Consumer Reports: Best grills

June 8, 2012

Consumer Reports went to great lengths to get you the answer just in time for the summer.

'Everybody loves a barbecue.' That's the motto for Gina Hegarty's catering company.

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

Gina's company cooks on gas grills.

Consumer Reports has tested nearly a hundred gas grills. They range in price from $100 all the way up to $2500.

With some you need to factor in plenty of space. This $1200 grill is almost seven feet long!

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

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

And then there were tests that involved no food at all. Thermocouples measure how evenly a grill distributes heat across the surface of the grates.

One thermal image shows even heating across the grill. But another, not so much.

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

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

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 which costs a little more than the CharBroil Classic. It's from Walmart, the $250 Brinkmann grill, model number 810-2545.

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