Nothing beats the taste of a meal that's been prepared outdoors. When you use a quality grill that's designed to make outdoor cooking a pleasure instead of a chore, you can enjoy this experience far more often. Let's take a look at some of the top-rated grill models on the current market.
This type of grill is easy to use and maintain and often comes with enticing accessories. Best of all, a gas grill can be fired up in a matter of minutes when you feel like outdoor cooking.
This is a high-end model, but in our opinion, it's worth the extra cost. Offering 529 square inches of cooking space over 3 burners, it's capable of cooking off 18 burgers at once. The cast-iron cooking grates feature a porcelain coating that makes cleanup a breeze, and its open cart design is both appealing and easy to assemble.
If you like the style of the Spirit II E-310 but are looking for a grill with a little extra oomph, give the Genesis model a try.
This is another 3-burner grill, but it delivers 39,000 BTUs per hour, compared to the Spirit's 30,000. It also features 669 square inches of cooking space, so it's large enough to serve a crowd. The Genesis II E-310 is equipped with Weber's GS4 grilling system, which includes infinity ignition, stainless steel "Flavorizer" bars set beneath quality burners, and a sophisticated grease management system.
Looking for a larger grill that won't break the bank? The Char-Broil Performance 5-Burner model includes 650 square inches of grilling space and porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates. The 5 burners crank out a combined 40,000 BTUs per hour, and the electric ignition is reliable and user-friendly. The grill weighs under 90 pounds when fully assembled, so it's not too heavy to move around the patio.
Although charcoal grills can be messier than their gas-fueled counterparts, they also impart a hearty smoke-kissed flavor that's impossible to replicate. As a bonus, they're usually cheaper as well.
By now, you've probably noticed that the Weber name crops up a lot on this list. There's a reason for that: Their grills have a well-earned reputation for sturdiness and reliability.
This freestanding model offers a Tuck-Away holder that keeps the heavy lid out of the way while you work. The One-Touch ash removal system takes a lot of the work out of the cleanup process, and the bowl and lid are made of durable porcelain-enameled steel. The lid also has a built-in thermometer for precise temperature control.
This model is a bit smaller than the Original Kettle, but it offers more bells and whistles in return. The grill features a cart-style design with a side table for preparation and a lower wire rack for storage. There's even a set of integrated tool hooks built into the table. A Touch-N-Go ignition system makes the lighting process much less daunting, especially for beginners.
Kamado grills have a distinctive dome-shaped appearance and are typically made of ceramics or heavy-gauge steel. Translated from Japanese, the word kamado means "place for the cauldron."
Kamado Joe is one of the leading kamado grill manufacturers, and this model stands as a testament to everything it does best. The firebox features a ceramic construction with superb heat retention and distribution, allowing the food to cook rapidly and evenly. The stainless steel rod cooking grates have a half-moon design for easy removal, and they provide excellent browning on grilled meats and vegetables.
Two aluminum side shelves offer prep and storage space, and they give the grill a space-age design that's sure to spark lively conversation. You also have the option of removing the grill from its stand and taking it along on tailgating and camping trips. A hyperbolic ring, which serves as a heat deflector, comes with the set, but this feature is optional as well.
The Big Green Egg offers top-notch heat retention, which makes it ideal for all-day outdoor cooking applications. In fact, it holds its heat so well, it can sometimes take too long to cool down. If you're looking for a unit that can achieve temperatures in excess of 700 degrees Fahrenheit, this could be the unit for you.
The Large version offers up 18 inches of grilling space—enough to prepare 12 burgers or 6 whole chickens (assuming they're placed in an upright position). If you need more space, an "EGGspander" tiered cooking system is available for an additional price. Speaking of which, you'll probably pay more for a Big Green Egg than you would for a comparable brand, but the product is designed to last a lifetime.
These are the grills to use if you enjoy an authentic wood-fired barbecue. With pellet grills, you can choose from a variety of flavors, from apple to hickory to mesquite. Be forewarned that the system requires an electrical hookup to power the auger, which feeds wood pellets from the hopper into the firebox.
We couldn't review pellet grills without mentioning a unit from Traeger. This brand is renowned for its affordability, user-friendliness, and fuel efficiency. The heavy-gauge steel is durable enough to withstand many seasons of outdoor cooking, and the wheels are extra-sturdy for ease of movement. You can easily access the hopper to swap out wood pellets during the smoke, which is ideal if you want to add a dose of strong mesquite toward the end.
This model covers 572 square inches of outdoor cooking space, making it suitable for families of 4-6 people. People who entertain frequently might want to upgrade to the 780, which offers many similar features along with a grilling surface of 780 square inches.
The Daniel Boone is a great choice for tailgating, as it's both affordable and light enough to move around without difficulty. With a temperature range of 150 to 500 degrees, it can hold its heat well enough to smoke a pork butt, but it's not the best choice for high-heat applications like searing steaks or making flatbread pizzas.
Despite its portable nature, the Daniel Boone is sturdily built. The side table is especially convenient when camping or tailgating. Be forewarned that this unit doesn't offer Wi-Fi, which makes it easier on the wallet but less convenient for all-day outdoor cooking projects.
Whether you choose to do your outdoor cooking on a charcoal, gas, or pellet-fired grill, you're sure to find a unit that suits your needs. Any of the top-rated grills on our list would be a welcome addition to your backyard or patio.