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There’s nothing better than grilling up steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, or veggies on a summer afternoon, which is why a quality grill is a must-have tool for any outdoor living space. There are so many great grilling recipes to try and techniques to use, and once you get good at it, you won’t want to cook your food any other way.
Whether your current grill has seen better days or you’re shopping for your very first grill, there is a huge selection of grills to choose from today, including models that run on propane, natural gas, charcoal, wood pellets, and electricity. Many of these grills are available at different price points, and there are even options that you can use inside if your outdoor space is limited.
Here, the best grills to add to your backyard barbecuing setup.
Best Gas: Weber Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill
Even heat and minimal flare-ups
Easy to clean
Compatible with iGrill 3 system
No side burner
Pricey for just three burners
The Weber Spirit II E-310 Grill offers everything you’d ever want in a gas grill, including three burners, 529 square inches of cooking space, and two side tables for food prep. It’s a perfect choice for both experienced grillmasters and beginners alike!
This propane-powered grill delivers 30,000 BTU-per-hour input from its three burners, and it heats up quickly and evenly. Its cast-iron cooking grates are covered with porcelain enamel that makes them easier to clean, and its grease management system allows you to simply replace the drip tray as needed. Plus, the grill has Weber’s classic “Flavorizer bars,” which catch drippings from the cooking surface, making them smoke and sizzle to add flavor to your food.
The exterior of this grill is designed for convenience, with an open-cart design, folding left side table, and integrated tool hooks. There are wheels on one side for easy transport, and the grill is even compatible with the Weber iGrill 3 (sold separately), a grilling thermometer with Bluetooth which you can connect to your smartphone.
Runner-Up, Best Gas: Nexgrill 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill
Four burners and side burner
Heats up quickly and cooks evenly
No storage space
You’re sure to love the versatility of the Nexgrill Propane Gas Grill, as it offers four burners and a side burner, all for a reasonable price. This propane grill boasts a total of 562 square inches of cooking space, including a warming rack, and its main burners offer 40,000 BTUs for fast and efficient cooking.
This Nexgrill Gas Grill has stainless steel burners and cast iron cooking grates for even heat, and it also features angled flame tamers to help minimize flare-ups. The battery-operated ignition system ensures the grill starts up quickly and easily, and you can’t beat the convenience of having a separate 12,000-BTU side burner to cook veggies or other side dishes. The grill has an additional side shelf for food prep, and its large wheels make it easy to move around your yard.
Best Charcoal: Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
Classic, simple design
Food has great flavor
Easy to clean
Smaller cooking surface
More challenging to use than a gas grill
For those that love the taste of charcoal-grilled food, the Weber Original Kettle Premium Grill is the obvious choice. This fan-favorite may not have as many bells and whistles as high-end gas grills, but it’s unbeatable in terms of value and performance. The charcoal grill has a 22-inch round grate for a total of 363 square inches of cooking space, and the grate’s hinged design allows you to easily add more charcoal while using the grill.
The Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill has a porcelain-enameled lid and bowl for superior heat retention, as well as rust-resistant aluminum dampers and a built-in lid thermometer for precise heat control. There’s a lid hook on the side of the unit so you don’t have to put the top on the ground while tending your food, and the grill’s one-touch cleaning system features a high-capacity ash catcher that makes cleaning up a breeze.
Runner-Up, Best Charcoal: PK Grills Original PK Grill & Smoker
Works as grill and smoker
Excellent heat retention and control
Shorter than most grills
Not everyone likes the retro appearance
Experienced charcoal grillers may want to spend a little more for the PK Grills Original Charcoal Grill and Smoker, a versatile unit that’s easy to use and delivers consistently delicious results. It’s crafted from cast aluminum, which is rust-proof and durable yet lightweight, and its unique capsule shape allows you to grill normally or use the unit as a smoker for low and slow cooking.
This charcoal grill offers around 305 square inches of cooking space, and it has a side table, as well as a lower shelf for storage. The lid’s four-point venting system is ideal for both direct and indirect cooking, and it makes it easier to maintain a consistent heat level.
