The 6 Best Outdoor Grills for Your Backyard or Balcony
Let's get grilling, shall we?
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There’s no better feeling than removing your grill cover after weeks of cold weather and snow, and for many, this annual tradition marks the start of summer—solstices be damned. If you’ve got a trusty outdoor grill, all you need to do is give it a good scrubbing with your grill brush and you’re ready to go.
For those looking for a new barbeque and want to know what the best outdoor grill is, we’ve got your back. We have picks for those who are looking to entertain large crowds, want to grill on the go, or simply want a convenient way to cook up some burgers.
Best Overall Outdoor Grill
Traeger Timberline XL Wood Pellet Grill
The Traeger Timberline XL Wood Pellet Grill looks and feels like a classic outdoor grill with the added convenience of modern-day technological conveniences. The easy-to-use controls allow you to set precise cooking temperatures that can be controlled via Wi-Fi, so you can spend more time with family and friends and less time standing over your food.
The large range with three tiers of stainless steel grill grates allows you to grill, smoke, bake or roast everything from meats and vegetables to pizzas and side dishes—and that’s not including the side burner. Loading and unloading the wood pellets is a breeze, as is clean up, thanks to the grease and ash keg that catches all the mess.
- Financing is available
- 10-year warranty
- Large cooking range and side burner
- Easy to use
Best Budget Outdoor Grill
George Foreman Electric Grill
Deliver knockout taste without putting your wallet down for the count with the George Foreman Electric Grill. Plug it into your nearest electrical socket and give it 10 minutes to heat (enough time to get your ingredients ready), and you’ve got a space-saving outdoor grill that has more than enough room for a handful of burgers or steaks. Rain in your forecast? No problem. The stand can be removed to turn this grill into a countertop cooking device, like the George Foreman grills we’ve all come to know and love.
With more than 13,000 5-star Amazon reviews, it’s clear that the George Foreman Electric Grill is a popular item and it goes in and out of stock frequently. If you’re on the fence about purchasing it, we recommend picking a side soon because it might be unavailable by the time you’re craving hot dogs.
- Very budget-friendly
- Can be used indoors or outdoors
- Non-stick surface
- Grill plate is removeable
Temperature control is average at best
Best Outdoor Grill With Smoker
Big Green Egg
Some people choose not to take a side in the longstanding and often contentious smokers vs. grills debate, and for those, we recommend the viral Big Green Egg. The secret behind this charcoal-powered grill/smoker is its ceramic construction that keeps heat locked inside. That means you’ll get zero heat loss, whether smoking a brisket at 200 degrees or searing a ribeye at 500 degrees.
It’s called the Big Green Egg because you can cook nearly 20 burgers or seven racks of ribs placed vertically at once. Plus, this thing just looks cool and is guaranteed to be a conversation starter at your next backyard bash.
- Has grilling and smoking capabilities
- Keeps heat trapped inside
- Large cooking surface
- Advanced temperature gauge
Stand and storage systems are sold separately
Best Portable Outdoor Grill
Maocao Hoom 12-inch Portable Grill
With the Maocao Hoom 12-inch Portable Grill, the only thing limiting where and what you can grill is your imagination (and local laws and regulations). While it might look simple, this lightweight outdoor grill is designed to have the airflow heat the grill grates up in a matter of minutes. What’s more, setup takes less time than saying, “Who wants cheese?”
The grill costs less than $40 and is small enough to fit in camping backpacks, so we’re serious when we say this grill is portable.
- Only 12 inches long
- Easy set-up
Small cooking range
Best Small Outdoor Grill
Weber Spirit II Propane Grill
Although the Weber Spirit II Propane Grill looks small from the outside, the dual grill grates have enough space to cook burgers for four people or two large steaks. It’s also on wheels, so if you’re especially tight on space, you can move it out of the way when needed.
Weber is a mainstay in the outdoor grill market, and this model comes with their GS4 grilling system to provide more consistent gas flow to ensure even cooking—it also doesn’t hurt that it guarantees a nice sear. The burners are made of porcelain-enameled cast iron, which can withstand high temperatures.
- Compact footprint
- Has wheels
- High-powered gas line
- Easy to move at just 20 pounds
Warranty is just five years
Best Flat Top Outdoor Grill
Blackstone Flat Top Griddle Grill
The Blackstone Flat Top Griddle Grill is essentially a flat-top griddle similar to the ones you see in old-timey diners, though some people liken it to a hibachi table on wheels. The point is you can cook anything and everything on this large grill station—from pancakes to burgers and everything in between. More than 800 5-star Amazon reviewers have used this for tailgating or entertaining in their backyards.
At under $500, the Blackstone costs around the same as more traditional outdoor grills with some added benefits, such as the grease trap that collects all the fat from your food in an easy-to-reach container.
- Large, flat cooking surface
- Under $500
- Built-in grease trap
- Dual prep stands
Some customers say assembly is tricky
What to Consider When Buying an Outdoor Grill
The most important things to keep in mind when buying an outdoor grill are space, budget, and fuel source. Space, as you’ve probably guessed, refers to how much space you have for your outdoor grill; the budget is also self-explanatory; and fuel source refers to how you’re going to heat your grill.
Outdoor grills are commonly fueled by propane but can also be powered by electricity, a gas line (check with your local government agencies to ensure this is legal in your area), or wood pellets and charcoal.
Types of Outdoor Grills
- Propane outdoor grills are fueled by propane that is lit inside the grill. Propane tanks are commonly found at most home improvement and grilling stores.
- Electric outdoor grills are fueled by electricity, and as a result, cannot get as hot as fuel-powered grills.
- Charcoal outdoor grills are old-fashioned grills that are heated when propane is lit under the grill grate.
How We Found the Best Outdoor Grills
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject-matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
What is an outdoor electric grill?
An outdoor electric grill is a grill fueled by electricity, rather than by propane, charcoal, or other fossil fuel-based sources. Electric grills typically can’t get as hot as propane-powered grills and have less temperature control.
What size gas line do I need for an outdoor grill?
For propane-powered grills, you’ll need a ⅜-inch diameter gas line. Natural gas grills require a ¾-inch line, though depending on the distance between the gas meter and your grill, you may have to use a 1-inch line.
What do I cook on an outdoor flat-top grill?
Literally everything. Pancakes, bacon, quesadillas, peppers and onions, Cuban sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, sausages, eggs, hash browns, Philly cheesesteaks, fried rice, hibachi dishes, chicken…we can keep going but our hands would get tired from typing.
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