Let me see your grill: The 9 best gas BBQs

Let me see your grill: The 9 best gas BBQs
We tested the best gas BBQs for 2021 for every budget and garden. We rated and reviewed each grill for its assembly and ability to cope with different food.

The great thing about gas barbecues is that they take a lot of the frustration out of getting the barbecue going in the first place. Simply connect your gas, hit the ignition and just wait for the grill to get to the correct cooking temperature.

There are a few things that you need to consider if you’re buying a gas barbecue ahead of the summer though, the first one being assembly.

Gas models usually take a little more time to set up than charcoal. This is why we had an eye on our watches when we were putting our manufacturers’ samples together, to see how quickly we got from box opening to ignition pushing.

We also had an eye on the clock to see how long the grill needed to heat up and how it performed once it was ready. We’ve only shortlisted the products that gave good heat distribution across the grill for even and effortless cooking, while at the same time minimising the fat flare ups that can ruin food.

We’ve included barbecues with single and multiple burners – the more burners you have, the bigger the footprint, but you will have the option to sear, slow cook and even roast with indirect heat.

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So whether you’re looking to do justice to some prime steak cuts, or just keep friends and family topped up on hot dogs for the afternoon, these are the models that we think you should consider.

The best gas barbecues for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – John Lewis & Partners 3 burner: £279, Johnlewis.com
  • Best for stress-free barbecuing – Weber genesis II EX-335: £1,600, Riversidegardencentre.co.uk
  • Best portable gas BBQ – Weber traveler: £400, Diy.com
  • Best for campsite cooks – Cadac citi chef 40: £149, Gooutdoors.co.uk
  • Best stylish gas BBQ – Everdure force: £649, JohnLewis.com
  • Best for grab-and-go grilling – Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go: £159.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best small gas BBQ – Char-Broil all star 125 S-GAS: £379.99, Very.co.uk
  • Best for the adventurous cook – Napoleon phantom rogue SE 425 RSIB: £1,169, Stovesareus.co.uk
  • Best party BBQ – Char-Broil professional PRO S 2 : £549.99, Crocus.co.uk

John Lewis & Partners 3 burner

Best: Overall

  • Burners: 3
  • Size: H 111.3cm x W 128.8cm x D 55.4cm
  • Material: Steel, cast iron
  • Weight: 32kg (packaged)
  • Thermometer: Yes

The first thing you will notice with this John Lewis model, after a 45-minute set up time, is the solid build and quality components, so you know you won’t be looking for a replacement next summer. And you won’t be disappointed with the results from the grill either, as a dependable lighting system and efficient burners produced some delicious food that was never in danger of burning or being overcooked, thanks to controllable cooking.

We particularly liked the addition of the circular grill in the middle, which was really useful for a pan full of potatoes or corn, and the grill held its heat so we didn’t have to keep fiddling with the controls and could just concentrate on the cookery. In fact, considering the price, you get a lot of barbecue for the money, so it would be worth spending the extra £30 for a cover to make sure that you keep it in tip top condition.

Weber genesis II EX-335

Best: For stress-free barbecuing

  • Burners: 3
  • Size: H 160cm x W 145cm x D 80cm (lid open)
  • Material: Porcelain-enamelled, cast iron
  • Weight: 85kg
  • Thermometer: Yes

This Weber aims to take a lot of the guesswork out of cooking outdoors. It includes a “smart” barbecue tag – which basically means that it comes with the Weber connect system integrated into the barbecue – giving you the option to use wired probes to tell you a range of information about what you’ve got cooking. If you’re not entirely comfortable in front of the grill, Weber connect can be a real bonus and give you the confidence to cook for a crowd – something you will certainly be able to do thanks to the three burners and side burner, which you can use for boiling veg or frying onions.

Via the Weber connect app you can see the temperature of your food and the barbecue, as well being able to set alerts so that you don’t overcook your grub. Even before you start cooking, the app can send you alerts that will tell you when the grill is up to temperature, or how full the gas tank is.

