April showers bring a slew of seasonal articles to magazines and websites regarding barbecue and grilling. Chief among these articles are lists of grill recommendations, particularly gas grills. While many of these lists are cobbled together from Amazon ratings, press releases and native advertising, Good Housekeeping is known for being a product tester. According to their most recent list of the best gas grill, dated March 25th, 2019, they looked at more than a dozen grills on the market to generate their top five. What “looked at” means, is a little hard to quantify, but they imply testing for even heating, searing, and other factors.
You can find Good Housekeeping’s primary article on gas grills here. They have additional content on general grills and other products on other pages. Like most major publications, they are keeping to the lower end of the price spectrum with the most expensive grill listed being around $1,000USD. I will address some of those other products later, but first, let’s look at their selection for the best gas grills and see what they got right and what they got wrong.
Weber Spirit II E-310 Gas Grill - Best Overall
The three burner version of Weber’s lowest cost brand is at the top of Good Housekeeping’s list for two reasons. It is comparatively cheap and it is a Weber. Many lists like this put Weber grills at the top for no reason other than they are made by the industries most recognized brand. While Weber makes a good grill, the Spirit line is known for being lightweight and a bit flimsy. This gas grill weighs 86 pounds, costs $450USD and produces 30,000 BTUs under its 424 square inches of cooking space. While the heat is even, it is not a powerful or heafty grill. My recommendation in this size and price range would be the Broil King Monarch 320, a much more powerful and solidly constructed grill.
Nexgrill 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill - Best Value
This selection is frankly a bit mystifying. It is inexpensive, certainly, but it is twice the grill as the Weber Spirit above and about half the price. This doesn’t make it a good value, just a cheap grill. The Nexgrill four burner has, well four burners and a side burner in a ‘stainless steel’ body. It weighs eleven pounds more that the Spirit but has a larger cooking surface and an enclosed cart. Even Home Depot, the grills primary seller has user reviews giving it 1.9 stars out of five for value and 1.5 stars for quality. A good value implies some durability, not a gas grill that will lose performance quickly and need replacement after a season or two. Any of the gas grills I recommend in this price range (gas grills between $250 and $500) will outperform and outlast this model.
Kenmore Elite 6000 Series 4-Burner Gas Grill - Best for Beginners
While the Nexgrill model above is odd based on it not being a very good grill, Good Housekeeping’s listing of this $1,000USD Kenmore as the best gas grill for beginners is downright perplexing. Aside from the idea that the most expensive grill to make their list is a beginner’s grill, this is certainly not the best grill in this price range. There are many, many great gas grills to choose from at about a thousand dollars. Made by Permasteel, a long time manufacturer for the Kenmore brand, this monster has lots of features, an attractive styling, and pretty solid construction. But if you take a look at my list of the best gas grills between $500 and $1000, you will see that there are many better grills for less money. This isn’t even taking into consideration that Sears supports this grill, not Permasteel and as we all know, Sears’ days are numbered.
Weber 61011001 Genesis II E-310 LP Gas Grill - Best for Professionals
Again, the terminology that Good Housekeeping chooses to use is strange. There are professional level gas grills out there and while the Weber Genesis II E-310 is one of the best gas grills in its price range, this certainly isn’t a professional level grill. I would consider this either one of the best overall gas grills or one of the best gas grills for beginners. I would also like to note that while Good Housekeeping lists this grill at $699USD its actual sale price is $799.
Napoleon Portable Propane Gas Grill - Best for Travelers
There are many portable gas grills on the market these days and I do agree that the Napoleon TravelQ is one of the best. It is highly portable, powerful and well built. All in all, I would say that this is a great choice by Good Housekeeping. You might also want to check out my list of the best portable gas grills for other ideas.
Additionally, Good Housekeeping lists its picks for the best outdoor grill buys for 2019. You can find that article here. This list includes many gas grills from those I’ve already discussed so I’m just going to point out a few of the more curious picks. I will say that their selection of the Char-Broil Commercial TRU-Infrared 4-Burner, though not the best grill in its price range, a good choice.
Traeger Ranger Tabletop Pellet Grill
On a list of general grills, it seems a little strange to include a tabletop pellet grill. Not that this is a bad product, but it does seem strange. The Traeger Ranger is a pellet grill. It has a very small cooking surface and any charcoal portable can reach higher temperatures and most small gas grills have much larger cooking surfaces. This is a specialized product and an odd addition. At least they get it right that this is a tabletop grill and not a portable. The Traeger Ranger must be plugged in for it to work, so it's portability is limited.
Everdure Cube 17-inch Portable Charcoal Grill
This little, open charcoal grill from the brand that is Heston Blumenthal can only be here because of the massive PR engine driving this latest celebrity chef out of England. This isn’t a bad product, but at $200 for a very basic charcoal grill with limited cooking abilities, it really doesn’t belong. Were I to list it, it would fall towards the bottom of any list of recommended products. For those that are interested in celebrity-branded products, it's okay, but for those more practically minded, stick with the Weber Smokey Joe Silver.