And your cookout is only as good as your grill — so we reached out to the folks at Shop Smart magazine to show us the best grills and gadgets, according to Consumer Reports.
Mandy Walker, deputy editor of Shop Smart, joined us to talk about her favorites.
1. Weber Spirit E-220 46310001 – Price: $450
Why we like it: Preheating was quick and uniform. It’s superb on high and low heat and at indirect cooking, which is great for slow cooking ribs and roasts next to, but not over a flame. The cast-iron grates are ideal for searing.
Cool Features: An electric igniter, a long burner warranty and four casters for easy moving. We also like the midsize spirit model, which has a third burner.
Where to get it: Home Depot, Lowes
2. Back Yard Grill BY13-101-001-11- Price: $130
Why we like it: It’s a great bargain that outperformed models that were twice the price. It was a champ at preheating, keeping high and low temperature evenness, and indirect cooking.
Cool Features: It has three burners.
Bummers: It doesn’t have coated-cast-iron grates or an electric igniter, and it has only two wheels, so moving it is a chore. It’s not as well-constructed as the Spirit.
Where to get it: Walmart
3. Weber Q200 – Price: $199.00
Grill Features: 300 sq. in. of cooking area, 1 main burners, coated-cast-iron grates resist corrosion
The Weber Q 200 is part of the gas grill test program at Consumer Reports.
Perfect for grilling in smaller spaces (i.e. fire escapes, small rooftops or at sporting event tailgates)
On-Site BBQ Tools:
1. Brinkmann Flexible Grilling Basket 812-9012-S – Price: $16
Why we like it: This enclosed basket beats the open pan at right. It’s great for grilling up a bunch of thin fish fillets or sliced veggies-we tried it with both. The best part: Flipping is easy-just turn the basket. You also don’t have to worry about food sticking or delicate food falling apart.
To make sure food doesn’t shift around and cook unevenly, cut all pieces the same thickness
Where to get it: Home Depot
2. Weber Style Pizza Stone 6430 – Price: $50
Why we like it: This model is big enough to fit one large or a few individual-sized pizzas, and the handles make it to lift from grill to table for serving. We also like the elevated design, which keeps the stone from direct contact with any surface it’s placed on, so it’s not as likely to crack if put on a wet or cool surface. The metal handles get very hot, so use oven mitts. And you’ll need a trivet or pot holder to protect surfaces from a hot stone.
Where to get it: Amazon.com, Lowe’s, Sears