Few things say easy living like casually tending burgers and veggies while catching up with friends and family. And what better way to rouse up an appetite — and rally a crowd — than with a sleek, high-powered propane, electric or charcoal grill (perhaps now's the time to add that smoker or pizza oven to the mix)? After all, upgrading your gear will help you perfect your delicacies.
Weber Spirit II E-210 2-Burner Propane Gas Grill
Weber Genesis E-335 Propane Gas Grill
Char-Broil Performance Series Four-Burner Propane Gas Grill
Blackstone 1984 Original 36-Inch Propane Gas Griddle with Cover
Weber 36-Inch 4-Burner Propane Gas Griddle with Cover
Pit Boss PB440D2 Wood Pellet Grill (440 Series)
Traeger Pro Series 34 Electric Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker
Rectec RT-700 Wood Pellet Grill
Char-Broil Tru-Infrared Patio Bistro Electric Grill
Weber Q1400 Electric Grill
Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Electric Indoor Grill and Griddle
Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
Weber Performer Premium Charcoal Grill
BakerStone 9152403 Portable Gas Pizza Oven
Roccbox Pizza Oven by Gozney
Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Outdoor Pizza Oven
Different fuel types require different setups and yield different flavors, so we asked experts for tips on choosing a grill that suits your skill level, space and needs. We also scoured thousands of reviews for some of the hottest (read: high-powered and top-rated) models on the scene. Gearing up for tailgating? Want to start grilling through the fall and winter? Read on for our guide to the best grills of 2023.
How to choose a grill
Before you get caught up in the imagined sizzle and aroma of a freshly-cut steak, you’ll want to put some thought into how you’ll use your grill. “There are so many choices in grills today, it's easy to get drawn in by some fancy feature that you'll never need,” notes world BBQ champion Melissa Cookston, owner of Memphis BBQ Company. “Are you cooking mainly burgers, steaks and hot dogs, or do you want more versatility? Would you prefer gas or charcoal? Are you cooking just for the immediate family?”
It's also important to be realistic. Said Jonathan Fox of Atlanta’s Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q: “What is your skill set on a grill: novice, hold-your-own or the next great meat influencer? These are some great questions to ask.”
What is the No. 1 rated grill?
If you're planning to use your grill for regular, weeknight cooking, Fox advises going for a gas grill that can fire up and be ready to go in five to 10 minutes. If a unit that doubles as a smoker is a dream, a ceramic grill is a great option — but know that it’ll take 45 minutes to an hour to heat up (not great on a weeknight), says Fox. Charcoal grills fall somewhere in the middle, for heat-up time, and can add a nice smoky flavor.
You don’t need to buy the priciest grill out there, says Fox, but more expensive grills do tend to last longer. Here are some smart picks to choose from. Find your favorite, and bask in this beautiful summer weather with easy, breezy meals — and no mess in the kitchen.
Best Propane Gas Grills
The Weber Spirit II E-210 model also has two side tables for quick prep, along with an easy-to-read gauge next to the gas tank for keeping track of how much fuel is left. "Our original Weber lasted 18 years...." explained one reviewer. "This one was even easier to build than our original Spirit. I fitted this grill with a quick disconnect and run it from the external propane quick connect on our travel trailer. We are familiar with the Spirit, so this new grill is easy for us to get good results."
With two side tables, Weber's Genesis E-335 offers additional room for prep, and yet, employing a 20 lb. propane tank, it's the perfect grill for small spaces. "Weber has always been my favorite grill maker, but this is the best Weber grill I have ever purchased," raved one very experienced buyer. "I am very impressed with the quality and performance of this grill. I live alone and grill a lot, I will seldom use both burners, but I believe this grill would easily suffice for a family of five or six.... I love the quality, simplicity, and efficiency of [its] design ... I am 74 years old and have owned many a grill but finally found a grill that I love."
The Char-Broil grill's electronic ignition is quick to start, while two side tables and wheels offer additional space and mobility. "I was so excited to try the Performance Series 4-Burner Cart Gas Grill and I’m glad that I did," wrote one customer. "I love the size of the grill and how well made it is. The side burner made it easy to keep the sauce and the meat warm while grilling the rest of the meat and vegetables. The Performance Series 4-Burner Cart Gas Grill not only looks great but also works great!"
Best Flat-Top Grills
A side shelf is handy for prep, while the Blackstone 1984's foldable legs and wheels open the possibilities for endless adventures. "Excellent!" exclaimed one verified purchaser. "Delivered quickly and SO EASY to assemble! Had it up and running in under thirty minutes. Be sure to “season” your grill before you start cooking. We've been using ours daily since we got itust love it!" (See also: this 28-Inch Blackstone for smaller spaces and groups.)
Like the Blackstone model, Weber's griddle features a durable cover for weather protection, along with side tables and wheels for added storage and mobility. ".... The Weber Griddle is a game changer in the world of outdoor cooking. Its superior build quality, outstanding performance, user-friendly design and versatility make it a must-have for any grilling aficionado," affirmed this proud owner. "With this griddle in your backyard, you'll undoubtedly elevate your cooking skills and create culinary masterpieces. Highly recommended!" (Also available in 28-inch size.)
