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9 best gas barbecues for upgrading your grilling game

Firing up for your next cookout? Opt for a hassle-free grill that won’t make you work up a sweat

Our shortlist covers single and multiple burners for effortless searing, slow cooking and roasting

Of all the seasonal afflictions that come in the warmer months, from hay fever to heat rash, there’s almost nothing worse than barbecue envy. That feeling you get when the smoke and aromas of someone else’s back garden feast drift over into your domain, leaving you hungry and wishing you’d taken better care of your broiler over the winter months.

However, with a range of new grills on the market for 2022, there are plenty of options out there if you relish the simple, controllable cookery that gas grills offer, so you’re never in danger of burning your grub.

Gas models nearly always require more assembly than their charcoal counterparts, so they need to be easily assembled right out of the box. The amount of assembly required will often depend on how many burners the barbecue is equipped with: two burners will make the barbecue more compact while still allowing enough grill space for a family feast, while three or four will increase the barbecue’s footprint, while also increasing the versatility of your cookout.

Whether it’s two, three or four, it’s important for all the burners to provide consistent heat across the entire cooking surface, so you don’t suffer cool spots towards the front of the grates. This even cooking, at high heat, guarantees that a batch of burgers will all be wonderfully seared and you don’t have some medium-rare, while others are well done.

For lower, slower cooking, like chicken, you need the barbecue to be able to hold its temperature well, so that you don’t have to keep fiddling with the burner knobs and you can guarantee that you’ll end up with succulent meat. And when the final burger has been flipped and the barbecue’s cooled, you’re going to love the products that offer up easy cleaning, with readily accessible grease traps and grates that scrub up easily with a grill brush.

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How we tested

We had all the barbecues on test delivered without the (very tempting) offer of pre-assembly from the manufacturers so we could really get to grips with how much effort was involved in putting them together.

Then, we fired them up and cooked burgers on high heat to see how efficiently the grills seared and how intense and evenly the heat was distributed across the grill’s surface. We also tested the grills’ abilities to produce smoky, slow-cooked, flavourful chicken, without suffering the dreaded flare-ups that make meat taste overly charred.

The best gas barbecues for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Weber genesis EPX-335 smart gas barbecue: £2,099, Weber.com
  • Best for family feasts – Char-Broil performance pro tru-infrared 3 burner gas bbq: £579.99, Johnlewis.com
  • Best for the adventurous look – Napoleon freestyle 365 SIB: £589.99, Napoleon.com
  • Best small barbecue – Weber Q 3200: £649, Weber.com
  • Best budget barbecue – Argos home 2 burner gas bbq with side burner: £75, Argos.co.uk
  • Best value for money – Outback omega 250: £189.99, Outbackbarbecues.com
  • Best four burner barbecue – Broil King crown 490 gas bbq: £949.95, Bbqworld.co.uk
  • Best for convection cooking – Everdure by Heston Blumenthal furnace 3: £899, Everdurebyheston.co.uk
  • Best for easy cleaning – CampingGaz 4 series onyx s gas barbecue: £649, Bbqland.co.uk

Weber genesis EPX-335 smart gas barbecue

Best: Overall

Rating: 9/10

  • Dimensions: H 160.02cm x W 157.48cm x D 78.74cm
  • No. of burners: Three
  • Additional features: Bluetooth and wifi connectivity, extra-large prep and serve table, night vision LED barbecue lighting
  • Warranty: Five years

This smart gas barbecue is part of Weber’s 2022 product portfolio and it was delivered on a pallet, so we were sure we’d need to bring our A-game in terms of assembly. However, we needn’t have worried, thanks to some detailed instructions and intelligent packaging, which ensured we had the Weber built after about an hour.

The grill of the EPX-335 offers plenty of room to cater for a large group and we had no problem igniting the three burners, which heated the grill efficiently, so we could start cooking almost immediately. The impressive heat distribution meant that we knew exactly how hot each part of the grill was going to be and that’s before we had a play with Weber’s connect feature, which allows you to take control of what’s sizzling. This tech updates you with the temperature of your food as you cook and actually tells you when you should be flipping a burger or serving the chicken. The app actually allows you to step away from the grill and enjoy the nervous looks of your guests as you join them to socialise, while staying in control of what’s grilling.

If barbecued food is all about the sear, then the Weber has a whole area of the grill set aside to receive more intense heat from the burner, while the heat was controllable enough for us to produce wonderfully succulent chicken straight after. There’s no doubt that this is an investment barbecue, but if you’re really planning to get serious about your barbecuing in 2022 it’s worth every penny.

Naturally, though, as this is such an impressive piece of kit, it’s currently out of stock but you can be notified via email as soon as it returns.

Char-Broil performance pro tru-infrared 3 burner gas bbq

Best: For family feasts

Rating: 9/10

  • Dimensions: H 115.3cm x W 119.3cm x D 57.3cm
  • Grilling area: 54.3cm x 43.5cm
  • No. of burners: Three
  • Additional features: TRU-Infrared cooking technology, porcelain-enamelled cast-iron grates and cool-touch lid handle
  • Warranty: Five years

This updated, stainless steel, three-burner has been redesigned for 2022 to take up less space while still retaining the efficient cooking that Char-Broil has really become known for. This is largely due to their tru-infrared system, which is essentially a stainless-steel panel under the grill that radiates more heat across the cooking surface and results in an even distribution of heat.

