Grill Buying Guide

Step 2: Lift the Lid

See What’s What

Judging a grill by the weight of the lid alone is like judging a car by the weight of the hood. Check out the details and assess the cooking grates.


As you lift the lid, check out the handle. Make sure it’s set well away from the hood to ensure it stays cool, and look for weather-resistant materials. The lid should feel solid. Grab the lid handle in the middle and twist the lid, does it deflect easily?

Stainless Steel Lid

Make sure it is made of high grade stainless steel or it could easily discolor or rust.

Cooking Grates

What are they made of? Look for porcelain-enameled cast iron or stainless steel grates made with heavy gauge wires. Both types of grates will retain heat in cool windy weather and they will make steakhouse sear marks

The 5-Step Inspection

Dive a bit deeper into finding the right gas grill—from craftsmanship to construction to durability—with our Five-Step Inspection.

  • Is it sturdy enough?

    The Wiggle Test

    Grab the grill by the sides and shake it a few times. A well-built grill should feel solid and sturdy. Learn more

  • Let’s see what’s inside.

    Check Under the Hood

    First, you’ll see the cooking grates. Pick them up and inspect them—quality materials will last longer. Learn more

  • It’s time to go grill diving.

    Take Out the Grates

    Below, you should find a system of v-shaped inverted metal bars to deflect and vaporize food drippings. Learn more

  • The burning heart of your grill.

    Take Out the Metal Bars or Briquettes

    Look at the burner system which should consist of two or more burners running the length of the cookbox. Learn more

  • Review the warranty.

    Think About Who Made the Grill

    Research the manufacturer and look into their customer service support and warranty. Become an informed shopper by visiting their website. Call their customer service line to see what type of support you’ll get after the sale. Learn more