10 Best Grills Consumer Reports 2019 – Top Rated

The backyard barbecue is an integral part of the American experience. And though you may take great care in selecting and preparing the foods you serve, the success of your meal often comes down to the quality of your grill.

First, you’ll need to choose between gas and charcoal. Consumer Reports has no stake in the age-old debate over which form of fuel is the best for barbecuing, and our testing experts find advantages to each. Gas is more convenient because you simply turn the burners on to start the grill. Charcoal gives you a greater degree of control—you determine the amount of heat by the size of the fire you build. Because of these differences, we test each type differently.

Top 10 Grills

Bestseller No. 1
Weber Spirit II E-310 LP Outdoor Gas Grill
243 Reviews
Bestseller No. 3
Char-Broil 463377319 Performance Stainless Steel 4-Burner Cart Style Gas Grill
1 Reviews
Char-Broil 463377319 Performance Stainless Steel 4-Burner Cart Style Gas Grill
  • Exclusive Stainless Steel finish for increased style and durability
  • Stainless Steel burners emit flame from the top to allow for even cooking
Bestseller No. 4
Smoke Hollow Tabletop Propane Gas Grill
1269 Reviews
Bestseller No. 6
Weber 51060001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill
915 Reviews
Weber 51060001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill
  • Weber Steven Company
  • Lawn & Patio
Bestseller No. 8
Char-Broil Standard Portable Liquid Propane Gas Grill
1101 Reviews
Bestseller No. 9
Pit Boss Stainless Steel Portable LP 2-Burner Gas Grill
69 Reviews
Pit Boss Stainless Steel Portable LP 2-Burner Gas Grill
  • Dimensions: 23W x 20D x 16H in.; 25 lbs.
  • 275 sq. in. cooking surface/12 burgers
Bestseller No. 10
Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill
635 Reviews
Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill
  • One stainless steel burner produces 8500 BTU-per-hour to heat 189 square-inch total cooking area
  • Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates and cast aluminum lid and body

Gas Grills: Before You Buy

Beyond Burgers
A basic gas grill is fine for cooking burgers and hot dogs, but if you also enjoy grilling fish and sizzling steaks with sear marks, look at the temperature-range score in our gas grill ratings. The higher the score, the better the grill is at cooking a variety of foods. If ribs or a roast is on the menu, you’ll want a grill that does well in our indirect-cooking tests. Indirect cooking is a great way to slow-cook large or tough cuts by placing the meat next to the fire, not over it, with the lid closed to retain heat. Check how the grills do in our indirect-cooking tests.

Bringing the Heat
Btu/hr. (British thermal units per hour) tells you how much gas a grill uses and the heat it can create. But ignore it as a measure of how well a particular model might sear your steak or how fast the grill will heat up. Our tests found that more Btu doesn’t guarantee faster preheating or better cooking—instead, look for a model that scores well in our preheating test.

About Burners
Keep in mind that for gas grills, burners are the most replaced part. Expect them to last two to 10 years. Burners with a warranty of 10 years should last longer than those with no guarantee. If you need to replace them, it’s a 10-minute job.

Ignore Infrared
Lots of gas grills come with infrared burners, which are meant to use intense heat to sear steaks or chops. CR’s advice? Ignore these burners when shopping. Our tests have shown repeatedly that infrared burners don’t sear any better than typical gas burners. Instead, use our temperature-range score to guide you toward models that can reach high searing temperatures as well as low temps for indirect cooking.

Look for Solid Construction
When shopping, you’ll want to carefully look over the construction of the grill. Jostle the assembled grill from several points to test sturdiness; the more stable the better. Check the cart, wheels, lid, and firebox. Stainless steel carts with seamless construction and welded joints are usually sturdier than painted steel carts assembled with nuts and bolts. We assess the construction of gas grills in our sturdiness test.

Recipe for Safety
Sturdy grills aren’t just better poised to survive multiple grilling seasons; they’re safer, too. Grill stability is important because it can prevent tipping. Avoid grills with sharp metal corners and edges. Test the handle: Your knuckles or fingers shouldn’t be too close to the hot lid. And though some flame flare is normal, the greater the distance between the grates and the burners or flavorizer bars, the fewer the sustained flare-ups.

Gas Grill Types: Size and Sizzle

Gas grills are classified by size. Grill manufacturers differentiate models by the number of burners—typically two to six—but that doesn’t necessarily tell you the size of the grill and is not good data to use for comparison. Instead, CR classifies size by the usable cooking surface, which we measure by how many burger patties a grill can fit.

How Big a Grill Do You Need?

We’ve included the number of 4-inch burger patties each grill can hold, to give you a sense of the grill’s size relative to the other top-performing models in each class.

• Small gas grills can be tucked neatly onto a balcony or patio and hold up to 18 burgers.
• Midsized grills are the most popular. They make up the bulk of the market—and our ratings—with most designed to hold 18 to 28 burgers at once.
• Large grills can cook for a real crowd, handling 28 burgers or more. But they’re pricier and inefficient if you typically cook for a smaller family.

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