Ultimate Gas Grill Buying Guide: Gas Grill Features
Every gas grill comes with standard features, such as grates, grease trays, igniters, and burners. These features are necessary for proper grill functionality, but when you’re buying a gas grill, it’s important to understand what these features have to offer, as well as what options are available beyond the basics.
With so many different gas grill features available—everything from simple side burners to luxury lighting—it can be hard to know which ones are worth your money. So, which basic or enhanced grill features should you look for and which ones can you skip when you’re buying a new gas grill? In this section of the Ultimate Gas Grill Buying Guide, we will explore popular gas grill features, including:
- Standard gas grill features and what you can expect from them
- Enhanced and luxury gas grill features
- Which grill features to look for and which grill features to pass on
Let’s dig in.
Standard Gas Grill Features
Standard gas grill features can be found on every gas barbecue, from the most basic entry-level options to the highest quality luxury grills. Of course, the more money you spend, the higher the quality of these components and features will be.
Standard gas grill features include things like:
- Burners: Burners supply heat to your grill and are one of the most critical components of any barbecue. When it comes to burners, one important feature to keep in mind is the material they are made out of—most are made of aluminum, iron, stainless steel, or brass. Stainless steel and brass are the most durable and will last the longest with proper care and maintenance. If you’re having trouble with your current grill burners, you don’t necessarily need to replace your whole grill. Learn how to replace your gas grill burners.
- Grates: Grill cooking grates are most commonly made out of cast iron or stainless steel, and may be porcelain or enamel coated to protect the metal from rust and deterioration. Learn how to protect and clean your grill grates.
- Igniter: Igniters come in a variety of types: manual-light, push-button, battery, or electric. Discover how to replace a non-functioning igniter.
- Tool hooks: As part of the grill structure, these hooks are well-placed for hanging your tongs, spatula, and grill brush within easy reach while you’re cooking.
- Grease tray: Your grill’s grease tray collects grease and drippings for easy disposal. It may or may not pull out for easy cleaning, depending on the price range of your grill.
- Storage and side shelves: Storage cupboards and drawers are designed to store things like grilling tools and spices. Side shelves can be used to hold your grillables and other grilling necessities. If your barbecue is a propane grill, it may also include a pullout tray for the propane tank
- Gas grill side burners: Gas grill side burners are ideal for prepping sauces and other side dishes without abandoning the grill. At the higher end of the standard range, you may even find some grills with infrared side burners.
- Control knobs: Control knobs are typically made of plastic or metal. High-end models occasionally feature LED lights.
Enhanced and Luxury Gas Grill Features
Once you get into the mid-level budget tier and above, you will start to find grills that offer enhanced and added features, such as pull-out grease trays, gas grill side burners, burners or grates made using higher quality metals, or igniters that are electric rather than manual. These enhanced features can significantly upgrade the necessary components of your typical grill and improve the grilling experience overall.
At this level, you will also find luxury features that will not be found on every single grill, such as:
- Integrated rotisseries
- Built-in lights for easier night grilling
- View windows
- Heat zone separators
- Longer warranties
These features aren’t necessary to operate the grill, but they can certainly add to the enjoyment. Rotisserie kits, grill lights, and other luxury features can often be purchased separately and added onto a grill later, so if you aren’t sure whether you’ll get enough use out of such features to justify the added up-front cost, you can always add them on later.
Which Grill Features Should You Get?
Whether or not a grill feature must be included or can be skipped is something only you can decide for yourself. Everyone has their own unique grilling style and everyone’s needs differ when it comes to cooking, so the features that will be useful to one person will not necessarily be useful to every griller.
As long as a barbecue is within your budget, you can buy a grill loaded with all the luxury features and add-ons you want. However, if your budget is too tight to include all of the features and add-ons of your dreams, we recommend that you forego special features in favor of a grill with better quality basic components and practical features, such as:
- Durable cast iron or stainless steel burners and cooking grates
- Electric igniters
- Gas grill side burners
- Good storage
- Pull-out grease trays
Typically, the best features to pass on are ones that can be purchased separately and added or upgraded later, such as:
Gas grill features can improve your grilling experience, but it isn’t always necessary to buy a grill loaded up with a gamut of fancy tools. Instead, focus on key features that are compatible with and useful for your grilling style.
If you have a limited budget, we recommend you select a grill made using high-quality basic components and minimal special features—you can always add them on when you get a feel for which features you actually need and want, and at a time when you can afford to upgrade.
Keep Reading the Ultimate Gas Grill Buying Guide:
Part 1: How To Choose a Gas Grill
Part 2: Types of Gas Grill
Part 3: Natural Gas vs. Propane Grills
Part 4: Freestanding vs. Built-in Grills
Part 5: Budget: How Much Do Gas Grills Cost?
Part 6: Grill Size
Part 7: BTUs
Part 8: Gas Grill Features