If, like us, you’re desperate to get back to having fun outside with family and friends, throwing a big get-together is probably at the top of your to-do list. The best gas BBQ will ensure your well-earned party is a fuss-free experience, whether you’re cooking for three or 13. So for those of you who don’t fancy lugging around bags of charcoal and trying to light soggy matches, we’ve put together a list of the best gas BBQs to get you ready for a summer of a fuss-free al fresco dining.
Gas BBQs come in a huge range of shapes and sizes, from small portable models that are ideal for camping, to impressive six-burner grills that will make feeding your family and friends quick and easy. And while any gas BBQ will set you back more than a cheap disposable tray from the supermarket, they don’t always have to break the bank.
Below, we’ve found the best gas BBQ for everyone, whether you’re after a solid yet affordable grill that will last you for years, or a top-of-the-range luxury model that’s as functional as it is stylish.
Best gas BBQs: At a glance
How to choose the best gas BBQ for you
What are the benefits of a gas BBQ over a traditional charcoal BBQ?
While some BBQ fans insist you need a traditional solid fuel grill to achieve that authentic BBQ taste, even die-hard charcoal fans will find something to love about a gas BBQ. Quick and easy to light, usually with a simple push ignition switch, gas BBQs get up to temperature in no time at all. The easily adjustable temperature also means you can jump from grilling steak on a high heat to preparing a salmon fillet at a lower, steady temperature without waiting for the BBQ to cool.
Depending on how much you use your BBQ, you may also find a gas BBQ much cheaper to run. Instead of buying sacks of charcoal, wood chips and firelighters and seeing your money literally go up in smoke, even a single bottle of propane or butane should keep you grilling all summer.
Once all the guests are happily fed and watered, hosts will be delighted to find that cleanup is much quicker with a gas BBQ. There’s no need to clear out piles of ash and the occasional unlucky sausage that fell through the gap. Once cold, a quick scrub of the grill and wipe down of any grease is all it takes.
The only real downside to gas BBQs – and some diehard BBQers will tell you it’s a big one – is that you miss out on that traditional charred, smokey taste. Flavoured smoking woods and charcoals are rising in popularity for solid-fuel grills, and while you can buy smoker boxes to use with gas, they won’t work for every model and don’t add quite as much flavour.
Finding BBQ-suitable gas can also be a little more of a challenge than picking up a bag of charcoal from a supermarket. You can usually find BBQ gas in hardware stores and garden centres, and occasionally petrol stations. It may be worth checking out a local supplier before investing in a gas BBQ.
What to look out for when buying a gas BBQ
If you’ve decided that a gas BBQ is right for you, the next thing to consider is what size of grill you’ll need. While gas BBQs are generally much quicker to get going than a traditional solid fuel grill, if you’re planning to host a large backyard party, a six-burner model will help you feed your friends and family as quickly as possible. If you only have a small garden and are a short on storage space, a tabletop or foldable gas BBQ might be ideal.
Most gas BBQs can use both butane or propane, but as some may only come fitted for one or the other, so make sure you know which type you’ll need to buy.
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Are gas BBQs safe?
In short, yes. But as with any BBQ, it’s everyone’s responsibility to take standard precautions. Most of these are common sense – never leave a BBQ unattended, don’t use it indoors or in a poorly ventilated space, keep children and animals away and have a bucket of water or fire blanket nearby.
What extra precautions should I take?
For gas BBQs specifically, there are two additional safety precautions to consider. First, it’s critical to make sure your BBQ is in a good condition. Check the gas pipes and connectors for any sign of wear and tear, and make sure there’s no leak or strong gas smell. These checks should be carried out every time you use the grill, but are especially important during the first BBQ of the season if it’s been sitting in storage for a few months.
Second, make sure you are using both the right gas and the right adapter. Some models will only take one type of fuel, whereas others will come with fittings that allow you to use both. Before you try to start the grill, make sure you’re using the right connector and the right gas, and that any adapters are properly fitted.
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The best gas barbeques to buy in 2021
1. John Lewis & Partners 2 Burner Gas BBQ: The best budget gas BBQ
Price: £199 | Buy now from John Lewis
If you’re looking for a more affordable model, John Lewis’ two-burner gas BBQ is a solid choice that’ll see you through many a summer. Not only does it have the looks of a much pricer model, but its impressively large cooking area will let you feed up to four people at once. An integrated lid thermometer and independently controlled burners ensure food is always the perfect temperature, whether you’re cooking burgers, steaks, fish or veggie kebabs.
As well as the two main burners, this model also has a warming rack, side, base and middle shelves for storage, flame tamers and an easily removable grease tray. Its two castor wheels make it easy to move around the garden, or back into the shed when the BBQing season is over. It’s also easy to clean when cool – a brush down with a stiff brush should do the trick. It comes fitted with a hose and regulator for propane gas but you’ll need to buy fuel separately.
Key Specs – Fuel type: Propane; Number of burners: 2; Cooking area: 50 x 41.5cm; Dimensions (WDH): 116.2 x 55.4 x 111.3cm; Weight: 23kg
Buy now from John Lewis
2. CosmoGrill Barbecue 6+1 Pro Gas Grill BBQ: The best gas BBQ for big families
Price: £480 | Buy now from Amazon
If you need to feed a small army (or large family), this impressive gas BBQ will help you get a feast ready in no time. This model boasts six main burners, plus an additional burner off to the side, a double-layered hood and an impressive amount of stor