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 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 .
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.
It's never easy to justify a $1,699 grill. But with temperature uniformity of gas grills rarely at the levels of their charcoal counterparts, this is as much justification as a grill can get, though the long feature list might help. From a data-driven perspective, only an instant preheat would make it better.
The one pockmark on this near-perfect grill.
In our preheat test to 625°F, the grill took 14 minutes—more than we'd have liked to see from a $1,699 grill. Grilling isn't usually something done in a hurry so it may not be a big deal to most buyers, but the does lose some of the preheat edge gas usually has over charcoal.
As even as charcoal.
Across the 493 square inch grate, we recorded an average of 609°F with the burners set to high. We found that the average thermocouple is within 42°F of that mean, which means there is excellent temperature uniformity across the grilling surface. The lack of significant hotspots is relatively rare for gas grills, and this is the kind of performance that makes the so impressive.
This grill is well insulated.
After a heavy 15 minutes heat soak with the grill on full blast, we recorded the handle temperature at 102°F, scarcely above our own body temperature. We recorded the body temperature at 229°F after the heat soak, indicating that this grill is very well insulated. Put another check mark in the pro column.
Meet the tester
Ethan writes reviews and articles about science for Reviewed.com, and edits the Science Blog. He's originally from Vermont and thinks the bicycle and guitar are examples of perfected technology. Prior to Reviewed.com, he studied furiously at Middlebury College.
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