Consumer Reports: Best Buy Grills

Nothing says summer like food sizzling on a grill. But with so many grills on the market, how do you choose the right one? Consumer Reports just tested 150 gas grills and names your best options.

Consumer Reports checks to see whether grills are prone to flare-ups. Testers also look at a grill’s ability to handle searing versus slow cooking, and how evenly the heat is distributed. Low-performing grills show hot and cold spots. On a good grill, the heat is distributed well, which means steaks will cook evenly on different parts of the grill.

Grills come in all sizes, but medium ones are the most popular. Consumer Reports found three great choices:

  • The Nexgrill 20-0830H for $270 at Home Depot scored highest. It’s got great temperature range. You can cook food quickly with direct heat or slowly using indirect heat for larger cuts of meat. It’s outfitted with stainless-steel grates, which require less maintenance than cast-iron ones.
  • The Backyard grill BY16-101-003-05/GBC1646WS for $150 at Walmart.
  • The Char-Broil 463433016 for $170, also sold at Walmart.

Consumer Reports did find two grill brands to avoid. They are a Kenmore from Sears, and a Member’s Mark sold at Sam’s Club. Consumer Reports’ survey of its subscribers found them to be more repair-prone than many of the other brands, so it does not recommend them.

You can get more grill-buying advice here.

Be aware that it doesn’t matter how beautifully browned you grill your meat. If it’s not cooked properly, it could make you sick. Consumer Reports says be especially careful with steak that’s been mechanically tenderized. That can drive bacteria deep into the meat. If the label says steak has been tenderized, be sure to cook it to 160 degrees.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to

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