With the summer looming, it’s time to make sure that you’re ready for barbecue season and there are plenty of gas options that offer hassle free outdoor cooking.

To ensure a worthy home for your hot dogs you need to consider how many burners you need.

The more gas burners you have the bigger the eco footprint of your barbecue, but you will have the option to sear, slow cook and even roast with indirect heat.

What’s also important is your grill, which needs uniform heat across the whole surface so that you avoid hot spots that will burn and dry out your food.

We also looked at how easy the barbecues were to assemble but, ultimately, the true test of a gas grill is the food, so we found out how each barbeque coped with a quarter pounder and if it managed a mouth-wateringly seared exterior while keeping the inside nice and moist.

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Weber genesis E-310: £889, Weber

This is a real crowd pleaser and if you’re expecting to do some proper outdoor entertaining this summer (rather than some occasional eating) then it’s well worth the extra investment. The large porcelain coated cast iron grate takes the stress out of catering for large gatherings and cooked large batches of burgers evenly, quickly and with an appetising sear.

We had no problem with any of the meat sticking when it was flipped or turned and there was plenty of room underneath for storage thanks to the propane tank being located to the side of the grill, making it easy to replace.

When we attempted some lid-down roasting, it held its heat so well that we could just leave it without having to worry about the burner settings. And when everyone had eaten their fill, both the grill and grease trap were effortless to clean and empty. The grill also works with Weber’s new iGrill 3 smart thermometer, which means you can keep on top of how your meat is cooking via an app on your phone.

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Morso forno medio: £649, John Lewis & Partners

This Danish company consistently produces great looking outdoor products and their new gas model is no exception. The two burners supply the enamel coated cast iron grate with heat across the surface so that we managed to get good caramelisation on our burgers without overcooking. What we really liked about this one was that the domed design allowed us to roast large joints of meat with the lid closed with the end product being out of this world. Not surprising, for a barbecue that looks like it’s just landed from another planet.

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Argos propane gas barbecue: £95.99, Argos

This may not be the best looking barbecue on test but Argos has really gone for function over form with a sturdy four burner that can easily satisfy a ravenous horde. The grill was effective and sits below a warming rack with plenty of room for kebabs, drumsticks and burgers and there’s a handy side burner for frying. A good-sized cooking area made from a thin, steel-wired grate, allowed plenty of heat to get to the feast and leave a good sear on our burgers. With good, straightforward assembly this is a reliable, spacious grill at a good price.

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Char Broil all-star 120 portable gas barbecue: £360, Gardenlines

This grill is perfect for barbecuers with limited space thanks to its drop down shelving that means it can be stored in the corner of a balcony. You can also detach the grill from the stand so that it sits on a table or you can go mobile with it. The cast iron grill grates were ready for cooking quickly and produced some of the best burgers we tasted, mainly because it cleverly cooked them using an indirect heat system which sits above the burner and redistributes the heat evenly over the whole surface. With minimal assembly, it comes with some nice practical touches, like somewhere to store your kitchen towel and even a mini bin.

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Cadac carri chef 2: £191.25, GoOutdoors

This is a firm favourite among campers because it features multiple cooking surfaces and can be broken down or assembled in a couple of minutes, making it a great portable option for camp sites, beaches or the back garden. The single burner did a great job of diffusing the heat across the non-stick ceramic grill plate and did a good job searing food while keeping meat juicy. With the lid on it worked well for low and slow cooking chicken too.

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Weber Q1200: £269, Weber

This is a real tardis griller that looks from the outside like it won’t be able to fit much more than a pork sausage and a veggie kebab, but open it up and you’ll be amazed how much grill space you have to play with. The mini gas canister adds to the portability of the one burner unit and thanks to the porcelain enamelled iron grates we didn’t end up losing half our meat to the grill when turning or serving. It also held its heat well so we didn’t have to keep fiddling with the controls and could just concentrate on the cooking.

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OutdoorChef Montreux 570G: £509, Green Fingers

This two-burner barbecue with a wire grate managed to cook evenly across the grill and produced both juicy burgers and crispy chicken. You can also change between direct and indirect grilling by altering the position of a funnel that sits between burner and grate so you can sear a steak or steam some veggies. The other advantage with this grill is that there’s good space between the burners and the grate, which minimises the chance of flare-ups and ending up with charred food.

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Fuego F21C barbeque: £277.54, Amazon

There was a time when gas barbecues were not renowned for their looks, however this eye-catching stainless steel number is the brainchild of a former chief designer at Apple. That pedigree means that the Fuego is, in our eyes, one of the best looking on our list but the tubular design also means it has one of the best grill size to eco footprint ratios. It stands discreetly in an outside space, but is capable of some serious catering with the two rings (one inside the other) allowing for direct or indirect cooking. One of the many things we liked was the ability to wheel the unit around when your mid-barbeque, which could come in handy if you get grilling and a downpour means you have to get the food under cover.

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Outback jupiter 4: £579.99, Outback

This patio barbecue has four burners, and for such a sizeable unit came together very easily out of the box. By experimenting with the burners, shutting some off or turning others down, we were able to create different heat zones easily so that meat could be cooked to order. We also found it particularly adept at colouring the meat over the heat source before moving it to an area without any direct heat and closing the lid so that it finished without burning.

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Char Broil X200 grill2go: £129.99, Amazon

As the name suggests, this is ideal if you’re looking for some portability for a campsite cookout, but it’s also a good choice as a table top grill for a small patio or balcony. There’s virtually nothing to assemble and the electronic ignition was reliable and had us up and running in no time. The grate is made up of strips of triangular stainless steel, which we found stopped the burgers sticking, reduced flare-ups and provided even heat over the entire surface so that our burgers seared quickly and tasted great.

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Cadac citi chef 40: £199, barbecue Land

A funky table top model that comes in three different colours and is ideally suited to the camp site or a balcony on a warm summer evening. It gives good even cooking and heat distribution across the ceramic coated aluminium grill with a dome lid that hooks behind it to act as a windshield when cooking. The modular design means that it’s very easy to break down and clean the pans when you’re done.

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Verdict: Gas barbecues

For exceptional performance, usability and durability the Weber genesis E-310 adds real versatility to any outdoor catering you’ve got planned. For slightly smaller outdoor spaces and offering good portability the Char Broil all-star 120 can handle a family feast with ease and is a really well thought out product.

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