Best Pellet: Traeger Pro 575 Wifi Pellet Grill and Smoker
Automatically maintains temperature
Works as grill and smoker
Connects to your smartphone
No side burner
Pellets are expensive
Pellet grills, which use a feeding system to push small wood pellets into a firebox under the grates, have become more popular in recent years thanks to their superior temperature regulation and versatility, and one of the best models today is the Traeger Pro 575 Grill and Smoker. This pellet grill has 575 square inches of cooking space across two porcelain grill grates, and all you have to do is set your desired temperature and the grill will maintain precise heat.
The Traeger Pro 575 runs on the brand’s premium hardwood pellets, which are available in several flavors, and its hopper has an 18-pound capacity that allows you to cook for hours without refilling. It can be used for smoking, as well as baking, braising, and more, and it even has Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to adjust its temperature and monitor food on your smartphone.
Runner-Up, Best Pellet: Camp Chef SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill
Easy to use
Built-in meat probe
Pellet feed issues
Smoke escapes from seams
For a more affordable pellet grill, you can’t go wrong with the Chef Camp SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill, which offers 429 square inches of cooking area, a warming rack, and an 18-pound pellet hopper. The grill’s automatic auger dispenses pellets as needed to maintain a consistent temperature, taking the guesswork out of grilling and smoking.
The Chef Camp Pellet Grill delivers 25,000 BTU per hour and can be set to temperatures between 160 and 500 degrees. It comes with an internal meat probe to monitor your meat, and the grill has ash cleanout and grease management systems that make maintenance a cinch.
Best Natural Gas: Weber Genesis II E-315 3-Burner Natural Gas Grill
Even heat distribution
Ample storage space
iGrill 3 compatible
Can't be converted to run on propane
If you have a natural gas line in your home, you may want to consider a model like the Weber Genesis II E-315 Natural Gas Grill. Natural gas grills work similarly to propane grills, allowing for fast and easy grilling, and as an added bonus, natural gas is often less expensive. This particular natural gas grill has three burners that deliver 39,000 BTU per hour input, and it has a total of 669 square inches of cooking area, including an upper warming rack.
The Weber Genesis II E-315 is equipped with porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates and its burners have a tapered shape that delivers consistent gas flow for better heat distribution. The grill’s grease management system and flavorizer bars help to reduce flare-ups, and the grill comes with a 10-foot hose to connect to your natural gas line, as well as two side tables, an enclosed lower storage area, and integrated tool hooks.
Best Electric: George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill
Can be used inside and outside
Easy to clean
Not the best grill marks
Small cooking surface
Electric grills are extremely user-friendly, heating up quickly and saving you the hassle of buying charcoal or propane, and the George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill has somewhat of a cult-following thanks to its versatile design. It has a 240-square-inch circular cooking area with an easy-to-clean nonstick coating, as well as five heat settings that are extremely simple to adjust.
This electric grill can either be used indoors or outside, as it doesn’t give off any emissions or use an open flame, and it’s mounted on a removable stand that’s ideal for grilling on the deck or even at a tailgate. The domed grill lid helps to cook food more efficiently and contain splatter, and how can you beat its low price?
Best Kamado: Kamado Joe Classic II Charcoal Grill
Ideal for grilling and smoking
Superior heat retention
Two-tier grate design
Kamado grills have a distinctive egg-shaped design and hinged lid, and their thick ceramic walls provide excellent insulation that makes them ideal for both grilling and smoking. The iconic Kamado Joe Classic II Charcoal Grill is one of the best models you can buy today, as its 18-inch design features a two-tier grill grate, two side tables, and a max temperature of 750 degrees.
The Kamado Joe II runs on charcoal, and it has a dual-adjustment top vent for precise temperature control. There’s a built-in thermometer on the lid, which has a unique hinge that allows it to be lifted easily, and the grill comes with a cart that’s mounted on locking caster wheels—probably a good thing, as the grill is extremely heavy!
Best Portable: Weber Q 2200 Gas Grill
Compact and lightweight
Powerful for its size
Cart available for everyday use
Expensive for a portable grill
Grates can be tricky to clean
Whether you’re going to a tailgate party or camping in the woods, you’ll be glad you have the Weber Q2200 Propane Grill to bring along. This portable grill is a favorite among grilling enthusiasts thanks to its compact form and reliable performance, and should you ever want to use it as your everyday grill, Weber sells a compatible stand for it, too.
