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New grill brands include this Bel Air.

New Grill Brands Want to Take Over Your Backyard

Consumer Reports tests 7 new brands to see if they can take the heat

Weber and Char-Broil have been making grills for more than 60 years and dominate the market. That hasn't stopped newcomers from trying to win over grilling enthusiasts with innovative designs and evocative names. But is that enough to get them to ditch their brand loyalty? To find out, the grill experts at Consumer Reports tested seven new brands, along with a number of old standbys.

Among the dozens of new gas grills in our gas grill tests are models from such new brands as Even Embers, Smoke Hollow Vector, and Monument Grills, as well as other new names. We put them through our tests to see how they measure up to the top-scoring midsize Nexgrill 720-0830H, $355, from Home Depot, and our best small grill, the Huntington 630124, $140.

You won't find the new brands in our survey results for brand reliability and consumer satisfaction because they're too new. But here, in alphabetical order, is a glimpse of each new brand and the models we tested.

3 Embers GAS7480AS (Tractor Supply Co)

3 Embers GAS7480AS (Tractor Supply...

The Boltz Group's midsized 3 Embers GAS7480AS is $500 and sold at Home Depot. There are four main burners with a lifetime warranty. The igniter is rotary style, but we've found that electronic igniters are usually easier and more reliable than either rotary or push-button igniters. This grill costs more than its sibling, the Even Embers grill, below, but that doesn't guarantee better overall performance, as we discovered in our tests. 

    Bel Air 79000

    Bel Air 79000

    With a design and paint job inspired by a 1950s Chevy Bel Air, the bright red Bel Air 79000 certainly makes a statement. (It also comes in vintage turquoise and cream.) But can it grill a steak? While it preheated like a champ, it struggled to keep an even temperature and the range was narrow.

    Bull Outdoor Products made its name selling high-end stainless gas grills and outdoor kitchens. These midsized Bel Air grills are selling for $400 to $600 at Home Depot, Menards, Walmart, and independent retailers. The warranty for the burners, the most frequently replaced part, is 3 years. Better burners have warranties of 10 years or more. 

      Chef's Grill RT-24175-1

      Chef's Grill RT-24175-1

      New to Home Depot, these midsized grills are $400 to $700 and boast stainless and style. Sagittarius Sporting Goods makes them, and you'll also find their big seven-burner stainless grills at Costco and on Amazon for $1,000 and up. We tested two models from Chef's Grills. The Chef's Grill RT-24175-1 is $450 and has 3 main burners that come with a 10-year warranty. The $650 Chef's Grill IR2818-1 has a bigger cooking area and two main infrared burners with a 5-year warranty. But it didn't perform quite as well as its brandmate.

        Even Embers GAS7540AS

        Even Embers GAS7540AS

        The Boltz Group has introduced the Even Embers grills at the Tractor Supply Company. These grills sell for less than $300, and the midsized grill we tested, the Even Embers GAS7540AS, is $200. Still, it has five main burners, a side burner, coated cast-iron grates, and a 10-year burner warranty—unusual at this price. In our tests, it was excellent at preheating and cooking evenly but the temperature range was just so-so.

          Monument Grills 38667

          Monument Grills 38667

          Monument says on its Facebook page that its factory has been making grills for some of the top U.S. brands for some time and decided to sell its own brand. Competing in the $300 to $500 price range, Monument Grills have features typically found on pricier models, like LED-lit controls for grilling after dusk and the small window on the lid that allows you to see how the food's doing without opening the lid. The midsized Monument Grills 38667 is $360, and has four main burners with an 8-year warranty, plus side and sear burners. Its preheating time was excellent, but the grill was middling in our cooking tests.

            RevoAce GBC1729W (Walmart)

            RevoAce GBC1729W (Walmart)

            RevoAce grills are basic and sell for $250 or less at Walmart. The small RevoAce GBC1729W is $130, has a rotary igniter, and three burners with a 5-year warranty. We also tested the $100 RevoAce GBC1708WDC, another small grill, which didn't perform quite as well. Its porcelain-coated lid chipped during testing, leaving the exposed metal vulnerable to rust. 

              Smoke Hollow Vector Series VTTSS

              Smoke Hollow Vector Series VTTSS

              The Smoke Hollow Vector Series VTTSS is the first portable we've seen with a smoke tray. It holds wood chips, like hickory or mesquite, that add a smoky flavor to food. Outdoor Leisure Products makes it, and you'll find this grill for under $200 at Home Depot, Sam's Club, and Walmart. It has two burners, not counting the smoke tray, and a one-year burner warranty. Our gas grill ratings feature 11 portable grills, and the Smoke Hollow Vector is in the middle of the pack. 

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                Kimberly Janeway

                For years I've covered the increasing water and energy efficiency of washers and what it means to consumers, along with innovations in a variety of products, and whether manufacturers deliver on their promises. What I'm really trying to do is to help consumers, and consumers help me by posting comments and posing questions. So thanks!