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It's time to get out and grill!

Posted at 5:16 AM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 05:16:04-04

We’ve all been spending a lot more time at home lately, so you might be getting sick of cooking in the kitchen. Why not mix it up, get outside, and prepare a “grate” dinner on your outdoor grill?

Consumer Reports’ grilling expert shares some tips plus grill recommendations in case you need a new one for the season. For healthy food inspiration, look beyond meat.

Peppers, onions, eggplant, and zucchini are all great grilling options. Also tasty are leafy greens like kale and other lettuces. Try grilling romaine for a heartier take on Caesar salad. Or toss kale with a little olive oil and salt, then place on the grill for a few minutes to get crispy kale chips. If your grill has seen better days, it might be time to upgrade, which you can still do.

In most states, home centers like Home Depot and Lowe’s are considered essential businesses, so they’re open. Make sure to check grill inventory online and choose curbside pickup or delivery instead of going into the store to buy. The Even Embers GAS8560AS gas grill is a CR Best Buy for about $400. It earns ratings of Excellent for evenness and preheat performance.

Or consider the recommended Nexgrill Deluxe 720-0896B, available at Home Depot for about $500. Both are midsized grills, which are good options whether you are grilling for a crowd or just keeping it simple. Some people swear by the flavor of food cooked over a charcoal grill. And that type is less expensive than a gas grill. If charcoal is more your fuel of choice, CR recommends the Weber Kettle Grill 22" 14402001 for $165.

CR says if it’s been awhile since you fired up your gas grill, be sure to inspect it for spiderwebs and insect nests because they can cause flare-ups. And check for gas leaks, too. You can see a video on our website on how to keep your grill in cookout shape and get it ready for the season.