Upgrade Grill Pick: Weber Genesis Ii E
*At the time of publishing, the price was $780.
The Weber Genesis II E-310 gas grill is also an exceptional performer, and it offers several clever, life-improving design elements that we love. The grates are about 20 percent bigger, too, but overall the Genesis II takes up barely more area than the Spirit II, so theres no appreciable trade-off between the two if your patio space is tight. Essentially, the decision comes down to how youll use your grill: If you often cook for crowds, the Genesis II is worth the extra couple hundred dollars.
Performance-wise, we found the two Weber models nearly identical, with the Spirit just slightly edging the Genesis II on burger-searing performance. And that gap would probably close with a bit more time to learn the Genesis IIs finer points. In terms of materials, the two are almost twins, offering heavy cast-aluminum fireboxes and porcelain-coated cast-iron grates. The Genesis II, however, features a frame made of welded rails, while the Spirit II is made of folded metal . Theyre both sturdy enough, but the Genesis II is appreciably stiffer and more solid-feeling. And we like that it has casters: Its easier to swivel into a corner for storage than the casterless Spirit.
Moving the tank to the outside also frees up space below the grill, which Weber fills with a generous and sturdy storage shelf. Thats a nice feature you can keep trays, grill tools, or even a small cooler there.
Which Portable Charcoal Grills Are Best
Spending time in the great outdoors is a wonderful way to relax and let go of the stresses of your daily life. Its even better if you can make yourself a hot and delicious meal while doing it. Portable charcoal grills allow you to do just that. They come in several sizes, but all of them are lightweight for easy portability.
There are many things to consider when choosing a portable grill, but one of the most important is the cooking space make sure whichever grill you choose can accommodate enough food at one time that everyone in your group can eat together. After that, consider various other features that can make a grill more convenient to use or travel with. For example, the Weber Jumbo Joe is equipped with a hinged lid that can double as a wind blocker as well as a heat shield to protect your hand.
The Best Gas Grill Under $: Weber Genesis Ii E
Courtesy of Weber
Genesis is one of the most popular gas grills in the USA. Its easy to use, easy to clean, versatile, durable and backed by Webers excellent customer support. The basic models with an open cart and no sear burner work fine, but we highly recommend spending the extra money for models with a sear burner like the E-335. With all three main burners up high, we clocked E-335’s temp at 680°F. Not bad at all, but crank the sear burner and you blast past 800°F for super searing!
Our main complaint for just about every grill is the obligatory, built-in heat estimator in the hood. These 19th century gauges placed up high in the lid are almost always highly inaccurate. Its always better to use a modern, digital thermometer and position a temperature probe at the cooking surface. With their acquisition of iGrill Digital Thermometers, Weber is addressing this issue. Genesis II is iGrill3 Ready with a mounting location on the right side shelf for an optional iGrill 3 digital thermometer. iGrill let’s you clip a probe to the grill surface to ensure you’re cooking at the right temperature, and stick another probe into foods to monitor cooking progress. Download the iGrill app and keep an eye on what’s happening under the hood from your smartphone. At the time of this writing, Weber is ready to roll out new models of Smart Grills that have this type of digital technology built-in.
Cooking Area: 513 square inches
Heat Flux: 76.02 BTUs/square inch
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Best Charcoal Grill: Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
If there were a runner-up to the best overall grill category, the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill would clinch that title. This charcoal grill has withstood the test of time thanks to its American-made craftsmanship. The porcelain-coated bowl and lid are impervious to rusting or peeling no matter how long theyre left out in the elements. The hinged grate flips for easily adding more coals and the one-touch ash cleaning system is a useful feature of the premium edition.
Best Charcoal Grill: Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill
An enhanced version of Weber’s iconic Original Kettle Charcoal Grill, this premium upgrade features all of the same offerings as its classic counterpartlike excellent heat retention and precise temperature controlwith the addition of a refillable ash catcher underneath and a convenient hinged grate to add more charcoal while grilling.
Its removable porcelain-enameled lid features a built-in thermometer that clearly displays the internal cooking temperature, and when you’re ready to check up on the progress of your contents, an angled hook securely and sanitarily holds the lid on the side of the grill to keep it off the ground.
Priced affordably under $200, its circular 22-inch size is large enough to fit up to 13 burgers, so you can feed a crowdor just a couple of hungry teens.
To buy: Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill, $165.00 at
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Blackstone : Best Gas Grill For Beginners
If youve ever wished for a restaurant-style flat-top in your home, you can now enjoy that versatility and functionality in your own backyard with this restaurant-grade gas grill and flat top! With an easily removable griddle top, a quick ignition button, four burners which can be controlled independently, and a thick rolled-steel surface for maximum heat retention and distribution, the Blackstone 1554 is built for making large quantities of delicious food as fast as possible.
The industrial wheels on the base of this grill allow you to cook on your porch or in your yard, and the expansive cooking surface means that you can cook just for your family or for the entire neighbourhood! You wont need matches or charcoal to heat up this grill just push a button and youll be set to gogiving you more time to enjoy cooking with your friends and family, and less time worrying about the mechanics of your grill.
