It’s time to dust off those tongs and get grilling. That’s right – it’s barbecue time.
Putting on the ultimate outdoor kitchen party is up there in the summer fun canon, so the investment in a top grill should be your priority heading into the season.
But where to start?
Top 10 Best Gas Grills: Our Picks
Top 10 Best Charcoal Grills: Our Picks
Our unbiased guide to the best outdoor grills is here to help you choose the right BBQ grill for you. From charcoal burners, to gas searers, we have brought together the best of the best of the grilling world.
Most BBQ grills fall into one of two types: Gas or charcoal. And before we start it’s important for you to decide which of these you’re after.
Not sure which way to go? Here’s what you need to know…
Why go charcoal?
#1. High grilling heat. The grill surface temperatures of charcoal grills can reach anywhere as high as 700 degrees. If you’re a steak fan then only these grills can give you that seared, crispy exterior with a pink center. In comparison, the majority of gas grills only touch 450 degrees, therefore limiting some of your BBQ options.
#2. More flavor. That smoky authentic bbq taste can’t be replicated on any other type of grill. While for gas versions, their lack of flavor is a major gripe of the bbq purists. For many types of food this is not such a big deal, but when it comes to juicy steaks, charcoal wins every time.
#3. Portable. Not only easier to move around the home, but also easier to take out down to the beach or campground.
#4. Requires skill. For anyone looking to further their cooking repertoire, these are the go-to grills.
#5. More affordable. Charcoal grills tend to be much more affordable than their gas counterparts.
What do we think?
Charcoal grills offer a great mix between being excellent value for money, while at the same time satisfying the needs of seasoned bbq grillers. They offer you the chance to vastly improve your skill set as a cook, and provide a classic bbq taste to your food.
All of this comes against the potential problems in cleaning and difficulty of use, but for that authentic bbq experience charcoal grills are the best option.
Why go gas?
#1. Quick & convenient. A hot and ready grill at your disposal in minutes. Easy for the laziest of us. Even the best charcoal grills take much longer to warm up.
#2. Temperature control. Heat at a push of a button and easy-to-use controls on the dashboard make them far simpler to use for BBQ novices.
#3. No ash means no huge clean-up operation, while the clean-up operation for charcoal grills can be a lengthy and arduous one.
#4. No need to buy charcoal. While charcoal grills may be cheaper, they will require you to continually top up with fuel. With propane tanks, gas grills don’t require their supplies to be replenished anywhere near as often, making them potentially just as cost-effective in the long term.
What do we think?
Gas grills are reliable and easy-to-use, and can be counted on to deliver when cooking for large groups.
Sure, they might not sit well with the purists, but they still offer a lot in performance and would sit well at the center of any outdoor kitchen.
So which products make our list of the best bbq grills? Let’s start with the purists’ choice: Charcoal.
#1. Weber Performer Platinum
In at number one and leading our list of the best charcoal grills is the Weber Performer Platinum.
But what makes this grill better than the others? It all comes down to its heat-up time, boosted by its charcoal setup with gas ignition. This helps the inside of the grill shell reach an amazing 625°F in not even 9 minutes, and makes the easiest to use charcoal grill out there.
It boasts some brilliant features, like its large grilling area, built-in thermometer and ash disposal system, all designed to give you the most out of your grilling experience.
#2. Broil King Steel Keg
Our runner-up is another slightly unconventional choice, but oh boy is this grill powerful. Its double steel walls maintains the temperature within it, keeping a constant cooking heat. It takes about twenty minutes to heat up, but it cane reach fantastic highs of 800°F – far higher than any of our other charcoal grills.
The performance of this grill is fantastic. Not just because of its high temperatures, but also because of the quality of grilling it performs on your meat. Its locking function means that not only does heat stay within this grill and stay constant, but also it retains moisture, making the taste and texture of your food of the highest standard.
#3. Weber Ranch Kettle
Rounding off our top three is the big and beautiful Weber Ranch Kettle grill. If having a bbq with a large grill as your outdoor kitchen’s centerpiece is what you’re after then this is the grill for you.
At 1104 square inches, the grilling surface area of the Ranch Kettle is something to be seen. This will offer you the opportunity to get mass amounts of food on the go all at once. Not only that, but the shell that locks it all in can be shut tight to keep it hot inside.
Its large size also means that this model is better than any other to get you going with indirect going – the grilling technique of the pros.
Despite their seemingly simple nature, buying the right charcoal grill for you can still be easy to get wrong.
Here are the key criteria to consider when buying your grill…
Charcoal grills come in a huge variety of sizes, from huge drum models to small table top hibachis.
Why would you want a big grill surface? Obviously the amount of food that you intend to cook will have a say in this, but so will your preferred style of grilling.
Indirect grilling is a method favored by bbq enthusiasts, and it’s an approach that requires a generous amount of grilling space.
While the features of a charcoal grill tend to be simple, one often forgotten feature is airflow control. Good airflow control will allow you to easier control the temperature on the grill surface. Furthermore, good control will help you put out your bbq fire quickly and help you save on charcoal.
What charcoal grills boast excellent airflow control? The Char Griller Kamado Kooker closable air vents make its interior grill surface very easy to heat up quickly. It is a bit more pricey than most charcoal grills, but what it offers you in control is unmatched by any of these models.
#1. Dyna Glo 5
Heading our list is a grill that offers the best that gas grills have to offer: The Dyna Glo 5. Why is it our number one?
