CR tests grills to match various cooking styles and a variety of budgets, from lightweight models you may take camping to larger grills made to feed a protracted family. We produce ratings greater than 150 grills, including gas, pellet, and charcoal models to match everyone from the first-time buyer to the seasoned grill master looking for a replacement. Prices range between significantly less than $100 to a lot more than $3,000.
Gas grills: Inside our lab, we wire the top of every gas grill with thermocouples and perform four temperature tests. We record at the least 3,240 temperatures on each grill. For preheat performance, we measure how hot the top gets at the 10-minute mark because that’s when our data says most folks like to start out cooking. We also examine how evenly each model heats-if you’re cooking a huge batch of burgers, you want them to complete concurrently.
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Our indirect-cooking test evaluates how well a grill maintains moderate heat, such as for example for cooking thick chicken white meat without burning it. We also check the temperature range for each and every grill to be sure to will get it high enough to sear a steak and low enough to slow-cook ribs.
We measure the sturdiness of every model by using a giant tool we made to push and pull each model, to simulate the abuse a grill might suffer when moved across a deck or patio. And we accumulate data from a lot more than 38,000 CR members about their gas grills to see which brands will last. Those findings are factored in to the predicted reliability score you’ll see inside our full gas grill ratings.
Charcoal grills: For this sort of grill, we test each model with a complete chimney of charcoal. We spread the layer of coals evenly over the foot of the grill and wire the grates with thermocouples to measure how evenly the coals provide heat over the surface. We score charcoal grills on two temperature tests: one for evenness (again, making certain a couple of burgers or hot dogs will finish cooking concurrently) and one for indirect cooking, to make tender, not burnt, chicken.
We also examine how easy it really is to include coals while cooking-many new models have a trap door which allows you to include coals beneath the grates without disturbing the meals while it’s cooking. We check how easy it really is to adapt the air vents to regulate heat inside. Finally, we look at how easy it really is to completely clean each model and get rid of the charcoal ash.
Kamado grills: These also use charcoal, but their tall, deep condition and relatively small cooking surface help almost all of these models heat very evenly because all of the heat is concentrated over the small grates. So we skip testing these models for evenness and instead give attention to testing them on what they’re built for-maintaining high temperature. Kamado grills will get to temperatures greater than any other kind of grill, around 1,000° F. We test each model’s capability to get that hot by quick-grilling thin-crust pizzas. We also test kamado grills on suprisingly low heat by cooking pork shoulder.
Pellet grills: These grills are billed as a cross between gas and charcoal grills. Accordingly, we perform a hybrid of the gas and charcoal tests. We wire the top with thermocouples, and test for evenness over the grates, indirect cooking, and temperature range. We miss the preheat test that people perform on gas because we’ve discovered that most pellet grills heat up quickly.
We also examine the simple cleaning each model, together with conveniences, such as for example locking casters, hooks, and side shelves.
Below is more descriptive info on gas, charcoal, kamado, and pellet grills, including things to consider when deciding which kind of grill to get and the various top features of each. To determine the way the gas, charcoal, and pellet grills we test perform, see our g