One of the best gas grills under $500, it is best suited for those who appreciate high-performance tools and are ready to cook for a crowd.
Best for: The ultimate griddle experience for versatile outdoor cooking.
BBQ fuel: Propane gasGrill surface: 4,645 cm2 Weight: 54.4 kg Dimensions: 158.7 x 55.9 x 91.4 cmCooking grates: Stainless steel
What Grill Is Better Than Weber
Best Genesis Alternative: Monument Grills Porcelain 4 Burner Propane Grill. The Genesis II is one of Webers most high-end grills. It comes in a larger size than the Spirit series and can boast having as many as six burners. To find a comparable grill, I had to look long and hard through hundreds of models.
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What Is A Health Grill
A health grill looks a bit like a toastie maker, comprising two heated plates that sandwich food between them, cooking the top and the bottom together. Most are slightly slanted, with ridged plates that allow rendered fat to run off food instead of cooking it in its own grease. This excess is collected in a pot at the front of the grill.
Like a barbecue, health grills leave distinctive lines on foods that help sear meat and impart flavour. All the models we tested have non-stick plates, so little-to-no fat or oil is needed, making them an all-round healthier option.
How Does A Smoker Work
To create their signature smoke, these appliances maintain a much lower temperature than a traditional grill. Whereas a grill cooks food at 400 to 500°F, smokers maintain a temperature between 180 and 220°F. This causes its wood chips to smolder instead of burning, filling the cooking cavity up with smoke.
This indirect heat cooks your food and gives it a delicious smoky flavor, but the process takes significantly longer than a regular grillsmoking meat typically takes six to eight hours, but it can be as long as 22 hours for large cuts of meat like brisket.
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Gas Vs Charcoal Grills
The great debate in home grills is gas versus charcoal, and there are outspoken fans on both sides. Like much of grill shopping, the right method for you will reflect your personal cooking style and how involved in the lighting process you want to be.
Charcoal burns hotter than gas, which gives you better searing and better caramelization of the plant sugars in vegetables and the proteins in meats and seafood, Raichlen says. You’ll get charred bits easier with a charcoal grill, and impart smoky flavor if you incorporate wood chips or chunks with the coals as you light them. That flavor is really the difference between the two grill varieties says Lee, The smokiness and charto me that’s the essence of grilling. Without it, you’re basically just cooking outside. Kornack agrees: I feel using charcoal, a byproduct of wood, is a pure expression of my relationship to the raw, elemental experience of grilling. That said, it’s easier to burn food on a charcoal grill than on a gas grill, so you’ll have to keep a more watchful eye over the proceedings if you go that route.
There is a third option you can spring for as well: combination grills. These are gas-powered models that you can load up with wood or charcoal to create that fiery aspect and smoky flavora best of both worlds situation for many who don’t want to have to pick a side.
Types Of Grills: How To Choose The Best Grill For You
Learn more about the different types of grills available and how they compare to each other.
Jeff FlowersArticle Author
We all know there are different heating and fuel sources that can be used while grilling. Each of these fuel sources have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, with some may possibly alter the overall flavor of the food you cooked. Today, lets take a closer look at some of the different types of grills that utilize each of these fuel sources.
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Best Gas Grill Under $250
- Goes out of stock somewhat regularly
Cooking Space: 430 square inchesGas Type: Propane Max Temperature: ~600° F
If you just want to cook and dont give a damn about looks, this is the gas grill you want. Its exterior is cheap-looking, but its guts are equivalent to high-dollar competition. The interior is rust-proof cast aluminum and its fitted with H-shaped burners instead of the usual straight-line design, a change that delivers more heat to more areas of the grill, and improves its capacity for low heat cooks. As with most grills, ignore the built-in temperature reader completely its always wrong.
Coleman Roadtrip 285 Gas Grill: Best Portable Grill
If youve ever wished you could bring a gourmet grill with you on the road, the team behind the Coleman RoadTrip propane grill has risen to the occasion with this high-performance, versatile portable grill. With a propane grill featuring three individually controlled temperature zones, you can wield precise control over how your foods are cookedallowing you to create restaurant-worthy culinary masterpieces no matter where you are.
This grill features fold-up legs and a frame that slides down into a compact carrying case for ultimate space-saving efficiency, making this grill a perfect choice for tiny balconies. It includes two swappable cooktops so you have the option to do more than grill: sautéing, searing are within reach with easy-clean griddles and grates. With two sliding side tables for extra utensil and plating room, this grill truly includes everything you need in a small package.
If youre searching for a fantastic grill with a tiny, flexible footprint, you cant go wrong with the Coleman stand-up propane grill.
If you are looking for an even more compact BBQ grill, opt for a tabletop grill.
Best for: Spending less time on barbecue setups and more time enjoying the outdoors.
