With the warm weather still in place, our thoughts turn to easy outdoor meals with friends and family. There’s nothing quite as relaxing as spending time in the backyard munching on loose burgers and veggies while loved ones talk, laugh, and bond. What makes things even easier and more enjoyable? The right grill. If your grill has seen better days, but you’re not sure where to start when choosing a new one, we’re here for you, with great tips and smart picks from industry professionals.
Before you get lost in the fantastic sizzle and aroma of a steak, take a minute to assess your needs: “Think about how you’re going to use a grill — do you primarily cook burgers, steaks and hot dogs, or do you want more versatility?” says BBQ World Champion Melissa Cookston , owner of Memphis BBQ Company. “Would you prefer gas or charcoal? Do you only cook for immediate family? There are so many choices in grills today, it’s easy to get carried away by some fancy feature you’ll never need.”
It is important to be realistic. Says Jonathan Fox of Atlanta’s Fox Bros. Bar-BQ: “What qualifies you on a grill: rookie, hold your own, or the next big meat influencer? Those are some great questions to ask.”
If you plan to use your grill for regular weeknight cooking, go for a gas grill that can be lit and ready to go in five to 10 minutes, Fox says. If a grill that doubles as a smoker is a dream, a ceramic grill is a great option – but know that it will take 45 minutes to an hour to heat up (not great at night). Charcoal grills fall somewhere in the middle, for heat-up time, and can add a nice smoky flavor, Fox says.
You don’t have to buy the most expensive grill out there, Fox says, but more expensive grills tend to last longer. Here are some smart options to choose from. Find your favorite and start this beautiful weather with easy, cool meals — and no mess in the kitchen.
Best Propane Grills
Weber Spirit II E-210 liquid propane grill with 2 burners
$499 on Amazon
Weber’s Spirit II is a no-frills gas grill that gets the job done. With two stainless steel burners, it can carve hot and cold zones and cook a delicious meal in no time. We like the easy-to-read gauge next to the gas tank that tells you how much fuel is left. You will receive a 10-year warranty on all parts.
Two side tables offer plenty of room for prep, plus the grill runs on a 20 lb. propane tank. It is the perfect grill for small spaces. “Weber has always been my favorite grill, but this is the best Weber grill I’ve ever bought,” enthused one buyer. “I am very impressed with the quality and performance of this grill. I live alone and grill a lot, rarely will I use both burners, but I think this grill would easily be enough for a family of 5 or 6. Cooking or smoking in offset oven is a breeze. The grill holds the temperature extremely well. I love the quality, simplicity and efficiency of the design… I’m 74 years old and have owned many grills, but I finally found a grill that I love.”
Weber Genesis E-335 Propane Gas Grill
$1,319 on Amazon
This three-burner beast is big enough for a crowd and has all kinds of cool features, including an extra sauce to simmer, a search station, and an app-connected thermometer that tracks food from start to finish and sends readings on the phone. You’ll also get a 10-year warranty on all parts.
The extra large grill has plenty of cooking surface space for parties — there’s even a second layer for roasts and more, plus side burners for sauces and sides. The bread belt is perfect for getting those great bread marks on steaks and burgers. Says one die-hard fan: “We’ve never used anything but Weber grills in our lives and when it came time to replace my grill, I looked at none other than Weber. I have to say that after a few days of use, I’m in love. It heats up quickly and I’ve made everything from baked green beans to burgers, steaks and hot dogs for my family. The heat was evenly distributed and I could follow directions online about ideal times for each type of food…”
“Bought this as a Christmas present for my husband. He said it was easy to put together. So far, this grill works great for the price. Would definitely recommend,” wrote one satisfied customer.
Best pellet grill
The Traeger Pro Series 34 infuses food with wood-fired flavor. The best part, of course, is the ultra-precise temperature control. The controller allows for 15 degree Fahrenheit settings so your meats come out just the way you like them. “We’ve only had the grill a few weeks, but we’ve cooked delicious ribs, brisket, pork shoulder and a whole chicken,” says one buyer. “We love this grill and all meals have been delicious. We love experimenting with different rubs. We bought this instead of the next generation model which was several hundred dollars more…Very happy with the whole experience so far. Thanks, Trigger ».
