Sturdiest Gas Grills in Consumer Reports' Tests
Before you buy a new gas grill, see if it’s built to last
When you browse our new gas grill ratings, take notice of the new score that appears next to those for temperature and cooking. The sturdiness test, which we introduced earlier in 2018, is the result of a multiyear effort to capture a problem we've seen fairly frequently with many of the gas grills that we've assessed.
“Grills are a category where you really see a lot of new players each year,” says Mark Allwood, a market analyst who oversees grills for Consumer Reports. “If you shop at a home center, you’ll see flagship models from big companies like Weber and Char-Broil, but you might see new offerings from four or five companies that didn’t even exist last year.”
How do you know whether a grill is going to last? CR’s new sturdiness score can help with that uncertainty, providing key data that gives you a sense of how well it’s built.
How We Test for Sturdiness
In the sturdiness test, CR’s engineers clamp each grill to a structural steel plate, prop open the lid to negate any boost in strength that may come from it being closed, and connect a piece of equipment called a linear actuator to the lid’s handle.
Sturdiest Small Gas Grills
Weber Genesis II LX S-240
CR’s take: This handsome, rugged Weber packs premium features typically reserved for larger grills into a smaller package, making it well-suited for someone serious about grilling but short on space. The Weber Genesis II LX S-240’s performance is solid across the board, and it has thoughtful touches such as a side burner and LED lights built into the warming racks and lid handle—a boon if you cook at night. In fact, our testers scored it Excellent for convenience.
CR’s take: This no-frills grill from Dyna-Glo is light on features but big on performance. In addition to acing our sturdiness test, this buff little grill cooks evenly and preheats fast, earning a score of Very Good in each of those tests. The trade-off is that it’s only average at indirect cooking and doesn’t cook over as broad a range of temperatures as other grills in the category.
Weber Spirit II S-210
CR’s take: For a lot less money than Weber’s premium Genesis II line, this Spirit proves itself to be sturdy in our tests and is no slouch at cooking, either. It’s particularly adept at heating evenly and cooking over indirect heat, earning scores of Very Good in each of those tests.
Sturdiest Midsized Gas Grills
Weber Genesis II LX S-340
CR’s take: Simply put, the Weber Genesis is one of the best grills in our ratings. Yes, it’s pricey, but it cuts no corners. It’s beautifully built and solid, and it earns some of the best marks of any model across all four crucial performance tests (preheating, evenness, indirect cooking, and temperature range). It earns an Excellent in evenness. It has a side burner, fold-down warming racks, and a built-in fuel gauge, and it can be converted to run on natural gas.
CR’s take: The Permasteel is a new entrant in our ratings, and we were thoroughly impressed with its rugged construction. In addition to its top performance in our sturdiness test, it heats quickly, earning a score of Excellent in our preheat test. It’s built more like a large grill—it has six burners, a side burner, and a huge storage area below the burners, concealed by four stainless steel doors. It can also be built into an outdoor entertainment area and converted to run on natural gas with an optional conversion kit.
RevoAce GBC1748WS (Walmart)
CR’s take: For $150, you probably can’t do better than this gem of a grill from RevoAce. Sold at Walmart, this model aced our sturdiness test but also gets an Excellent score for preheat performance, and earns marks almost as good for indirect cooking, temperature range, and evenness. If you can live without a lot of features or a shiny stainless exterior, this is the grill to get.
Sturdiest Large Gas Grills
Napoleon Prestige Pro 665RSIB
CR’s take: This Napoleon is one of the best grills we’ve ever tested, and it's the most expensive model in our reviews. It earns the top score of any large grill in our ratings, with scores of Excellent for temperature range and indirect cooking. It’s packed with features, which makes the Prestige Pro 665RSlB seem more like a freestanding outdoor kitchen than a grill. There’s a built-in cutting board, a garbage bin, and even a rotisserie, in addition to five main burners. Plus, it’s equipped with a dedicated searing station and a side burner. It costs about as much as a high-end gas range, but if you love to cook on the grill, that math might make sense for you.
Broil King Regal S590 Pro 958344
CR’s take: Even though the Regal isn’t Broil King’s most premium line—that’s the Imperial—in our tests this Regal nabs the best score of any model from Broil King. In addition to its sturdy construction, this grill gets solid scores for all the crucial temperature tests we perform and a score of Excellent for its broad range of temperatures. That’s ideal if you like to get your grill good and hot for searing a steak but you also cook delicate foods such as fish at a lower temperature. Its burners come with a long warranty. Bonus: It has a built-in rotisserie.
Weber Genesis II LX S-440
CR’s take: This Weber Genesis is well-suited for anyone serious about grilling who isn’t overly concerned with features. It’s another pricey grill, but it’s massive and earns some of the best scores of any model in our tests, excelling at preheating, even cooking, and cooking across a broad range of temperatures. That said, it only scores a Good in our test for Indirect Cooking. If you’re shopping in this price range and want features such as a rotisserie, consider Weber’s Summit line. The grills don’t cook quite as well, but they do have many more extras.
From the 'Consumer 101' TV Show
Sturdy construction, even heating, flare-up reduction—Consumer Reports' experts explain to 'Consumer 101' TV show host, Jack Rico, what to look for when buying a gas grill.