" /> 5 Best Outdoor Grills of 2017 (Gas & Charcoal Reviews)

5 Best Outdoor Grills of 2017 | Top BBQ Rankings & Reviews

When you grill, you want the perfect level of doneness and the best flavor. There are a lot of ingredients you can use, but they aren’t the only factor in the best meal you’ve ever had.

Your grill is another thing to consider. By choosing the right product to grill your foods on, you ensure the best taste every time. Besides deciding between charcoal and propane, U.S. News and World Report suggests thinking about features you can’t do without.

outdoor grill reviews

Customer reviews are the best way to determine if a product is right for you. When it comes down to it, a barbecue grill is going to be used for many years, so making sure that you compare models before you buy can really help you find the right one.

 

Gas vs Charcoal Grills

While gas and charcoal are the two most popular types of barbecue grills, there are a couple of other choices as well. Evaluating the pros and cons of each type is a valuable way to determine which one is best for you.

A gas grill is faster than the other types and doesn’t require as much clean up as charcoal. However, with propane, you don’t get that classic smoky flavor you get when you grill with charcoal.

Charcoal grills are ideal for achieving higher temperatures for a better sear on your meat. You’ll need patience though because getting the charcoal grill ready can take up to 45 minutes.

An electric grill is a great choice if you live in an apartment and can’t use a charcoal or gas grill. While they are convenient in most spaces, you lose out on that smoky flavor with other types of grills.

A portable grill is ideal for camping and picnics as it’s small and easy to stow in the trunk. Of course, space is limited so cooking for a crowd could take some time.

 

Features to Consider

If you’ve spent any time looking at barbecue grills, you know that they come with a variety of features. Understanding your options and prioritizing the ones that matter most to you can really help you find the grill that meets your needs.

There are some features you simply can’t live without because they are important for the function of the grill. This includes a grill cover, which protects your unit when not in use. It’s also nice to have side shelves, a built-in thermostat, at least 600 square inches of cooking space and at least 12,000 BTU of grilling power.

There are also some features that might be nice to have, but aren’t necessary. You can easily do without a smoke box, an electric starter button, and a rotisserie. If you want them, go for it, but don’t feel like they will make or break your grilling experience.

 

Cost to Buy and Operate

Chances are that you’re on a budget, so you need to pay attention to cost. The price of the actual product is important, but it also pays to consider how much it will cost to run.

To begin with, you’ll likely have to spend more to buy a gas grill, simply because they are typically larger. The cost to run it will include having to swap out the propane tank each time it is empty. This costs an average of about $20, depending on the gallon price for the gas.

A charcoal grill is an economical choice as the grill itself will be less costly than other versions. However, you’ll need to keep a stock of briquets and lighter fluid on hand to get your grill started each time. The amount you spend on these items will vary depending on how often you grill.

Choosing an electric grill will cost you a bit up front, and you’ll have to pay the cost of the electricity you use to run it each time you cook.

 

How Big Should My Grill Be?

This is largely based on how much food you cook and how much space you have. The more burners on the grill, the larger it will be and the more room you’ll need to store it.

A large family will want to choose a barbecue grill with a larger cooking surface. Grills are usually measured in square inches and you want to be sure you have at least 100 square inches per person in the family – i.e. a grill with 400 square inches of cooking space for a family of four.

 

How Many Burners Do I Need?

There are three factors to consider when it comes to burners – shape, material, and quantity. H-style burners are a popular choice because they spread the heat and stainless steel materials are durable and longer lasting than some other choices.

Choosing independently controlled burners gives you more control over the temperature and allows for more even cooking. If you like to grill more than one item at a time, you are definitely going to want to choose a barbecue with more than one burner.

Here’s a quick demo:

Our Top 5 Barbecue Grills

#1. Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE

ROADTRIP LXE PROPANE GRILLThis portable propane grill is an ideal choice for tailgating and camping because it has a collapsible design, making it easy to stow in the trunk. Being lightweight also contributes to the portability of this grill.

The grill features 285 square feet of cooking space and an impressive 20,000 BTU of heat. That means this one is perfect for burgers, hot dogs, steaks and even vegetables.

Another feature that makes this grill stand out is the interchangeable cooktops that include traditional grill grates and a griddle. Each is constructed of cast iron for great taste and even cooking.

Wheels for easy transport and shelves on either side of the grill add convenience and efficiency to the barbecue.

What We Liked

  • Interchangeable cooking surfaces makes it easy to prepare many kinds of food on the grill.
  • Porcelain and cast iron materials are durable and easy to clean.
  • Plenty of power means quick and efficient grilling.
  • 285 square feet of cooking space spread over two burners.

 

What We Didn’t Like

  • Smaller propane tanks may be necessary for proper functioning.
  • Meat may stick to the grate if it’s not properly greased before grilling.

