Nice grills do the job safely

Shopping With

Your Money

May 09, 2004|By Laurie Squire

The product: Gas grill.

The expert: Fred Simon, fourth-generation owner of Omaha Steaks, founded by his great-grandfather in 1917, and best-selling cookbook author (Let's Grill).

What I want: A grill is more than an appliance; it's an American tradition. I like to think that a barbecue makes the world a better place one steak at a time.

I must have: My grill has to be well made - very solid. It should have a minimum of two quality burners that are cast solid to ensure even heating and a cooking surface large enough to accommodate several portions. Also, the grill must provide a great heating capacity, a high BTU output.

One thing I hate: I just cannot understand why manufacturers neglect to include very specific instructions regarding safety. Shoppers should always receive information on how to appropriately turn the gas on and off to reduce the danger of fire. I'd like to see mandatory safety guidelines included with any new gas grill.

Savvy shopper: Simon says research grills online and get a copy of Consumer Reports.

My pick: If price isn't a consideration, choose a Viking. (They start at $4,000.) Next-best thing: If you need to stay within a budget, visit your local appliance store, where you can see a full range of price points. And if a gas grill is out of the budget, choose a Weber kettle-style charcoal grill; it consistently works well. (They start at $40.)

Laurie Squire is a staff writer for Newsday, a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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