The Hamilton Beach Quick Assembly Grill (84341) offers the tempting promise of solving what has left backyard chefs frustrated for years—the long, tedious process of putting together a gas grill.

The company says you can assemble the grill in 10 minutes or less with the help of a friend and a screwdriver, after unpacking and reading the instructions. So Consumer Reports put the Quick Assembly Grill (84341) gas grill to the test. 

We chose two assemblers: Rich Handel, a Consumer Reports tester who assembles about 20 gas grills a year, and Dan DiClerico, an editor who has never put one together. Another staffer pitched in on each assembly when needed. 

A secret shopper bought two samples of the $500 Hamilton Beach Quick Assembly Grill (84341).

We also wanted to see how long it would take to assemble a comparable grill, so a secret shopper bought two Better Homes and Gardens BH16-101-099-02 grills for $270 each at Walmart. Like the Hamilton Beach, it’s midsized, and the level of assembly needed is typical of gas grills that we've seen in recent years. 

What We Found

Rich, our experienced assembler, needed 18 minutes to put together the Hamilton Beach grill from the company's starting point. It took an additional 10 minutes to unpack, read the instructions, and watch the video (it's only 83 seconds), which the manual recommends.

Dan, our rookie, needed 30 minutes to put together the Hamilton Beach, along with 14 minutes to unpack, read instructions, and watch the video.

Still, both fared better with the Hamilton Beach than with the grills from Better Homes and Gardens.

Rich put the Better Homes and Gardens grill together in 44 minutes. He spent another nine minutes unpacking it. The company recommends that you read the manual as you go along so that's what we did.

Dan took 78 minutes to assemble the BH&G grill, consulting the manual along the way, plus 13 minutes to unpack.

So while assembling the Hamilton Beach took more than 10 minutes, it is a relatively fast job.

In our grill tests, the Hamilton Beach scored a 57 out of a possible 100 (the best grill scored 77). While it preheated like a champ, it was only fair at maintaining an even temperature and did not make our list of top gas grill picks. (By comparison, the BH&G grill scored a 68, but also missed the recommended list.)

Hamilton Beach Responds

After we sent the company our findings, Mary Beth Brault, Hamilton Beach's group manager of corporate and consumer communications, said, "We stand by the claim that the Hamilton Beach Quick Assembly Grill can be assembled in 10 minutes or less with a friend and a screwdriver, after unpacking and reading the instruction manual. The Quick Assembly Grill was developed to address the complexity of traditional outdoor grill assembly, which can take hours. We test and substantiate all claims and encourage consumers to read the instruction manual and follow assembly instructions."

Looking for a New Grill?

Look no further. Our gas grill Ratings include dozens of grills that cost $90 to $2,600. Be sure to see what subscribers had to say about the grill brand they bought—from the happiest of owners to the downright disappointed—and what subscribers said about brand reliability.

Still on the fence? Email questions to me at kjaneway@consumer.org.