Best Portable Gas Grill
- Folds away and fits in a trunk with ease
- At 30+ pounds, it’s not light
- Fold-out prep counters are cute, but I’d rather have a few more inches of grill
Cooking Space: 189 square inchesGas Type: PropaneMax Temperature: ~475° F
A rule of thumb: if you want a portable or small grill, odds are you want a Weber. It couldnt be more different than the iconic Smokey Joe, but its strength and value are just as clear. At first glance, it looks chintzy it is not. A cast-aluminum body and lid provide balanced heat inside the grill, and complete rust-resistance. Theres space for about 10 burgers, and it gets hot enough to char them without overcooking. Its ready to grill out of the box, and its about as good as truly portable grills get. Our only qualm lies with the fold-out prep counters on the sides. While useful in theory, they’re not quite big enough to use for most cooking tasks and the truth is we’d prefer Weber eek out a few more inches of grill space in their place.
How To Shop For The Best Pellet Grills
Basic pellet grill designs tend to be pretty similar, Lampe explained. Youll find a little fire pot down in the bottom of your cooker and a delivery system that sends the pellets in as required, he said. This is all controlled by a thermostat and a little fan to blow on the fire.
Although this may sound simple and it can be he noted that there are different features that can make it even easier.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats
Erica Puisis is a writer and interior design expert who has been writing about all things home and lifestyle for The Spruce since 2017.
This article was updated by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats. She’s written close to a dozen pieces on all styles of grills and done firsthand testing of smokers and grills featured in her articles.
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The Pros And Cons Of Pellet Grills
The biggest pro to investing in a pellet grill versus other types of grills is its simplicity, according to Lampe. The cooker does all the work and makes it pretty easy to cook barbecue, he explained.
Marks agreed that when it comes to ease of use and consistency, a pellet grill wins. Temperature control produced by a pellet grill makes a huge difference for the average Joe, he added. If you want to have a great barbeque with a reasonable amount of work while still being able to enjoy your friends and family when they are over, a pellet grill is the best way to go with the most amount of success and the least amount of stress.
However, the biggest potential downside is that it’s a mechanical device, so if theres a loss of power or a malfunction, that can disrupt your day of cooking. Good maintenance helps with this, Lampe added. A long-time BBQ pro might like to play with the fire while theyre cooking, but a pellet cooker means there is really no need to tend your fire constantly making it perfect for an at-home cook.
To help prevent this, he emphasized the importance of keeping your pellet grill dry and protected from the elements with a secure cover. If the electronics get wet they can short out and the replacement parts for those panels generally are not under warranty, as you the owner are responsible for proper care, he said. Also, when pellets get wet they expand and then dry causing the auger to lock up.
How We Tested Gas Grills
Over the course of four days in Spring 2017, we put our gas grills through a battery of tests designed to demonstrate their qualities and highlight their differences. We cooked burgers on high heat to see how well the grills seared meat and how intense and even was the heat they could generate across the whole grate surface. We slow-grilled cut-up chickens to see if the grills could hold a low temperature evenly across the whole grate. And we roasted whole chickens indirectly on both low and high heat to see if the grills could create browned skin and perfectly cook meat without charring. Sam Sifton, editor of the Cooking section of The New York Times joined us for these tests. In 2018 we repeated these tests, pitting the new Weber Spirit II E-310 against our upgrade pick, the Weber Genesis II E-310.
For the high-heat, whole-grate burger testan indicator of the grills ability to pump out uniform, high heat without creating an infernowe heated the grills on high with their lids down for 15 minutes . We then oiled the grates and distributed 12 to 15 6-ounce patties across the whole cooking surface. While the burgers cooked we kept an eye out for flare-upstheyre not desirable, as they char the meat and create rancid smokeand looked at the evenness of cooking on the different areas of the grates. After about 10 minutes of cooking , we compared how well each grill had seared the burgers, looked for any patties that were charred or still unacceptably raw, and took a taste.
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What Is A Grill Grate And What Is It Usedfor
Many grill masters see thegrilling plate that cooks their food and simply refer to it as the grill. Inactuality, this is called the grill grate.
A grill grate is simply the surface upon which you cook your food above the heat source. Grill grates can be made of many different types ofmaterials and take on different forms.
