Kenmore Elite 3-Burner Dual Fuel Stainless Gas Grill Review
Though it looks the part, this Kenmore Elite doesn't live up to its name.
You'd be hard pressed to find an area of cooking that has more devoted enthusiasts than grilling. And like any field that has its supporters, there's going to be a keen interest in the tools of the trade. While traditionalists swear by fatwood and charcoal, some grillers like to have a more refined machine. At an MSRP of $749, the Kenmore Elite 146.23675310 (PG-40308OOLS) sure looks the part—living up to its "Elite" moniker—but it performed weakly when we put it to the test. Looks and ability to handle both natural gas and propane (conversion kit sold separately) just aren't enough make up for the high price and lack of cooking features, performance, and portability.
Design, Features, & Usability
Welding goggles not included.
To paraphrase Justin Timberlake from his boy band days, Kenmore must have spent a little more time on the "Elite 3-Burner Dual Fuel Stainless Steel gas grill" (and its best name ever). Dressed in sleek stainless, this Kenmore Elite's all-metal aesthetic seems would class up any deck or patio—though it is quite the fingerprint magnet. To paraphrase Justin again, this grill is also like it's a mirror, staring back at us. But while that design idea may have seemed like a bright idea on paper, it's a blindingly bright idea in practical use in the mid-summer sun. A timeless thermometer adorns the lid, adding a tiny splash of color into the field of monochromatic metal.
Three burners with electric-ignition supply heat under 500 square inches of porcelain-enameled cast iron grate. Aside from the warming rack suspended above the main cooking area, there aren't a whole lot of features. The cabinet below allows for safe storage of a propane tank (only one should be in there at a time!), and there are plenty of hooks and tray space—though no side burner. Though calling this grill "dual fuel" might be slightly misleading, there's a simple conversion kit sold separately that will allow you to hook the grill up to natural gas.
This Kenmore Elite might win over some people with looks, but we doubt the performance will satisfy the grillmaster. The grill does alright on low power—showing relative uniformity throughout the cooking surface—but just isn't strong enough to handle the demands of all grillers. Set on high, the grill couldn't get hotter than a 430°F average in our test. This probably isn't a hot enough temperature for everyone's steak. Most broilers can easily hit 600°F, so we expect grills to at least get close. At lower temperatures when the grill relies more on indirect cooking, the grill does a better job keeping temperature uniform.
It's going to take a bit more to justify the high price.
Though the Kenmore Elite 3-Burner Stainless grill looks snappy and can easily accommodate propane and natural gas, its performance just doesn't justify the heavy price tag. However, Sears frequently cuts down the prices significantly—dropping $200 or more— so if you see that $749 MSRP eroding, it might be worth considering, if you want a pretty stainless grill. But until then, you should probably look elsewhere.
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