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Best Grills

Updated May 2023
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Best of the Best
Weber Spirit II
Spirit II
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Trusted Brand
Bottom Line

If you are looking for a well-made grill that's designed for performance and convenience, you'd have a hard time finding a better option than this gas model by Weber.


A top-seller by a trusted brand with impressive features and capabilities that include spacious grill surface with reversible plates, reliable ignition, warming rack, and plenty of storage. It also looks good and has a solid build.


Some owners gripe about rust developing over time. Rare issues with the fuel gauge noted.

Best Bang for the Buck
Weber Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill
Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill
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Best for Everyday Use
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Great little grill to take with you on trips or to backyard parties.


Simple no-frills grill that does what it's meant to do. Super portable and easy to clean. Porcelain coating reduces rust. Nice touch with the owner's guide, which comes with cooking tips and ideas. Quality build and simple to use. From a trusted, long-standing grill company.


Some issues with the air vent — ash has a tendency to clog airflow.

Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LX
Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LX
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Best for Transport
Bottom Line

This Coleman is a good choice for grilling with propane on the go, and the fact that it collapses into a compact unit is quite convenient.


A portable propane grill that folds up easily, making it ideal for grilling on the go. A great choice for camping and tailgating. Easy to start. Has 2 burners plus side tables. Lots of cook space for a portable grill.


Doesn't cook all foods evenly. Cleaning it is a pain.

Green Mountain Davy Crockett Tailgating Grill
Green Mountain
Davy Crockett Tailgating Grill
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Most Compact
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A wood pellet grill that can fold down to fit into the average size trunk, making it ideal for tailgating.


Besides having a thermal sensor that monitors temperature, this conveniently sized grill is WiFi enabled. The wood-pellet feeder can be powered by 110 volts or 12 volts and the peaked lid is designed to accommodate rib racks.


While this is designed to be a portable grill, it is also a bit heavy.

Cuisinart Chef's Style Tabletop Grill
Chef's Style Tabletop Grill
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Tabletop Design
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If you like portability, this two-burner propane grill folds closed to the size of a large briefcase.


The built-in handle on this 22-pound tabletop model makes it easy to carry. It requires no assembly so it can be set up and running in less than 10 minutes. Each stainless-steel burner provides 10,000 BTUs.


A few users feel that this model cooks hotter than expected so care must be taken when using.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best grills

Who doesn’t love grilling outdoors? It’s ideal for when you’re camping or RVing. It’s a great way to provide succulent food for a backyard gathering of friends and family. You can already taste that char-grilled steak, those hot and spicy buffalo wings, or that applewood-smoked ham, but first you need a good grill.

Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from.

Types of grills

Grills are differentiated by the type of fuel used.


Food has been cooked with this fuel for hundreds of years, and with briquettes for more than a century. For many backyard chefs, it’s the only way to grill. The simplest kettle grills consist of a chamber for charcoal (with a lever at the bottom to clear out the ash), a steel grill rack, and a lid with a vent for controlling airflow. They are low-cost, simple, and lightweight, so kettle grills are great for traveling. Many portable grills use the same principles but are rectangular in shape. Some don’t have lids.


  • Widely available

  • Easy to transport

  • Cheap

  • Imparts unique flavor to food


  • Can be a bit dirty

  • Harder to light than gas

  • Not as easy to control as gas

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Did you know?
The Kingsford Products Company popularized the charcoal briquette in the 1920s. It was originally owned by Henry Ford, who used wood scraps left over from Model T production. Briquettes were patented in 1897 by Ellsworth B. A. Zwoyer.


Gas is the modern, convenient way to power your grill. There are three types of gas fuel: propane (far and away the most popular), butane, and natural gas, which are similar but not the same. A propane grill uses a different regulator than a butane model, so it’s important to buy the correct bottle, or your grill may not work. Natural gas is only available in certain areas, so compatible grills are not as common.



  • Heavy (full bottles weigh about 35 pounds)

  • Transporting more difficult

  • Lacks flavor


These grills are still gas grills at heart (and operate the same way), but the gas burners don’t heat the cooking plates directly. Instead, the gas heats a ceramic or glass layer that radiates heat to the grill. This cooks more evenly and virtually eliminates flare-ups. Infrared grills use less gas for the same performance, which makes them a little different to cook on than a standard gas grill, but people quickly adapt.


These grills combine both fuels. They can use either gas or charcoal, or use gas to light charcoal and prolong cooking times. The ability to use two fuels has made these grills popular with survivalists. Many hybrid grills are portable.

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For your safety
Wheels make a large gas grill easier to move around. Locking wheels will help make sure it doesn’t move while you cook.

Grill features


  • Chrome-plated steel: On inexpensive kettle and portable grills, you’ll often find racks made of chrome-plated steel. It looks good when new, and it’s relatively inexpensive to produce and moderately durable. However, heat will eventually dull the chrome, and it can wear off. That said, it’s not expensive to replace.

  • Cast iron: This used to be popular because it’s efficient at transmitting heat. Unfortunately, it rusts, so cast iron is no longer as common.

  • Enamel: Adding a porcelain coating (enamel) provides an easy-to-clean surface while still retaining excellent heat transmission. Enamel is applied to both steel and cast iron grills (which stops the rust problem). The latter are considered superior, particularly for searing.

  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel looks great, resists rust, and is easy to clean. It’s also tough and superb to cook on. The only drawback is that it’s expensive.