The grill grate is one ofthe most important parts of your grill. Not only does it hold your food, but itaids in even heat transfer, keeps food from sticking, and can even providethose beautiful grill marks. Choosing the right grill grate is an essentialpart of your entire grilling experience.
Talk about being above the fire! Regardless of the material your cooking grids are made from, odds are they will eventually wear down and need replacing. Give your barbecue grill a face-lift with new grids.
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.
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Whats Your Climate Is It Cold
If you live in a cold climate, then your pellet grill is going to be working twice as hard and burning through more pellets than usual. The best Traeger models for cold weather have double side-wall insulation that can retain heat and run more efficiently. Youll find the best cold weather Traeger grills in these models:
- Traeger Timberline Series
- Traeger Ironwood Series
The Ironwood and Timberline models have double sidewall insulation, which helps the grill provide a more consistent temperature, make it more efficient by not burning through too many wood pellets. The Ironwood and Timberline have more power, so they can get hotter much quicker to cook through the cold weather.
Traeger Insulation Blanket
If you cant afford one of the well-insulated models, Traeger make an insulated blanket for the Pro Series so you can still grill through the winter. The insulation blanket attaches to the grill and prevents heat from escaping while you are cooking in freezing temperatures. I recommend an insulation blanket to anyone who lives in climates that drop below 35°F, so then you can cook year-round and wont burn through all your wood pellets.
Keep the Weather Off Your Grill
Its also worth buying a decent cover to keep the weather off your grill, because when the grill metal is freezing, it takes a lot of time and a lot of wood to bring your grill up to temperature. A grill cover will keep some weather off your grill and save time and pellets when you go to cook.
What Is The Easiest Grill To Use
Easy to use grills: perfect for beginners Spirit E-210 2-Burner Propane Gas Grill. Ease of use Score. Camco Portable 20 Gas Grill with 125 sq. in. Char-Broil 35,000 BTU Gas Grill with Side Burner. Ease of use Score. Weber 22-1/2-Inch Performer Charcoal Grill. Ease of use Score. Brinkmann The Gourmet Electric Smoker & Grill.
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What Type Of Grill Is Easiest To Clean
See below for more specifics on cleaning different types of grill grates: Stainless steel grill grates are generally the easiest to clean. Cover the top with aluminum foil and let the grill heat up for about 15-minutes. This should burn off the remaining food bits and make it easier to scrub once theyve cooled down.
Smokey Joe Premium Charcoal Grill
From tailgating to camping, this lightweight charcoal grill is made to be on the move with a Tuck-N-Carry lid lock and handle that also doubles as a lid holder when youre grilling so that the lid doesnt touch the ground. The cooking area is 147 square inches it fits six burgers at a time and the porcelain-enameled lid and bowl come in six different colors. Its a mini version of our winning grill, said McManus.
And for those with little ones, theres a matching Smokey Joe toy version for the tiniest of grill masters to enjoy.
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Pit Boss Grills 72440 Wood Pellet Grill
This griller has a cooking space of 440 in² which is more than enough for a large family. Additionally, owing to the wheels, it is highly portable. It also consists of a side shelf which allows you to store the accessories or prepare the ingredients before you put them on the grill.
There is also a tray below where you can place the utensils and other condiments without any problem. There is a bottle opener as well which allows you to open your drinks and enjoy the party while youre at the grill. As a result, using it for get-togethers is not much of a problem.
The outer body of the grill consists of 16 gauge steel. The thick steel ensures that you can use it outdoors without any problem. With the porcelain coated grid, there is no problem at all in getting even temperature across the entire grilling area. The best feature of this grill is that you can start it with the help of a button.
This pit boss pellet grill also offers a dial to control the temperature. There is no need to go through an elaborate procedure to start cooking. The copper embossed lid can be locked in place to trap the smoke inside. Black and copper finish of the grill helps it stand out as compared to some of the other pit boss grills.
- Supports a wide variety of cooking techniques
- Digital LED temperature readout
The Best Grill For Chef Types: Kudu Open Fire Grilling System
If you want to so do hard-core advance grilling, the graduate school of grilling, this is the grill lots of chefs like to use, says Lee. It’s super rudimentary, no bells and whistles, but it allows you to have different levels cooking at the same time, different distances from the charcoal or wood that you load up into the base vessel. Spacing out your cooking surfaces means that you can lightly smoke something on top and direct heat grill on the bottom, all with the same heat source. It comes apart so it’s easy to throw in the back of your truck, says Lee. And you have to know how to light it yourselfthere’s no shortcuts to fire here. But if you want to roll up your sleeves and grill all day, it’s the perfect, most versatile option.
