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Outdoor Grills Buying Guide

Who doesn't envision themselves cooking up a storm in the summertime, happily flipping burgers or hot dogs for a crowd, or grilling the perfect steak for date night? Fortunately, the right grill makes those goals within your reach.

Types of Grills

Types of Grills

For every fan of one type of grill, there's an equally devoted fan of another type. What you choose depends on the cooking style you're comfortable with, the budget you have, and your personal preferences. For example, people looking for a quick-start grill experience may lean more toward grills powered by gas or propane. Those who prefer lingering might turn to charcoal. Still others prefer electric varieties. There's no right or wrong answer -- there's just the grill that's best for you.

Gas/Propane

Gas or propane grills are powered by a tank that can be refilled. They offer instant lighting, unlike charcoal grills, but do not impart the particular flavor that charcoal grills are known for.

shop Gas/Propane
Sunstone Grills
$1,529.00
at Walmart

SUST1015 Features: 304 Stainless steel double wall hood and back hood temperature gauge Electronic ignition system 304 Stainless ...steel burners Cut out: 10.88" H x 25" W x 21.75" D Overall: 26" H x 28" W x 27" D, 116 lbs Specifications: 304 Heavy duty 0.38" stainless cooking grids Warranty: 1 Year warranty on valves, knobs, ignitors, wires and lights read more

generic
$89.00 $119.00
at Walmart

Be the hit of the neighborhood with the help of this Backyard Grill 2-Burner Gas Grill. It features a full-size 14-burger capacity..., porcelain-covered cooking surface, a handy chrome-plated warming rack and two stainless steel tube burners. This Backyard Grill gas grill is also equipped with a steel control panel, a Piezo push-button ignition for ease of use and a black porcelain steel lid that is designed to keep the heat inside. In addition, it has a side shelf on each side for utensils, condiments and other essentials. It has two wheels for ease of mobility. This 2-burner grill is easy to clean and maintain for added convenience. The gas tank is sold separately. read more

generic

Add some sizzle to your outdoor grilling with this attractive and portable Backyard Grill Gas Grill. With a 10,000-BTU burner, it ...has all the power you need to cook up to 11 burger patties at once. Use this grill to cook all sorts of meat cuts, fish and veggies to tasty perfection. Its convenient fold-up design with retractable steel legs and two handles makes this portable gas grill a must-have for your next outing. Take it camping, to the beach, park or your favorite team's tailgate party. This product also features a stainless-steel burner. read more

Williams-Sonoma

Perfect for picnics, tailgate parties, camping and more, this incredibly portable, self-contained gas grill can be folded up for t...ransport almost anywhere with its convenient carry handle. Despite its compact size, it still delivers 225 square inches of grill space. Clam shell-shaped unit unfolds and sets up ready for grilling in just 10 seconds. Unit?s light weight and ergonomic handle make it easy to carry with one hand. Auto-ignition 10,500 BTU burner lights instantly and cooks evenly. Unit uses standard propane cylinders. Removable grease tray and dishwasher safe grate make cleanup simple. Retractable legs fold for easy transport. Includes a nylon storage case. read more

Charcoal

Charcoal grills are heated by burning briquettes. There is typically a tray below to catch the ash generated by the charcoal; more charcoal may need to be added during cooking, and some grills may have a small door through which to add fuel.

