Grills to look for
Midsized grills are the most popular and their cooking area fits 18 to 28 burgers. Best of all was the $600 Weber Spirit SP-320 46700401. It preheated quickly and evenly, and was superb on high and low heat and indirect cooking, but temperature range was only so-so. Same for the Weber Spirit E-320 46710001, $550, but it was excellent on low heat and impressive on high and offers fast preheating. The Vermont Castings Tribute Series VCT323SSP, $700, wasn’t as fast at preheating but excelled on high heat and indirect cooking, and was one of the few grills to deliver an excellent temperature range.
Large grills. The cooking area on large tested grills has room for 28 or more burgers. Prices in this group range from $300 to $2,600. The $1,600 Kenmore Elite 3358 costs more than most top picks in part since it has five main burners, a side burner, and utensil hooks, lighted controls, lighted cooking area, and rotisserie motor and spit. It offers fast, even preheating, impressive temp range, superb low and high heat, and impressive indirect cooking. The $700 Kenmore 16156 is similar to the Kenmore 16136 we tested, a CR Best Buy that’s now discontinued. That grill was nearly as impressive as the $1,600 one.
Small grills have cooking space for 18 burgers or less. The Weber Spirit E-220 46310001, $450, was tops. It has four casters for easy moving. Preheating was fast and even, and high and low-heat cooking was excellent. Indirect cooking was very good, but temperature range was so-so. We expect the $400 Weber Spirit E-210 46110001 and Weber Spirit S-210 46110001, $450, to perform similarly to the top-rated Weber although they may differ in features.
Use our gas grill Ratings to find out more details and compare grills, and enjoy these last but glorious weeks of summer.
—Kimberly Janeway (@CRJaneway on Twitter)