Midpriced gas grills look great in store displays, all shiny and new. That’s because they’re protected from the elements, grease free, and spiders haven’t had a chance to take up residence in the burner tubes. Looks aside, even if you spend up to $1,000 there’s no guarantee you’re buying a grill that’s impressive at grilling. Consumer Reports’ pros tested over 150 grills and found mid-priced models worth considering.
With the swipe of a credit card spending $450 to $1,000 can get you a small, medium, or a large gas grill that delivers impressive performance. Here’s what you can expect:
- Construction tends to be sturdier than less expensive models. When shopping test sturdiness by nudging the grill from different points. Inspect the cart, lid, firebox, and wheels. Grip the handle to check for clearance: You don’t want your knuckles to be too close to a hot lid.
- Grates should be heavy-duty stainless or cast-iron. Both are good at maintaining even temperatures and for searing. Stainless are more durable.
- Fire up with an electronic igniter. Most grills in this price range have one and it’s usually more convenient than one that’s rotary or push button.
- Features often include four wheels or casters for easy moving, a fuel gauge that reminds you it’s time for a refill, and a side burner for cooking corn or simmering sauce. Check the manual to find out the side burner’s weight limit. You’ll want to know how heavy a pot it can hold.
- Warranty on burners, the most replaced part, is typically 10 years or longer.
Choosing a Size
We measure each grill’s main cooking area so you can match it to the number of people gathered around your table. Manufacturers may include racks and searing burners when tallying their measurements. Consider how much space the grill will eat up on your patio or deck. Some we tested measured six feet in length.
Brand Reliability and Satisfaction
Ask your friends about their experience with a grill brand, and then hear what more than 16,000 people had to say about the reliability of the gas grill brands they bought. And here’s a glimpse into the future: To find how satisfied consumers were with a brand’s grilling performance, durability, ease of use, ease of cleaning, and appearance after using the grill for about a year, we surveyed nearly 7,000 subscribers. Use all this information to help you decide.
If Your Budget Is $450 to $1,000
- Weber Spirit E-220 46310001, $450
- Napoleon Terrace SE325PK, $600
- Weber Spirit SP-320 46700401, $600
- Weber Genesis S-330, $970
- KitchenAid 720-0893, $900
- KitchenAid 720-0856, $600