BBQ fuel: Propane gasGrill surface: 1,839 cm2 Weight: 21.2 kg Dimensions: 76.8 x 48.7 x 40.97 cmCooking grates: Cast iron
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Pit Boss Pb440d2 Wood Pellet Grill Mahogany
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The Pit Boss Deluxe wood pellet grill may not have as many reviews as its contenders, but it still boasts some impressive features that are worth considering. With a premium gauge stainless steel construction this is a durable grill that is likely to withstand daily wear if it is going to be stored outdoors regularly.
Conveniently, the side shelf also doubles up as a serving tray which provides a useful area for presenting the food once it has been cooked. This is also a removable tray so it can be detached for easy cleaning following use.
With two large wheels incorporated into the design of the base, you can easily maneuver this grill to a different area of your outdoor space if necessary. Also useful if you need to move your grill to more sheltered areas should you experience any adverse weather.
Just like the other grills produced by the brand, this pellet grill features a digital LED reader which displays the current temperature inside the grill giving you complete control throughout the cooking process.
Thanks to the porcelain-coated cooking grates, this is a durably constructed grill with a cooking surface measuring 465 square inches. This is slightly more compact but still very spacious to satisfy your cooking needs.
- Assembly can be a little tricky and time-consuming.
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Our Pick: Weber Spirit Ii E
*At the time of publishing, the price was $500.
The Weber Spirit II E-310 is the best gas grill for most people, offering an unrivaled combination of top-notch grilling performance, a versatile three-burner design, durability, and an affordable price. It excelled at every test, producing the best sear of any grill on our burgers and equaling or outdoing the others on our barbecue chicken and whole roasted chickens. Its overall compact size suits almost any patio or deck, but its grilling surface is big enough to cook a complete meal for a family, or a dozen burgers for a party. With a thick cast-aluminum firebox, itll last for years. The company has refined the Spirits design for decades, too this version incorporates the easily accessible externally mounted tank and under-grill shelf from the Genesis II line. On top of this, its a particularly easy grill to assemble, maintain, and use and it comes in four colors . Finally, at its current price of around $500, its a terrific value.
With 424 square inches of cooking space, the Spirit II E-310 can easily accommodate 12 large hamburgers, two whole or cut-up chickens, or a large cut like brisket for smoking. Or it can cook a complete meal for five or six peoplethe three-burner design means you can, for instance, sear steak or fish on one side of the grill and cook vegetables on lower heat on the other. And you can cook them really well.
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Best Grills In : Gas Charcoal And Pellet Compared
Genesis II S-335 Smart Grill
Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill 22-inch
Spirit II E-310 Gas Grill
Deluxe Four Burner Gas Grill
Gourmet CD1824E 23-inch Charcoal BBQ Grill
36″ Griddle Cooking Station with Accessory Side Shelf
Patio Bistro Tru-Infrared Electric Grill
The best grills will cook up succulent, seared meals that will have crisp and tasty results. Be it throwing on some steaks or rustling up a grilled feast for the family to enjoy, the best grill should be powerful, reliable and easy to use. It also needs to suit your cooking needs, lifestyle and budget. But with so many different types of grill available, it can often be tricky to know which one is right for you.
Before you buy, there are some things to consider first. Do you want a gas, electric or pellet grill? What different features does it offer? Finally, what is the price? The best grills can cost from as little as $100 to over $1,000, so you need to factor in your budget.
To help you decide, weve rounded up a selection of the best grills to suit every backyard and budget.
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Best Cheap Gas Grill Best Under $300
- More grill space would be nice
Cooking Space: 630 square inchesGas Type: Propane Max Temperature: ~600° F
There is serious firepower inside what looks like youre run-of-the-mill grill that sits on the curb at Home Depot. The three-burner, multi-vent, barrel-style grill reaches temperatures in excess of 600 degrees without the use of an infrared burner, a necessary tool for most non-premium grills to hit temps that high. At 600 degrees, youre able to put a proper sear on anything, not just grill marks . This power is aided by the addition of heat diffusers over the burners upside-down, V-shaped steel shields that even out heat distribution and good airflow. As with any frugal-minded grill, you shouldnt expect it to stay in top shape for too long, but you wont find a cheap grill packing this much ordinance. In testing
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Grill Grates Lids And Other Materials
The two most common materials used for grates are stainless steel and cast iron. Although stainless steel is rust-resistant , they dont conduct heat as well as cast iron. You can sear steak better on a cast iron grate, but one caveat is that you have to spend more time caring for it or else it will rust, Phan said. If you cook a lot of steaks, go with cast iron, but if you cook a lot of burgers, brats and seafood, stainless steel is a better choice.
High-quality gas grills are made from durable stainless steel but not all stainless steel is created equal. Stainless steel is an alloy that comes in different numerical grades, depending on its composition, which impacts its overall strength, heat durability and rust resistance. Among the different grades, Phan said 304 and 430 stainless steel are most common. Grade 304 is much better than 430 and that comes with a higher price tag, he explained. That said, if you take care of your 430 grill, it will probably last a bit longer.
Not all gas grill models come with a lid. Phan emphasized its importance for backyard cooks, though. With a lid, you can turn your grill into an oven, meaning that you can cook food with convection heat, he says. It will cook your food more evenly than conduction and radiant heat.