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Best gas barbecue grills at best prices

May 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
This Memorial Day weekend will be a busy one for barbecues, and that means a busy weekend for grill shoppers.

You don't necessarily have to burn up big bucks on a new grill. Consumer Reports tested nearly 100 gas grills ranging in price from $100 up to $2,500.

With some, you need to factor in plenty of space. One $1,200 grill was almost 7-feet long.

Testers grilled a variety of foods to see how well each grill performed. Steaks were cooked to assess whether flare-ups were a problem.

"To see how evenly a grill cooks at lower temperatures, testers grill salmon steaks as well as chicken breasts. Both those foods can easily dry out if grill gets too hot," said Consumer Reports' Dan DiClerico.

Then there are tests that involved no food at all. Thermocouples measured how evenly a grill distributed heat across the surface of the grates. A thermal image showed even heating across the grill. Several high-priced grills were top performers, but Consumer Reports found plenty to recommend that cost a lot less. Among them was a $200 Char-Broil Classic from the Home Depot.

"It rated excellent for low-temperature cooking and grilled up a very good steak, too," DiClerico said.

Consumer Reports found another great buy that costs a little more than the Char-Broil Classic. It's from Wal-Mart, a $250 Brinkmann 63,500 BTU 5-Burner Gas Grill with Side Burner, model number 8102545.


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