The 4th of July is right around the corner and it's a big day for grilling, so Consumer Reports has tested two of the new hybrid grills.
Some of us swear by the smoky flavor of charcoal. Others like the quick convenience of firing up a gas grill. Hybrid grills promise to keep both camps happy.
So Consumer Reports has tested two of the new hybrid grills with its expert tasters weighing in on the results.
They tested the $300 dollar Charbroil Gas2Coal and the $500 dollar Dyna-Glo.
The Charbroil looks like a regular gas grill - until you slide in the tray for charcoal.
"It's a convenient design because you can use the gas burner to ignite the charcoal. But because it only has one cooking surface, you can only cook with gas or charcoal - not both at the same time," said Celia Lehrman, Consumer Reports Chief Home Editor
The Dyna-Glo is basically two grills in one, so you can cook both ways simultaneously. But that means each cooking surface is relatively small.
Consumer Reports ran temperature tests using thermocouples at different spots along the grills' surface.
"We found they got hotter in gas mode, which is important for searing a nice piece of meat. They didn't get quite as hot in the charcoal mode, and after thirty minutes the charcoal started to drop in temperature," said Cecelia.
So which tastes better? Consumer Reports asked its expert taste testers to compare burgers cooked on a charcoal grill with burgers cooked on a gas grill.
A few of the panelists noted some browned grill flavor, and several picked up a smoky note in the charcoal burgers.
But overall, the testers agreed that there would likely be little difference in taste when it's served on a bun with toppings.
While these results may not convince a charcoal loyalist, at least there's a way to please them at your next barbecue.
Both the Dyna-Glow and Charbroil use standard propane tanks and have coated cast-iron grates and electronic igniters. The Charbroil also has a side burner.
For more information on hybrid grills, visit ConsumerReports.org.
Consumer Reports tests new hybrid grills