Consumer resports puts barbecue grills to the test


We all know charcoal barbecues are king here in Texas, but have you ever considered getting something different? For convenience, you may want to consider grilling with gas.

Nothing says summer like heating up the grill. Chef John Cavallo cooks something for everyone.

"I got salmon, some steaks. We're doing some grilled peppers, make everybody happy," Cavallo said..

Consumer Reports tested dozens of gas grills that cost under $200 to more than $2,000.

Some do more than the basics, like one with a rotisserie. It also has a side burner, which is perfect for keeping a pot boiling. And you'll find an oven in one Kenmore Grill.

"We were able to bake a pretty good cake in the oven, though the bottom was darker than one we baked in a regular oven," Consumer Reports' Celia Kuperszmid-Lehrman said.

Things heated up in the Consumer Reports' labs. Testers applied thermocouples to the grates to measure how evenly a grill distributes heat. This image shows even heat. But this image shows that the grill has hot and cold spots across the surface of the grates. Pre-heating is important, too.

"In a recent Consumer Reports reader survey, we found most gas grillers preheat their grill for five to 10 minutes before cooking," Kuperszmid-Lehrman said.

So testers preheat the grills for 10 minutes to see if that's enough, measuring the temperature and evenness across the grates. Some grills do better than others.

Consumer Reports top-rated two Weber Grills. This midsized Weber Spirit goes for around $600 and preheats quickly and evenly. So does this smaller weber spirit for $450. And both do an excellent job at high and low temperatures.

You can find those weber grills at Home Depot, Lowe's, Walmart and at independent retailers. They come with a long, 10-year warranty on the burners, which is the most frequently replaced part.

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