If you’re a grilling enthusiast, grilling isn’t just for the summertime, it’s a perpetual season. You’ll brave wind, rain, sleet, and snow just so you can have delicious flame-kissed foods. Grillmasters also know that one grill simply isn’t enough. There are different types of grills you need in your arsenal to get the best results, depending on what you’re grilling and where you are.
When it comes to finding the perfect grill, it’s very subjective. Some people are traditionalists, using the more basic cooking systems that require more monitoring and careful attention. Others are more techie, and let modern technology take out the guesswork. No matter what your preference is, there’s a perfect grill for you. Have a look at our roundup of the best grills to buy in 2021.
With so many amazing grills out there, it’s a losing battle trying to name the best one around, because not everyone will agree. So, after much deliberation, we awarded the Camp Chef 36-inch WiFi Woodwind Pellet Grill & Smoker with Sidekick as the best overall grill. We went with this pick because of its versatility and performance. Being a pellet grill, you have the option of infusing your food with smoky flavor as with a charcoal grill or smoker. You can also grill with almost the same speed and intensity as a gas grill. It has a slide and grill flame management system, which under a direct flame will produce temperatures of up to 650 degrees F (although the digital controls range from 160-500). The included sidekick, including a cast-iron griddle (sold separately), also cooks with actual gas and is a handy tool for achieving heavy sears, toasting bread/buns, or any other type of cooking you might need a flat top for. It has a chamber capacity of 7,000 cubic inches and a cooking rack area of 1,236 square inches. It has a straightforward digital control panel for selecting your temperature and smoke levels. Finally, the icing on the cake is the four-probe Wi-Fi-enabled smart grilling system that allows you to either monitor your meat’s temperature through the control panel or a smartphone app. On top of everything, the stainless steel design makes this beautiful grill easy on the eyes.
Since we went with an enormous and somewhat pricey pellet grill as our best overall pick, for the best of class in pellet grills we decided to feature the slightly smaller and more affordable Traeger Pro Series 575. You can’t go wrong with the company that literally invented the craft of pellet grilling, which is why the Traeger Pro Series is the best-selling grill in the world (according to the Traeger website). The 575 represents the amount of square-inch cooking space. This grill is a perfect medium-sized pellet grill that can handle entertaining multiple guests. The Pro Series features a new D2 drivetrain that allows for faster startup every time, digital temperature control that goes up to 500 degrees, and app-controlled grilling through Traeger’s WiFire technology.
The Weber Genesis II-315, 3-Burner gas grill is a top-of-the-line gas grill that won’t break the bank. This model comes in both propane and natural gas models and offers smart technology with the iGrill 3 smart accessories (sold separately). It has 513 square inches of grilling area for ample cooking space, and the tuck-away warming rack is a thoughtful design feature. It packs a powerful 39,000 BTUs of grilling power that can provide a heavy, crisp sear in minutes. The cabinets conveniently provide storage for cooking supplies, as the propane tank is tucked behind a separate outer shield with a gas gauge to let you know when you need to refill.
George Foreman is still knocking out the fat and the competition when it comes to electric grills. This grill is affordable, easy to clean, and compact. The great thing about it is the ability to be used indoors (in a well-ventilated space), in cases where the backyard BBQ you planned gets rained out. The 240 square inches of cooking space can hold up to 15 burgers and has 5 pre-set temperature levels.
If there were a runner-up to the best overall grill category the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill would clinch that title. This classic charcoal grill has withstood the test of time thanks to its American-made craftsmanship. The porcelain-coated bowl and lid are impervious to rusting or peeling no matter how long they’re left out in the elements. The hinged grate flips for easily adding more coals and the one-touch ash cleaning system is a useful feature of the premium edition.
Despite the recent increase in the popularity of glamping, camping is all about minimalism, especially if you’re a backpacking enthusiast. If you’re looking for a simple and lightweight camping grilling system you can use over a campfire, then look no further than the Breeo Outpost. The surface can be raised and lowered to decrease or increase the cooking temperature. When your food is ready, just swing the grill plate away from the fire to take it off the heat, unlike most other over-fire camping grills that fold out over the fire and can be hazardous to retrieve.
Although you can technically smoke meats in any of the above grills (with the exception of the Foreman), the Weber 22-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker was specifically designed for the task. This smoker grill is essentially a drum-style version of the Weber kettle grill. It boasts a massive 726 square inches of cooking space to smoke briskets, butts, and turkeys galore. The large fuel door comes off to easily add coals or wood and the silicone temperature grommet provides an accurate temperature reading.
This gas outdoor flat top grill from Cuisinart brings diner-style cooking to your backyard. What sets this flat top grill apart from others is the tight-fitting lid with a damper which provides more cooking versatility. The enclosed heat allows you to slow-roast foods like with a traditional grill, or make homemade pizzas at a high temp. The two independently controlled burners allow you to control hot and cool zones on the grill. Cleanup is also easy with the 360 outer grease pan that funnels it to the cup below. One thoughtful feature that we also liked was the paper towel holder that lets you quickly clean up messes.
By looking at this list, you can probably tell that when it comes to dependable grills for any occasion, Weber is hard to beat. The Weber Traveler is a recently released addition to the Weber family of products that will let you achieve high-quality grilling anywhere. With this portable grill you can easily grill for large groups with its 320 square inches of grilling space, and it flattens down to fit in the trunk of a car and features wheels that make it extremely mobile. You also won’t need to haul around bulky propane tanks because this grill optimizes propane usage, and is designed to run off of one-pound cylinders.
This charcoal grill smoker combo is made out of heavy-duty cast iron, the lid seals up tight to trap in smoke. The vents on the top and the base allow for airflow and temperature control. A unique feature of this grill is the lid comes off to act as a second grilling station to accommodate large groups on the go.
This 20 x 10 reversible grill pan from Legend isn’t technically a grill, but it’s the next best thing for those of us that can’t own a grill at the moment. This grill pan fits comfortably over two burners for plenty of cooking space. You can achieve perfect grill marks on your steaks, then flip it over for diner-style eggs. This stove top grill offers versatility, durability (a lifetime warranty), and is affordable.
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