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The best gas grills for summer 2023

Aug 19, 2023

Cooking steak on a grill gives it a delicious crust and smoky flavor, but not all of us have a grill, or a backyard to do it in. So what are we supposed to do? Fortunately, we can achieve similar results in the kitchen.

Spring and summer days are here, and now is the perfect time to start grilling. You can choose from all kinds, including pellet grills, portable grills and traditional charcoal grills. However, the classic gas grill continues to reign supreme when it comes to backyard cooking.

The best gas grills are simple to use, making them perfect for newbies. They ignite fast and heat up quickly. Most have plenty of room to fix a feast for the entire family. If you're worried about limited backyard space, it's not hard to track down a compact model to fuel your outdoor cooking adventures. Some of today's best gas grills also come jam-packed with nifty extras, from side burners to special sear stations to built-in lighting for evening cooking.

So if you're on the hunt for a quality gas grill, you're in luck. We are showing off three of our top picks for summer cookouts here. If you have a specific type of grill in mind, go to CNET and find the complete roster.


The Monument Denali 605 6-burner is the best grill overall. (Handout/TNS)

CNET TAKE: While a giant six-burner grill may not be for everyone, the Monument Denali is the perfect balance of modern thinking, a good price point and quality one would expect from our top pick. Like any smart modern grill, the Denali has temperature probes to accurately cook your food and uses an app to connect the probes to your phone. You can set the app to alert you when your food reaches the correct temperature or after a certain time limit.

The size of the Denali is impressive, giving you room to easily cook for an entire party of guests. We especially like the little slots for hanging your drumsticks to let them cook evenly. All the food we tested was tender, and the probes did a good job of pinpointing the right temperature. The medium-rare steaks were perfectly cooked, and the burger patties were browned evenly across the entire range. The addition of the burner to the side meant we could cook up some delicious barbecue beans at the same time as the meat, and so we didn't need to bounce from inside to out to keep everything cooking.


The Char-Broil Commercial 3-Burner is the best midrange model. (Handout/TNS)

CNET TAKE: Char-Broil's three-burner stainless steel model comes in at almost half the price of the Monument model above. At $550, you'll get a liquid propane and natural gas grill that can handle most cooking challenges with ease.

Char-Broil uses what it calls Tru-Infrared, a set of perforated emitter plates that separate food from flame to evenly distribute heat and reduce flare-ups. There were definitely fewer flare-ups compared with other models in our testing, but you won't be able to see the flame when you're lighting the grill or adjusting the temperature, so keep that in mind.

You'll get less power than the Weber at 25,500 BTUs over 420 square inches of primary cooking area space, and there aren't any smart grilling features for remote monitoring. This Char-Broil model does have a side burner as well as tank storage behind two cabinet doors. If you're looking to stay closer to $500, this outdoor grill with stainless steel burners offers the best balance of features and performance among the models we've tested.


The Monument Grills Tabletop Propane Gas Grill is the best compact gas grill. (Handout/TNS)

CNET TAKE: When space is limited, finding the right grill to give you the taste you want can be hard. This gas grill from Monument is compact on the outside but surprisingly large on the inside. It's big enough to cook a spatchcocked turkey or several large steaks, and because it's a gas grill, it's ready as soon as you want to use it.

We took it camping with a family of six, and it easily kept everyone well-fed in burgers and hot dogs. It's lightweight and easy to carry and can be set on any picnic table. The drip tray underneath crosses the entire base, making it great at catching debris, but can be a pain to clean. We would have liked it to be a funneled drip pan, but that would have added weight and depth so the compromise is understandable.

If you only have a small outdoor space or a little balcony in your condo, this would be a great addition to make your grilling dreams come true.


As soon as it is warm enough for shorts and sandals, many of us start firing up the grill. Sure, it makes a hot day even hotter, but that's part of the fun of this time-honored summer tradition.

Maybe you can't get enough carne asada, you boast of your barbecue skills, or you're committed to an ­annual Fourth of July cookout. Whatever your menu, a summertime grill session is a ­glorious way to celebrate the season.

But it's not all sunshine and fun when it comes to barbecued goodies: Grilling can pose real health risks. Epidemiologic studies have linked cooking meats at high temperatures with an increased risk of pancreatic, prostate, stomach, and colorectal cancers. The culprits associated with this risk include heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

HCAs form when animal proteins are cooked with high heat, typically above 428 degrees F; they can also occur when roasting meat for a long time or pan-frying at elevated temperatures.

