Monitoring The Grilling Process
One unique feature it has is the cooking window. It is made of a transparent material that will make it easy for you to monitor the entire process. After all, we need to check how the food is cooking to decide if it has been in there for the right period, right? With this cooking window in place, you will not need to frequently open and close the grills lid. Frequently opening and closing the lid will result in fluctuations in temperature, which will result in longer grilling times.
Gas Or Charcoalhow Do You Choose
In the eternal debate over whether a gas grill or a charcoal grill is better for outdoor cooking, there is no wrong answer. If youre cooking your food on the grill instead of inside the house, it will capture that beautiful charred essence and smoky flavor from cooking over open flames. You likely already have strong opinions on the topic of gas versus charcoal and were not here to change your mind. If youre still on the fence on the subject, however, here are the pros and cons of using each type of grill to help you choose the right one for you. Lets talk gas grills, first.
Gas grills are more convenient than charcoal grills. That they dont use charcoal as fuel not only makes a gas grill easier to clean , but it also cuts down its initial heating time. That gas grills come equipped with electric starters or a spark wheel to ignite its gas burner helps to get you cooking faster than charcoal users can manage, as well. Its easy to easier to control the heat while youre grilling with gas than it is when using charcoal to adjust the heat up and down, simply twist a knob instead of fiddling around with hot coals. It is a bummer when you run out of propane, though, so we love these newer grills that have a handy meter right on the side of the grill.
Which Grill Should You Purchase
When it comes to purchasing a grill, you willeither spend your money upfront on a quality grill that will last for decadesor youll spend it later. Oftentimes consumers find themselves buying the sameimported grills over and over again.
Instead, we offer the solution of buying oneAmerican-made grill from BBQ Depot that youll be able to use for years tocome.
We have vast experience and knowledge when itcomes to grills. We have been selling and repairing grills since 1956! We lookforward to serving you and your family and helping you find a grill to joinyour backyard festivities for many years.
FYI: Some of these links have been updated.
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Smoke Hollow Vector Series Vttss
The Smoke Hollow Vector Series VTTSS is the first portable we’ve seen with a smoke tray. It holds wood chips, like hickory or mesquite, that add a smoky flavor to food. Outdoor Leisure Products makes it, and you’ll find this grill for under $200 at Home Depot, Sam’s Club, and Walmart. It has two burners, not counting the smoke tray, and a one-year burner warranty. Our gas grill ratings feature 11 portable grills, and the Smoke Hollow Vector is in the middle of the pack.
More from Consumer Reports:
New Grill Brands Want To Take Over Your Backyard
Weber and Char-Broil have been making grills for more than 60 years and dominate the market. That hasn’t stopped newcomers from trying to win over grilling enthusiasts with innovative designs and evocative names. But is that enough to get them to ditch their brand loyalty? To find out, the grill experts at Consumer Reports tested seven new brands, along with a number of old standbys.
Among the dozens of new gas grills in our gas grill tests are models from such new brands as Even Embers, Smoke Hollow Vector, and Monument Grills, as well as other new names. We put them through our tests to see how they measure up to the top-scoring midsize Nexgrill 720-0830H, $355, from Home Depot, and our best small grill, the Huntington 630124, $140.
You won’t find the new brands in our survey results for brand reliability and consumer satisfaction because they’re too new. But here, in alphabetical order, is a glimpse of each new brand and the models we tested.
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How We Tested Gas Grills
Over the course of four days in Spring 2017, we put our gas grills through a battery of tests designed to demonstrate their qualities and highlight their differences. We cooked burgers on high heat to see how well the grills seared meat and how intense and even was the heat they could generate across the whole grate surface. We slow-grilled cut-up chickens to see if the grills could hold a low temperature evenly across the whole grate. And we roasted whole chickens indirectly on both low and high heat to see if the grills could create browned skin and perfectly cook meat without charring. Sam Sifton, editor of the Cooking section of The New York Times joined us for these tests. In 2018 we repeated these tests, pitting the new Weber Spirit II E-310 against our upgrade pick, the Weber Genesis II E-310.
For the high-heat, whole-grate burger testan indicator of the grills ability to pump out uniform, high heat without creating an infernowe heated the grills on high with their lids down for 15 minutes . We then oiled the grates and distributed 12 to 15 6-ounce patties across the whole cooking surface. While the burgers cooked we kept an eye out for flare-upstheyre not desirable, as they char the meat and create rancid smokeand looked at the evenness of cooking on the different areas of the grates. After about 10 minutes of cooking , we compared how well each grill had seared the burgers, looked for any patties that were charred or still unacceptably raw, and took a taste.
Heres Why You Should Avoidimported Grills
1. Manufacturing, environmental and laborstandards. Companies building grills in the United States are subject tostringent regulations. This means that if your grill is built in the US, itslikely to be built by people who have been compensated fairly. Likewise, theenvironment likely wasnt harmed in its creation.