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What Can A Gas Grill Do For You
Gas grills are pretty standardized, when you think about it. Sure,there are a fair few gas grills that you can add some wood chips to so that youcan add some nice smoked flavor, and there are certainly some grills that canact as an oven, but for the most part, gas grills are meant to do exactly asthe name suggests. They are meant to grill your food to perfection.
Gas grills are also known for being relatively quick with theircooking, depending on which model and type you invest in. This is good for whenyou want to cook a quick and easy dinner for your family on a late night.
Gas grills are also considerably easy to operate as well, meaning thatyou dont need a lot of cooking experience to be able to use one of them. Allyou really need to do is know how to turn the knobs to get your desiredtemperature.
Grilling food traditionally with a gas grill can give you theadvantage of being able to cook either end of the grill at a differenttemperature, which is spectacular for larger meals. This gives you theopportunity to have one type of food cooking on one end of the grill, andanother type of food at the other end.
Most other grills dont have this option, making the gas grill rather unique in this aspect. In a way, you can compare this feature to the different burners on a stove top.
Buying Your First Grill Or Fifth Theres A Lot To Consider: Charcoal Or Gas Huge Or Petite Spendy Or Budget Heres How To Select The Grill Thats Just Right For You
At any backyard gathering, the grill is the center of the action. Theres probably no other piece of cooking equipment that provokes such fierce debate and loyalty.
If youre buying a grill for the first time, how do you know whats right for you? Should you get an expensive model, or something basic? What about gas or charcoal?
Theres a grill out there thats just right for you, and were here to steer you in the right direction! Dont be swayed by bells and whistles a solid grill that makes sense for your lifestyle is the best starting point.
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How Much Stuff Will You Be Grilling
Size matters when it comes to grills. One of those little 14-inch portable kettle grills may do just fine for a one- or two-person meal, but theres a good chance if you get into grilling youre likely going to be firing up the coals or the gas for a whole partys worth of people at some point.
Consider the square inches of a given grills primary cooking surface when determining whether it offers the area sufficient for your needs.
Grills with multiple burners and more precise temperature modification allow you to more efficiently cook a number of items requiring different cooking times and heat levels at once. Grill models that come with side burners, warming racks, and other accessories expand the space youve got to play around with.
Which Is Healthier Gas Or Charcoal Grill
But when you ask health experts, the answer is clear: Gas grilling wither either propane or natural gas is healthier than charcoal for your body and the environment. Its better to grill on a gas grill because its easier to control the temperature, says Schneider. Mother Earth also prefers gas grills over charcoal.
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Cooking Area And Grill Size
You can find pellet grills in various sizes for all of your grilling needs. If you have a spacious backyard, go for a larger pellet grill that will help you cook large amounts of food for your get-togethers and parties. For the grillers who like to grill on the go while theyre camping or tailgating, go with a smaller, portable pellet grill that still offers a simple and flavorful cooking option.
Many larger pellet grills include secondary racks along with the main grill grate. That addition helps you cook more, even on a smaller grill.
Its helpful to recognize that even though the larger grills are more expensive, it doesnt mean theyre the best for your needs. Choose a grill size that works for you and the space you have available. If you usually cook for yourself and another person, it may be better to go with a smaller pellet grill.
Durability And Quality Of Construction
If youre looking for a grill that offers eye-catching style and high durability, a pellet grill is an ideal option. Since your grill will be outside, youll want it to continue to look great and withstand the outdoor elements.
While the inside of a Grilla Grills pellet grill has high-quality stainless steel grates, the outside construction of the pellet smoker is what makes this type of grill strong and durable. The exterior of a pellet smoker features:
- Strong and high heat-resistant powder coating to protect against the weather and retain heat
- Welded and caulked seams for extra protection against the elements
- A metal thermal jacket to retain the most heat for optimal cooking
- An incredibly sturdy stainless steel lid
- Wheeled products with strong, solid rubber wheels
- A tough stainless steel frame
Your pellet grill will thrive outside and will operate well in various outdoor conditions.
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