shop Charcoal
Charcoal Companion
$27.11 $32.53
at Walmart

Moistly Grilled grill humidifier is a two piece cast iron vessel that goes into the grill. Simply fill with water- or any other fl...avored liquid- to add humidity to the grilling environment as you cook. The result is succulence defined- the juiciest, most flavorful grilled meat you've ever experienced. Even better- retained moisture equals cost per pound savings Manufacturer Add humidity to the grilling environment while food cooks with the Moistly Grilled grill humidifier from Charcoal Companion and get the juiciest, most flavorful grilled meat you've ever experienced. The two-piece cast iron vessel with a vented lid goes into the grill and holds water--or any other flavored liquid--to add humidity to the grilling environment while food cooks. No more dried out barbecue! Vented, two-piece vessel holds water or other liquids to add humidity to your grilling environment (view larger). Based on independent testing, the Moistly Grilled humidifier helps meats retain up to 20 percent of natural juices. What does this mean? Imagine two whole chickens of identical weight. One is cooked over indirect heat without Moistly Grilled, the other without. The chicken cooked with Moistly Grilled weighs 20 percent more than its counterpart cooked in dry heat. Cutting into a Moistly Grilled chicken, the amount of naturally retained juices is visible--even slicing through breast meat. How to Use Moistly Grilled The Moistly Grilled cast iron humidifiers are pre-seasoned and ready to use. To use, preheat your grill to high. Fill each reservoir with your liquid of choice, replace each lid and carefully place them on top of the grill grate over a burner. Cover the grill lid and allow the liquid to begin to boil. Meanwhile, prepare your meat to be cooked on the grill. Moistly Grilled works well with all cuts of meat, but it's especially good for whole chickens, turkeys, or roasts. When ready to grill, place meat in center of grill and lower the heat underneath. Keep heat on high underneath the Moistly Grilled humidifiers. Cook meat to desired temperature; refill reservoirs as necessary. To add real wood smoke flavor, use soaked wood chips in a gas grill smoker box. Moistly Grilled can also be used with a charcoal grill or even in the oven. What's in the Box Two Moistly Grilled grill humidifiers Added humidity helps meats maintain more of their natural juices, and helps more wood smoke flavor adhere to meat (view larger). Fill the cast iron reservoirs with water, wine, juice, soda, stock or any other flavored liquid (view larger). Features Increases humidity in the grill so food retains more moisture, natural juice and flavor Also helps more wood smoke flavor adhere to the meat Includes two cast iron vessels with vented lids Fill the cast iron reservoirs with water, wine, juice, soda, stock or any other flavored liquid Each vessel measures read more

Picnic Time

The X Grill Compact Portable Charcoal Grill has a slimline design that folds away for maximum portability. The X Grill includes an... electro-plated iron barbeque grill, chrome-plated tri-fold cooking grate and charcoal grate. There's even a durable 600 denier polyester carrying tote so you can comfortably take the grill wherever you go. Measures 19.2L x 12.25W x 16H inches with 203.5 sq. inches of cooking surface. About Picnic Time Even the name makes you smile! Since 1982, Picnic Time's mission has been to sell traditional European-style picnic baskets in America that everyone could afford. The company has continued to develop innovative and practical outdoor leisure products that inspire relaxation with friends and family. With a product line that continues to develop far beyond the traditional picnic basket (though theirs are the finest picnic baskets around!), Picnic Time will take you to the beach, the country, the mountains ... or best of all, your own backyard. Grilling surface area of 203.5 sq inches Folding portable charcoal grill Chrome plated tri-fold cooking grate Charcoal grate Fuel type: Charcoal Includes a comfortable carrying tote Dimensions: 19.2L x 12.25W x 16H inches read more

generic

Make your parties sizzle with this convenient Backyard Charcoal Grill. Ideal for hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, ribs, fish, corn o...n the cob and vegetables, this item presents a low-standing design that's suitable for weekend gatherings with friends and family. With a large main cooking surface, you can grill up to 14 hamburgers at one time. It comes fully equipped with a zinc-plated charcoal grid and a durable lift-off lid, both made with porcelain. It also features two handles on the ends for easy carrying. When the grid has cooled down, fold up the legs to lock the lid in place and pack it away until next time. This portable grill makes outdoor dining a breeze. read more

Electric

Electric grills are powered by electricity, meaning they must have direct access to an outlet. These are typically steadier in flame than charcoal grills.

shop Electric
Brentwood
$39.10 $42.99
at Wayfair

Features: Electric grill Non stick coating Fat free cooking for healthy living style Removable adjustable thermostat control with ...led light indicator Cool touch handle Designed for easy cleaning Approval: UL Show Additional Info Dimensions: Overall Height - Top to Bottom: 3.25 Inches Overall Width - Side to Side: 23 Inches Overall Depth - Front to Back: 12 Inches Overall Product Weight: 7 Pounds read more

Zojirushi
$79.12 $100.00
at Wayfair

Features: Large nonstick grilling surface Grill design directs excess oils and fats away from food for healthier dining Cool-touch... handles and base for easy transport Dishwasher safe drip pan Brown color The Indoor Electric Grill is perfect for grilling steaks, seafood, vegetables and more. The grill design directs excess oils and fats away from food and into the drip pan for healthier, smoke-free dining. There is also a detachable power cord with a variable heat setting control knob. The drip pan is dishwasher safe, and the unit disassembles for easy cleaning. Show Additional Info read more

