Boutique Brands Vermont Castings And Huntington Earn Top Spots In Consumer Reports Gas Grill Ratings
Tests reveal nine recommended models under $350, grills that wow with impressive performance
YONKERS, N.Y., May 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Vermont Castings and Huntington gas grills took the top spots in the medium and large categories in Consumer Reports' latest tests, beating out models from larger, more well-known brands such as Char-Broil and Weber. Consumer Reports' June issue features test results for 85 large, medium and small gas grill models. Six of those models for under $350 were Recommended for their impressive cooking.
The complete report on gas grills, which highlights Ratings for almost 140 models, including some portable grills and three additional Recommended models, can be found online at www.ConsumerReports.org.
Vermont Castings' mid-sized Signature Series VCS300SSP and its similar model, the VCS322SSP, $1,000, earned the highest score overall, while Huntington's Patriot 658184, $700, was the finest performing large grill in the Ratings. These models were excellent overall and produced nicely seared steaks and moist chicken and salmon over low heat. Other models on Consumer Reports' Recommended list include gas grills from Char-Broil, Weber, Brinkmann and Kenmore.
"These days grills are coming equipped with an abundance of features, giving consumers more opportunity to find a model in their price range that suits their cooking needs," said Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman, Deputy Home Editor at Consumer Reports. "However, we are seeing some trade-offs with these newer features such as smaller cooking areas, thinner shelves, more painted metal and less stainless steel."
For the 60 percent of Americans recently surveyed by Consumer Reports who said they always or sometimes would rather buy U.S.-made goods than those made elsewhere, Vermont Castings, Huntington Patriot, Weber's Genesis and Summit were all made in the U.S.
While some companies may claim to offer the ultimate grilling experience, Consumer Reports advises buyers not to be drawn in by sleek appearance and packaging alone. Three grills tested from Saber, Char-Broil's upscale sister-brand, were very good performers though other models including some less expensive models from Char-Broil performed better. Saber models did offer a more upscale appearance and are made with a premium grade of stainless steel.
Choosing a Gas Grill
Consumer Reports recommends taking advantage of summer holiday promotions or end-of-season sales to find the best deals available on grills. Also, keep the tips below in mind when buying.
- Consider the cooking area. Use Consumer Reports' Ratings to find a cooking surface that matches the usual needs of the grill, not one for the blow-out barbecue party that only happens once or twice a season. Consumer Reports categorizes grills based on measurements of the main cooking area, but be aware that some companies might also count warming racks and searing burners in their claims.
- Think beyond Btu. They tell how much fuel a gas grill uses and the heat it can create, but Consumer Reports' tests have found that more Btu's doesn't guarantee faster preheating or better cooking.
- Keep infrared claims in perspective. Infrared burners typically emit intense heat to sear and cook food, though designs differ by manufacturer. Consumer Reports has yet to find one infrared burner design that's better than other infrared designs or better than standard burners.
- Put safety first. Test a grill's sturdiness with a gentle nudge in several places. Check for sharp corners and edges. Press down on the side shelves to see how well they support weight. And while some flaring is normal, typically the greater the distance between the grates and the burners or flavorizer bar, the fewer the sustained flair-ups.
Consumer Reports' gas grill Ratings, along with a list of features to consider when buying and more can be found online at www.ConsumerReports.org and in June issue of the Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.
©2012 Consumer Reports. The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®, ConsumerReports.org® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.
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