor downside is that the grill comes with its own 3/8” threaded outlet. So, you might need a convertor.
The Lion L75623 is a massive natural gas grill. It has a 830 square inches cooking surface and a maximum output of 75,000BTU. It also boasts an incorporable design, making it even cooler if you ask me.
I like the extra large warming rack as well as the rotisserie rod. There’s also a rear-mounted burner that can help you cook whole birds slowly and evenly for maximum flavor retention.
One of the more interesting features is the stainless steel lid, which benefits from dual layering. This preserves heat better than traditional lids and also comes with a built-in temperature gauge for easy monitoring.
The cooking grates are also made of stainless steel. Not my ideal choice but the rods are thicker than usual, meaning that they have better heat retention, even if it takes them slightly longer to preheat.
Once you get the heat going, the L75623 can be a very fast cooker. However, its cool design is also one of its drawbacks. Besides being a natural gas grill and therefore situational, you’ll also need to build a proper enclosure or cooking station around it. The extra costs may not be in everyone’s interest to support.
As far as natural gas grills go, the Weber Q3200 model 57067001 is one of the most reliable. It has just two stainless steel burners but they can put up to 21,700BTU combined per hour. This is more than enough for the 393 square inches cooking surface.
Speaking of the cooking surface, it’s a cast-iron grate with a thick porcelain-enameled coating. Just what you need for a non-stick grilling experience if you allow sufficient time to preheat. Unlike more popular grills, this model features a cast aluminum body, including the lid.
As such, it’s not the most rugged design overall. But it still offers good heat retention with the lid closed. The grill may be somewhat bulkier towards the bottom, but this shape gives it much better stability.
And, to make things even better, Weber opted for a two-wheel design which means you won’t have to worry about locking anything into position. Simply set it on a leveled surface and you’re good to go.
I also like the multiple control levels of both the burner valves and the gas intake. This combined with a simple electronic ignition system make the Weber Q3200 beginner-friendly and easy to use.
The Broil King S590 comes in both natural gas and liquid propane variants. The natural gas model features the same dual-tube burners as its liquid propane counterpart which means that even cooking and flare ups won’t be issues.
Its maximum output is 50,000BTU per hour, that’s roughly 10,000BTU per burner. I said roughly because the rear burner, the one you’ll be able to use for rotisserie dishes is rated at 15,000BTU. The others, including the side burner are 10,000BTU each.
Overall this is a lot of power so you should probably have some experience cooking at high temperatures. The fact that the burners come with a 10-year warranty speaks volumes of their reliability.
I also like the extra large cooking surface of 805 square inches, if you also count the side burner station. This and the 180 degrees Sensi-Touch control give the S590 a lot of flair as well as versatility. Another nice feature to see is the patented Flav-R-Wave cooking system which is a unique drip disposal system.
It quickly vaporizes drippings but it allows the flavor to get infused back into the food, without creating extra smoke and ruining the taste.
With a maximum of 48,000BTU, the Weber Genesis II S-435 is one of the best natural gas grills on the market. This four-burner model is made of stainless steel and features the Weber Gs4 grilling system.
The design makes full use of the grill’s size and sees an included side burner for all your simmering and sautéing needs. On the searing station, you can get very intense hot zones in the middle, should you want to cook your steaks rare but still get impeccable char marks.
The cooking grates are 7mm thick, which doesn’t do too much in terms of heat retention if you want to cook on indirect heat, but it does shave off precious time during the preheating process.
When it comes to total cooking surface, you get 646 square inches, if you also include the side burner station. I think that’s more than enough for a 65” wide and 29” deep gas grill. The porcelain-enameled coating on the cast iron cooking grates will help release your good of the grill with minimal loss and should be very easy to clean too.
I also like the enclosed storage cabinet, not just because it makes perfect sense for an outdoor grill but also because it’s very spacious.
This Napoleon natural gas grill is equipped with six burners. In total, it has a maximum rating of 74,000BTU on all burners, which makes this closer to a commercial grill in terms of cooking standards.
Although it doesn’t heat up quite as fast as a commercial grill, this model can still reach very high temperatures, as indicated by the limit on the built-in temperature gauge.
With a total cooking area of 805 square inches as well as some ceramic infrared burners action, the Napoleon LEX485RSIBNSS-1 grill is capable of very even cooking, fast searing, and is fully equipped to handle a wide range of dishes and cooking techniques.
I also like that there’s enough lid clearance to allow for a rotisserie rod, and I especially like the wavy cooking grates. These leave more interesting searing marks while at the same time improving the even heat distribution, and compensating for the occasional flare ups.
The LED control lighting may also appeal to you, especially if you’re a late-night griller.
The Weber Summit S-470 is a natural gas grill made of stainless steel that comes with a very long hose. It has four stainless steel burners as well as four front-mounted controls for an intuitive operation.
One of its main highlights is the Snap Jet ignition. This allows for individual burner ignition and can prolong the lifespan of the ignition system considerably. It’s also more beginner-friendly and allows for accurate and quick adjustments.
