Which gas grills are the best?

When it comes to cooking outdoors, gas grills are rapidly becoming the grill of choice.

They're faster, and you don't have to clean up any ashes.

So, in its recent performance tests, Consumer Reports focused on gas grills to help find the best of the best.

The best part is that the test found buyers don't need to spend an arm and a leg to get a quality grill.

As caterer Gina Hegarty puts it, "Everybody loves to barbeque."

"It just reminds you of your childhood and it just reminds you of being together, and parties and fun," she said.

Like Hegarty, more and more people are cooking with gas. So Consumer Reports tested nearly 100 gas models ranging in price from $100 all the way up to $2,500.

With some grills, extra space is a factor. One $1,200 grill is almost 7-feet long. Other factors testers looked at were how well the grill performs and how much it flares up when cooking.

To see how a grill performs at lower temperatures, testers grilled salmon steaks and chicken breasts.

Other tests didn't involve food at all. Consumer Reports used thermocouples to measure how evenly a grill distributes heat across the surface of the grates. On good grills, thermal images will show heat across the entire grates.

Several high-price grills were top performers, including a Vermont Casting signature series model priced at around $1,000 and a Weber Genesis, which costs $800.

But Consumer Reports found plenty of good models that cost a lot less. Among them was a $200 Char Broil Classic from the Home Depot.

"It rated excellent for low- temperature cooking and grilled up a very good steak, too," said Dan DiClerico of Consumer Reports.

Testers said the Char Broil can handle whatever menu you plan to grill.

The testers found another great buy with the $250 Brinkmann Grill from Walmart. As for the popular infrared burners, testers said they couldn't find one model that stood out above the others.