  • Gas grills: For these, the cooking area is usually quoted in square inches. There may be additional warming areas and side tables, all of which add convenience, flexibility, and space. If you have a site in mind, you might also have to consider the grill’s overall dimensions. Otherwise, it’s a question of how the specifications fit the way you like to cook.

  • Kettle grills: The sizes of these can be deceptive. Although the amount of food they can accommodate depends on the diameter, the domed lid gives plenty of height. Even small ones can cook a whole chicken.

  • Portable and folding grills come in a wide variety of sizes, from those designed to cook for just two people to those capable of feeding a large group.

Burners and grill heat

It’s easy to look at the number of burners as a reflection of a grill’s cooking ability, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Modern burner tubes spread the heat more efficiently than older-style round burners, so a two-burner grill might be just as effective as a three-burner model.

A better measure of a grill’s heat capacity is the British Thermal Units (BTU) it generates. While this doesn’t tell you what temperatures it can reach, it does allow you to accurately compare one model to another. Infrared grills are particularly efficient, so a rating of 50 to 80 BTUs per square inch is considered optimum. With standard gas grills, that should be 75 to 100 BTUs.

Other considerations

  • Push-button electronic ignition: This is common on gas grills. Controls should be clearly marked and large enough that you can use them with cooking gloves on.

  • Temperature gauge: This is a handy feature. While it can’t tell you if the food is cooked, it will help you maintain consistent heat.

  • Portability: Is portability important to you? Kettle grills are usually light, but their shape makes larger models bulky. Space-saving folding gas grills are available, but you still have the bottle of gas to carry. Some small portable grills will run fine for a couple of hours using a 16-ounce disposable gas cylinder.

  • Grease management system: This directs fat and other cooking juices away from the grill, reducing the likelihood of flare-ups and making cleaning easier. Several manufacturers accomplish this using “flavorizer bars,” which some claim give food something of that charcoal-cooked taste.

  • Cover: Your grill probably won’t come with a cover. It’s a sensible investment, particularly if you keep your grill outdoors all year.

  • Extras: If you have the budget, you can get a grill with all manner of extras: rotisserie, smoker, searing burner, different heat zones, and even lights built into the hood so you can cook in the dark!
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Grill prices

With such a diverse range of grills available, it’s no surprise that prices vary enormously.


An entry-level kettle grill from a well-respected brand can cost as little as $40. Folding gas grills range from $150 to $350.


Family-sized gas grills can be found for between $250 and $350.


High-end models start at around $500. You can pay $2,000 and more for a stainless-steel grill, but you are investing in a fully featured, commercial-grade appliance.


Meat thermometer: Many grills have a thermometer to tell you the heat of the grill, but you'll want to know the internal temperature of the meat you're cooking.

Grilling gloves: Keep your hands safe from the high heat of the grill.

Grill set: A dedicated set of grill tools will help you get the best results. Simple sets include a spatula, tongs, and a barbecue fork, but larger sets often have a carrying case and a comprehensive array of tools.

Grill cookware: If you want to do more than grill large pieces of meat, there are a variety of grill baskets and grill pans available.


  • Keep a spare gas bottle on hand. A few have gauges to tell how full the bottle is, but not many. You can bet the one you’re using will need changing right in the middle of making dinner!

  • Invest in a grill cover. If you leave your grill out all year, make sure it’s got a cover. Don’t put it on until the grill is completely cool. The same applies if you store the grill indoors. Gas grills cool quickly, but don’t risk a fire by bringing it in while it’s still hot.

  • Double-check meats with a thermometer. Many grills have temperature gauges that give you a good idea of the heat under the hood, but it doesn’t guarantee that your meat is cooked. If you’re not sure, check it with a meat thermometer.

  • Watch out for flare-ups. If your grill does flare up, close the lid (if it has one) to decrease the oxygen feeding the fire. Turn off the gas, but only if you can do so safely. The fire won’t last long. If there’s no danger to surrounding property, leave it to extinguish naturally. Don’t risk burning yourself by trying to open the lid too soon.

  • Wear gloves. Grills can get very hot. It’s a good idea to wear oven or grilling gloves to protect your hands.

  • Position your grill on pavement. Keep your grill on a solid surface when you’re cooking. Lawns can be too soft or uneven, and you risk it toppling over.

  • Don’t dump hot ash in the trash!

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Every grill behaves a little differently. It takes a while to get used to a new one, but think how much fun it is to practice!


Q. What’s the best way to clean a grill when I’m finished cooking?

A. This is important, and it very much depends on the type of grill. Some people advise burning off excess fat and grease to make the grill easier to clean. Some suggest using a stiff wire brush on cast iron grills. The problem with that is that several modern versions have an enamel coating, and a stiff brush could ruin it. The only safe course of action is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Companies know you don’t want to spend all day on the chore, so most will offer methods that make cleaning as easy as possible.

Q. Does my new grill need to be seasoned?

A. Some grills have a suggested routine for first use, which generally involves heating it slowly and letting it “soak” for a few minutes at a given temperature so it can burn off unpleasant factory smells. Others have no such requirements. You can use them as soon as the packaging is off. With so many different types of grills, it’s difficult to give precise advice except the usual recommendation: do whatever the manufacturer suggests.

Q. How long do charcoal and briquettes stay hot enough to cook with?

A. It usually takes 20 to 30 minutes to get charcoal to cooking temperature, and then you’ll have around an hour to cook. You can add more fuel at any time, but this will have the effect of cooling the grill. It will take time to heat up again. Charcoal glows red, but briquettes go an ash-gray color when ready. There shouldn’t be any flame or smoke, though you will get small flare-ups if meat juices drop onto them.

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