15 Of The Best BBQ Grills On The Market
In your search for the best grill, first, you’ll first need an idea of what kind of grill is actually best for you. Every grill master has different needs and tastes for what they consider good barbecue so you’ll need something to compliment that. If you’re still on the fence about the style of barbecue you want, head over to our Types Of Grills section to help get you on the right track. If you’ve already got a plan and are ready to compare the top choices in each category, this is the page for you. So let’s continue with our list of best barbecue grills.
Not all grills are built equally, but the best can share a common standard.
When compiling this list it was necessary to come up with a set of absolute standards, followed by any extra bonus points the grills had. We’re looking for quality components inside as well as out. You don’t want your grill to rust out in a year all in the name of saving a buck, otherwise, you’re just burning money every time summer rolls around.
We also wanted grills that hold up to the elements no matter what time of year. You don’t want something that struggles to keep up in the colder months, wasting time and extra fuel when you just want a few grilled burgers to watch the game with. Even in warmer climates, a well-insulated grill will save a lot more on gas, charcoal, and daylight.
Looking at this checklist, you’ll get an idea of what scored points. The first two columns are the most important. Sometimes it’s one or the other (steel vs. iron) which are about using durable materials. The third column is a set of bonus points. These are things to look for when choosing a good grill.
- Sturdy ✔︎
- Good insulation ✔︎
- Stainless steel ✔︎
- Porcelain-enameled steel ✔︎
- Aluminum ✔︎
- Zone cooking ✔︎
- Good heat conductivity ✔︎
- Stainless steel ✔︎
- Porcelain-coated steel ✔︎
- Cast iron (and coated) ✔︎
- Multi-purpose ✔︎
- Portability ✔︎
- Attachments ✔︎
So now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at the best grills!
Best Grills Top 15 Quick List
Scroll below for more info on each grill
|Grill Model||Grill Type||Fuel|
|Weber Kettle||Kettle||Charcoal||Prices & Reviews|
|Weber Performer||Kettle||Charcoal||Prices & Reviews|
|Weber Summit Charcoal||Kamado||Charcoal||Prices & Reviews|
|Weber Spirit||Standard||Propane / Gas||Prices & Reviews|
|Weber Genesis||Standard||Propane / Gas||Prices & Reviews|
|Weber Summit Gas||Standard||Propane / Gas||Prices & Reviews|
|TEC G-Sport Infrared||Infrared||Propane / Gas||Prices & Reviews|
|Char-Broil TRU Infrared||Infrared||Propane / Gas||Prices & Reviews|
|Primo Oval||Kamado||Charcoal||Prices & Reviews|
|Char-Griller Akorn||Kamado||Charcoal||Prices & Reviews|
|Broil King Signet||Standard||Propane / Gas||Prices & Reviews|
|Napoleon Prestige||Standard||Propane / Gas||Prices & Reviews|
|Weber Q||Portable||Propane / Gas||Prices & Reviews|
|PK Portable Grill||Portable||Charcoal||Prices & Reviews|
|Camp Chef Grill & Griddle Combo||Griddle||Propane / Gas||Prices & Reviews|
Unlike other grills on the list where we matched some high-end models with a budget equivalent, Weber isn’t as easy to do that with. That’s because, for the price, the Weber kettle is both budget and high-end grill in one. So what we’ll do is take a look at the standard, tried, tested and true, followed by a “deluxe” model and finally, the “ultimate” Weber grill.
No ifs, ands or buts, the Weber kettle is the undisputed classic of charcoal kettle grills. The one that others aspire to be. They’re also surprisingly affordable, considering the quality of the grill, and the fact that many families have Webers that have been passed down for generations. There are even online communities dedicated to the kettle, with collectors who find models from decades ago still in top shape.
Besides the build quality, what makes them so great is their versatility. They can be set up for high heat grilling, two-zone cooking, low and slow smoking, all topped off with that great natural fire taste.
You can also attach a variety of accessories to turn them into just about everything else. Smokenators, cast iron grates, automatic rotisseries, there’s even an attachment to turn them into full-fledged pizza ovens!
The Weber kettle comes in many sizes, from the smallest Smokey Joe to the standard 22-inch model, all the way up to the behemoth Ranch kettle grill.
Same quality grill, extra features. The Weber Performer is basically the deluxe version of the 22-inch kettle with some add-ons for convenience. The biggest plus is an attached workstation for those that like to multi-task. Break out a cutting board and prepare serving portions or use it to set up all of your rubs and sauces. It also makes a handy table for munching on grilled snacks while your cooking.
