While many Americans with grills use their outdoor cooker year-round, with Memorial Day about a week away, high grilling season is about to start. If you're ready to buy a new gas grill, use our shopping tips below and buying advice and watch our video (right) before you head to the store. (Find out what grills other people are buying and what grilling topics are hot in our grills forum.)
Look over the menu. A basic grill is fine for cooking hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, kabobs, chicken pieces, and vegetables, but if you regularly cook whole chickens, turkeys, or large roasts, look for a model with a rotisserie burner.
Bring a magnet. Many grills are made of a mix of grades of stainless steel. Our tests have found that 300-series stainless is less likely to rust than cheaper, 400-series stainless. Magnets will usually stick to cheaper grades, so bring a magnet with you to test the metal.
Think safety. 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 during use.
Essential information: Also read our June 2008 gas-grills report and visit our gas-grills product page. Then follow our expert advice to ensure you avoid common grilling mistakes and to keep your grill cooking better, longer as you make our delicious, easy-to-prepare dishes and use chef-restaurateur Bobby Flay’s recipes.
Important things to also consider, especially when purchasing a higher priced grill, is the warranty and customer service. I purchased a Brinkmann ProSeries 2720 4 or 5 years ago, and thought it was the best grill I ever owned... until I needed parts and customer service. I have called Brinkmann many, many times, only to have the voice prompt lead me to "customer service". But no one ever picks up. I've called 8 times regarding my most current need, and all 8 times, I hung up after listening to "on-hold music" for MORE than 30 minutes, without anyone picking up.
I then sent an email regarding the part that I need to keep my grill running, only to find out it won't be available for at least a month, but to order it, they would charge my credit card now, and then have me wait to get my part.
Their emails are rude and their phone customer service is literally non-existent. They never answer the phone.
Bottom line, in future tests, this subscriber to Consumer Reports for 30 years would highly recommend rating your grills with consideration for "after the sale", as you do with your cars. They all look nice and perform at their peak when new, but as an outdoor appliance, many things can, and do, go wrong.
The service one receives from the manufacturer after the sale should have equal weight to how the grills first work when assembled.
Weber has hands down the best CS of any company (Grills or otherwise) that I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. Tie that in with quality grills and you have one single tip for buying a grill this year. Weber [full stop].
Not associated with them in any way other than being a satisfied customer.
Magnets will stick to any iron containing alloy. I think the reviewer may be thinking of metals which can be magnetized, i.e. *made* magnetic, where that property can vary widely depending on the steel construction. That is not something that is all that easily tested with just a house-hold magnet though.
Don't waste your money. The best grill to buy is not a grill but the Big Green Egg. One of the best things I've ever gotten.
Enjoyed the article.
I'd also note that for the larger cuts of meat, a barbecue smoker is a good bet.