Zojirushi
$84.99
at Target

Grill your favorite meats and vegetables in the convenience of your kitchen with this indoor electric grill by Zojirushi. Featurin...g a nonstick surface, variable heat setting and cool-touch handles and body, this compact grill is perfect for cooking healthy meals. The healthy way to grill meats, fish and vegetables Large nonstick grilling surface Variable heat setting (from "Keep Warm" to 482°F) control knob Cool-touch handle and body makes it easy move and serve directly from unit Dishwasher safe drip pan; disassembles for easy cleaning Appliance Capabilities: GrillFeatures: Temperature Control, On/Off Switch, Temperature Ready Light, Nonstick CoatingIncludes: Instruction ManualMaterial: Plastic, AluminumBaking Cooking Surface: NonstickWattage Output: 1300 WattsCare and Cleaning: Hand Wash read more

Sharper Image

This stainless steel super grill is a versatile kitchen appliance that serves as a contact and open grill, panini and waffle maker... as well as the griddle for your breakfast favorites. The adjustable hinged cover opens a full 360°. read more

Product Features

Product Features

Although grills seem to diverge widely from model to model, all are affected by a few product features that you'll find desirable based on your budget, your lifestyle, and your needs. Size, for example, determines where you can place your grill -- which means that you must think through the best spot that's convenient and safe. Other product features include cooking square inches, additional cooking surfaces, cooking grates/racks, materials, timer and temperature gauge, and griddle. Think through how these influence the flexibility of your grill, and then get buying.

Cooking Square Inches

Grills differ based on the cooking surface available. If you regularly have large gatherings or cook for a crowd, then a grill with expansive cooking square inches may be useful.

Size

In addition to different expanses of cooking surfaces, grills differ in general size. Some may resemble very large indoor ranges, while others may offer flexibility in amenities such as side burners without great size.

Additional Cooking Surfaces

Side burners can maximize a grill's flexibility, offering a flame that is typically more steady and regulated to cook dishes such as corn or beans.

Cooking Grates/Racks

Grills sometimes offer grates or racks that are spaced at different levels. These can be used to keep food warm after it is finished cooking, or to cook items at a slower rate.

Materials

Grills should be constructed of very durable materials that are impervious to flame. The grates in particular must be able to maintain their durability after exposure to high flame.

Timer and Temperature Gauge

A timer and a temperature gauge help you keep track of food on the grill, ensuring proper heat level as well as finish time.

Griddle

A griddle is a useful accessory for a grill, allowing you to cook items such as pancakes for an outdoor breakfast. It may be a permanent part of the grill or a removable item.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Before you rush out and buy the first grill that you fall in love with, it's important to think of various purchase considerations that will affect how easy the grill is to use, what type of investment it will involve, and how upkeep may impact your use. For example, price is a huge factor, largely determined by a grill's function and size. Maintenance/storage is also important; if you don't have time to take care of your grill, it will show on how long your investment lasts. In addition, if you like to move from place to place to cook, portability is key. Use this guide to review these purchase considerations.

Price

Grills vary widely in price based on size and features. Very small grills are quite affordable, while large ones such as those installed in outdoor kitchens may be quite an investment.

Maintenance/Storage

All grills will have to be cleaned and maintained as well as stored. Some may stay outside but need to be covered to protect them from weather extremes.

Portability

Some grills are small enough to be packed up and transported to other spots, such as a picnic site, while midsize grills may have wheels that enable you to move them from spot to spot on your deck.

Garden & Outdoor Living on sale
Cuisinart
$119.95 $149.99
at Buydig

Superior outdoor cooking with the flavor of charcoal and the quality and convenience of Cuisinart. The Cuisinart GrateLifter Charc...oal Grill features a novel cooking grate lifting system giving access to the charcoal bed without having to touch the dirty cooking grate. With the lift engaged, the grate raises effortlessly out of the way when you open the lid - you can also choose to open the lid without lifting the grate. This lets you start the coals, add coals for extended cooking, or brush the coal ash in to the ample collection bin without ever touching the grate! Other features include a large, family-sized cooking surface, precesion air flow system for accurate temperature control, lid mounted temperature gauge, a robust table stand, and an attractive and durable porcelain enamel coated lid. Features: Unique grill lift system allows access to the charcoal bed without touching the cooking grate Spacious cooking grate (240 sq. in.) with enough room to cook for your whole family Large ash collection bin for easy cleaning Precision air flow system allows accurate temperature management Built in temperature gauge in lid read more

Cuisinart GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill
Cuisinart
$144.95 $199.99
at Buydig