Next is the gas ignition system. A small propane canister screws in just underneath the table, attached to a fuel tube that sits below the lower charcoal grate. Put some charcoal in the included baskets and sit them over the flame for a few minutes, before long your charcoal is ready and you don’t have to worry crumpled bits of paper in a chimney again.
Finally the charcoal bin. Keep pounds of the good stuff ready to go just under the workstation. No worries about it getting wet because it sits above the overlap of the table. The whole set up is light and portable, perfect for anyone who spends a lot of time out there over a flame.
Weber Summit, where have you been all of our lives? Well technically, there’s already a Summit series, but it’s a gas model. It’s also one of Weber’s higher end grills, so naturally, a charcoal version would have to be impressive to stand beside its propane counterparts. Not only that, but it would have to live up to the standard set by its charcoal predecessor. This does both. For those familiar with how great the original Weber kettle is, you’ll understand why this new addition from the brand is so exciting.
The New Weber Summit Charcoal Grill
Is it a kettle, is it a kamado, is it a smoker? It’s all three and it’s taken some classic designs and innovated them for a completely new style grill. The Summit is basically a combination of the kettle and the Weber Smokey Mountain, with a kamado style chamber for good measure. However, unlike most kamados, this grill is not ceramic.
Instead, this grill uses a double-walled stainless steel design for better heat control. With an air pocket between its two layers, it’s able to stay insulated to maintain temp, but if you get it too hot, it will cool down much quicker than heavy ceramic.
Like the performer, it has auto-ignition for easy fire starting. Unlike the other kettles, it has a two level fuel grate system. Drop it low with the optional diffuser for smoking, or raise it up to just 4″ underneath the main grill for some hot and fast searing.
This new grill and smoker combo from Weber is really something, but so is the price. If you’re interested in kamados but still want an all-around grill, this is the one for you. It’s still cheaper than most of the high-end ceramics out there. But if kamados weren’t really on your radar, the Weber Performer might be a safer bet.
Weber Gas & Propane Grills
Weber propane grills cost a bit more than their charcoal counterparts, but that’s exactly the case with any other grill maker. More parts equal more money, and if you’re going to spend more money that should also equal a more reliable product. At its entry, standard and high-end levels, Weber makes some of the best gas grills on the market.
The Weber Spirit comes in different sizes, but since we’re doing the “entry level” here, we’ll start with the 210. These are like a compact version of Weber’s mid-line, great for people who have limited space (the side tables also fold down) but still want a top quality grill, tucking away nicely in the corner of your deck or balcony.
The E series features a porcelain-enameled steel hood for durability (like the famed Weber kettle), as well as porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates to maintain and conduct heat. The S series uses 430-grade stainless steel for the hood and door.
With two front to back burners, you can easily set up a two-zone cooking surface like you would with any larger grill. The flavorizer bars help deflect flames while evaporating any juices, turning them into smoky goodness to hit your food with.
The larger 300 series has an optional side burner model for those that need a little more grill without going too high on price. The Weber Spirit may cost a bit more than other entry and budget level grills further down the list, but these are at the top of the game in terms of quality and durability, with a great warranty to back it.
Taking it up a notch, it’s the backyard standard of quality barbecues and one of the best-selling grills in North America. As with the E models of the Weber Spirit, you’ve got porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates, but they’ve added a little something extra under the hood, a second layer. This creates an air pocket and provides even greater insulation than the standard heavy gauge lid.
Unlike the Spirit, the S version of the Genesis features stainless steel cooking grates. Both the E and the S models feature a larger 637 square inches of cooking area, while the 330 models also include a side burner and extra sear station burner inside the main cooking chamber. It also has a larger cabinet for your propane tank, as well as a gauge to check fuel levels, letting you know when it’s time for a refill.
The Genesis is a standard for a reason. It handles all of your grilling needs and is built to last, making it a must-see on any best grills list.
The Higher End
The top dog of Weber’s stand alone gas grill line. The Summit comes back with loads of awesome features, and if you’re not so much worried about price tag as you are with getting the best of the best, this grill should be on your radar.
The Summit features stainless steel cooking grates like the Genesis S, only these are even larger in diameter, using 9mm thick heavy duty steel rods. They’ll come in handy to maintain high conductive heat when using the sear station, which is an extra controllable burner that sits in the middle of two others. This creates an even hotter zone for searing beautiful steaks on the perfectly even cooking surface.
