Consumer Reports: Best gas grills for you

May 15, 2013 9:02:30 AM PDT
As the weather warms up and we look forward to Memorial Day weekend, we also celebrate the unofficial start of grilling season! We have a couple of tips so you can pick out the best grill for your money.

Consumer Reports tested more than 100 gas grills and we've got results. Some of the grills are loaded with features, but you don't have to spend top dollar to get one that sizzles.

For convenience, more people are grilling with gas these days. With that in mind, Consumer Reports tested dozens of gas grills that range in price from less than $200 to more than $2,000. Some grills do more than the basics, such as having an included rotisserie and side burners that are perfect for keeping a pot boiling. You can even an oven at least one of the grills.

"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," said Celia Kuperszmid-Lehrman of Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports' testers measured how evenly a grill distributes heat, and revealed that pre-heating is important, too.

"In a recent Consumer Reports reader survey, we found most gas grillers preheat their grill for 5 to 10 minutes before cooking," Kuperszmid-Lehrman added.

So testers preheated the grills for ten minutes to see if that's enough, measuring the temperature and evenness across the grates.

Consumer Reports top-rated 2 Weber grills. The midsized Weber Spirit goes for around $600 and preheats quickly and evenly. So does this smaller Weber Spirit for $450. Both do an excellent job at high and low temperatures -- perfect for grilling a summertime feast!

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