The best gas BBQs put to the test

The best gas BBQs to get you grilling this summer 
The best gas BBQs to get you grilling this summer  Credit: Getty

With hundreds of seemingly similar barbecues on the market, finding the best gas BBQ is no easy task. 

While old-school grilling is done over flame, gas barbecues are increasing in popularity. Some traditionalists bemoan the absence of coal or wood, but there are several reasons why gas is king. 

Though gas barbecues tend to be more expensive, they are more convenient, lighting up quickly and easily with no fuss (that's right, no more fiddling about trying to get the coals going). You'll also reach cooking temperature much faster and maintain an even heat distribution with no expertise required.

As added bonuses, gas canisters can last a long time,  so you're not likely to run out during a cooking session, and cleaning is much easier when all is done and dusted. 

How does a gas BBQ work?

Gas grills use propane or natural gas, usually from a canister plugged into the BBQ. You can then regulate the amount of gas used to fuel the fire, and spark it up with a flame. 

Though gas barbecues take less time to heat up, you should still make sure you preheat them - 10 to 15 minutes will do. This will allow the grill to heat, helping you get those longed-for grill marks, as well as preventing food from sticking.  

Is gas environmentally friendly? 

According to Greener Ideal, charcoal barbecues are "the least eco-friendly of all barbecues," due to carbon dioxide emissions. Gas is "considerably greener". Buying refillable gas tanks will help reduce waste. 

But is the final product as tasty?

While some claim a lack of smoky goodness, gas, particularly for slow cooking, provides "much easier control", crucial as slow cooking is all about temperature control. 

Charcoal does provide more smoke than gas, but you'll still get smoke from those fatty meat drippings with a gas BBQ.

Gas provides more steam than charcoal, which many say keeps the meat moister, though potentially less crisp. 

Of course, neither option would greatly affect the intensity of your BBQ sauce of choice - that's your marination method!

Which gas barbecue should I buy?

We put the best gas BBQs through their paces to help find the right model for you.

All barbecues were tested by Telegraph journalists. Some may be temporarily unavailable due to increased demand during lockdown.

1. Landmann Midas 3 burner gas BBQ

£200, Wickes

This smart red unit has good solid grills and packs a serious punch, power wise – careful, you’ll want to keep those burners low. It’s got a built in thermometer, a cupboard designed to keep the gas canister in (most manufacturers advise against this) and feels pretty solid to boot.  

Best for: Heat Heads

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2. Char-Broil Professional Series 3400 S

£458, Amazon

With three stainless steel burners, a 'Surefire' electronic igniter (lights all burners with the push of a button), side burner (handy for sauces and appetizers), warming rack (for perfect buns and resting meat), and more, this pro-quality gas BBQ is as good as it gets. Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared system even manages to barbecue food evenly, without flare-ups, resulting in 50% juicier food and up to 30% less gas use. A veritable kitchen on wheels.

Best for: the King and/or Queen of summer parties

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3. Landmann 2-burner Gas Barbecue 

£199.99, Amazon

This might be so lightweight it feels like it came out of a cracker but the burners deliver serious heat, in the centre of the grill anyway – the edges are cooler.  The viewing window is a great addition for novice barbecuers (you can watch those peppers blister), and while it probably won’t last a lifetime it’s easy to lift for storage. A bargain if you pick it up at the special offer price.

Best for: first-timers and the not-so-well muscled

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4. Cadac Carri Chef 2 

£229.99, Amazon

More of a gas-powered griddle than an traditional BBQ, but this is the one recommended by camping expert Josh Sutton, aka the Guyrope Gourmet, and he should know. Ultra transportable and sturdy, it works as a hob as well, and you can put the lid on to do “indirect” low and slow cooking.

Best for: happy camping

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5. Weber Q1200 

£199, Wow BBQ

Like all Weber products this table-top BBQ is a reliable bit of kit and easy to put together.  It’s also genuinely portable thanks to the mini gas canister and a construction that is lightweight apart from the good solid grills. Puts on a good show of heat for lid-up grilling as well as fairly low heat for low-and-slow cooking, although with just the one burner you won’t be able to cook indirectly.

Best for: balconies and easy barbecues on the move

Buy now