There's nothing like grilling a mouth-watering steak or chicken breast, especially when you can take advantage of the beautiful summer weather by adding a permanent outdoor gas grill that comes with an island. Overstock offers a generous selection of portable gas grills from brands like Char-Broil, Broil King, and Weber that can move to the garage or protected area when the weather turns bad. Choose a small outdoor grill that offers two burners for a family get together or a much larger 5-burner version with a higher BTU and rotisserie to make burgers, steak, and veggie kabobs for the neighborhood party. Enjoy the flexibility of a Cuisinart glass-top gas grill for cooking indoors and outdoors, or Mont Alpi stainless steel grill with island and drawers for storage of cooking essentials. Enhance your outdoor cooking capabilities with a propane or natural gas grill that doubles as an oven for outdoor baking.
How to Cook on a Gas Grill
What Type of Gas Grill Do You Have?
Unlike infrared grills, which cook through infrared rays, gas grills cook through convection. There are two types of gas grills: natural gas and propane gas. A natural gas grill requires the natural gas line from your home to be extended to your backyard, giving them a higher upfront price. However, over time, natural gas grills are cheaper and more energy-efficient than propane gas grills, which require you to replace the propane tank on a regular basis. Natural gas grills are also less likely to leak, and thus, safer than propane gas grills. Once they're set up, the grill relies on natural gas for heat, meaning it's pretty low-maintenance overall.
Propane grills are portable (a major plus for tailgates), requiring a simple propane gas tank to light up. A propane gas grill also heats up quicker than natural gas grills — an important thing to know when planning the timing of your cookout. That's because propane contains a higher BTU per cubic foot ratio than natural gas does. Before you start grilling, check the levels of your propane tank to ensure you have enough fuel for the full meal.
Both the natural gas and propane varieties are typically set at a higher price range than a charcoal grill. However, gas grills offer a more consistent temp, are more convenient, and are easier to clean than a charcoal grill. Gas grills also tend to be less expensive than pellet grills and don't have the burden of expensive or hard-to-find pellets.
Turning on Your Gas Grill
Before you don your grilling apron for an outdoor cooking adventure, you need to preheat your BBQ grill for fifteen or twenty minutes.
First, open the stainless steel grill lid; that stops gas from building up in the cooking chamber. If you have a natural gas grill, turn one of the burners all the way up and press the igniter button; if there's no igniter button, use a fireplace match or a lighter wand in its place. For a propane grill, rotate the valve on top of the propane tank counterclockwise.
For a propane grill, rotate the valve on top of the propane tank counterclockwise. After lighting the grill, turn on the other burners, allowing them to heat up before the real work begins. Make sure to close the lid to keep the heat trapped. Once the grill is heated to about 500 degrees F, prepare the surface by using a grill brush to clean the grates.
Cooking on Your Gas Grill
With the grill pre-heated to a high temp, you're now ready to adjust the burners to the perfect temp for the food you're cooking. A grill surface thermometer set on a main or side burner or built-in thermometer will ensure you're hitting the appropriate temperature for your food.
And speaking of food, here's a quick temp breakdown to guide your grill skills.
High heat (450-650 degrees F): High temps are perfect for fast-cooking foods that need a quick sear, like kebabs or skirt steaks, especially if you plan on flipping more than once. For rotisserie grills, many recipes suggest using high heat to sear the meat and then reducing it to low to cook it through.
Medium-high heat (375-450 degrees F): For that perfect medium-rare burger, try medium-high on your burner. That way, you'll get a nice brown on the outside of the food with a cooked interior.
Medium heat (around 350 degrees F): Save this temp for meats that take longer to cook. A moderate temperature cooks the interior to a tender, juicy texture without scorching the exterior. This temperature also works well for delicate food, like fish, chicken, or veggies.
Medium-low heat (around 325 degrees 5): Not in a rush? Take your time and enjoy a cold one while you grill on a medium-low burner. Default to this burner temp for foods that need to cook low and slow, like "baked" potatoes, or slow-cooked pork tenderloin.
Indirect grilling: One last thing to note: all the temperatures above are for direct grilling. Indirect grilling is a versatile grilling technique that makes your gas grill a multi-use cooking tool by spreading food over the entire cooking surface. You can use indirect grilling to roast whole chickens, and even bake bread!
To grill something indirectly, just turn off the main burner that sits right under the food you're grilling, keeping on the side burner next to your future meal. If you have a multi-burner grill (like a 3-burner or a 4-burner), you might keep the far left and far right burners on with the middle burner off. If you have a 2-burner grill, you'll keep one side on and one side off (placing your food over the off side).
Cleaning and Maintaining Your Gas Grill
Once your bellies are full and the sun has set, you have one more thing to do before you're done cooking for the night: you've got to clean your barbecue grill. But don't panic: unlike a charcoal grill, a gas grill is pretty quick and easy to clean.
First, a quick safety note on the importance of cleaning your grill. If your grill is dirty, it's more prone to dangerous and meal-ruining flare-ups. Dirty grills also result in excessive smoke, leaving a bad taste in your food.
Now, to clean your gas grill, you'll want to scrape it down before and after grilling; you'll first scrape the grill grates with a wire brush after preheating it for about twenty minutes. After you remove your food from the grill, turn the temp back to high to burn off most of the leftover grease, then scrape off the grease with that same wire brush from before. At the end of barbeque season, leave the grease on the grates to prevent rusting over the winter.
For a deeper clean, take out the grates and burner covers around twice a year. Look for food that falls into the chamber and ash, specifically. Make sure that your gas is off when you deep-clean your gas grill.
Gas Grill Safety
We know, your stomach is growling after reading about grilling for so long — but we have to go over a few quick notes about safety and gas grills.
First, and most important, always watch your grill. Most grilling accidents happen because someone has left the grill unattended, even if it was just for a minute. Plus, walking away from the grill increases the chances of burning your food, a surefire way to ruin a barbecue.
And of course, you don't want anyone leaving your barbecue with an upset stomach. Follow best food safety practices to keep you and your guests in good health. That includes using different plates for uncooked and cooked food to avoid cross-contamination, cooking meats to a safe temperature, and maintaining a clean, sterilized cooking area.
Your portable grill should always be set up in a well-ventilated outdoor area, and it should be turned off and kept closed and covered when not in use (make sure to let it cool down completely before closing the stainless steel lid). Always keep children away from the BBQ grill during outdoor cooking.