If you’re new to outdoor cooking or just need to replace an old grill, the abundance of options out there can make picking the best grill feel overwhelming — it’s hard to know whether to go for a gas grill (fueled by propane or natural gas), kamado grill, charcoal grill, pellet grill or perhaps a portable model.

Gas grills are a great place to start for new grillers and make a great upgrade, too. Outdoor gas grills are simple to use, easy to control and roomy enough to feed the whole family. We put six of the best-selling models you can buy right now through their paces at the CNET Smart Home. After cooking up 12 racks of ribs, 18 whole chickens and 96 burgers, here’s our three top picks.

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Best grill overall

The Weber Spirit II E-210 was a consistent performer in our testing and delivered burgers with a good char and a slightly pink center. (Courtesy of Weber)
The Weber Spirit II E-210 was a consistent performer in our testing and delivered burgers with a good char and a slightly pink center. (Courtesy of Weber)

Weber Spirit II E-210

CNET TAKE: If burgers are the mainstay of your cookouts and backyard barbecues, this Weber gas grill is a great choice. In fact, it’s a great choice for cooking all around. Weber’s 10-year warranty applies to all its grill parts, so you’ll be set for years to come, even with heavy use (like, if you let no weekend go by without having a chance to char-broil some burgers). Its consistent performance in our testing delivered burgers with a good char and a slightly pink center.

The Spirit II E-210 is also one of Weber’s iGrill compatible models, an additional accessory line that includes Bluetooth temperature probes you can monitor via a companion app. If you’ll be preparing dishes that require more time on the grill, the iGrill system will help you keep an eye on things from a distance.

At $379, this gas grill sits in the middle of the affordability spectrum. We were pleased with the searing and even cooking across this Weber model, and we’d recommend it to anyone who dreams of the perfect Saturday spent grilling.

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Best large capacity model

The Char-Broil Commercial Double Header  is a good choice if you’re looking for large capacity. (Courtesy of Char-Broil)
The Char-Broil Commercial Double Header is a good choice if you’re looking for large capacity. (Courtesy of Char-Broil)

Char-Broil Commercial Double Header

CNET TAKE: The name says it all. This $449 gas grill is a good choice if you’re looking for large capacity, and it feels like working in a professional outdoor kitchen. Equipped with four burners, two separate fireboxes and a side burner, this grill will easily conquer cooking for the largest crowds.

The Char-Broil Commercial Double Header does an excellent job of preventing flare-ups, no matter how greasy your meat. And it takes a low-and-slow approach to cooking, which means you can relax in a lawn chair without worrying about whether your meat will burn. However, it is expensive. You might luck out with summer sales, but be prepared to spend big for a big gas grill that will serve up patties by the dozen. Read our Char-Broil Commercial Double Header review.

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Best smart grill

Weber Spirit II E-310

The Weber Spirit II E-310 looks great, offers smarts and is a good size for most people. (Courtesy of Weber)
The Weber Spirit II E-310 looks great, offers smarts and is a good size for most people. (Courtesy of Weber)

CNET TAKE: Weber’s larger Spirit II model includes three burners. It also comes with a propane tank scale and six hooks for easy tool organization. It performs well and gives you the option of an iGrill accessory, a $100 Bluetooth temperature probe that connects to your mobile Weber app to monitor the temperature of your food.

Priced higher at $479, the Spirit II E-310 looks great, offers smarts and is a good size for most people. If the tank scale and iGrill 3 accessory matter to you, the Spirit II might be worth your money.

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The following CNET staff contributed to this story: Senior Editor Brian Bennett, Associate Editor Molly Price, Copy Editor Jim Hoffman and Senior Editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit www.cnet.com.

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