Cuisinart's Outdoor Electric Grill with VersaStand integrated adjustable telescoping base provides authentic grilling performance ...and flavor. It's small format fits easily on balconies and small patios - great for places that propane or charcoal grills aren't allowed. And although the grill is compact, its ample cooking grate is large enough to cook most family meals - 8 steaks, 8 hamburgers, 6 - 10 chicken breasts, or over 4 lbs. of fish! The grill heats up very quickly, and reaches temperatures high enough to sear a steak to perfection. Storage is quick and easy as well with the novel telescoping base that quickly transforms from storage to tabletop to floor standing use. It folds up in seconds, and is integrated into the grill for added convenience. The grill plugs into a standard household electrical receptacle, and is UL approved for outdoor use. Product Specifications: 1500 watts, 120V / 60Hz 145 sq. in. grilling surface 3 position telescoping base Porcelain enamel coated grill grate Lid latch and spill resistant drip tray read more

Cuisinart Outdoor Electric Grill with Adjustable VersaStand
Cuisinart
$124.95 $179.99
at Buydig

The Outdoor Electric Tabletop Grill provides authentic grilling performance and flavor. Its small format fits easily on balconies ...and small patios - great for places that propane or charcoal grills aren't allowed. And although the grill is compact, its ample cooking grate is large enough to cook most family meals - 8 steaks, 8 hamburgers, 6 - 10 chicken breasts, or over 4 lbs. of fish! The grill heats up very quickly, and reaches temperatures high enough to sear a steak to perfection. Storage is a snap - with its folding legs it stows almost anywhere. The grill plugs into a standard household electrical receptacle, and is UL approved for outdoor use. Features: 1500 watts, 120V / 60Hz 145 sq. in. grilling surface Folding table base Porcelain enamel coated grill grate Lid latch and spill resistant drip tray read more

Cuisinart Portable Electric Grill - CEG-980T
Cuisinart
$69.95 $99.99
at Buydig

The Cuisinart Griddlin' Grill is more than just a portable gas grill. It's the ultimate Go Anywhere, Cook Anything portable grill ...that allows tailgaters and campers to grill and griddle breakfast, lunch and dinner anywhere they go. This versatile propane grill comes with a non-stick griddle integrated into the lid - providing additional space for cooking those foods that cannot cook directly on the grill. For breakfast at the campground, try your bacon and sausage on the grill while pancakes and scrambled eggs cook on the griddle above. Serve it all nice and hot at the same time. At the tailgate before the big game, load up the grill with burgers, dogs and chicken, and use the griddle to saute onions and peppers or cook potatoes, asparagus or other foods. The 192 square inch grill surface provides lots of grilling space, and the griddle provides ample space for cooking side dishes and warming buns. Large heat resistant side handles help you move the grill lid during cooking, and the sturdy fold-down legs that offer secure tabletop grilling also fold up to provide a comfortable locking handle for easy transport. Product Details: 10,000 btus Over 260 square inches of cooking space (192 square inch primary, 72 square inch griddle) Sturdy fold-down legs also fold up to provide comfortable carry handle Heat resistant side handles for easy maneuvering when cooking Perfect for camping, tailgating, bbq's, picnics, or any outdoor activity read more

Cuisinart Griddlin' Grill Portable Gas Grill (CGG-080)
Masterbuilt
$26.95 $49.99
at Buydig

Whether you are lounging in the backyard or camping in the great outdoors, the Masterbuilt Charcoal Tabletop Kettle Grill is a gre...at way to prepare your favorite charcoal-grilled specialties. This grill features a chrome-plated steel grate and a removable ash container for your convenience. Features: 139 sq. inches of cooking space Porcelain-coated lid and bottom bowl Porcelain wire cooking grate Extra-study leg design Bakelite lid handle Removable ash can Adjustable air dampers for improved temperature control read more

Masterbuilt 14-Inch Table Top Kettle Charcoal Grill
Zojirushi
$79.12 $100.00
at Wayfair

Features: Large nonstick grilling surface Grill design directs excess oils and fats away from food for healthier dining Cool-touch... handles and base for easy transport Dishwasher safe drip pan Brown color The Indoor Electric Grill is perfect for grilling steaks, seafood, vegetables and more. The grill design directs excess oils and fats away from food and into the drip pan for healthier, smoke-free dining. There is also a detachable power cord with a variable heat setting control knob. The drip pan is dishwasher safe, and the unit disassembles for easy cleaning. Show Additional Info read more