The Weber Q2200 is powered by liquid propane, and it has 280 inches of space on its porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates, which are heated by a 12,000-BTU burner. The grill has electronic ignition, a built-in thermometer, and two folding work tables, and its removable catch-pan makes it easy to clean up when you’re done cooking.
Best Indoor Grill: Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler
Safe to use indoors
Easy-to-clean nonstick plates
Small grease funnel
Can't achieve same temps as a full-size grill
Whether you lack the outdoor space for a full-size grill or are simply hoping to keep your grilling going year-round, the Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler is a top-rated indoor grill that also works as a griddle and panini press. It can be used in five different configurations thanks to its reversible cooking plates, and the nonstick surfaces are even dishwasher-safe, allowing you to clean the appliance in minutes. The Griddler offers adjustable temperature controls with indicator lights that let you know when it’s ready, and it comes with a scraper tool to clean between the ridges on the plate.
Most homeowners can't go wrong with the Weber Spirit II E-310 Grill (view at Amazon), which offers a spacious cooking area and three burners, as well as ample space for food prep. If you prefer cooking with charcoal, however, the Weber Original Kettle Premium Grill (view at Amazon) is a classic choice thanks to its 22-inch hinged grate and one-touch cleaning system.
What to Look For in a Grill
It’s a question of convenience and taste whether you chose a grill that uses propane, natural gas, wood pellets, electricity, or a good old charcoal grill. Charcoal grilling requires more effort and time to heat the grill but it gives food the typical smoky flavor, and the type of charcoal you use also lets you customize the flavor. For a grill that can be used both indoors and outdoors, choose electric.
A convenient feature in pellet grills is the automatic feeding of pellets. A natural gas grill that allows you to connect it to your existing natural gas line can be more economical than a propane grill.
The BTU of grills varies greatly, from 12,000 BTU for small compact grills to 40,00 BTU for large propane grills. The number of burners on gas grills also varies. If you look at how this translates into the heat that each square inch of cooking space gets, the difference is not that big so it all burns down to the question how much food you want to grill at a time.
Grill and Smoker Combo
If you love grilling as much as smoking meat, fish, and more, go for an appliance that does both.
Cleanup after grilling can be a real hassle so easy cleaning is an important consideration. Grates with a smooth surface (made of stainless steel, porcelain, or cast iron with an enamel porcelain coating) are easier to clean than uncoated cast-iron grates.
Drip trays or pans collect the grease. Removable parts are also good for easy cleaning, and if they are dishwasher-safe, even better.
To manage the fuel residue, ash catching systems for charcoal grills and ash removal systems for pellet stoves also facilitate cleanup.
Once you’ve narrowed down which type of grill is the best for you, a look at additional features can also help making a final decision. A side table for food prep, tool hooks, warming rack, and a meat thermometer or meat probe are always good to have, whereas a wheels or a portable grill are only a boon if your grill does not have a permanent location.
How do you clean a grill?
While it depends on the type of grill how much cleaning it needs on a regular basis, the grates should be cleaned every time after you grill. After the grill is cool enough so you can safely touch it, clean the grate to remove any remaining food particles. If the grates are uncoated cast iron, use a wire brush and follow the detailed instructions for cleaning a cast iron grill.
How do you start a charcoal grill?
The safe way to start a charcoal grill is using a chimney starter that quickly produces hot coals for cooking. The chimney starter consists of a metal cylinder with grate inside on which you place the charcoals and ignite them.
How do you clean a gas grill?
Besides cleaning the grates after every grilling, once a year, give your gas a thorough cleaning by disconnecting the gas before taking out any removable parts and giving it a good cleaning with soapy water. Check out the full instructions here.
Why Trust The Spruce
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product reviewer for The Spruce. She's written close to a dozen grill-related articles for The Spruce Eats, including firsthand testing of a Traeger grill and a Masterbuilt smoker. Additional reporting was done by Nadia Hassani, a writer and master gardener with over 20 years of experience.