2. The frustration of not having access toparts such as grease trays, valves, manifolds, knobs, wheels, and bodyparts. These are just some of the parts you may not be able to replace. Many ofthe parts are only available on the aftermarket . Remember when you import products, you are subject to minimum quantity orders.When you have dozens of models using the same burners and heat shields, meetingthat MOQ is easier than other replacement parts thatare specific to model sizes.
3. There is no commitment to manufacturingequipment. When manufacturing is subcontracted, you are relying on thecontractor to stay in business and have quality and consistent manufacturing. Often, if they change equipment, the engineering of your grill model willchange thus making replacement parts obsolete. Then, when you need areplacement part, it no longer exists.
At that point, what are the replacementoptions? Often there is no replacement. Modification of the outdoor kitchen andcountertop becomes necessary, creating a huge expense. This situation rarelyoccurs in a US-manufactured grill, as we sell at the BBQ Depot.
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Gas Grill Vs Charcoal Grill
If youre buying a grill, your first decision is which type of fuel: charcoal or gas.
Gas grills offer three big benefits:
- Control: Adjusting the heat is a simple matter of turning the burner knobs, so you can easily prevent burning or undercooking, as well as create different heat zones by shutting down one or more burner . You can do the same with charcoal, too, but it takes workyou need to move the coals around and adjust the vents.
- Convenience: Gas grills turn on with the press of a button and heat up fast. Charcoal grills require 20 minutes or so to light the coals and another 10 minutes or so for the grates to heat up.
- Cleanliness: Gas grills dont generate much smoke and dont produce ash or embers the way charcoal grills do, so cleanup is simpleyou just have to brush and wipe the grates and empty the grease trap after youre done cooking.
That said, charcoal grills have several upsides of their own. Charcoal burns hotter than gas, so you can get a superior sear on burgers and steaks. You can buy an exceptional, do-everything charcoal grill for $150 gas grills start at around $200, and youll spend at least twice that on a really good one. Lastly, theres the romance factor: For some people, its more fun to play with fire than to twiddle a few knobs.
Upgrade Grill Pick: Weber Genesis Ii E
*At the time of publishing, the price was $780.
The Weber Genesis II E-310 gas grill is also an exceptional performer, and it offers several clever, life-improving design elements that we love. The grates are about 20 percent bigger, too, but overall the Genesis II takes up barely more area than the Spirit II, so theres no appreciable trade-off between the two if your patio space is tight. Essentially, the decision comes down to how youll use your grill: If you often cook for crowds, the Genesis II is worth the extra couple hundred dollars.
Performance-wise, we found the two Weber models nearly identical, with the Spirit just slightly edging the Genesis II on burger-searing performance. And that gap would probably close with a bit more time to learn the Genesis IIs finer points. In terms of materials, the two are almost twins, offering heavy cast-aluminum fireboxes and porcelain-coated cast-iron grates. The Genesis II, however, features a frame made of welded rails, while the Spirit II is made of folded metal . Theyre both sturdy enough, but the Genesis II is appreciably stiffer and more solid-feeling. And we like that it has casters: Its easier to swivel into a corner for storage than the casterless Spirit.
Moving the tank to the outside also frees up space below the grill, which Weber fills with a generous and sturdy storage shelf. Thats a nice feature you can keep trays, grill tools, or even a small cooler there.
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Why Buy Gas Grills Manufactured Inthe Usa From Bbq Depot
At BBQ Depot, we feel there are severalreasons to buy grills made in America. Heres a few of our favorite reasons:
1. It supports our economy on a national andlocal scale.
2. It provides job security for Americans.
3. Manufacturing standards on gas productsmade in the USA are subject to stringent regulations and laws that areregularly enforced. Not every country shares these same standards. We have seen countless numbers of imported gas products that are manufacturedto standards that are so low they are considered unlawful in the USA. Buying anAmerican-made gas grill from the BBQ Depot can give you peace of mind that yourgrill has been made and inspected to be up to par with the latest laws andguidelines.
4. Buying grills made in America gives youeasier access to service, warranty, and replacement parts. Is there anythingmore frustrating than not being able to purchase a replacement part? Not onlydo we sell American-made grills, but we sell the American-made replacementparts that go along with them. No more wasting hours and hours searching the Internet trying to find the rightpart, only to find out it doesnt exist anymore. Just head to our website or giveus a call and well help you find it.
5. The quality of manufacturing is higher.When a product is designed and manufactured in the United States, the entireconstruction pipeline can be monitored closely. This means fewer defects and abetter overall product.
An Overview On Gas Grills
Theres no better way to enjoy warm weather than with a great backyard barbecue. Whether youre cooking for your immediate family or a large group of friends, meat and vegetables taste a little better when cooked over a grill. Gas grills are the quickest and easiest way to cook outdoors since they fire right up in a couple of steps. However, great-tasting meals start with the grill you choose.
