Putting gas grills to the test

June 15, 2012 3:56:39 PM PDT
You can burn up some big bucks on a new gas grill. But do you have to in order to get a grill that delivers delicious results? Consumer Reports goes to great lengths to get the answer just in time for summer.

"Everybody loves a barbecue" -- that's the slogan for Gina Hegarty's catering company.

She said, "It just reminds you of your childhood and it just reminds you of being together, and parties and fun."

Gina's company cooks on gas grills.

Consumer Reports tested nearly a hundred gas grills. They range in price from $100 all the way up to $2,500. With some you need to factor in plenty of space. One $1,200 grill is almost seven feet long!

Testers grilled a number of foods to see how well each grill performs. Steaks are cooked to assess if flare-up is a problem.

Dan DiClerico with Consumer Reports explained, ""To see how evenly a grill cooks at lower temperatures, testers grill salmon steaks as well as chicken breasts. Now both those foods can easily dry out if grill gets too hot."

Then there are tests that involve no food at all. Thermocouples measure how evenly a grill distributes heat across the surface of the grates. A thermal image shows if the grill has even heating.

Several high-priced grills were top performers, but Consumer Reports found plenty to recommend that cost a lot less. Among them is a $200 Char-Broil Classic from the Home Depot.

"It rated excellent for low- temperature cooking and grilled up a very good steak, too," DiClerico said.

It can handle whatever menu you've got planned in case you don't have someone like Gina who brings the barbeque to you.

Consumer Reports found another great buy. It costs a little more than the Char-Broil Classic. It's a $250 Brinkmann grill sold at Walmart.


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