While other Weber grills have the ability to connect a rotisserie, this actually has one built in. It pops up and tucks away easily when needed and can hold two heavy birds on the stainless steel spit. Not only that, but there’s a rear-mounted infrared burner to help with that nice crispy skin. Why not add a little smoke? The built-in smoker box has its own dedicated burner for even more options.
As with any high-end grill within its class, it also comes with a side burner for any extra cooking duties, a grill light on the handle for night time cooks and a backlit LED gauge for your fuel tank. Just press the button and you’ll know where you’re at with your tank at any time.
Webers last for years beyond most of the competition, they’re an investment more than a luxury. Why search for a new grill every two years when you can buy quality just once and have it last for a decade and then some?
Infrared grills are not necessarily a new innovation, but they are becoming more popular as grilling technology advances. They’re able to put out ridiculously high heat for searing juicy burgers and steaks, but without the flare-ups of other types of grills. Infrared systems also maintain an even cooking surface, while allowing you to open the hood without fear of losing the heat needed for your food. Add in the cool factor when showing off how they work at cookouts, and it’s clear why backyard grill masters have had their eye on these lately.
The Higher End
TEC G-Sport Infrared Grills
This TEC G-Sport is hot! As in it can climb temperature at a rate of 90f per minute, hitting over 800f surface temp which will sear even the thickest of steaks in no time. This grill is 100% infrared. How it works is a gas burner heats underneath a grill-sized glass plate, which in turn sits directly under the commercial 304-grade stainless steel grates, the grates will now conduct your heat.
Because of the glass plate, there are zero flare-ups, only heatwaves get through from the bottom to create an even cooking surface on all parts of the grill. Dripping juices are evaporated on contact with the glass to help create a tasty smoke flavor (there’s also a drip tray for anything that doesn’t evaporate). If you want even more of that smoky goodness, just add wood chips directly on to your grates.
The unit itself sits on a detachable stainless steel podium, meaning if you’re a griller on the go you can take it camping or to a tailgate party, or wherever else your stomach calls you. The inner parts of the grill are detachable as well for easy clean up, and even small enough to stick in your dishwasher if you wanted to.
This is a pretty sweet grill for those looking into infrared. A bit pricey at first glance, but when you see what it does along with how well built it is, it ends up a top choice among others within its class.
On A Budget
Char-Broil TRU Infrared
The Char-Broil “TRU-Infrared” system works a little differently than the previous TEC G-Sport. Instead of using a glass plate to deflect and radiate heat, it uses a porcelain-coated grate with tiny holes that restrict the flames from shooting up directly to your food, distributing it across the cooking surface to eliminate hot and cold spots. With less hot air hitting your food, you’re not drying it out as fast, and with less grease hitting the flames you’re not feeding those nasty flare-ups.
It may not be as fancy as the commercial grade TEC grill, but it’s still got some bang for its buck. The hood, cabinet, and side shelves are all made out of stainless steel, the left shelf featuring a 10,000 BTU side burner. The cooking surface reaches temps between 700-800f, so getting the perfect sear is no problem with this grill.
The main difference would be that it’s about 70% infrared as opposed to the 100% TEC. However, some grillers may prefer that little bit of flame action getting through.
So nice it makes our list twice! This multi-purpose kamado style cooker also makes an appearance on our best smokers list, it’s that versatile. Ceramic grills are able to cross categories because of their functionality in general, however, this particular model has a slight edge to make it our number one pick of any kamado.
Most kamados are circular in shape, while the unique oval design of the Primo lends itself better to two-zone cooking. With the wider cooking chamber, we can add a hot zone with charcoal on one side, and a drip or water pan on the other side to create indirect heat. This allows us to better control how fast or slow we cook our food, as well as help us to prevent any flare ups from juices hitting the flames directly.
The thick ceramic shell is a great insulator, which allows us to keep heat in during cold weather as well as stay consistent during longer cooks. Go as low as 180f for smoking or remove the diffuser and crank up the heat to 800f for searing and grilling. Primo also has one of the highest sitting lids on the market which is great for beer can chicken, a large turkey or anything else that requires more headroom.
Considering other high-end kamados can go for as much as $5000, at a fraction of the cost this Primo has major bang for its buck.
