Good Gas Grills for Easy Summer Meals

Ditch the charcoal. Now we’re cooking with gas!

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Warm weather means cooking outdoors, and a gas grill lets backyard chefs achieve perfect, consistent results time after time. Gas grills give you precise temperature control. You can fire them up to sear steaks or turn them down to cook chicken, and they’re not limited to meat, either. Corn on the cob, zucchini, peppers, even fruit like pineapple taste better after they’re grilled outside. Gas grills are easy to clean up, too, and there are no ashes to get rid of when you’re done.  Finding the right gas grills means sorting through a wide variety of good choices. Here’s how to zero in on the best one for you.

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BTUs measure a grill’s heat output. As a rule of thumb you should choose a grill that provides 80-100 BTUs per square inch of cooking area. Grills falling below that level will take longer to heat and sometimes to cook. Higher rated grills may char your food.

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Grills with multiple burners let you maintain differing levels of heat across the grill. You can cook large pieces of food on high heat and small pieces on low simultaneously. You also can shut off a burner underneath your food for indirect cooking, or to create a warming zone on one side of the grill.

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A grill should have 72 square inches of cooking area—not including warming shelves—per person. If you’re cooking for two, 144 square inches is big enough, but for families or gatherings you will want a bigger cooking surface.