The Dyna Glo 5 boasts a huge grilling surface area, and its five burners give you a combined 62,000BTUs of power at your disposal. Its double-lined walls mean no heat is ever lost, and its side burner help give you real flexibility and variety in the way that you cook. All of this for under $400.
Great value-for-money and powerful to boot. That’s why it’s our number one.
#2. Weber Genesis E310
The Weber brand is almost synonymous with barbecue, and for very good reason: Their high-performing grills set the standard of what should be expected of a grill, and the Weber Genesis E310 is no different.
Its easy start-up, quick heat and intuitive controls make it easy and safe to use, and it’s probably the sturdiest gas grill that we’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing.
It doesn’t quite pack the power of the Dyna Glo 5 Burner, but its incredible quality and durability makes it a very close second.
#3. Weber Spirit E320
Rounding off our top three is the superb Weber Spirit E320. Our third choice may well be another Weber, but this is just testament to the quality that the brand offer.
This model is very quick to start up, hitting nearly 600 degrees in way under ten minutes, and offers very consistent heat across its grill surface, with a very large area to cook with.
Its fantastic and reliable build mean that this grill will last, and its grilling performance ensure that you will never look back. An incredible grill.
Congratulations! You finally decided to purchase an outdoor grill. You’re looking forward to delicious hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, grilled vegetables, and other succulent treats a gas grill can create for you. Make sure you know you are getting the right gas grill before you make your purchase. Remember, not all gas grills are created equal, and it’s important to find the best gas bbq for you. Consider the following items before you shell out your hard earned money on a gas grill.
Gas grills come in many different sizes. Some grills run on a small propane tank and can easily fit on a chair. Other gas grills can run half the length of your patio! Decide exactly how much food you will need to cook at a time on your grill.
You should also consider the portability of your gas grill. Some grills are easy to transport to use at a campground or a stadium parking lot before a big game. Others are meant to installed almost permanently. Know exactly what you need from a gas grill before you begin looking.
BTUs refer to the amount of heat a gas grill can generate. Remember, a gas grill can never reach the temperatures of a charcoal grill. This is because a charcoal grill can be fanned extensively to temporarily increase the heat. However, a gas grill can maintain a steady temperature better than a charcoal grill. You will want a gas grill that can maintain 100 BTUs for every square inch of grilling space. This is a very general rule of thumb, but it is a rule that will help you make your first gas grill purchase.
Regardless of the size of your gas grill, you need to make sure your gas grill is safe. If you are considering a second hand gas grill as your purchase, you must make sure all of the lines are secure. A faulty hose or connector on a gas grill can be lethal. If you are purchasing a new gas grill, the product should be safe to use so long as you are following common safety rules. These rules include not grilling too close to any structure or in an enclosed environment. Following these rules will keep you, your gas grill, and your food safe.
How many burners you will want on your gas grill will depend on the size you selected. A five burner gas grill can grill enough food to feed a party of ten to twenty people. If you do not intend to grill that much food, consider a smaller grill with only two burners. However, you should consider the location of burners on your gas grill and not just the number. For example, many gas grills will have one or two side burners. These burners are important because they can allow you to cook other dishes on your grill while you are grilling your meat products. For example, a side burner can hold a pot to cook rice, corn on the cob, pulled pork, or other backyard treats. A side burner or two on your gas grill will greatly increase the versatility of your grill. It will also allow your grilled meals to become much more diverse.
Grates are another important item to consider on your potential gas grill. You will want to know the material used to construct the grates on your gas grill. Remember, the grates are a conductor for the heat needed to cook your food. You will want to know a little bit about it!
Gas grills can come with grates made from materials as various as cast iron, stainless steal, porcelain, coated steel or plain steel. Cast iron grill grates are generally considered one of the best types of grill grates. This is because the fats and oils absorbed into the grate after each meal actually help protect the grate. According to some people, it also heightens the flavor of the meals. However, cast iron grills can be a little on the expensive side. You also need to know how to take care of a cast iron grill. This means making sure all of those fats and oils are evenly spread around the entire grate. You also need to make sure all of those fats and oils do not burn away. This can happen if you use your cast iron grill grate with non-fatty foods for an extensive period of time. However, a quality cast iron grate will last you for decades if you take care of it. The other types of grill grates mentioned work well too if you are unable to afford or find a cast iron grill grate.
Unlike a charcoal grill, a gas grill must have an ignitor. If you are buying a used gas grill second hand, make sure the ignitor works. If it does not work, do not buy it. The reason an ignitor is so important is because of safety. Gas grills are able to light because a cloud of gas is near the ignitor. If the ignitor doesn’t work, that cloud will grow bigger and bigger. If the ignitor switch comes on too late, the entire cloud of gas will ignite. This could cause great injury to you or surrounding property. All reputable gas grills will come with an ignitor. Make sure you have one, and make sure it works properly.
Looking for that perfect gas grill can take some time. You will need to think thoroughly about what exactly you hope to get from your gas grill. You will need to decide if you wish your grill to be able to cook different types of meals with the assistance of side burners. You will need to decide if you want to splurge a little and go for a gas grill that has a celebrated cast iron grate. Above all of these items, you will also need to make sure your gas grill is safe through checking the ignitor and making sure you have a safe place to set up your gas grill. However, after you answer these questions, you will be well prepared to hunt for your new gas grill. Go get that gas grill that’s meant for you!