It’s summertime, which means many of us will have been firing up our grills for some weekend barbecue action. But what if you’re buying your first one, or want to upgrade rather than learn how to clean your grill? There are myriad choices out there when it comes to outdoor and portable grills. To make your buying decision a little easier, we’ve rounded up seven of our favorite grills on the market, from budget-friendly cookers to the more mighty and majestic choices for the carnivorous connoisseur.
At a glance
- The best overall grill: Weber Spirit E310 Liquid Propane Gas Grill
- The best grill for beginners: Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Gas Grill
- The best grill for large gatherings: Royal Gourmet GB8000 Event Gas Grill
- The best budget grill: Char-Broil Classic 360 Liquid Propane Grill
- The best pellet grill: Camp Chef SmokePro SG-24 Wi-Fi Pellet Grill
- The best kamado grill: Kamado Joe Classic II Charcoal Grill
- The best portable grill: Blackstone 17-Inch Portable Gas Grill
The best overall grill
Weber has long been a dominating and trustworthy name in home grilling, and the Spirit E310 is a perfect summation of their years of innovation and experience. Whether you’re grilling steaks for two or grilling burgers for the whole crew, the Spirit is built for reliable performance for any sized meal. Most of the magic is achieved through a fine working of grilling fundamentals, specifically, Weber’s porcelain engineering. The Spirit’s cooking grates, lid, and internal flavoring tray are all porcelain-enameled. The porcelain surfaces all work in unison to retain and evenly distribute heat throughout the grill body, ensuring your food is well-cooked and loaded with flavor.
The 529 square feet of cooking space means you’ll have plenty of room for any food you can think of. Char some watermelon slices and chocolate treats on the stainless steel grill while letting your burgers simmer on the top rack of the cook-box. The heavy-duty caster wheels make it easy to push the Spirit around your property or to load it onto the bed of a pickup or into a van to go grill at your buddy’s place. The lid-placed temperature gauge lets you monitor how warm things are when the lid is closed, and the fuel gauge (located near the tank) keeps a constant eye on how much propane you’ve got to work with.
The best grill for beginners
This 24,000 BTU TRU-Infrared grill by Char-Broil is a great option for any backyard chef, but particularly beginners. For starters, the grill uses Char-Broil’s No Flare-Ups technology to ensure even cooking across the entire 450-square-foot grill top. Char-Broil’s engineered stainless steel can be found both inside and out. Under the lid, the top-ported stainless steel burners will allow the chef to make very fine cooking adjustments, from high heat to extremely low temperatures. Outside the lid, the stainless steel makes for a rugged and long-lasting outer shell for the grill body.
We also love the foldable 10,000 BTU side burner, which is perfect for prepping sauces for meat marinades. The lid-mounted temperature gauge makes it easy to keep an eye on your cook cycle, and when your grilling is done, the porcelain-coated grates are rust-proof and very easy to clean.
The best grill for large gatherings
Here’s one for the household that throws all the shindigs. This mighty 104,000 BTU gas grill by Royal Gourmet features eight stainless steel tube burners, each firing at 13,000 BTUs over a 950-square-foot cooktop. That’s enough room for 60 burgers or 120 hot dogs all sizzling at the same time. An electronic ignition ensures fast startup when it’s time to start grilling, and the two bottom-mounted grease cups keep the liquid gristle away from your meats. Four-inch locking wheels make it simple to move the grill around, and the entire cooking surface is non-stick, so cleanup is a breeze.
The best budget grill
Char-Broil gets a second mention with the no-frills Classic 360, a 360-square-foot cooktop with porcelain-coated grates. This gas grill uses three stainless steel in-line burners for all of your cooking. A Piezo ignition system means fast fire-ups with the single push of a button, and the grill sits on two 6-inch wheels for easy movement. There are also two foldable side shelves if you need a nearby place to keep utensils and ingredients.
While the Classic 360 may not come loaded with the bells and whistles of more higher-end offerings, it nails all the must-haves for any backyard grill, and does so at a price most folks can wrap their heads (and stomachs) around. Many customers are also fans of the simple assembly and overall ease of use when it comes time to do some actual grilling.
The best pellet grill
If you’ve ever had barbecue ribs from a pellet smoker, you’ll know there’s simply no other way to eat ribs. The Camp Chef SmokePro SG 24 cuts right to the heart of what matters for smoker cooking, which is how the smoke gets acquainted with your food. The cooking chamber on this bad boy can be adjusted from 160 up to 650 degrees, and a Smoke Meter lets you choose exactly how much smoke your food receives. This means you’ll really be able to fine-tune your next big batch of sizzling meats.
On the tech side of grilling, the SmokePro is Wi-Fi enabled. Once you connect the grill to your network, download the Camp Chef app to set grill times, adjust temperature and smoke settings, and monitor cooking cycles, all from the comfort of your iOS or Android device. When you’re done feeding the troops, just throw the grill into shutdown mode and engage the ash cleanout duct at the bottom of the grill for quick and easy cleanup.
The best kamado grill
Kamado-style grilling can be traced back over 3,000 years to parts of China, where primitive kamados were fashioned from earthen resources, particularly clay. Today, smokers like the Kamado Joe Classic II showcase a number of key elements from the traditional kamado design, along with a few modern touches. For starters, the ceramic-shelled Classic II boasts an 18-inch grill top for all your smoking/searing/baking needs. Easily whip up entire entrees with roasted sides, or make a lot of one kind of food, like steak tips or charred veggies. If you’d rather keep your food separated, the Classic II’s double-tiered grill grate allows you to cook different foods at different temperatures, but at the same time.
For smoking precision, the Classic II features a Kontrol Tower Top Vent that maintains a perfect airflow for the kamado while allowing you to grill at temperatures ranging from 225 up to 750 degrees. This is also an easy grill to drag in and out of the garage, thanks to the rugged wheels and locking casters. Cook, eat, then easily store away until your next meal. While this is one of the more expensive offerings on our list, the Classic II is a well-armored grilling stalwart that offers up the best of kamado cooking. In terms of charcoal grilling, it doesn’t get much better than Joe.
The best portable grill
Are you a regular camper? Sick of relying on those old rusted campsite grills? Put your woes to rest with the Blackstone Portable Gas Grill. The 260-square-inch grill top has enough space for a full wilderness breakfast, afternoon burgers and dogs, or row after row of veggies.
Fuel is supplied to the griddle with easy-hookup single-pound propane bottles, which means you won’t be lugging around any hefty tanks on your next tailgating adventure. A black-powdered, H-shaped stainless steel burner delivers a consistent 12,000 BTUs of heat, which distributes heat evenly and cooks your food quickly. Cleaning is a cinch, thanks in part to the built-in grease trap. Dump the grease, hit the grill with a paper towel, and put it away until your next meal. For under $100, the Blackstone is our go-to for perfect travel grilling.
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