5 On Your Side

Top-rated grills for summer cookouts

Posted July 1, 2015

Many people don't realize it's not just grill skill, but the equipment itself can make or break your meal.

Consumer Reports tested more than 100 gas grills. The most important check—how evenly they cook.

"Barbecue is so appealing; great char, great flavor, and that smokiness is just so essential,” Peter Crawford, a veteran griller said. “You can't replicate that in a kitchen."

The Weber Spirit is top-rated by Consumer Reports and costs $600. With an LED panel, built-in lights and a side burner, the Kenmore Elite priced at $950 is also a top choice.

Consumer Reports also recommends the Better Homes and Gardens grill, available at Wal-Mart for $370.

"You do get a lot of features for the money,” Dan DiClerico of Consumer Reports said. “It's got the stainless steel grates, it comes with the rotisserie and there's this sliding tank tray, which makes it a lot easier to change the gas."

The warranty of the burner—the most commonly replaced part of a grill—can be an indicator of how long customers can expect a grill to last.

The Kenmore Elite carries a 15-year burner warranty. Better Homes and Garden’s grill warranty is only five years.

Brinkmann’s patio gas grill, priced at $130 and sold primarily at Home Depot, initially failed Consumer Reports’ safety tests. However, the company modified the grill recently and is now a recommended buy, according to Consumer Reports.

If customers own an older Brinkmann’s model, contact the company for replacement parts at 1-800-527-0717.


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  • Talbot Troy Jul 2, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I'm afraid we also have to assign a low grade for syntax:

    "...the company modified the grill recently and is now a recommended buy…"

    This sentence is missing a comma and a pronoun, unless Consumer Reports is recommending that we buy the whole company. (All I need is a grill, a nice charcoal one.)

  • Dean Morron Jul 2, 2015
    user avatar

    I have to agree with Brian Taylor. Seems this review totally left out and charcoal or wood burners. Maybe the reporter doesn't know they exist. Monica I'm going to have to give you a D+ on this report. Try to improve your work !!!

  • Brian Taylor Jul 2, 2015
    user avatar

    This is a little misleading as the article only discusses a rating of gas grills. There is no way that the best gas grill comes even close to what you can do with a charcoal grill or indirect smoker. I'd take that "Pepsi challenge" any day!