There are multiple routes to outdoor cooking greatness. People have varying priorities and skill levels, and fortunately, the ever-expanding backyard cooking market provides plenty of dream grill candidates regardless of your preferred methods. We’ve been busy testing out all types of grills over the past couple of months to find an array of options for you. From the classic to the technologically advanced, we’ve got you covered with grills for every occasion.
Best For Communal Eating
We all know how much fun can be had gathering around the table to share a meal. Burch Barrel extends the communal experience of food to the cooking process with its V2, a multipurpose grill and firepit that’s designed to make cooking more social. It can handle any type of outdoor cooking from searing to smoking to baking thanks to adjustable vents and customizable coal bed placement. The double-wall design provides impressive insulation for maximum efficiency while simultaneously cooling the outside walls to help keep kids and pets safe.
The Camp Chef Woodwind can just about do it all. As a pellet grill, the Woodwind cooks evenly and consistently. A newly-designed PID Wi-FI enabled controller conveniently lets you monitor food temperatures, adjust smoke levels, change cooking temperatures, set timers, and receive notifications on your cell phone through the Camp Chef app. And while one of the common critiques of pellet smokers is that they lack the direct heat capability to handle high temp searing, Camp Chef built in a sliding heat deflector plate that can quickly slide out of the way to give meat the flame-kissed treatment before serving. The addition of the propane-powered 28,000 BTU Sidekick provides even more customization by allowing you to add a griddle, grill, artisan oven, or stockpot, to your setup. Each of these modules are sold separately and are easily interchangeable, so there is flexibility to decide which ones best meet your cooking needs.
Best Grill for Kicking Back
Forget running back and forth from the grill to the table, because Breeo has added a suite of accessories that add grilling capabilities to its line of smokeless firepits. The ¼ inch hot-rolled carbon steel seer plate is ready to use on arrival, as it comes pre-seasoned with food-grade oil. The plate handles both meat and veggies and looks great even when it’s not being used for cooking.Breeo’s stainless steel Outpost grill provides a direct-flame option, and its height is fully adjustable, making it easy to adapt to different foods and fire heights. It’s also capable of 360° rotation and all adjustments are manageable with one hand. And while the OUtpost is designed and constructed to fit into the frame of Breeo’s firepits, it also includes the company’s Anchorpoint system and carrying bag to make it easy to transport and set up in any outdoor cooking location.
It’s illegal to cook on a plane, but the GOBQ is the perfect carry-on candidate when you need to transport a grill to your final destination. The TSA-friendly carry-on candidate folds down to 17% of its functional setup volume and weighs just 9 pounds. Made from fire- and heat-resistant fabric, the GOBQ can withstand temperatures of over 1200 degrees, and the carrying case converts into a lid when fully set up. And even with the focus on ultra-portability, the grill can still cook for a crowd. The 14”x14” grate can accommodate six hamburgers or 24 hotdogs so nobody is going to go hungry.
Best Classic Grill
Cook on the grill your dad - and maybe even your grandpa - cooked on. Nearly unchanged since it debuted in 1951, Weber’s Original Kettle Charcoal Grill has stood the test of time and continues to be a solid option for both grilling and smoking. Made of steel, the porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat while resisting rust and remaining easy to clean year after year. Those looking for a slightly more evolved Kettle without sacrificing the Original’s roots can step up to The Original Kettle Premium charcoal grill which includes some upgraded features. The hinged cooking grate and one-touch cleaning system with a high-capacity ash catcher, make the Kettle Premium easier to refuel and clean. It’s a grill that proves turning into your dad doesn’t have to be all bad.
Most Heat-Efficient Grill
Weber’s redesigned Genesis Smart Gas Grill is well equipped for high-end cooking, and it certainly looking the part. The black and stainless steel exterior harness the classic Weber aesthetic for a grill that is technologically and structurally ultramodern. Weber’s high-performance PureBlue burners are ultra-efficient. Together with excellent heat distribution and grease management thanks to how well Flavorizor bars and deep grill body complement each other, flare-ups are reduced to a minimum.Integrated Weber Connect smart technology is helpful for keeping tabs on grill and food temperatures. The dual probe setup and connectivity through the Weber iGrill app help with oversight to prevent overcooking food. Custom app alerts will let you know when dishes are ready, and Weber includes a bevy of tips and recipes in the app if you’re looking to up your game.
Best Hands-On Grill
For some grillers, managing the fire is half the fun. Nuke’s Puma grill provides a hands-on experience from building the fire to controlling heat. The distinguishing feature of this Argentinean-style grill (parrilla) is the wheel that you turn to raise or lower the grate over the coals using cables. You can drop it down to about 4 inches above the heat to sear burgers or raise it to about 20 inches to accommodate a taller fire or act as a warming shelf.The Puma’s unique V-shaped grates offer 474 square inches of cooking surface spread over three lightweight, removable sections. Instead of the round stainless steel bars typically found on most gas and charcoal grills, the Puma’s grates catch most of the fat, diverting it to a drip trough in front. As a result, there are fewer flare-ups than one might expect with over-the-fire cooking so you’re less likely char meals.
If you’re looking for one grill that will cover everything from spending your Saturday smoking a tri-tip to grilling up some brats right before the game, the Big Green Egg is the perfect choice. This ceramic grill is remarkably heat-efficient, while Big Green Egg’s proprietary natural hardwood charcoal imbues whatever you cook with the perfect smokey flavoring. The egg-shaped ceramic body retains heat while directing it right onto the cooking platform, retaining juices and providing an even, perfect cook every time. The result? Flavorful, juicy, and perfectly smoked slabs of meat and possibly the best burgers that you’ve ever had. Bonus: a variety of add-ons and instruments add versatility, allowing you to grill pizzas, roast veggies, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.
Best Backpacking Grill
Looking to take your grilling game into the backcountry? If you’re not into roasting a skewered rabbit over a campfire, UCO’s Large Flatpack Grill & Firepit is the best way to grill in the woods. Not only is it backpack-friendly, folding down to roughly an inch thick and weighing just over three pounds, it also packs a bevy of benefits over a traditional campfire. It safely keeps the flame contained and off the ground, the firepit walls act as a windbreak, and despite its small size, the grilling surface is a serviceable 13 inches by 10 inches. In addition, it takes roughly 30 seconds to set up, so you’ll be cooking and warming your hands in no time.
Best for RVing
No matter how big your RV is, you don’t want to have to bring along a different kind of grill for every way you like to cook. Magma solves this issue with the Crossover Firebox Series, a modular grill setup that effortlessly changes to a stovetop, grill, plancha, pizza oven, or griddle. The 15,000 BTU burner puts out an ultra-clean blue flame, the lid doubles as a shelf, and the built-in wind break protects the fire in any conditions. The list of features is huge, including an FDA-approved cutting board insert, integrated propane bottle cradle, and altitude adjustment for the perfect flame no matter where you are. The mounting options are plentiful as well - there’s a tripod for cooking directly on the ground, but it also attaches to a tailgate or the side of a boat. There are single and double burner options, but for the sake of saving space, the single burner wins out.