Backyard barbecues are a staple of the American summer. While taking great care to select and prepare the food you will serve is important, the success of your outdoor cooking will largely depend on the quality of your grill. Whether you’re buying your first outdoor grill or upgrading from an older one, it’s important to factor in what you plan on cooking on it — pizza, steak, fish hamburgers, hotdogs, or veggie skewers — as well as where you plan on keeping it.
If you’re cooking for one or two people, a small grill should be enough. If you plan on hosting cookouts for relatives or large groups of friends, however, you might want to spring for a bigger model instead. Additionally, you’ll also have to determine whether you prefer charcoal, gas, or pellet type, all of which offer distinctive advantages. We’ve rounded up here the best outdoor grills to help you become the king or queen of your neighborhood cookouts. Our picks include options for different situations and are sure to deliver efficient cooking with durable materials. They’re designed for the long haul, regardless of how big or small your outdoor space. Let’s take a look.
At A Glance:
- Best overall:
- Best flat cooktop:
- Most compact:
- Best heat control:
- Best kamado style:
- Best for beginners:
- Best for large gatherings:
- Best budget:
- Best pellet type:
- Best for travel:
Best overall: Weber Spirit E310 Liquid Propane Gas 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 for just you and yours or hosting a neighborhood-wide backyard bash, 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.
Other convenient features include heavy-duty wheels for portability and mobility, a lid-placed temperature gauge for monitoring how warm things are when the lid is closed, and a fuel gauge for keeping a constant eye on how much propane you’ve got to work with.
Best flat cooktop: Blackstone 1554 Grill Station
Transform the way you grill with the Blackstone 1554 Grill Station. It has four solid stainless steel burners that let you set four different cooking zones, and combined with an expansive cooktop, you’ll be able to cook for your family, friends, or the whole neighborhood. From fish and vegetables to chicken and steak, the flat top retains all the flavor and juices in your food all while allowing you to achieve that crispy goodness wherever you prefer.
This outdoor grill boasts four adjustable heat zones for a versatile cooking setup where you can cook multiple types of foods all at the same time and not burn a thing. Other features you’ll love include the battery-powered push-button ignition for a fast start and caster wheels for easy mobility.
Most compact: Weber Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill
You don’t need an insanely expensive grill or the biggest one on the block. The Webster portable grill packs a powerful punch in a compact body. It features the even, reliable heating of propane with a body that can fit just about anywhere. Additionally, it uses a stainless steel burner with porcelain enameled cast iron grates and push-button ignition. It’s easy to clean and uses durable materials. The propane valve is infinitely controllable, and the entire system comes fully assembled right out of the box.
Best heat control: Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill
This deluxe charcoal grill from Weber is a well-designed system with convenient storage and durable, attractive finishes. It features a 22-inch diameter porcelain-coated bowl with space to catch ashes and a one-touch gas ignition button. Keeping tabs on cooking times and temperatures is also made easier, thanks to the LCD cook timer and a built-in lid thermometer. The all-in-one cleaning system safely catches castoff, and the aluminum bucket is a cinch to remove.
Best kamado-style: Char-Griller E06614 Akorn Jr.
The Char-griller offers a kamado-style grilling option with 153 square inches of cooking space and nice, even heat. Top and bottom air dampers provide you with complete control over the temperature, and triple wall steel with insulation keeps temperatures even. It uses less charcoal than standard grills while remaining lightweight and more comfortable to move. Complete with carrying handles, this grill can be easily transported for grilling on the go.
Best for beginners: Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Gas Grill
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 perfect for prepping sauces for meat marinades, the lid-mounted temperature gauge for keeping an eye on your cook cycle, and the porcelain-coated grates which are rust-proof and very easy to clean.
Best for large gatherings: Royal Gourmet GB8000 Event Gas Grill
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.
Best budget: Char-Broil Classic 360 Liquid Propane 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 it 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.
Best pellet type: Camp Chef SmokePro SG 24 Wi-Fi 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.
Best for travel: Blackstone Portable Gas 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 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.
Be sure to head over to our Home & Garden hub if you’re looking for more tips, ideas, and recommendations.
- The best grill thermometers for summer 2020
- These are the best cheap sous vide machine deals for August 2020
- The best salad bowls for mixing and serving
- The best travel mugs for coffee, tea, and soups
- The best hand mixers for baking and cooking