On A Budget
If you’re interested in kamado cooking, but not ready to shell out the money for the average ceramic, you might want to take a look at this Char-Griller. This will never be a match for our top choice kamado, but for the price, it’s still got it where it counts and is a good entry level grill for this style of cooking.
Char-Griller Akorn Kamado
Based on the same design as other kamados, this grill keeps costs low by swapping out some of the materials. You still get the insulation, however, the body is made of 22-gauge steel rather than ceramic, with an exterior finish of powder coated steel, and an interior finish made of porcelain covered steel.
Weighing in at 90 lbs (the equivalent sized Primo weighs 145), it may be a budget grill but it’s still got some heft. Included is a cast iron cooking surface, which is a bonus for those trying to get a great sear. An insulated grill like this one means heat retention and less fuel needed. You won’t get good two-zone heat on this, however.
This will also never have the shelf life of other kamados on the market. But for the price of the grill and extra cost of a weather cover, it may be worth checking out, even if it is only for a few seasons.
The Best Barbecue Grills Continued
Broil King Signet
Broil-King may not be the first brand people think of when people talk about the best barbecue grills, but they really do have some quality cookers on their roster. They should be included in any conversation about mid-level propane grills.
The durable cast-aluminum chamber is great for insulation, heat distribution and will never rust. The grill has dual-tube burners which send the gas out through a smaller tube and doubles back within the outer tube, this helps for a more even temperature at all sides of the burner rather than building up at the end. They’re protected by stainless steel Flav-R-Wave tents which are removable for zone systems and also serve to produce smoke from evaporated juices.
Heavy duty porcelain-coated cast iron grates for heat conductivity over a 400 square-inch direct cooking surface, with 635 square inches of total cooking are when including the warming rack. The high clearing is great for large cuts of meat.
This is a high-quality grill and will outclass many others within its price range.
If you liked the idea of the Weber Summit but don’t like the idea of the price, you might want to take a look at the Napoleon Prestige. Napoleon is a Canadian grill company which is why you don’t see them as much in the USA, but they’re definitely a high-quality alternative to the popular Weber brand.
One difference on the Napoleons is their signature grate style. While it might look odd at first, there’s a reason for the wavy design and that’s more contact surface.
Minor negative is the 7mm diameter rods vs. the 9mm on the Weber Summit, most won’t notice (or care). But more concerning is the chrome wire warming rack. This can warp if you don’t remove it while using the infrared back burner.
All in all the Prestige is still a great grill with a fantastic warranty from Napoleon. It’s worth looking at as an alternative to other high-end models.
Weber Q Portable Grill
Another Weber! The Weber Q is their portable line of propane grills. What’s good about these is their obvious portability, but they don’t just have to be used as a tailgater. With optional stands and side tables, they’ll make a great balcony set up for those with limited space, or as a spare when cooking multiple dishes.
Don’t let the size fool you either, you can easily cook whole chickens on these if you butterfly them, or a spread of burgers and brats. You won’t get two-zone cooking on this (a first for our best grills list) but most portables this size won’t anyway.
Pricier than most portables, but versatile. Weber Q comes with a 5-year warranty.
PK Grill AKA Portable Kitchen
The PK Grill is an all cast-aluminum large-sized portable charcoal grill. What’s great about this grill is its rectangular shape, which is beneficial for multi-zone cooking. While it doesn’t have the side-table space like the Weber Performer, this grill actually lifts off of the cart, which will come in handy for grilling away from home.
Since PK grills are made out of aluminum, they’re rust proof. The heavy duty design also allows for consistent heat regardless of weather. Hot and fast, low and slow, you can grill on these, you can smoke on these.
One problem with these grills is the bottom vents. While they’re great for controlling heat, there’s no ash catcher below. So if you want to open the bottom vents, charcoal may drop through. This is easily solved by using an aluminum pan underneath.
Camp Chef Grill & Griddle Combo
This grill is more than it seems! On the surface (no pun intended) it appears to be your normal outdoor flat top grill, made for typical griddle style cooking. But what you can’t see in the pic is that when you remove the flat top, there’s also a traditional style grill underneath as well, made for burgers, steaks, sausages, chicken and anything else you can cook over an open flame.
Since there’s no lid, it’s obviously useless if you want to do any low and slow barbecue, but this is made more for large gatherings where you want to crank out large amounts of quality food in the least amount of time. The four burners (12,000 BTU each) allow for multiple-zone cooking, and the portability is great for the backyard, family picnics at the park, tailgating or camping.