Turns out that getting tickets to the game is one of the least important things to tailgaters. In the latest Weber GrillWatch survey, 57 percent of respondents said that they had attended a tailgate party in the last year without attending the game. Tickets were trumped by such must-haves as a grill (82 percent), food (80 percent) and cooler (also 80 percent) followed by chairs and alcoholic beverages. One of every three tailgate hosts brings a full-size grill to the party while the rest opt for portable models. With the start of tailgating season, here are some gas grills that were big winners in Consumer Reports tests.
Grilling at tailgate parties is on the rise, reports Weber, with 20 percent of grill owners reporting that they had attended a tailgate party in the last year, a 6 percent increase over 2012. The top five foods they like to grill are hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, chicken, and steak. On average, grill owners spend $122 for food and drinks for a tailgating party.
For just a little more than that, you can buy the $130 Back Yard Grill BY13-101-001-11, a small grill that just missed our list of top grill picks. Very good overall, the grill has three burners and a two-wheeled stand that makes it easy to move. It preheated like a champ and was very good at high temperature, low temperature and indirect cooking.
The winner of our tests for small grills was the Weber Spirit E-220 46310001, $450, which was excellent at high and low temperature evenness and very good at preheating and indirect cooking. It has two main burners and a four-wheeled cart for easy moving. Scoring a close second was the Napoleon Terrace SE325PK, $600, which was excellent at low temperatures and very good at all other grilling tasks. The Napoleon has two main burners and a handy four-wheeled cart.