Popular Mechanics; Courtesy Oklahoma Joe’s
A barbecued burger or steak is only as good as the grill it’s made on, which is why it’s essential to buy a model that does your cooking skills justice. There are a slew of grill options on the market from a bevy of well-regarded brands, with new grills and smokers debuting yearly, so figuring out which suits your space and needs can be a time-consuming challenge.
That’s why we created this guide to the best grills on the market this year—including picks from trusted names like Weber, Char-Broil, Masterbuilt, Oklahoma Joe’s, and more across multiple price points—that are well worth considering, along with expert advice and our top recommendations. Whether you want a small kamado-style model for grilling on your deck or need a larger gas grill for preparing al fresco meals for friends and family at your next backyard gathering, we have you covered.
For more grillmaster news, check our grilling guide, along with our coverage of the best grills we’ve tested this year, plus the best grill mats and grill covers.
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You may associate Chicago with deep-dish pizza (and rightfully so), but the city is also a barbecue town. It’s where Weber got its start back in the early 1950s, when founder George Stephen created the iconic kettle grill inspired by his metal shop work welding spheres for buoys.
Today, the Weber brand is synonymous with well-built, reliable barbecues that punch well above budget options, but they’re still reasonably priced, considering their quality. Plus, all of Weber’s grills are backed by a 10-year limited warranty.
Among Weber’s expansive lineup are the Spirit II E-310, which comes in a two-burner model. It’s one of the best traditional gas grills on the market, available in either propane or natural gas. If you’re looking for a step up, consider the Weber Genesis, which features an expandable top cooking grate and an extra-large sear zone.
For a charcoal grill, you can’t go wrong with the Smokey Joe, a basic, affordable option and a classic that’s impossible to improve upon.
The Best Weber Grills
Spirit II E-310
Known for its expansive range of affordable gas, electric, and charcoal grills, plus several top-rated smokers and fryers, Georgia-based Char-Broil is a well-regarded brand that’s been around since 1948.
The Performance 4-Burner Gas Grill offers excellent value, priced well under $400 and featuring a cart-style base, 36,000 BTUs of power, and a 425-square-inch cooking surface, plus a 10,000-BTU lidded side burner.
During our testing, we found Char-Broil’s Commercial Propane & Natural Gas Infrared Grill to have exceptional heat distribution and retention, with technology that reduces flare-ups. It takes slightly longer to heat up and cool down, but you can count on fast cooking time and meat that retains its juices.
The Best Char-Broil Grills
Performance 4-Burner Gas Grill
Commercial Propane & Natural Gas Grill
Camp Chef designs grills with the great outdoors in mind, and fans of the brand are just as likely to them for camping as they are for backyard cookouts. Founded in 1990, the company is based in Cache Valley, Utah, nestled in the Bear River Mountains, and is perhaps best-known for its line of pellet grills and smokers.
The brand’s Woodwind line has consistently come out on top during our testing, specifically the Woodwind 24 and the upgraded Woodwind 24, the latter of which connects to Wi-Fi, has a versatile Sidekick burner, and costs about $250 more than the standard Woodwind 24.
Both feature an ample cooking surface, a cleverly designed ash system that’s easy to clean, and an intuitive sear zone. Camp Chef also has a line of portable flat-top grills that are well worth a look.
The Best Camp Chef Grills
Woodwind 24 + Wi-Fi
Portable Flat-Top Grill
Kamado Joe may not be the first name you think of when it comes to grills, but it’s certainly become a popular one over the years, thanks to its expansive line of top-quality ceramic smokers.
Every Kamado Joe smoker features a firebox with ceramic panels that help prevent cracks, a heat-trapping fiberglass mesh steel gasket, plus an air-lift hinge top and slide-out ash drawer.
The Classic II 18-inch is their most popular full-size model, and for a smaller, “portable” option (which weighs 68 pounds), check out the 13.5-inch Joe Junior. If you’re in the market for a splurge, go for the top-of-the-line 24-inch Big Joe III.
The Best Kamado Joe Grills
Big Joe III
Masterbuilt has been turning out high-end smokers since 1973, but when the brand launched its Gravity Series grills in 2019, heads turned.
They have a sleek and distinctive look, but what sets them apart is their innovative design. These charcoal grills feature a vertical hopper that burns charcoal from the bottom, while a digitally controlled fan pushes heat horizontally over the cooking surface. Also, the setup allows ash to fall down to the hopper’s base, so cleanup is super-easy. (Pro tip: If you want a smokey flavor, add wood chips to the ash bucket.)
We found the Gravity Series 560 Digital Grill to be the best full-sized charcoal grill among those we tested. It features a 560-square-inch cooking surface and reaches a maximum of 700 degrees Fahrenheit. A downloadable app even allows you to check temperature remotely. MasterBuilt’s 30-Inch Digital Electric Smoker won our top spot for the best electric smoker we tested.
The Best Masterbuilt Grills
Gravity Series 560 Digital Grill
30-Inch Digital Electric Smoker
Back in 1987, Joe Davidson sold all 12 of the smokers he built to debut at the Oklahoma State Fair. A decade later, Oklahoma Joe’s was a 100-plus employee company, before it was sold to Char-Broil in 1998.
Today, Oklahoma Joe’s has an expansive line of top-rated grills and smokers, from portable options like the Rambler to massive beasts like the Rider DLX 900, a pellet grill that came out on top during our testing for best sear zone. If you’re in the market for a vertical charcoal grill and smoker combo, we recommend the Bronco, which has a 284-square-inch cooking surface and an oversized basket that holds enough charcoal for up to 10 hours of smoking.
The Best Oklahoma Joe’s Grills
The Rider DXL 900
Char-Griller is the go-to brand if you’re looking for a well-built, budget-friendly barrel smoker or kamado. The Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill and Smoker offers incredible value, with a large 447-square-inch cooking surface, dual-level cast iron grates, and a 22-gauge steel firebox.
For a top-quality barrel smoker priced well under $300, the Smokin’ Pro 830 is a terrific dual-compartment smoker, featuring an impressive 830 square inches of cooking space and a three-position fire grate in the main compartment. There’s also an easy-to-empty ash pan.
The Best Char-Griller Grills
Smokin’ Pro 830
Coleman is a brand synonymous with camping, known for its expansive lineup of high-quality, affordable gear since it was founded in 1900. Coleman’s grills are just as high-quality as the other outdoor essentials produced by the brand, and there are plenty of gas and charcoal options to consider.
The eye-catching RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Grill features an impressive eight adjustable burners and 20,000 BTUs of power, along with a sizable 285-square-inch cooking surface and a base that folds down flat, designed to wheel behind you like a roller suitcase for easy transportation.
For something so lightweight and portable you can throw it in your backpack, check out the brand’s Fold-and-Go propane grill.
The Best Coleman Grills
The Big Green Egg is responsible for kicking off the kamado craze in the U.S. back in the 1970s. The Large Big Green Egg is the most coveted of the seven models, capable of holding a 20-pound turkey. Its features are slim in comparison to next-gen kamados—there’s no ash drawer or removable bin, so cleaning it out is a bit of a task.
Still, it performs superbly and if you’re the kind of person who always opts for the original, it will not disappoint. If you want to get a taste of what the Egg has to offer for less than a grand, consider the MiniMax Big Green Egg.
The Best Big Green Egg Grills
The Large Egg
The MiniMax Egg
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