Use your gas grill like a stove

Your gas grill is more versatile than you may think

Published: June 17, 2015 03:15 PM

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Your grill can cook just like your stove’s fast-cooking broiler and your slower cooking oven. And once you nail down the steps for setting up your grill for each cooking method, you can turn out all kinds of delicious dishes. The secret: location, location, location. Placing food directly over the flame is similar to broiling. Placing the food next to the fire, not over it, with the lid down, is called indirect cooking, which is more like an oven. When Consumer Reports puts gas grills to the test, we check how well they perform at high, low, and indirect heating. Here’s how to get the most mileage from your grill:

Use it like a broiler

Best for. Steaks, burgers, chops, shrimp, and veggies.
With direct heat, the food sits right over the fire; it’s great for searing steaks and chops and cooking smaller items, such as shrimp and veggies, that take 20 minutes or less to cook. You’ll just need to turn them halfway through the cooking process. Put smaller items around the outside of the grate; that way you can turn them or pull them off more quickly.
How to do it. Preheat the grill as directed. Adjust the burners to the temperature in the recipe, then place the food on the grate. As a rule, cook with the lid down; temperatures plummet when it’s left open.

Use it like an oven

Best for. Chicken, ribs, and larger cuts of meat.
With indirect heat, the food is placed away from the fire, the lid is down, and heat is reflected all around, like an oven. It’s a delicious way to cook anything that needs longer cooking at lower temperatures, such as a whole beef or pork tenderloin.
How to do it. You need at least two burners for indirect grilling. After preheating, set one burner at medium or high and the other at low. Place food over the coolest burner, close the lid, and cook following your recipe.

Photo: Lowes

The best gas grills from our tests

Small gas grills (18 burgers or fewer)
Weber Spirit E-220 46310001, $450
Broilmate 165154, $200
Napoleon Terrace SE325PK, $600

Medium gas grills (18 to 28 burgers)
Weber Spirit SP-320 46700401, $600
Char-Broil TRU-Infrared 463435115 (Walmart), $260
Kenmore Elite 33577, $950

Large gas grills (28 burgers or more)
Brinkmann 810-6550-S (Home Depot), $350
Napoleon Prestige Pro 665RSIB, $2,600
Kenmore Elite 3358, $1,800

More great grills. For more choices, see our full gas grill Ratings and recommendations.

—Adapted from ShopSmart  

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