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Best Propane Grills

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All day you’ve been thinking about grilling burgers…or steaks or chicken or pork chops. You can practically smell the aroma of meat cooking outdoors. The mere idea of it kicks your craving into high gear. Your taste buds don’t want to wait 20-30 minutes for charcoal to get hot enough to start grilling.

Best High End
Propane Gas Grill
Best Economic
Propane Gas Grill
Best Budget
Propane Gas Grill

Convenience is one of the best features of gas grills. With a push of a button or turn of a knob, the grill starts heating up and most models are ready in minutes.

Another benefit is consistency. This is especially helpful when you need to maintain a certain temperature for long periods. There’s no muss and fuss of adding more charcoal multiple times in order to maintain the appropriate temperature. Once a propane grill reaches a set temp, it stays.

Safety First

Unless you live in a climate that’s conducive to year-round grilling, chances are you close up the outdoor kitchen for the winter. However, once signs of spring start popping up, the urge to barbecue hits. Unfortunately, satisfying that urge isn’t as easy as firing up the grill.

For safety reasons—and better tasting food—give your gas grill a thorough spring cleaning.

• With propane turned off, remove briquettes and grates, then detach tubes and burners. Use soapy water to clean tubes; dry thoroughly. Use a damp cloth to wipe off burners.

• To clean grill inside and out, use a grill brush and soapy water. Be careful to avoid gas valves, or better yet, cover them with foil first.

• Reassemble burners and gas tubes and reconnect propane tank. Next, turn briquettes over, close the lid and turn grill on to the highest setting for 15 minutes. This will burn off residual grease or food bits.

• After it’s cooled, remove grates for a scouring with a wire-bristle brush and soapy water. Put briquettes and grates back in place according to manufacturer’s instructions.

• Finally, check fuel. If low, refill tanks at a propane dealer.

The Specs

If you’re new to grilling, follow these tips in order to choose the best propane grill for you.

• Size matters

Consumer Reports suggests purchasing a grill with a cooking area large enough to serve your entire family. In other words, if you have a family of 8, then choose a size that will cook 10-12 burgers at a time (in case someone wants seconds). If you have a family of 3, go with a smaller model.

Meat matters

If you prefer grilling large portions, like whole chickens, be sure to select a design with a rotisserie. Also, many models offer side burners or griddles if you need to cook several items at once.

Heat matters

Heat is measured in BTUs, and the general idea is the more BTUs, the hotter a grill can go. However, some foods are better off cooking with indirect heat, meaning not directly over the heat source. Look for a grill with at least two different heat zones.

Construction matters

The best propane grill will be a well-constructed station without sharp edges or corners. Also, test the handle; if it’s too close to the lid, you could end up with burned knuckles.

Best Propane Grills

High-end choice

DynaGlo DGE530BSP-D 5-burner 62000 BTU Propane Gas Grill with Side Burner

With more than 530 square inches of cooking area, backyard cooks can grill dozens of hamburgers at a time. Heavy gauge grates withstand not only large quantities, but large portion sizes. This model features an electronic pulse ignition system for easy startups.

MSRP: $499

Economic choice

Char-broil Performance TRU Infrared 480 3-burner Gas Grill with Side Burner and Cabinet

Infrared burners sear meat at very high temperatures to seal in juices. This grill handles low-and-slow cooking equally well. Control heat by utilizing different grate level temperatures, or a secondary cooking area. Side shelves provide extra prep room.

MSRP: $349

Budget choice

Char-broil 36000 BTU 3-burner Gas Grill, 522 square inch with Side Burner

Three burners providing 36,000 BTUs radiate plenty of heat to grill just about any protein or vegetable. A large cooking area accommodates multiple servings, and metal shelves flank the grill for extra convenience.

MSRP: $229

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