There’s also an infrared rotisserie burner in the back which can prove very useful. Although the lid clearance is not the best, the lower ceiling does allow for better heat retention. This comes in handy given the 7mm aprox. diameter of the cooking grate rods.
I like the enclosed cart design. This should prevent rain water from leaking in as well as keep pests and pets at bay. Add to this the fact that the Summit S-470 has a top of the line Weber drip management system and this is one easy to clean natural gas grill.
The Bull 26039 comes as a drop-in grill head with impressive burners and high-end coating. Both the burners and cooking grates have porcelain coating, which will increase their longevity considerably. At least when compared to most other similar residential models.
Although the overall installation costs will be considerable, between the gas main connection and brick enclosure, the Bull 26039 has the potential to be one of the most eye-catching features in your yard.
The lid has a dual lining which helps it maintain the desired temperature inside, even if you visually inspect the food often. The total cooking surface of 810 square inches, including the warming rack, should be more than enough for a single family and even enough for hosting parties.
Each valve has its own Piezo igniter which should provide additional reliability. Between all the features, the maximum 60,000BTU cooking power, and professional finish, the Bull 26039 is a grill to keep your eye on.
If you like what you’ve seen in the Weber Summit grills series, then I suggest taking a closer look at the E-670 7471001 model. It’s built like a 747 airplane in terms of size and raw power. Its six stainless steel burners can preheat the unit fast and get you great sear marks every time.
You can also take advantage of the larger lid clearance and make full use of the rotisserie burner, which works on infrared heating technology. The secondary cooking are is on the right side, in the form of a side burner station.
It’s nice to see that the E-670 doesn’t just have extra burners but also dedicated burners. You have the side, searing, smoker, and rotisserie burner, each one doing a very specific task, each one with unlimited temperature control
Your cooking accuracy should also be enhanced by the built-in thermometer as well as the grill out lights that will help you out come nighttime.
Last but not least, this model uses the Snap Jet individual ignition system that I’m grown more and more fond of each day.
Advantages of Natural Gas Grills
If you already have a natural gas installation at home, it may be more advantageous and convenient in the long run to use a natural gas grill. You won’t run the risk of having to go on a liquid propane run and you won’t have to find ample storage space for all your propane tanks.
You can also reach just as high an output as you would with liquid propane grills, because the intake hose on natural gas grills is inherently larger, so as to feed more fuel in order to compensate.
Disadvantages of Natural Gas Grills
Clearly if you live on a mountain top or deep in the woods, chances are you won’t be anywhere near a natural gas main. This means that natural gas grills are more suitable for urban environments or areas with easy access to a natural gas main.
The initial installation is a bit more complex too. Unlike hooking up a propane tank, making a connection to your gas main takes serious skill, tools, and it’s often best left to a professional. Unfortunately, this also means that you’ll have to set aside some extra money for installation purposes.
Features to Look For
Although this is not a common feature until you reach really high prices, a searing station or searing burner is something you might want to look into, if you want a natural gas grill. Because it may take it longer than a regular liquid propane-powered grill to reach the desired temperature, a dedicated searing burner can make all the difference in the world.
Side burners are not a novelty, even though some people may complain about their true cooking power and speed. If you don’t want to make a trip to the stove and monitor two cooking stations in different parts of your home, a side burner is a must-have in my opinion.
Rotisserie burners open up new possibilities. However, make sure that they’re large enough and powerful enough to offer even heating. And, that your rotisserie rod will give you enough clearance from the lid to turn a whole bird.
Last but not least, I recommend an enclosed cabinet design. Even if you keep your grill in a relatively protected spot, say on the patio, rain water and pests can still get in through the back of the cabinet. A fully enclosed system can save you a lot of headaches in the long run.
Other Build Features to Look For
Porcelain coating is quickly becoming the norm in both entry-level and high-end residential grills. But not all manufacturers make full use of it. Some, as you’ve noticed, also use it on the interior of the lid. This can shave precious minutes off your regular maintenance and maintain the shiny aspect of the lid for longer.
You will also sometimes find porcelain-enameled burners. This is something worth paying extra for in my opinion as it often extends the lifespan of the burners. Again, it will also make maintenance easier.
Another thing worth looking into is heavy-duty casters. Lockable casters are a must of course, but make sure that the casters can support the weight of the grill with ease, if you have to reposition it.
I find that dual casters are usually better in terms of stability since they won’t be rolling anywhere once you set down the other two legs. However, these are bad for portability since large grills tend to be very heavy.
Don’t Be Scared of Natural Gas Grills
Although liquid propane grills may be enjoying all the popularity, natural gas grills can be so much more convenient given the right ambient and setup. You’ll save money on fuel, you’ll be just as environmentally-friendly, and you won’t have to worry about storing tanks, just in case.
If your living situation allows the installation of a natural gas grill, it’s worth looking into one, know that you know what features are worth paying extra for and which aren’t.
Peggy loves spending her free time visiting new restaurants, tasting new cuisines, and trying to replicate some of those incredibly tasty dishes in her own kitchen.