Best electric grill
This small but mighty grill has enough cooking surface space for up to 12 burgers, plus the TRU electric infrared system delivers even heat distribution (read: fewer explosions). “I love this electric grill,” said one Amazon buyer. “Perfect for deck cooking. Soak some smoky wood chips and you’ll never think about a charcoal grill again. So easy to clean and maintain.”
Best charcoal grill
Genuine 22 inch Weber Charcoal Grill Kettle
$139 on Amazon
Porcelain enamel lid and bowl help retain heat for baking perfection. There’s also a lid hook so you don’t have to place the lid on the ground while cooking. With nearly 7,000 five-star ratings, you know this Weber is a winner.
Says an avid griller: “Easy to assemble, easy to use and easy to clean. Lightweight and portable. Great way to grill either directly or indirectly. I use indirect heat to smoke chicken and direct heat to grill burgers. When I’m in a hurry and don’t want wait for the coals to burn, I use another grill and raise it with a brick or two to keep the meat from burning. It’s been a great buy so far!”
“Best BBQ meats I’ve ever had!” stirs up a fan. “I have been barbecuing for several decades and have always used firewood or propane for grilling. My son told me to get one of these Kamado grills and I will say it is the BEST steak I have ever had in my life! Love the way you can BBQ on a 700 degree hot stove or a 200 degree slow cooker.So versatile and so far I’ve loved everything I’ve cooked on it.I love the fact that it has one large shelf on the side instead of two smaller ones each side. “
Weber Performer Premium charcoal grill
$499 on Amazon
This baby features a built-in lid thermometer and removable backlit LCD cooking timer for precise grilling, a storage container to hold coals, a built-in timer, and side tables for extra work space. Everything is affordable!
“This is my second performer. I’ve had the first one for 15 years and I’m passing it on. I can’t imagine having a charcoal grill without the Weber name. We grill an average of 3 to 4 days a week, year round. Built for may it last!” wrote a Weber devotee.
Best pizza oven
One super fan wrote: “By far the best bang for the buck…My friends have much more expensive pizza ovens and this one cooks as well as any of them. The single biggest purchase we have ever made!!!”
The reviews listed above reflect the latest versions at the time of publication.
Looking for more great deals on Amazon? Check these out:
Aocktobar Waterproof Beach Blanket
Coleman 4 Person Instant Set Up Cabin Tent
Gardrit 60-Can Large Cooler Bag
Kurifier Outdoor Solar Torch Lights 8-pack
Sevylor Quikpak 1-Person Kayak
Anti-slip pad for children VISTOP
Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright Vacuum
Belife Cordless 6 in 1 lightweight vacuum cleaner
Bissell Zing Lightweight Bagless Canister Vacuum
eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S (Slim)
cordless vacuum cleaner whall
Countertop Ninja Digital Air Fry oven
Rockridge Press The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook
Ninja Foodi Smart XL 6 in 1 indoor grill
Astercook 15-piece chef’s knife set with block
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Bedding and home
Yankee Candle Home Sweet Home Scented Classic Large Jar Candle Single Wick 22 oz
AquaDance 7 Inch Premium High Pressure 3-Way Rainfall Combo
Beckham Hotel Collection Bed Pillows Beckham Hotel Collection 2-Pack
DreamyBlue Premium Shredded Memory Foam Pillow
Holikme Mop Broom Holder Wall Mount
Pairs to Go Montana Modern Decorative Tabbed Window Curtains
Lawn and garden
Fiskars Garden Bypass Scissors
Yaheetech Multifunctional fire table
Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 Max PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp Electric Pressure Washer
GrowGreen Rotary Lawn Sprinkler
Gootop Outdoor Mosquito Zapper
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