Out of the box, pre-assembled parts take the headache out of putting the pro 3 together and result in a high-quality barbecue with a grill area that will easily feed an extended family. It offers up a quality cooking experience too, handling meat, fish and veggies with controllable heat and, as mentioned, guaranteed distribution across the grill. There’s also a cast-iron griddle that has a smooth side if you want to barbecue breakfast and cook eggs or pancakes, while the ribbed side will grill vegetables. A warming tray is also on hand for keeping food away from the intense heat of the grills and a side burner can be used to heat up sauces or boil potatoes.

There’s plenty to like away from the grills too, with tool hooks, illuminated LED controllers and even a mounted bottle opener to keep the cook hydrated. The infrared system requires a bit more care on clean up, but Char-Broil provides a tailor-made tool for the job.

Napoleon freestyle 365 SIB

Best: For the adventurous look

Rating: 8/10

  • Dimensions: H 116cm x W 124cm x D 64cm
  • Grilling area: 51cm x 45cm
  • No. of burners: Three
  • Additional features: Bottle opener, built-in propane tank ring and durable case aluminium fire box
  • Warranty: 10 years

Building on the healthy reputation of the freestyle 365, Napoleon has now added a high-heat side burner to this grill. This not only increases the range of cookery you can perform, but allows you to finish off and sear whole steaks while the rest of your food sizzles away on the main grill.

In terms of assembly, the Napoleon came together without any drama thanks to clear, step-by-step instructions. It’s nice and compact for a three-burner, so won’t take over a patio or balcony, but is still roomy enough to cater for a family and guests.

There’s also an accurate temperature gauge which showed how evenly the heat was distributed across the grill, making it easy to sear and slow cook. We particularly liked the distinctive wave pattern in the grate as this seemed to keep the food from sticking, particularly when searing. And we also noted that the drip trays were easily accessed when the cooking was done, however the aforementioned wave pattern on the grates made it a little trickier to clean with the barbecue brush.

Weber Q3200

Best: Small barbecue

Rating: 8/10

  • Dimensions: H 141cm x W 127.5cm x D 76.2cm
  • No. of burners: Two
  • Additional features: Built-in lid thermometer, removable folding side tables and removable catch pan
  • Warranty: Five years

If you like a movable feast, then the Q3200 has a compact footprint, including two drop-down tables, and will suit almost any patio or deck, and its weight and wheels make it easy to find the perfect spot. This is a real Tardis griller that looks, from the outside, like it won’t be able to fit much more than a pork sausage, but open up the lid and you’ll be amazed how much space you have to cook on with a grilling surface big enough to cook a complete meal for a family.

Cart barbecues can be tricky to assemble, but the Q3200 offered up no resistance, so the two responsive burners were ready to sear in minutes, with good controllable heat and plenty of space between the burners and the grate, minimising flare-ups. The built-in thermometer was accurate enough for lid-down cooking and the grill held the heat well so we didn’t have to keep fiddling with the controls and could just concentrate on the cookery.

As usual with Weber, there are some nice details, like the light in the handle which means that when the lid is up you can illuminate the grilling surface so you can barbecue until the sun goes down.

Argos home 2 burner gas bbq with side burner

Best: Budget barbecue

Rating: 6/10

  • Dimensions: H 96.5cm x W 112cm x D 44cm
  • Grilling area: 34cm x 45cm
  • No. of burners: Two burners, one side burner
  • Additional features: Wheels, convenient side table and storage shelf
  • Warranty: One year

The popular high street store has a habit of producing barbecues that can easily cater for a traditional bank holiday banquet without putting a sizeable dent in your bank balance. And this compact two burner is no exception.

It didn’t feel flimsy after a very straightforward half-hour assembly, and there’s a good-sized cooking area made from a thin, steel-wired grate, which allowed plenty of heat to get to the feast and leave a good sear on our burgers. The smaller firebox reflected more heat onto the grill’s surface, so we didn’t have to seek out the hot spots and made it easy to keep the heat for other dishes, like chicken and veggies. There’s a side-burner, a side table and it’s easily cleaned when you’re done.

Outback omega 250

Best: Value for money

Rating: 7/10

  • Dimensions: H 1,195cm x W 1,035cm x D 495cm
  • Grilling area: 50cm x 36cm
  • No. of burners: One dual control burner, one side burner
  • Additional features: Porcelain enamel-coated warming rack, tool rack, hose and propane regulator included

Another easily assembled cart barbecue with two burners that were easy to light and hit cooking temperature quickly. It gave a good sear to the burgers and the porcelain coated grill meant that we never had to worry about leaving the flavour of the food stuck to the grill when it was time to serve.

