Your grill works hard for you, turning out everything from burgers and dogs to fish and veggies to feed your friends and family. So when it’s time to pick a new one, what should you consider?

Consumer Reports runs grills through a gamut of tests: How long does it take to heat up? Is the surface heat consistent? CR’s indirect heating test reveals whether a grill will do a good job with fish or slow-cooked meats. And to be safe, a grill should be stable, so testers look at the structural integrity by torquing and stressing grills on a special machine.

Before you buy, you should think about what size grill you need.

“If you are choosing between a small and medium-sized grill, we advise you go for the midsize model. It will obviously hold more food but you also tend to see more features on those grills too,” said Paul Hope, Consumer Reports home editor.

Two midsize grills to consider, depending on your budget are:

  • The Weber Genesis II (LX S-340) at $1700. It’s the leader of the mid-size pack. It got top marks for temperature performance, with a good temperature range and it’s sturdy.
  • The NexGrill 720-0380H at $400. It’s a Consumer Reports Best Buy and available at Home Depot. It heats up quickly and evenly and outperforms grills that cost three times as much.

If you’re in smaller space, the Cuisinart Chef’s Style Stainless Tabletop Grill for $379 gets good marks in the portable grill category and it lets you take your grill anywhere.

And don’t forget theses BBQ safety tips:

  • If the flame goes out, wait to re-light
  • Make sure your grill is stable by only setting it up on flat surfaces
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grill and the tray below
  • Be ready to put out a fire and keep sleeves and apron strings from dangling over the grill.

Click here to learn more about taking care of your grill to make it last longer.