PAHs are created when fat and juices from meats drip onto charcoal or open flames, causing smoke and flares. They can also appear when smoking, frying, or deep-frying.

Various factors, including cooking temperatures, cooking method, type of protein, and duration of cooking time, create different types of HCAs. But this doesn't mean you need to ditch the grill or that the occasional burger will put you into an early grave. Experience Life has assembled these grilling tips to help reduce the risks of carcinogens in your food at your next cookout.

The smoky flavors that charcoal infuses into grilled meats are undeniably delicious, but cooking with gas is the healthier option. The simple reason? Charcoal burns hotter, and cooking with high heat is where the danger lies. Gas grills are also easier to control, so you can fret less about over- or undercooking your meat.

Proper care of your grill extends its life and ensures you'll be happily grilling away for years to come. But there are also health benefits to keeping your grill and tools clean.

Charred pieces of food build up on grill grates, drip pans, and burners. Cleaning every part as thoroughly as you can helps remove food debris and prevent smoke, ash, and flare-ups — all of which can cause carcinogens to wind up on your food.

Another benefit of a clean grill? A lower risk of foodborne illnesses. No one wants steak with a side of salmonella.

Satisfy your cravings for chargrilled eats by tossing a handful of mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini onto the grill. HCAs and PAHs don't form when grilling vegetables.

You can swap out a T-bone for a cauliflower steak. Or thread segments of corn on the cob, eggplant, and onions (or anything you like) onto a skewer with chunks of tenderloin or chicken for a clever way to grill more vegetables without forgoing your favorite cuts of meat.

You can also mix things up by grilling fruits (try these grilled peaches topped with almond cream to start). The sugars in fruit caramelize beautifully on the grill, providing a rich counterpoint that elevates the flavors on your plate — especially when paired with spice. Grilled fruits make for gourmet ingredients in summery cocktails and mocktails too.

Eating more plants in general is ideal for supporting a healthy diet.

We'd all do better to limit our intake of processed meats. While staples like hot dogs and sausages often lead the lineup at backyard barbecues, some researchers have linked processed meats with an increased risk of cancer.

The solution? Stick with fresh cuts of red meat, like steaks and ribs, or opt for poultry or seafood. Grilling poultry and fish at high temperatures can create some carcinogens, but the harmful toxins don't form to the same degree as in red meat. Heart-healthy salmon, trout, mackerel, and other fatty fish are excellent choices for the grill.

Slicing excess fat from meat means there's less fat to drip down onto coals or open flames, resulting in less smoke and flares — and, in turn, fewer carcinogens.

Choosing lean proteins is another simple, smart trick for avoiding carcinogen formation.

Allowing proteins to marinate infuses them with flavor; acids and enzymes in ingredients like yogurt, citrus, and ginger tenderize the meat. More important, some marinades can help significantly reduce the formation of HCAs when grilling.

Experimenting with marinades packed with herbs and spices is a marvelous way to flex your culinary creativity while reaping the benefits of the antioxidants and polyphenols found in fragrant ingredients like rosemary, sage, clove, and cinnamon.

Instead of laying proteins directly on the grill grate, cook them in a cast-iron skillet on your grill top. Using cast-iron cookware boasts a trove of benefits: A properly seasoned cast-iron skillet is essentially nonstick and free from dubious chemicals and coatings, and it's a great vessel for cooking smaller cuts of meat, delicate fish, and chopped veggies.

On the grill, the skillet forms a barrier between your food and the rising smoke, potentially lowering the carcinogenic risk.

Stainless steel flattop grills are another option. Because they're flame-free, you needn't worry about flares and fat dripping onto the coals. Flattop grills have the added benefit of heating food evenly and offering foolproof temperature control. Just mind the amount of oil you use — you won't need nearly as much with a flattop as you would with a grated grill.

Charring causes HCAs to form on animal proteins, whether you're barbecuing, grilling, or flame broiling. So, think twice before grilling that rib-eye until it's blackened or well-done. A general rule of thumb: Cook low and slow.

This story was produced by Experience Life and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: CNET Senior Editor James Bricknell, former CNET staff members Molly Price and Brian Bennett, and Copy Editor Jim Hoffman. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit

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Cooking steak on a grill gives it a delicious crust and smoky flavor, but not all of us have a grill, or a backyard to do it in. So what are w…

CNET TAKE CNET TAKE CNET TAKE: 2) Keep it clean 3) Grill more plants 5) Trim the fat 6) Marinate the meat 8) Avoid charring