Benefits of Gas Grills
Many gas grills can top 700 degrees Fahrenheit, and some are even capable of reach over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit with no trouble at all.
Simply push a button or turn a knob to fire up the grill, which generally has a secondary ignition method should the primary igniter fail.
Gas grills reach desired temperature almost instantly after they’re lit, and the cooking grates preheat quickly to guarantee gorgeous sear marks.
Not only do these grills excel at maintaining almost any heat level, but they’re also designed to spread it evenly across your cooking surface.
High heat isn’t all gas grills are good at. Indirect grilling is possible on models with multiple burners, and some can pull off low-and-slow.
Easy to Use
Gas grills require virtually no guesswork and have independently controlled burners that can be turned on or off in seconds.
Choose from different styles, configurations, burners, and a wide variety of accessories that makes gas grills easy to personalize.
With mirror-polished stainless steel, LED light displays, and matching outdoor kitchen equipment, gas grills are in a category all their own.
How do Gas Grills Work?
Gas grills are fueled by either propane stored in tanks or natural gas that’s piped into the home by a utility company. Keep in mind that only certified professionals should ever work on gas lines, especially when converting a grill from one fuel to another (which is difficult to perform and may even void your warranty). The differences between natural gas grills and propane gas grills are minor, but in each fuel type gas is placed under a specific pressure and sent to the burners for combustion. Once combustion of fuel has produced heat for grilling, that heat is spread throughout the firebox and grill head to cook your food. Gas grills manipulate heat using 3 components — burners, flame tamers, and cooking grates.
Gas Grill Burners
Tube burners, which are essentially steel pipes with holes drilled down the sides or top, come in either a straight or U-shaped configuration. Die-cast stainless steel or cast aluminum burners, meanwhile, are generally in an H-shaped or “bar” arrangement. Cast aluminum is the most desirable material because it never rusts, but it’s still important to clean your gas grill burners no matter which type you own. Burners are positioned so you can take advantage of dual-zone grilling, a technique that’s easier in grills with heat zone separators that divide the firebox into sections containing individual burners.
Gas Grill Flame Tamers
These components usually sit between the burners and cooking grates, evenly dispersing heat across the grilling surface and throughout the grill head so you don’t have to deal with pesky hot or cold spots. In addition to evenly radiating heat, flame tamers catch grease drippings that can clog the gas ports of the burners below. Those drippings are then vaporized and sent back toward your food in the form of flavorful smoke. Flame tamers are generally made from some type of steel, stainless steel, or aluminum, though ceramic briquette units are gaining popularity because of their effectiveness.
Gas Grill Cooking Grates
This is where your food sits within the grill. Don’t overlook the material used in the construction of the cooking grates — their composition goes a long way toward transferring heat to your food and creating beautiful sear marks. Grill grates thicker than 8 millimeters are ideal for bold sear marks, and you’ll get even better results if they’re made of cast iron, which is excellent at absorbing and radiating heat. Thick or cast stainless steel, however, may last longer than cast iron. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with sturdy cooking grates made from commercial-grade, 304 stainless steel.
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Gas Grill Innovations:Sear Burners, Multi-fuel, & Rotisseries
Much has changed since the early days of gas grilling, when post-mounted grills that used natural gas were the norm. The past 20 years alone have brought plenty of changes, and BBQGuys® has seen several grilling fads come and go in that time. But some innovations — such as infrared sear burners, multi-fuel grills, and rotisseries of all shapes and sizes — have withstood the test of time and become staples of the gas grill industry.
Sear Burners for Gas Grills
Rather than creating convection heat that warms the air inside the firebox, sear burners emit huge amounts of radiant heat to cook only the food directly above it. That’s why they’re also referred to as infrared burners, which are usually made using a perforated ceramic plate that’s heated by a gas flame until it becomes red-hot. Sear burners keep flare-ups to a minimum and don’t dry out your food like a conventional burner might (How does 35% more moisture retention sound?). Many freestanding grills come with an infrared side burner, giving grillers the benefits of both infrared and convection heating.
These grills make it possible to cook using different types of fuel on the same grill. American Muscle Grills take this concept to the extreme with removable trays designed for charcoal, pellets, wood chunks, and actual wooden logs in addition to the typical gas fuel source. There are also gas/charcoal combo grills, like the Coyote Centaur, that pair two fully realized BBQ grills together in a single cooking machine. If you love the idea of multi-fuel grilling but would prefer something more modest, then look for a standard gas grill from a brand that offers a charcoal tray accessory for the best of both worlds.
Gas Grill Rotisseries
Often paired with rear infrared burners, rotisseries create mouthwatering dishes and add a wow factor for outdoor entertainers. Food is placed on a spit rod and slowly rotated over the burners, allowing meat to baste in its own juices that continually roll across its surface. The results are tender and flavorful, and a slowly rotating, glistening cut of meat makes for quite the sight. Some Luxury grill brands, like Hestan and Fire Magic, have chain-driven rotisserie motors hidden within the grill body that steadily spin and can support up to 60 pounds of food. Other models are compatible with rotisserie kit accessories.