When shopping for grills, it can be easy to get caught up in the quality of the construction: make sure the grills cook box has thick and solid walls to keep the heat inside, especially if you prefer to grill year-round. Generally, heavy stainless steel is a good option because it doesnt rust.
But while it is important to choose a sturdy, durable grill since it will be exposed to the elements 24 hours a day, you should put far more effort into weighing the grills cooking ability. Weber Spirit E-210 LP Gas Grill, 2-Burner model has burners that put the perfect sear marks on your meat, if thats important.
Primarily, youll need to look for a grill that offers even heat from front to back, which provides consistency. This will let you use every square inch of burner space while cooking rather than confining all your items to the area of the grill that gets hottest.
Also, look for heavy cooking grids and full coverage from cooking elements. You dont want hot or cold spots on your grilling surface!
The need for rapid, even heating means that you should consider size.
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What About Electric Grills
While these appliances are called grills, they heat your food using a coil instead of flames. That makes them closer to an electric griddle than a grill. If you want to grill indoors, wed suggest you use your ovens broiler, a cast-iron griddle pan or an indoor grill. In order to use an electric grill, you need an accessible power outlet , or a high-powered extension cord
Weber Genesis Ii Lx S
This is the last budget gas grill in our list and Weber has unveiled its new line of gas grills for the users. This is a two-burner model which makes it a little different from the previous model of Weber in the list. It takes a small space and can be adjusted in a balcony as well. There are space-saving side shelves as well and with the availability of the wheel, it will be easier for the user to move it around the house. A cart for storage and stainless steel exterior makes it durable and convenient as well. The burners installed in the gas grill are of top quality and can offer high performance. There are bars and cooking grid as well that can add further convenience.
Like before, Weber is offering a 10 years warranty and it is perfect when compared to the price of the product. The manufacture warrants cook box, lid assembly, steel burners, and ignition system for 10 years, and the body and its paint is warranted for 2 years.
Some of the highlights of the features are:
- Cooking grates, bars, and heat deflectors are made up of stainless steel that improves the durability of the product.
- The burners are also made up of stainless steel that can provide 29,000+ BTUs.
- Easy push and turn ignition system with which it is easier to light up the grills.
- Cart provided for the storage and to keep the grill accessories.
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Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
We wish Weber would take a cue from some competitors and make the bars of its warming racks run front to back, parallel to the main grates. That way, you could easily slide a spatula under stuff thats warming. As it is, the warming-rack bars run edge to edge, and you have to awkwardly jimmy a spatula in there sideways.
The Spirit II E-310 should come with a grill cover. It doesnt, nor did any grill in our test group. Youll need to buy one separately Webers dedicated Spirit II cover costs about $55, and a well-regarded generic cover costs about $20.
Other Gas Grills We Tested
The Wi-Fi-enabled Weber Spirit SX-315 performed just as well as the standard Weber Spirit II E-310 gas grill, our top pick in this roundup. The most notable differences, beyond the price tag, was the addition of the smart panel on the side table. Unlike most Weber gas grills, the SX-315 doesnt have a thermometer on the grills lid. Instead, the LED panel is hooked directly into an ambient temperature probe, displaying a digital temperature on the control panel. That panel also has two probe temperature ports, allowing you to monitor the internal temperature of the food inside the grill.
Beyond the panel, the grill is also smart, meaning that its connected via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to the Weber Connect app on your smartphone. That allows you to view the ambient temperature of the grill, monitor the temperatures of food cooking with the built-in probe thermometers, use the apps recipes and guided grilling programs, or receive low-fuel alerts on your phone, all without having to be right next to the grill.
Even heat with minimal flare-ups
Plenty of space for regular grilling
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An Overview On Gas Griddles
Grilling delicious food outdoors has never been easier, thanks to the wide range of storage-friendly grills now on the market. You can get the same great quality in a grill that folds down for easy storage. Some grills are even portable, sizing down to make transporting to tailgating events and picnics easy.
It all comes down to taste, though, regardless of other factors. Newer grills are built to pack a great deal of flavor into the burgers, steaks, chicken and other meats you make. Grill designers understand the elements that prevent meat from drying out and build their burners and grates to match that.
Newer grills have two options when it comes to grates: stainless steel and cast iron. The latter types are often coated in porcelain for easy cleanup and better heat distribution. Both grate designs provide durability to ensure you get years of use out of your grill, even if youre a frequent outdoor chef.
Before you buy, consider the surface area youll need for cooking. If you only cook for yourself or your small family, it may never be an issue. However, the first time you have a cookout, youll notice the size of your grills surface. If you plan to cook dozens of burgers, hot dogs or even a few large steaks at once, consider a grill with a larger surface area. Most manufacturers list the square inches of grill surface among their specs.