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The best grills to buy as cookout season heats up

Warm weather doesn't just signal a change from winter to spring -- it also ushers in grilling season.

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Monica Laliberte
, WRAL consumer reporter

Warm weather doesn't just signal a change from winter to spring — it also ushers in grilling season.

Gas grills are the preferred method for Americans who cook out, according to Consumer Reports, so the magazine put more than 100 gas grills to the test and came up with suggestions for every budget. Testers put the grills through the ringer to find out how long a grill takes to heat, whether it heats evenly and how durable it is.

After the grills passed those tests, the next question Consumer Reports asked is, "How much grill do you need?"

"If you're choosing between a small- and medium-sized grill, we always suggest that you go for the midsize model," said Consumer Reports home editor Paul Hope. "It'll obviously hold more food, but you also tend to see more features on those grills too."

Depending on your budget, Consumer Reports suggests considering one of these midsize grills:

  • The Weber Genesis II LX S-340 is the leader of the mid-size pack. It got top marks for temperature performance and is as sturdy as they come. $1,200
  • The Char-Broil Signature 463348017, available at Lowe's, is excellent for cooking large cuts of meat that need to slow-cook, and it has a top-rated surface temperature. $400
  • The Nexgrill 720-0830H , available at Home Depot, heats quickly and evenly, outperforming some grills costing three times as much. $270

As for reliability, Consumer Reports said no one brand stands out among the others, although Coleman tops their reliability list, followed closely by Weber.

Consumer Reports recently surveyed gas grill owners, and most said they got five or more years out of their grill.


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