Best Pellet Grills
The Pit Boss grill's digital display with LED readout allows for added control, while a removable shelf/tray and large wheels are super convenient. “This might be a tiny smoker, but it packs a punch! We’ve always used a grill in the past, but never again!” wrote one smoker convert. “Chicken chops, hamburger patties, and steaks taste amazing now ... My husband loves it! it does take a little longer for dinner because he has to smoke it [beforehand] but it is so worth it!”
The Traeger Pro Series 34 infuses food with wood-fired flavor and is surprisingly versatile: use it to grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, BBQ and beyond. "We’ve had the grill only a few weeks, but we’ve cooked delicious ribs, brisket, pork shoulder and a whole chicken," reported a shopper. "We love this grill, and all the meals have been delicious. We love experimenting with different rubs. We bought this one instead of the next-generation model that was several hundred dollars more .... Very happy with the whole experience so far. Thank you, Traeger."
The Rectec RT-700's custom PID Smart Grill Technology ensures heat precision and consistency when smoking meats for long durations (up to 40 hours), and temperatures can be controlled directly from your phone with the Recteq app. "This grill is amazing and the app that goes with it is very helpful. It's sturdy and very well built," said one enthusiast of the best grill they've ever had. "I have used it for quite a few smokes and it has yet to let me down. This includes everything from quick high temp grill sessions to long slow smokes. The giant hopper keeps everything going without a hitch. 10 out of 10 I would recommend."
Best Electric Grills
The Char-Broil Tru-Infrared Patio Bistro Electric Grill has enough cooking surface space for up to 12 burgers, plus the electric TRU-infrared system offers even heat distribution (read: fewer flare-ups). "I love this electric grill," said one resourceful shopper. "Great for cooking on a deck. Soak some smoked wood chips and you'll never think about a charcoal grill again. So easy to clean and maintain."
A spacious dome lid on the Weber Q1400 Electric Grill makes room for bulky meats and locks in heat (just discard any waste with the removable catch pan when your meal is complete). “Works like charcoal!,” exclaimed one verified customer. “Our RV electric barbecue finally bit the dust, so we replaced it with this unit. The cooking surface is good size, the drip tray is easy to get to, the pan under the burner unit is easy access, the dome is really good size for lumpier meat (small whole chicken?) and I think our ribs turned out the best ever. May have been the cook actually,” wrote another convert.
The Hamilton Beach griddle is equipped with nonstick plates and a drip tray that can be thrown in the dishwasher along with everything else once your guests leave. “This is hands down my favorite cooking product! It is so easy to make several things at one time. I can make burgers, pancakes, vegetables and so much more without the items ever mixing ….” wrote one satisfied multitasker. “Better than an outside grill,” affirmed a second. “I love that you can set the heat on both sides. It is just better than having the grill outside and being in the heat and all the outside weather.”
Best Charcoal Grills
Don't let the compact size of the Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill fool you — it's roomy enough to hold 13 burgers, complete with a porcelain-enameled, rust-proof lid and bowl for bringing and retaining the heat. As one avid griller testified: "Easy to assemble, easy to use and easy to clean. Lightweight and portable. Great way to grill either directly or indirectly. I use indirect heat to smoke chicken and direct heat to grill burgers. When I’m in a hurry and do not want to wait for the coals to burn down, I use another grate and elevate it with a couple of bricks so that the meat doesn’t burn. Been a great purchase so far!"
The Weber Performer Premium Charcoal Grill is equipped with a built-in lid thermometer and removable backlit LCD cook timer for precise grilling, a storage container for holding charcoal, and side tables for easy prep, keeping everything within close reach. "This is my second Performer. Had the first one for 15 years and will be handing it down. I can't imagine owning a charcoal grill without the Weber name on it. We grill on average three to four days a week, year round. Built to last!" wrote a Weber devotee.
Best Pizza Ovens and Grills
The BakerStone oven's compact design is great for smaller spaces and its removable firebox makes for easy cleaning, meaning all you have to worry about is deciding on the toppings. Wrote a super fan: "By far the best bang for the buck ... Friends of mine have considerably more expensive pizza ovens and this one cooks as well as any of them. The single greatest purchase we have ever made!!!"
Retractable legs and a detachable burner are especially ideal for camping and glamping, and the oven comes in a spectrum of colors for making it your own. This five-star fan purchased the Roccbox Pizza Oven in an attempt to control their toppings and achieve restaurant-worthy crust: “Just one pizza in and I can say this oven has transformed our pizza game. I only wish I found this years ago! Perfect pizza in minutes.”
Just add your fuel of choice (wood or charcoal), fire up the oven to 950 degrees and watch in amazement — thanks to a new full glass oven door — as the Ooni Karu 16 serves up Neapolitan-style pizza in just 60 seconds. “[It's] easy to put together and we got it up and running the first day. It looks beautiful and my husband loves how well engineered it is,” wrote one verified customer. “We sat gazing at the wood fire as we seasoned the oven, then we made two terrific pizzas. We hope to get a thinner crust next time, so we watched Ooni’s helpful videos. The whole experience has been fun as well as satisfying for a couple of pizza purists!”
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.