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All fired up over these great gas grills and barbecue recipes

All fired up over these great gas grills and barbecue recipes

Who owns barbecue bragging rights is a debate that won’t be settled anytime soon. Folks from Texas to Kansas City to the Carolinas, among other regions, boast that they have the best and most authentic barbecue. Countless books have been written on the subject and competitions across the country proclaim their own barbecue kings. At Consumer Reports, we’re not taking sides but we do have an opinion on the best gas grills and will throw in our recipes for barbecue rub and sauce to help you enjoy your Fourth of July.

When choosing a gas grill, pick one that accommodates the amount of food you usually grill. Mid-sized grills are the most popular size. They can fit 16 to 30 burgers and in our gas grill tests, the Weber Spirit SP-320 46700401, $600, topped the category. It has three main burners and preheated quickly and evenly. Large grills hold 30 burgers or more . The highest scoring is the Jenn-Air 720-0709, $950, sold at Sam’s Club. Quick and even preheating, superb high-heat grilling, and very good low-heat and indirect grilling help make it a recommended model. With space for 10 to 15 burgers the Weber Spirit E-220 46310001, $450, is tops in our tests of small grills and the four casters make it easy to move. In our gas grills tests, preheating was fast and even, and high- and low-heat cooking were excellent. Indirect cooking was very good.

Below are recipes for barbecue rub and sauce from the kitchen at Consumer Reports. You can use them together—first the rub, then the sauce:mdash;or separately. If you like your food spicier or milder, adjust the ingredients to taste.

Simple barbecue rub

  • ½ cup sweet paprika
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp mild chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cloves

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl or airtight container. The rub can be stored at room temperature for several weeks. Makes about 1 cup. When ready to use, massage the rub into the meat to make sure it sticks. To get the most flavor, put the meat in the refrigerator for at least an hour before grilling. Larger cuts can sit overnight.

BBQ sauce with a kick

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup mustard
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sweet paprika
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp mild chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a medium-large saucepan using a whisk. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat, cooking on low for 25 minutes, making sure to stir from time to time to prevent burning. Cool before using. Yields about 3 ½ cups. Consult a recipe for the meat or poultry you are cooking. Some advise applying the sauce near the end of grilling while others say to apply it afterwards and pass the extra.

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