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Best Grill Brands

Whether you're a meat-lover or a vegetarian, there's nothing like the flavor of a well-cooked meal on a quality grill. Read our guide to research the best barbeque grill for you. We help you compare features, types of cookers, pricing and brand reputations to narrow down your options.

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What are the different types of grills?

Grills are typically grouped together by the fuel source. You can find gas grills, charcoal grills, pellet grills and electric grills. Within these categories, there are plenty of styles to choose from, whether you're looking for a ceramic grill, a built-in model or something more portable.

Charcoal grills
  • Smoky flavor; great for smoking meat
  • Least expensive upfront cost
  • Fueled by charcoal briquettes or hardwood charcoal chunks
  • Takes a long time to heat up (around 30 minutes)
Gas grills
  • Doesn’t have smoky flavor
  • Higher upfront cost than charcoal grills
  • Fueled by propane or natural gas
  • Fast to heat up and cook
Electric grills
  • Lacks smoky flavor
  • Cheaper than other grills
  • Indoor options available
  • Fast to heat up and cook
Smokers
  • Designed to smoke meat
  • Available as electric, gas or charcoal
  • Great for all-day cooking
Infrared grills
  • High-quality searing for steaks and other meats
  • Even and fast heating
  • Energy efficient
  • Easy to clean

How to choose a grill

Grills are possibly the most American cooking appliances, and their popularity paired with their variety has made selecting one more complicated than ever. The right grill helps make every step of cooking easier, from lighting it to finishing the perfect sear.

A good grill brand offers a variety of sizes, options and upgrades, has plenty of models within your price range and receives positive reviews. The type and size of the cooker you choose should be based on how and where you plan on using it.

The size of the grill you buy should depend on several factors. You want a grill that's small enough to fit in your space comfortably yet large enough to cook enough food to feed you, your family and any guests you anticipate feeding.
  • Tabletop: Electric grills are the only style available in a convenient tabletop size, which makes them great for small spaces, including apartments, condos and small houses. Single people, couples and small families will find these convenient, especially in the summer — they can cook a full meal without heating up the entire house.
  • Travel size: Many grill enthusiasts like to take their grills with them when they go on trips or camping. A travel-size grill easily fits inside the trunk of a sedan and can be set up quickly. Because of their small size, travel-size grills work best for feeding two to four people at a time.
  • Standard: A standard grill size (two to four burners, or 360 square inches) works for most people who use their grill regularly and cook for a group of up to six people. A two-burner grill can comfortably fit nine hamburgers, while a four-burner grill can cook up to 15 at a time.
  • Full size: Full-size grills can be as large as 1,200 square inches, which is enough to grill almost 60 4-inch burgers and leave a half-inch of space between them while they cook. These huge grills are ideal for people who regularly entertain large groups and have the outdoor space to fit a full-size grill.
Grills have come a long way since the 1950s, which is when Weber introduced its now-famous kettle grill. Today, kettle grills are still available (with some modern updates), but they are far from your only option when it comes to cookware style.
  • Kettle: Still as popular as ever, the kettle grill is a classic charcoal style that is available from multiple brands. Its closed dome keeps heat in, and holes on the lid ventilate while you cook. They have wheels for easy transport and are generally a less expensive, though durable, option for small families.
  • Built-in: Perfect for the outdoor chef, built-in grills can be customized to fit into a fully functioning outdoor kitchen. Gas grills are an optimal base for your built-in grill. Once you find your perfect grill, you can customize it by adding a countertop, shelves and even a dishwasher. If you know what you’re doing, creating a space for a built-in grill can be a do-it-yourself project, but it should be left to the professionals if you aren’t very handy and/or your grill will be close to a building.
  • Fireplace: A fireplace grill is a cooking grate that’s placed in your indoor or outdoor fireplace. All you really need to grill is fire, and what better place to find fire than your fireplace?
  • Kamado: Kamado cookers are traditional Japanese cooking stoves fueled by wood or charcoal with a ceramic exterior. Their shape allows for all-over cooking without having to turn food at all. Kamado-style grills can maintain heat up to 750 degrees, and they can be used as a pizza oven, a grill or to bake anything that a regular oven could bake. Several brands have their own spin on kamado grills.
You don’t necessarily need many accessories to grill, but they can simplify cooking and enhance your overall experience. The accessories you need vary depending on what’s already included with your grill and how you plan on using it.
  • Tools: You need some basic tools when grilling, including a spatula, fork and tongs. You should also get a meat thermometer and skewers if you plan on cooking vegetables and small cuts of meat.
  • Grill press: For the grill master who wants to impress, a grill press is the best way to get those perfect grill marks on all your meat.
  • Corn basket: A must for grillers who prefer their corn grilled, a corn basket grills your corn while preventing it from sticking to your grill.
  • Grill brush: A grill brush is a must for keeping your grill clean. These range from simple designs to ornate platinum brushes.
  • Side burners: Side burners are an easy way to increase your cooking space and let you heat up water or sauces without going back and forth from the kitchen to your outdoor grill. Make sure to buy a side burner that is designed for your grill.
Grills are great for cooking, but they also represent a potential safety hazard if you don’t take the right precautions.
  • Create distance from your house: Your grill should have at least 2 feet of clearance on each side. If you have a small patio or outdoor space, you need to get a small enough grill to give you the clearance you need.
  • Flat surface: Always place your grill on a flat surface, whether it’s an outdoor or indoor grill.
  • Fire extinguisher: Every home should have a fire extinguisher, especially if you have an outdoor grill. Keep it close by your grill to make it easy to put out any fires before they get out of control.
  • Keep your grill clean: It's essential to clean your grill after every use to get rid of grease that can cause grease fires. It doesn’t take long for grease to build up in your grill, and it can quickly accumulate after only a few uses.
  • Keep kids away: Kids love to play outside, so make sure your grill is somewhere that is not easily accessible or inviting to your kids or any young guests. Always have an adult supervising outdoor play when your grill is hot.

