All or mostly stainless
All or mostly stainlessIncludes more than just a panel or other trim. Based on our limited tests, nonmagnetic stainless is less likely to corrode.
Long-warranty burnersWhile burners remain the grill's most-replaced part, most are warranted for only 3 to 5 years. Better burners are covered for 10 years or more.
Side burnerA side burner, which resembles a gas-stove burner and has its own heat control, is handy if you want to cook vegetables or sauce without leaving the grill. A side burner could also be an infrared burner used for searing.
Infrared burnerGas burner that uses infrared technology (ceramic burner, plates and screens, or troughs as some examples) for cooking. An indirect flame is used for cooking food. Burner can be located as the main burner, side burner, rotisserie burner, or any combination of burners.
RotisserieThis generally means that the grill comes with a dedicated rotisserie burner; the motor and spit are usually purchased separately. A dedicated rotisserie burner is usually located on the back of the firebox, slightly above the cooking grates; some models use the grill's main burner(s). This feature allows you to roast meat (a whole chicken, for example) very evenly, yielding a flavor that some people prefer to that of grilled food. .
Side shelf material
Side shelf materialShelves are usually made of stainless steel or painted steel (some using a powder-coating process), though a few are made of plastic. Plastic and stainless steel may prove more durable than paint coatings.
Fuel gaugeLocated on the propane tank or the grill itself, this reveals at a glance how much propane remains in the tank.
Comes with griddle
Comes with griddleComes with griddle.
Additional featuresAdditional features can be a cover, lights, towel racks, bottle opener, utensil hooks, etc.
Stainless-steel gratesPrimary cooking grates made of stainless-steel are generally sturdier than those made of coated steel and resist rust even without a porcelain coating.
Coated-cast-iron gratesThe grill's primary cooking grates may be made of porcelain coated cast-iron, which generally sears meats better and keeps grilling temperatures more consistent than grates made of porcelain coated steel. The porcelain coating usually makes such grates easier to clean than other surfaces, and the grates should resist rust as long as their porcelain coating isn't chipped.
Size categorySize category for the grill, based on CR's measurement of the main cooking grid area. Portable grills are grouped together regardless of cooking area, though typically these are small grills.
Measured cooking grid area
Measured cooking grid areaThe main cooking area of the grill rounded to the nearest 5 sq. in. Not including any searing burners in the main cooking area.
Exterior dimensionsThe exterior measurement of the grill with shelves.
47 x 74 x 23
Shelf spaceShelf space rounded to the nearest 5 sq. in.
Number of main burner controls
Number of main burner controlsMost small and average-sized grills have two separate burners, controlled independently, or one burner with independently controlled halves. Some average-size grills have up to four burners with corresponding controls; large grills often have six. Additional burner controls generally allow the cook more flexibility.
Main burnerMain burner BTU/Hour.
Side burner BTU/Hour
Side burner BTU/HourSide burner BTU/Hour.
Igniter typeMost grills have a mechanical igniter of either the push-button or rotary design. More convenient is a battery-operated electronic igniter, which usually ignites the gas on the first try. Some grills also have lighting holes, on the side of or beneath the grill, that can be used with a match should the igniter fail.
Wheels and casters
Wheels and castersMost carts have two wheels or casters on one end and two casters on the other. Other models have just two wheels: you lift one end to move them. Wheels with a full axle are better than those bolted to the frame, which may eventually bend.
4 casters for easier moving
Natural-gas version available
Natural-gas version availableMany gas (that is, propane gas) grills also come in a natural-gas version, usually with a different model number that includes an "N" for natural gas. Some models have a conversion kit (as standard or optional equipment) that requires some modification to a propane grill in order to use it with natural gas. If you're unfamiliar or uncomfortable with these modifications, you may need to hire a professional to do the job; your retailer should be able to help with arrangements. The grill also would, of course, require its own gas line.
No natural-gas version available
Bare-cast-iron gratesThe grill's primary cooking grates may be made of bare cast iron, which generally sears meats well and keeps grilling temperatures consistent. Bare cast iron, however, must be kept oiled to prevent rusting. Such grates are also usually more difficult to clean than other surfaces.
Coated-steel gratesPrimary cooking grates made of porcelain-coated steel will resist rust as long as their porcelain coating isn't chipped. Porcelain-coated grates are also usually easier to clean than other surfaces. But coated-steel grates typically do not sear meats as well or keep temperatures as consistent as sturdier grates made of cast iron or stainless steel.