The grease deflectors did a good job of stopping any flare-ups during cooking, and the grill’s good heat distribution produced a range of delicious food from straightforward fare, like burgers, to more tricky treats like perfectly cooked and seared steaks. There’s plenty of functionality too, with backlit knobs, a light handle, which shuts off when you close the lid, and a large enclosed cabinet for storage.

Weber traveler

Best: Portable gas BBQ

  • Burners: 1
  • Size: 94.5cm x 110.8cm
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 22.23kg
  • Thermometer: No

If you’re looking for good portability, the Weber traveler ticks all the boxes. But it’s also a good choice as a table top grill for a small patio or balcony, because the cart is sturdy and provides a solid base when set up. It took no time to assemble while the electronic ignition was reliable and had us up and running in no time.

The cart folds right down so you can pull it behind you to your destination on robust plastic wheels, and with the grill attached to the cart, all you have to do is unfold, attach the gas bottle and ignite the single burner, which heats the porcelain-enamelled, cast iron cooking grates so that you’re ready to cook in minutes.

Cadac citi chef 40

Best: For campsite cooks

  • Burners: 1
  • Size: H 33cm x W 42cm x D 42cm
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Weight: 9.75kg
  • Thermometer: Yes

There’s a reason that you’ll see plenty of these at the nation’s campsites – they are a well thought out piece of cooking kit, which can be put together in minutes and will hit the right heat quickly thanks to an efficient single burner with good auto ignition. When you’re cooking, the practical dome lid stays attached to the body of the barbecue and can be positioned as a wind-break for the food. We got good, even heat across the ceramic grill plate and had no problem searing food, while keeping meat juicy without having to worry about it sticking.

Everdure force

Best: Stylish gas BBQ

  • Burners: 2
  • Size: H 106.7cm x W 117.5cm x D 74.3cm
  • Material: Stainless steel, aluminium, cast iron and PU plastic
  • Weight: 33kg
  • Thermometer: Yes

The Everdure range can’t be faulted for its looks and the force is no exception, with its side-mounted and raised taps that control the two burners under the coloured retro aluminium hood. The grill plates have the flame tamers built into them, which allows the burners to be closer to the grill and for the heat up time to be one of the best that we tested. With a hot spot in the middle of the grate and a cooler zone around the edge we were able to place different foods accordingly, and there was never any danger of burning.

Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go

Best: For grab-and-go grilling

  • Burners: 1
  • Size: H39.9cm x W 60.2cm x D 34.5cm
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Weight: 9.7kg
  • Thermometer: Yes

This portable packs a punch because it retains the TRU infrared cooking technology of its bigger relations, which ensures totally even heat distribution across the grill surface. There’s virtually nothing to assemble while the electronic ignition was reliable and had us up and running in no time.

The triangular strips that make up the grate did a great job of keeping the food from sticking, and the heat from the burner was easily controlled using the responsive side mounted dial. It’s also one of the most portable of the portable models we tried. There’s two sturdy carry handles either side and a hooded lid that has enough room to store a couple of tanks of gas inside when the barbecue is fastened down for transport.

Char-Broil all star 125 S-GAS

Best: Small gas BBQ

  • Burners: 1
  • Size: H 110cm x W 101cm x D 65cm
  • Material: Cast aluminium lid and firebox, stainless steel burners
  • Weight: 6kg
  • Thermometer: Yes

If you don’t want your outside space dominated by a barbecue, the all star is designed to take up minimal space, with a nice compact dome and foldable side shelving. When it’s called upon to provide guests with perfectly grilled meat and veggies it can do so easily thanks to the TRU infrared system that we like so much. With easy ignition the cast iron grill grates were ready for cooking quickly, and it comes with some nice practical touches too, like somewhere to store your kitchen towel and even a mini bin.