 

#2. Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal GrillDespite its compact design, you get an ample 363 square inches of cooking space on this grill. The 22-inch steel plated grate is ideal for meats, fish and vegetables.

The bowl is constructed of porcelain enamel and the lid is glass reinforced and features a nylon handle with a heat shield. That means you can expect plenty of durability and longevity.

Another handy feature of this grill is the ash catcher, which helps keep your grilling space clean. The ash catcher is easy to clean out and holds enough debris to get you through a couple of grilling sessions.

The grill is designed to handle the high heats produced by a charcoal fire and the hinged grates make it easy to restock your charcoal briquets. The one-touch cleaning system makes it simple to keep your grill clean and sanitary.

What We Liked

  • Hinged grates make it easy to refill the charcoal.
  • Ample cooking space allows for plenty of food at one time.
  • Features like a heat shield, an ash collector and rust-resistant vents make cooking easy and efficient.
  • The compact design makes this grill ideal for even the smallest spaces.

 

What We Didn’t Like

  • The lid may not provide an airtight seal during cooking.
  • Not as high quality as other Weber models.

 

#3. Weber Spirit E210 Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Weber Spirit E210 Liquid Propane Gas GrillVersatility is what you get with this grill, which comes with an electronic crossover ignition system that lets you customize your cooking experience. A center-mounted thermometer makes it easy to see if you’re ready to put food onto the grill.

Cooking for a crowd is a breeze with this grill, as it features 450 square inches of grilling space on its cast iron cooking grates. That means meats, fish and vegetables can easily be prepared alongside each other.

The two stainless steel burners are fueled by 26,500 BTU of power and ensure even and efficient cooking. This grill also comes with plenty of extras, including a fuel gauge, six tool hooks and a grilling guide.

Side shelves are available on both sides of the grill for holding platters and utensils. The grill also features durable stainless steel materials that are easy to clean and maintain.

What We Liked

  • 26,500 BTU gives you plenty of power for cooking a variety of foods.
  • Two burners distribute the heat for even cooking of a large quantity of food at one time.
  • Cast iron cooking grates create grill marks on your meat.
  • Plenty of extras make this grill a good buy.

 

What We Didn’t Like

  • There isn’t a noticeable smoky flavor when meats are done cooking.
  • The temperature control is often too hot or not hot enough.

 

4. George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill

George Foreman Indoor Outdoor Electric GrillFor serving a crowd at a tailgate party or backyard barbecue, this electric grill gets the job done with its 240 square inches of cooking space. The circular design is ideal for cooking burgers and hot dogs quickly and efficiently.

The grills have a nonstick coating to help prevent your foods from sticking while they cook. The nonstick coating also makes the grates easy to clean and maintain without a lot of scrubbing.

With five temperature controls, it’s easy to get the precise degree of heat for whatever you’re cooking. Another great feature is the removable stand, which makes it easy to set up anywhere, including on a tabletop.

In fact, this electric grill is designed specifically for apartments and small decks. The electric design prevents flare ups and keeps cooking smells to a minimum in common areas.

What We Liked

  • The removable stand makes it easy to set the grill up in small spaces, including on a table.
  • Non-stick grates keep you from needing any butter or oil.
  • The grill is easy to clean and maintain.
  • Five temperature controls allows you to choose the precise heat level for a wide variety of foods.

 

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not as large as some other electric grills.
  • The detachable base keeps the grill from being very stable.

 

5. Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Barbecue Grill and Smoker

Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Barbecue Grill and SmokerThis massive grill boasts 700 square inches of cooking space over two cooking spaces. You can also expect 25,000 BTUs of power.

Standout features of the grill include an internal temperature control and an electric ignition. The smoker feature gives you additional options for cooking beef, chicken and pork.

Not only can this product grill and smoke, but it also roasts, braises, and bakes. The pellet purge system is handy to have for when you smoke foods.

Stainless steel materials make the grill durable and easy to clean. You also get the assurance of an American made brand.

What We Liked

  • Plenty of space for cooking.
  • Extra features like a smoker and two cooking spaces.
  • Roasts, braises, bakes, grills and smokes in one handy place.
  • Sturdy design and long lasting materials.

 

What We Didn’t Like

  • More costly than other grills.
  • The controller can become faulty, needing a replacement.

 

Our Winner…

If your goal is to find the best grill for you, consider what you want and need from it. The Z GRILLS Wood Pellet Barbecue Grill and Smoker is our first choice simply because it has lots of space and all the added extras.

Compared to the other grills on the list, you get more cooking space and more versatility. You get the flavor you want from the pellets and are able to prepare a wide variety of foods with one unit. When it comes to the ultimate grilling experience, this grill certainly makes it easier.

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