How much does a grill cost?

How much you can expect to pay for a new barbecue grill depends on the type of grill, its materials and any additional features. Grills can cost between $20 for small, portable models to upwards of $10,000 for large, luxury ones.

Starting costs for grills range from $20 to $100.

Additional cost factors include:

  • Type: Charcoal grills are typically less expensive than gas grills. However, the ongoing cost can be higher since you need to buy charcoal every time you use a charcoal grill (versus filling up the propane tank once for multiple uses on a gas grill). Generally, a natural gas grill costs more than a propane grill.
  • Size: A smaller grill often comes with a smaller price tag. Tabletop, travel and other portable grills cost less than standard or full-size grills, even when made out of the same material.
  • Material: The material that a grill is made of makes a big difference in the overall price. For instance, a stainless steel grill costs more than one made out of aluminum.
  • Extra features: Some grills come with built-in features, like rotisseries, smokers, enclosed wheel carts or infrared burners, that cost extra money. Most of these features can be added later if you want to upgrade your grilling space without buying a completely new grill.

Barbecue grill FAQ

Most gas grills last between five and 15 years, depending on how often they're used and how they're stored and maintained.

You can extend the life of your gas grill by keeping it covered, cleaning it regularly and fixing or replacing broken parts. Generally, don’t expect your grill to last more than 15 years, even if you take good care of it.

Cleaning your grill grates after use helps remove burnt or stuck-on food and prevents the grates from rusting. If necessary, you can soak your grates overnight in a solution made from one part baking soda and two parts vinegar.

Some tips to properly clean your grill grates:

  • Allow them to cool after use.
  • Scrub them with a nylon or metal brush. Do not use metal brushes on porcelain grill grates.
  • Coat cast-iron grill grates with vegetable oil.

If you don’t want to deal with outdoor grill maintenance, modern stoves and ranges can duplicate the performance of most grills.

No, not every grill can be converted to use natural gas. Many grill manufacturers do produce conversion kits for their propane grills, but do not attempt to convert yours yourself if no similar option exists for your grill.
The best month to buy a grill is September, once the prime grilling months of the summer are behind you. The start of fall brings the steepest discounts of the year as retailers try to unload their unsold stock from the summer. Many stores also run sales on Labor Day.

Not sure how to choose?

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    Barbecue grill reviews

    Napoleon

    Napoleon’s history dates back to 1976, when Wolfgang Schroeter first produced a wood stove in Ontario, Canada. Today, the company manufactures luxury gas and infrared grills. Although they are based in Canada, Napoleon products are available online and through several international selling partners.

    • Wide selection: The company's product line includes gas, charcoal and infrared grills in multiple finishes. There are also a few series of built-in grills and outdoor kitchen components. Personalize your outdoor living space with a heating lamp, island kitchens and built-in components.
    • Costs: Portable grills typically start at around $300, and free-standing gas grills start at $500.
    • Portable accessories: Napoleon sells accessories for all of its grills, including its travel/portable size grills. These include cast-iron portable griddles, covers, tote bags, warming racks, stands and more.
    • Infrared burner availability: Infrared burners are relatively new on the grilling scene, and Napoleon has them available in sizes ranging from two to seven burners. They are available as stand-alone grills or as built-ins, so you can customize your cooking space however you want.
    Hasty Bake

    Hasty Bake is one of the original grill manufacturers. Since 1948, the basic design of the Hasty Bake charcoal oven has remained mostly the same. The company has made some innovations, including introducing its first portable unit, a hooded unit and a method of cooking with indirect heat. Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the company's ovens are manufactured in the U.S.

    • Grill selection: Hasty Bake sells portable and free-standing grills that smoke, bake and grill. Order online for factory-direct shipping.
    • Costs: Portable grills start at $500, while larger models cost $900 or more. Shop affordably by browsing the company's scratch-and-dent products.
    • Long-lasting design: Made from stainless or powder-coated steel, every Hasty-Bake outdoor kitchen is constructed to last 15 to 25 years (or even longer with proper care and maintenance). Warranty coverage depends on the grill and the component.
    • Accessories and additions: The company specializes in charcoal grills, but you can also find rotisseries, covers and other grilling accessories, such as sauces and seasonings.

    Compare top barbecue grill brand reviews

    The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.

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