Napoleon phantom rogue SE 425 RSIB

Best: For the adventurous cook

  • Burners: 3 main burners, 1 large sizzle zone infrared side burner, 1 rear rotisserie burner
  • Size: H 123cm x 140cm x D 64cm
  • Material: Cast aluminium base and lid, stainless steel cooking grids
  • Weight: 67kg
  • Thermometer: Yes

An excellent patio barbecue which came together easily out of the box. The rogue offers plenty of versatility for the ambitious chef, allowing you to experiment with the four burners and to create different heat zones easily, so that meat can be cooked to order for your guests. Added to this, there is a high heat side burner for finishing off and searing your steaks, and a very welcome rotisserie burner at the rear of the barbecue that’s excellent for slow roasting food.

With reliable ignition, the rogue SE hit the required temperature quickly and we got good heat distribution across the big grilling area. A well-proportioned warming rack, sizeable foldaway side shelving and a matt black finish offers an eye-catching alternative to stainless steel too.

Char-Broil professional PRO S 2

Best: Party BBQ

  • Burners: 2
  • Size: H 119cm x W 121.4cm x D 58.4cm
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Weight: 44kg
  • Thermometer: Yes

Lots of ready-mounted components made putting this two-burner stainless steel barbecue together very easy. The finished product was solid and compact, with a left-sided shelf that can be folded down, making it ideal if you aren’t blessed with lots of outside space to cook.

Foolproof ignition meant that the porcelain enameled cast iron grill was ready to cook in minutes and distributed the heat evenly across a generous cooking area. As well as a raised warming shelf, there’s another burner contained within the right shelf, which reaches high temperatures quickly for adding a final sear and enhancing flavour. Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared system sits above the burners and redistributes the heat over the whole surface, allowing us to time the cooking of different meats to perfection so that they didn’t dry out and were succulent to eat.

The gas bottle stores away out of sight in a compartment under the grill, and there were plenty of details to make for an enjoyable cooking experience, from the chrome-plated knobs, illuminated with red LEDs, to the integrated bottle opener so you never had to worry about getting thirsty. It’s temporarily out of stock, but you can still place an order and Amazon will email you with an estimated delivery date.


How to choose the best gas barbecue for you

Barbecues come in all shapes and sizes, which can make choosing the right one a tricky endeavour. To make sure you pick the best appliance for your garden, there are several things to consider including how often you are going to use it.

If you plan to use your barbecue regularly then it might be worth investing a bit more in a model that will last you longer and comes with a lengthier warranty. However, if you plan to use your barbecue occasionally, a cheaper, more portable option might be best because they are typically lightweight and easier to store and clean.

Read more: 9 best camping stoves that are portable, compact and perfect for backpacking

It’s also worth considering how many people you are going to be cooking for. Every barbecue has a cooking area which is measured in square centimetres. As a rough guide, up to four people will require a smaller cooking area of up to 1800cm², while up to six people will require a larger area of 2000cm² to 2500cm². Finally, if you are catering for up to eight people, you will need the largest gas barbecue, with over 2500cm².

There are many other features to look out for, depending on what it is you’re after including wheels so you can easily manoeuvre the barbecue around your garden space, shelves for storage and a warming rack to keep your food warm while you cook.

How to clean a gas BBQ

According to grill manufacturer Weber, there are five simple steps that need to be taken to clean the inside of your gas barbecue:

  1. Start cleaning your gas barbecue by disconnecting your gas tank; consult your owner’s manual for directions on your specific model.
  2. Next, brush the grates to remove any food debris, then spray your grate cleaner and let it settle for 30 seconds. After, scrub the grates with the abrasive side of your sponge, rinse with water and set aside for drying.
  3. Spray the grate cleaner inside the cookbox and on the bars and let settle for 30 seconds. Scrape the grease and debris off with a plastic scraper and set the bars aside and clean with a sponge.
  4. Wipe down the cookbox, drip tray and bottom tray: use a brush when needed. Be careful not to splash water onto the burner tubes.
  5. Make sure your barbecue dries thoroughly before reassembling your barbecue and finishing your grates with a non-stick spray.

The verdict: Gas BBQs

All levels of outdoor chef would be happy with the John Lewis & Partners 3 burner because it allows for total control as soon as your ingredients hit the grill. A quality product that will consistently produce delicious morsels at a mouth-watering price.

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