Vermont Castings VCS423SSP Gas Grill Review
Vermont Castings steps up to the grate with its A-game.
The purest of purists will certainly scoff at dropping the big bucks on a gas grill—or even buying one at all. Heck, all some of them need is a grate and a place to put some burning charcoal. But if we're looking at lab results, Vermont Castings' VCS423SSP really does measure up to charcoal's traditional excellence, and it's hard to not be impressed at this hefty built grill and its impressive performance and lengthy feature list. I'm sure you sensed a "but" lurking, and here it is: it's $1,699 (MSRP)—a bit more than most people are willing to spend.
Design, Features, & Usability
Blindingly handsome with a lot of features.
Vermont Castings clearly borrowed some design elements from the outdoor kitchen when they designed the 423 Signature Series. The VCS423SSP features rugged 304 stainless steel and very little non-silvery trim. The addition of the LED grill light makes us suspect this grill is for evening/night use only, since we can't imagine using such a glittery grill without a welding mask without being blinded by the mid-summer sun.
With a side burner—for heating a pot for non-grilled items—it's possible to cook an entire meal outside. There's also an infrared rotisserie burner with an included electric spit, plus two towel racks, grill tool hooks, a shelf, and available natural gas option. Clearly, this grill is made for people who'd rather cook en plein air whenever possible.
While the 423 has an incredibly lengthy feature list, all that dazzle doesn't come at the expense of performance. We recorded incredible temperature uniformity on the 493 square inch grate. In fact, it's on par with a charcoal grill when testing both high and low temperatures. This unusually strong uniformity means the grill is essentially devoid of hotspots that result in uneven cooking or the need to constantly shuffle the food around the cooking surface. The preheat test didn't go quite so well, as it took around 14 minutes to reach our target of 625°F, a bit slower than some of the other gas grills out there.
If you got the money, consider the Vermont Castings VCS423SSP.
If price were no object, we'd wholeheartedly recommend this Vermont Castings. We love the gorgeous stainless steel, the extra features, and its phenomenal performance. But let's face it—$1,699 is a lot to spend for something that many people in the US can only use for half the year. It costs more than most kitchen ranges, and seems like an even poorer investment in the face of the relatively short lifespan of a gas grill. Clearly the prohibitive price means this grill isn't right for everybody, but if you're a dedicated grillmaster who cooks outdoors all year long, this would be an awesome grill to own.
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