Make grilling safer this season with these smart buys.
Grilling is a summertime must, but that charred flavor you may love is not so great for your health—and may even increase your risk of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, cooking muscle meats (including beef, fish, pork, and poultry) at extremely high temperatures can cause heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to form. Lab experiments have shown that HCAs and PAHs may cause DNA changes that increase the risk of cancer. To put it simply: “The smoke and flames created when juices drip down onto the coals exposes your food to known cancer-causing substances,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health's contributing nutrition editor.
There are plenty of ways to have a healthier barbecue, such as using an alcohol- or vinegar-based marinade or simply grilling at a lower heat. Using a gas grill over charcoal also reduces your risk of exposure to HCAs and PAHs. Charcoal burns hotter, which chars meat more easily. Plus, when meat drips onto the coals, it creates carcinogen-containing smoke, which rises up over the food.
If you’re in the market for a new grill, one of these eight models should suit your needs, whether you're a city-dweller without much space or a barbecue master out in the suburbs looking to really amp up your outdoor cooking.
Brinkmann 2 Burner Patio Propane Gas Grill
With 305 square inches of cooking space—which is enough space to feed a family of four—this grill is all you need for all your weeknight dinner needs. With two foldable side tables, you have plenty of room to hold your tools and dishes.
Gridiron 348 sq. in. Single Burner Portable Propane Gas Grill
Like to grill on the go? You can wheel this portable unit onto a campsite, parking lot, or anywhere you want to cook up some delicious barbecue. This single-burner champ can run on a 1 lb. propane tank, making it super easy to tote around town.
Char-Broil Classic 4-Burner Gas Grill
This is the top-selling grill on Amazon for good reason: Char-Broil grills have great performance at a lower price point. This unit packs a punch with 40,000 BTUs and a 10,000 BTU lidded side burner.
Dyna-Glo 2-Burner 30,000 BTU Smart Space Living LP Gas Grill
This two-burner doesn’t sacrifice performance for small size. With 350 square inches of cooking space, you can easily fit enough burgers and dogs for your squad.
Weber Spirit E 320 Gas Grill
Get the perks of a Weber grill with a smaller price tag with this budget-friendly unit. "Flavorizer bars" funnel drips and juices away from the burners, which prevents those carcinogen-causing flare-ups. And you'll never run out of gas mid-barbecue with a convenient fuel gauge.
Weber Genesis E-330 38,000 BTU Gas Grill with 3-Burners
The Weber name is synonymous with optimal performance and design. This model features 507 square inches of cooking area, and the outside is covered in a porcelain-enameled shroud that prevents fading and rust, which means it'll be part of your family for many years to come.
6-Burner Dual Chamber Gas Grill in Stainless Steel with Grill Cover
Go big or go home! If you’ve got a lot of mouths to feed, then a six-burner unit is right for you. Besides the 1,057 square inches of cooking space and 91,000 BTUs, this grill’s burner comes with a 10-year warranty.
Lynx Professional Freestanding Grill
For the ultimate griller, the Lynx brings commercial grade cooking to the outdoors. The unit features a range of burner combinations, and the option to use a propane tank or hook it up to your home's natural gas. This grill can be totally customized to your preferences, and has tons of bells and whistles, like built-in halogen lights to illuminate the grill at night.