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Guide to buying a gas grill from Consumer Reports

Posted on May 19, 2014
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Union made gas grill

Consumer reports recently posted a complete gas grillers guide, just in time for Memorial Day.

The guide features:

  • Expert ratings on gas grills
  • Recommended gas grills
  • Buying guide to select based on type, features and brands
  • One stop shop for your gas grilling needs

To get you started, here's a gas grilling buyer's guide from Consumer Reports.

Union members looking for the complete guide, as well as expert advice on the highest rated summer products, make sure to sign up for with your Union Plus 27% online subscription discount. Many models of Weber brand grills--union made in the U.S.A.--are highly rated by Consumer Reports for their safety, performance and value. Look for Weber grills with a CR recommended rating.


Guide to Buying a Gas Grill from Consumer Reports


You don't need to spend a fortune to get great-tasting burgers, steaks, and chicken at your next barbecue. Nor do you need to sacrifice style. As you'll discover in this grill buying guide, many lower-priced models around $300 or so now have at least some stainless-steel trim, side burners for side dishes, and other perks once found only on the priciest grills. Keep the following tips in mind when shopping.

Size it up

Match the size of the grill's cooking area to the number of people generally around the table. Manufacturers might include racks and searing burners when tallying cooking area. Our measurements are based on the main cooking area and how much food it will hold. Next factor in how much space the grill will take up on your patio or deck. Some of the grills we tested are a whopping six feet wide.

Look over the menu

A basic grill is fine for cooking hamburgers and hot dogs, but if whole chickens, turkeys, or large roasts are often on the menu, look for a model with a rotisserie burner. Side burners and griddles let you prepare or warm side dishes while using the grilling area for the main course.

Beyond Btu

BTUs (British thermal units) tell you how much gas a grill uses and the heat it can create, but our tests have found that more Btu doesn't guarantee faster preheating or better cooking.

Keep infrared claims in perspective

Infrared burners typically emit intense heat to sear and cook food, though designs differ by manufacturer. We haven't found one infrared burner design that's better than other infrared designs or better than standard burners.

Safety concerns

The more stable the grill, the better. When shopping gently push the grill from several angles to see if it tips. Check the cart, firebox, lid, and shelves for sharp corners and edges. Grip the handle. Your knuckles or fingers shouldn't be too close to the lid or your hand could get burned. And while some flaring is normal, typically the greater the distance between the grates and burners or flavorizer bars, the fewer the sustained flare-ups. And never grill in the garage or in an enclosed area. The carbon-monoxide buildup could be lethal.

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