When I was working on a story about the best gas grills for the first issue of Grill Girl magazine I did a lot of research to narrow it down. While I don’t really use gas grills much anymore, it’s what I started on about 12 years ago when I first got into grilling and was hooked. I call the Weber Genesis my gateway grill!
“When they first introduced the the the Genesis back in 1985 it kind of took the industry by storm,” my friend and grilling pro Derrick Riches told me. “It was massively successful and it very quickly had that reputation just of being bulletproof; they lasted forever. I mean, there are still people out there using a 1985 Weber Genesis because you can just keep it running forever!”
To get the best advice to pass onto my Grill Girl readers, I enlisted Derrick to help in my quest to identify the best gas grills under $1,200.
Price Range: $799 to $4,549
Manufactured in Canada, Napoleon was known for making a gas grill that was very similar to the Weber Genesis in terms of structure and build. However, they’ve stayed powerful over the years and even maintained a better quality. In fact, when I asked my dealer who he recommends if he eliminated Weber, he said Napoleon! They have a huge line with lower-end units in the $700 to $800 range all the way up to the Prestige model (pictured above) with six knobs. In fact, some models have infrared side burner that’s great for grilling steaks, and the newer Phantom Series limited edition grill with fun tricks like the knobs turning blue when they’re off and red when they’re on.
“It’s just loaded with accessories and all that sort of stuff, but you know it has that cast aluminum main tub that never corrodes and then it’s got a good burner system, stainless steel cooking grates, and they have a lot of great features,” Derrick said.
Price Range: $349 to $1,859
Another Canadian company, you’ll find that the best gas grills from the Great White North has a lot more power in them because they have to withstand Canadian winters. In fact, Broil King was so powerful they had to go back and redesign the grills with stronger metals to withstand the heat! The family-owned company uses a royal naming system for their models, like the Sovereign, Imperial, Crown, Regal and Baron (pictured above). They have dozens of models with anywhere from two to five burners, side burner options, and rotisserie kits. Broil King is lighter weight compared to the Napoleon because they have aluminum pieces built into the steel frame
“They’re nice people, it’s good company,” Derrick said about Broil King. “I’ve done factory tours with them and you know you’re talking to somebody who’s working the assembly line and their their dad is running the paint shop. They’re very family oriented in the way they run their business, so I love that.”
Modern Home Products
Price Range: $975 to $1,905
Gas grills were originally sold by gas companies—they would make an offer to homeowners that for an extra $1 or so, they could install a gas grill in their backyard! Modern Home Products stems from the inventors of the backyard gas grill, Charmglow, and their best gas grills are a throwback to the ’70s of solid grills that last forever with heavy cast aluminum bodies. Derrick recommends the optional SearMagic Cooking Grid, which he says heats up very quickly, gives you great grill marks, and will last for decades.
“Modern Home Products is a direct descendant of that kind of thinking of ‘We don’t have repeat customers because they still have the one they bought 30 years ago,’ which in this day and age is a bit of a counterintuitive business model,” Derrick said. “If you’re looking for a gas grill that you’re probably never going to have to replace this is the way to go.”
Looking for more grilling tips? Check out these posts: