Grilling advice that fills your tummy, wallet

HOUSTON May is National Barbecue Month, so it's a great time to get a refresher course on the do's and don'ts of grilling. And if you're looking for a new grill at a great price, there are some quality grills out there.

When it comes to buying a new grill, Klouse Tinsley is looking for something that is easy to use but won't burn his steaks, or a hole in his wallet.

Consumer Reports just tested nearly 70 gas grills. It took several months to test 75 grills, which included grilling 540 steaks and 89 pounds of chicken. The steaks are seared to see how well the grills perform at high temperatures and to check for flare-ups. Salmon and chicken are cooked to see how well a grill can handle low temperatures.

"We also look at a grill's ability to cook indirectly," Consumer Reports' Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman said.

In the end, Consumer Reports found the best mid-size grill for both quality and price was the Brinkmann 810-8410-S. It's sold at the Home Depot for $200. Another Consumer Reports best buy is the Aussie Vantage Series 67C3. It's sold on for $250.

But before you start grilling, we went in search for advice from the experts at Holmes Smokehouse. Employees have won countless awards in grilling. Rodney Roth says amateur grillers make mistakes that could end up wasting money.

Tip number one is instead of spending a lot of money on expensive cuts of meat, marinate budget-friendly cuts overnight.

"What it does is that the marinade will actually break down the muscle fibers in the meat, make it extra tender and a hit for your party," Roth said.

When it comes to chicken, tip number two is buy "bone in" breast versus boneless breast.

"The bone on the product makes it a little bit more juicy, plus the skin. If you prefer not to have the skin because you are health conscious, peel the skin off afterwards," Roth said.

Tip number three is to save money by including other proteins that are less expensive, like sausage.

"You can complement it with chicken and beef and make kabobs out of it," Roth said.

Roth says don't forget to include veggies.

When it's time to grill:

  • Don't put any protein on a cold grill
  • Don't add sauce on your meat until you are ready to take it out
  • Keep all your grilling tools handy
  • Don't try new things at a party
  • "Experiment on your own time, not when you have company," Roth said.

    Small Grills
    • Char-Broil Red Pation 463250210 $270 (Home Depot)
    • Weber Q 200 $200 (various retailers)
    • Medium Grills
    • Brinkman 810-8410-S $200 (Home Depot)
    • Aussie Vantage Series 67C3 $250 (online)
    • Large Grills
    • Brinkman 810-1575-W $380 (Walmart)

    Click here to see the tips and grilling advice provided by Holmes Smokehouse.

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