The grill is big enough to easily cater for a family of four and some guests, with a handy side burner which was responsive enough to make frying onions or heating up sauces easy and save on trips to the kitchen hobs. We liked how the bars of the warming racks run front to back, parallel with the main grate so that you can more easily slide a spatula under the food that’s warming and when we’d finished the barbecue was easy to reset, ready for its next outing.

Broil King crown 490 gas bbq

Best: Four-burner barbecue

Rating: 9/10

  • Dimensions: H 116cm x W 145cm x D61cm
  • Grilling area: 66.4cm x 44.7cm
  • No. of burners: Four tube burners
  • Additional features: Premium rotisserie kit, linear Flow valves with 180-degree precision control and sure-Lite electronic ignition system
  • Warranty: Two years

This takes some time putting together (most of Saturday morning for us) but your efforts will be well rewarded as this is a serious piece of kit, boasting premium build quality and fantastic results when it comes to the food it produces.

The whole unit feels rock solid when cooking and the burners were all very efficient and precise, so it really took the guesswork out of the cookery. The heat distribution is also superb for such a big grill, which is made up of different grids, one side of which is pointed for searing while the other side is grooved so that you can capture juices from chicken to stop the meat drying out. This means that you can set your grill up according to what you’ve got on the menu and during cooking you can angle the grids so that any excess fat drains away and doesn’t flare up to spoil the meat.

All this results in wonderfully juicy and flavourful food with a subtle, smoky taste and the controllable heat makes it easy to cater for different tastes in terms of cooking times for burgers and steaks. The fold-away shelving has tool hooks built in and Broil-King has designed the 490 to be very easily cleaned, which is a bonus for such a big barbecue.

Everdure by Heston Blumenthal furnace 3

Best: For convection cooking

Rating: 8/10

  • Dimensions: H 106cm (hood up: 144cm) x W 131cm x D 74cm
  • Grilling area: 2,915cm²
  • No. of burners: Three
  • Additional features: Reaches 20C in less than five minutes, enamel-coated iron flat plate, instant searing thanks to 29.1MJ of power
  • Warranty: Five years

The three-burner furnace will lend some retro style to any outside area and some straightforward assembly is backed up by controllable cookery, via the taps located on one of the barbecue’s side tables. This cuts down on your prep space, but the gas bottle can hang directly beneath the taps so you have plenty of storage on the large shelf at the barbecue’s base.

The grill is very big and it’s well serviced by the burners, which deliver searing heat, making colouring and grill marking food very easy, the heat produced also does a good job at vaporising grease before it can flare up. The design of the lid made it a great option for low and slow cooking and it certainly made the most of the chicken which came out succulent and smoky in equal measure.

The three grills are easily removed for cleaning and we found that there was a lot less grease build-up as the burners efficiency did such a good job at vaporising fat and meat juices before it could build up.

CampingGaz 4 series onyx s gas barbecue

Best: For easy cleaning

Rating: 9/10

  • Dimensions: H 150cm x W 157cm x D 70cm
  • Grilling area: 46cm x 72cm
  • No. of burners: Four
  • Additional features: InstaStart® intuitive one-touch ignition with illuminated safety controls, supports up to 13kg gas bottles within a fully enclosed trolley, all-terrain caster wheels with brakes offer easy mobility across all surfaces and a secure stance
  • Warranty: Five years

Considering that this four-burner comes packed with features that we haven’t seen on any other barbecues and produces some great tasting food, it’s very competitively priced. A lot of this is down to some excellent heat distribution across the grill and the well-calibrated controls which means you can create different heat zones so that meat can be cooked to order. We also found it particularly adept at colouring the meat over the heat source before moving it to an area without any direct heat and closing the lid so that it finished without burning.

The onyx S also offered the most effortless clean-up, thanks to a very unique system that utilises a tray of water in the grease trap, so all you have to do when you’re finished cooking is flush the grease into a removable box, give everything a wipe down and the barbecue is totally reset. The efficient side-burner, folding side tables and an excellent thermometer all add to the value.

Gas BBQ FAQs

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.

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 1,800cm², while up to six people will require a larger area of 2,00cm² to 2,50cm². Finally, if you are catering for up to eight people, you will need the largest gas barbecue, with over 2,500cm².

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.

Gas vs charcoal BBQ: Which is better?

Perhaps an obvious advantage of gas BBQs is their ease of use. With no waiting around for coals to heat up you can cook with far more precision than their charcoal rivals will allow. Plus, once you're finished they’re much easier to clean. You can also enjoy longer grilling sessions by connecting the BBQ to a gas line, though this does make them less portable, and you will need to be extra careful about avoiding flare ups.

Charcoal BBQs on the other hand are generally the cheaper option, and can reach higher temperatures while creating that distinct smoky flavour that people love.

The verdict: Gas BBQs

If you’re cooking for a crowd, then Weber’s genesis EPX-335 has got everything you’ll need to make sure everyone’s plate is full of succulent, smoky barbecue, while making the whole experience as stress-free as possible. The connected tech meshes well with some quality manufacturing and design to produce a grill with outstanding performance and plenty of versatility to showcase your cooking technique.

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