Indoor Electric Grill
Cuisinart
$119.95 $149.99
at Buydig

Superior outdoor cooking with the flavor of charcoal and the quality and convenience of Cuisinart. The Cuisinart GrateLifter Charc...oal Grill features a novel cooking grate lifting system giving access to the charcoal bed without having to touch the dirty cooking grate. With the lift engaged, the grate raises effortlessly out of the way when you open the lid - you can also choose to open the lid without lifting the grate. This lets you start the coals, add coals for extended cooking, or brush the coal ash in to the ample collection bin without ever touching the grate! Other features include a large, family-sized cooking surface, precesion air flow system for accurate temperature control, lid mounted temperature gauge, a robust table stand, and an attractive and durable porcelain enamel coated lid. Features: Unique grill lift system allows access to the charcoal bed without touching the cooking grate Spacious cooking grate (240 sq. in.) with enough room to cook for your whole family Large ash collection bin for easy cleaning Precision air flow system allows accurate temperature management Built in temperature gauge in lid read more

Cuisinart GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill
Cuisinart
$144.95 $199.99
at Buydig

Cuisinart's Outdoor Electric Grill with VersaStand integrated adjustable telescoping base provides authentic grilling performance ...and flavor. It's small format fits easily on balconies and small patios - great for places that propane or charcoal grills aren't allowed. And although the grill is compact, its ample cooking grate is large enough to cook most family meals - 8 steaks, 8 hamburgers, 6 - 10 chicken breasts, or over 4 lbs. of fish! The grill heats up very quickly, and reaches temperatures high enough to sear a steak to perfection. Storage is quick and easy as well with the novel telescoping base that quickly transforms from storage to tabletop to floor standing use. It folds up in seconds, and is integrated into the grill for added convenience. The grill plugs into a standard household electrical receptacle, and is UL approved for outdoor use. Product Specifications: 1500 watts, 120V / 60Hz 145 sq. in. grilling surface 3 position telescoping base Porcelain enamel coated grill grate Lid latch and spill resistant drip tray read more

Cuisinart Outdoor Electric Grill with Adjustable VersaStand
Cuisinart
$124.95 $179.99
at Buydig

The Outdoor Electric Tabletop Grill provides authentic grilling performance and flavor. Its small format fits easily on balconies ...and small patios - great for places that propane or charcoal grills aren't allowed. And although the grill is compact, its ample cooking grate is large enough to cook most family meals - 8 steaks, 8 hamburgers, 6 - 10 chicken breasts, or over 4 lbs. of fish! The grill heats up very quickly, and reaches temperatures high enough to sear a steak to perfection. Storage is a snap - with its folding legs it stows almost anywhere. The grill plugs into a standard household electrical receptacle, and is UL approved for outdoor use. Features: 1500 watts, 120V / 60Hz 145 sq. in. grilling surface Folding table base Porcelain enamel coated grill grate Lid latch and spill resistant drip tray read more

Cuisinart Portable Electric Grill - CEG-980T
Cuisinart
$69.95 $99.99
at Buydig

The Cuisinart Griddlin' Grill is more than just a portable gas grill. It's the ultimate Go Anywhere, Cook Anything portable grill ...that allows tailgaters and campers to grill and griddle breakfast, lunch and dinner anywhere they go. This versatile propane grill comes with a non-stick griddle integrated into the lid - providing additional space for cooking those foods that cannot cook directly on the grill. For breakfast at the campground, try your bacon and sausage on the grill while pancakes and scrambled eggs cook on the griddle above. Serve it all nice and hot at the same time. At the tailgate before the big game, load up the grill with burgers, dogs and chicken, and use the griddle to saute onions and peppers or cook potatoes, asparagus or other foods. The 192 square inch grill surface provides lots of grilling space, and the griddle provides ample space for cooking side dishes and warming buns. Large heat resistant side handles help you move the grill lid during cooking, and the sturdy fold-down legs that offer secure tabletop grilling also fold up to provide a comfortable locking handle for easy transport. Product Details: 10,000 btus Over 260 square inches of cooking space (192 square inch primary, 72 square inch griddle) Sturdy fold-down legs also fold up to provide comfortable carry handle Heat resistant side handles for easy maneuvering when cooking Perfect for camping, tailgating, bbq's, picnics, or any outdoor activity read more

Cuisinart Griddlin' Grill Portable Gas Grill (CGG-080)
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