Consumer Reports Rates Best Gas Grills, BBQ Sauces - CBS46 News

Consumer Reports Rates Best Gas Grills, BBQ Sauces

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A passion for grilling is what fueled John Cavallo's very own catering business.

"I just love it. Words can't explain why I love grilling so much," Cavallo said.

Whether you're grilling for work or your family, having a good grill is critical. Lucky for grill enthusiasts, Consumer Reports spent the last few months testing gas grills to find the best.

Testers seared steaks to see how well the grills perform at high temperatures and to check for flare-ups. Tests show grills with grates closer to the heat source are more likely to flare up.

Salmon and chicken were also cooked to see how well a grill can handle low temperatures.

"We also look at a grill's ability to cook indirectly. That's because more and more people are grilling whole foods likes roasts and chickens," said Consumer Reports' Celia Lehrman.

Consumer Reports evaluated features, too. "More manufactures are touting infrared burners, but in our tests we haven't found that they really perform any better than standard burners, and some of them can get too hot and you could end up burning your food," said Lehrman.

Cast-iron or steel grates sear well and keep temperatures more consistent. A side burner is a nice convenience, too. And a gauge that shows how much propane is left in the tank is another handy feature.

In the end, Consumer Reports recommends several gas grills. Among them -- the Aussie Vantage Series 67C3. While it doesn't have a fuel-tank gauge, it's got a side burner and stainless-steel grates. And at $250 it's a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

If you tend to cook for larger crowds, Consumer Reports named the $380 Brinkmann 810-1575-W a Best Buy. It has coated cast-iron grates and a rotisserie burner, too. It's available at Walmart.

And no barbecue is complete without the mouthwatering sauce.

"The sauce is what really brings out the flavor. That's really the key ingredient to barbecuing anything," said Chef Bosora.

Consumer Reports' trained sensory panelists spent weeks tasting 10 store-bought barbecue sauces, including Emeril, Jack Daniel's, KC Masterpiece and Kraft Original.

"Barbecue sauces can be a combination of tangy, sweet, spicy, and smoky, but to be good the flavors should be well-blended and complex," said Consumer Reports' Ellen Klosz.

Not surprisingly, no two sauces were the same. Consumer Reports found most improved when cooked with meat. But Jack Daniel's Original No. 7 Recipe was one of the exceptions.

"It was gelatinous, with an overwhelming smoky, ashy flavor, and the cooking didn't help it, either," Klosz said.

In the end, Consumer Reports rated four sauces very good. Among them: Target's Archer Farms Texas-Style Barbecue Sauce and Walmart's Great Value Original Barbecue Sauce.

Two other all-around good sauces were the KC Masterpiece Original and Emeril's Bam B-Q Sauce.

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