Updated November 2018

Best BBQ Grills

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Best BBQ Grills Updated November 2018

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

Char-Broil

Signature TRU Infrared
Check Price at: 1 store
Despite frustrating assembly and some disappointments with the manufacturing quality of parts, this model produces quality meat when assembled and maintained properly. Not quite as durable and long lasting as some other more expensive grills on the market. Delivers on the promise of quality grilling for the price.
Excellent cooking quality. Little-to-no reported flare-ups, as advertised. Overall maintenance and cleaning of the grill is manageable.
Assembly is a challenge taking time, skill and patience for some. Part quality is lacking in some cases. Some reports of rust issues - especially on the grates.

Char-Griller

3001 Grillin' Pro
Check Price at: 1 store
Smaller, reasonably-durable grill that performs well for the price. Easy to maintain. Overall great quality product for the price.
Great quality for the price. Lasts longer than expected in terms of maintenance, warranty, and all-weather use.
Some issues with the design of the tank and hose assemblage and connections. Grill doesn’t heat to high temperatures or heat up as quickly as other grills. Recent model design changes are unpopular including removal of folding tables on both sides for easier storage. Some complaints about rusting and damaged parts.

Weber

E210
Check Price at: 1 store
Higher price point does not live up to expectations that consumers have for the overall quality and performance of Weber grills.
raise for the overall strength and durability. Compact design is great for smaller patios and for grillers who are cooking for smaller parties. Ease of assembly and use is a perk.
ome issues with the design of the tank and hose assemblage and connections. Grill doesn’t heat to high temperatures or heat up as quickly as other grills. Recent model design changes are unpopular including removal of folding tables on both sides for easier storage. Some complaints about rusting and damaged parts.

Z Grills

Wood Pellet Grill & Smoker
Check Price at: 1 store
Excellent quality of food produced that has a wood-smoke flavor loved by some. Controlling the temperature using wood pellets can require some time and patience for those used to charcoal or gas grilling.
Great quality of food produced and praise for its ease of assembly and the quality and durability of the parts. Minimal reports of issues with rust. As this is a wood pellet grill, there are virtually no issues with flare-ups and hot spots
Some concerns about the lack of a pellet dump and a few consumers stated they had problems controlling the temperature. Some concerns about the quality of the design of the wheels.

Weber

Genesis II LX E-340
Check Price at: 1 store
Brand has a solid reputation for quality and durability and the Genesis II meets that expectation. Given the higher price point, there have been a few challenges with the performance of the grill and the design. Comes with a ten-year warranty, so purchasers should be able to manage any parts challenges they face. 3 burners make it great for large cooking capacity.
Rates very highly on overall cooking quality, durability, ease of use, assembly and customer support. Costs much more than other grills in its product class but meets the expectations with regards to quality parts, design, and construction.
Some frustrations with maintenance required to manage stainless steel, especially in certain climates. Additionally, there seem to be some issues with the rotisserie and side table design. Some reported difficulties with temperature, the flow and evenness of heat throughout the grill, and the design of the regulator.

OUR PROCESS

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An American pastime, the “backyard barbecue” is many people’s favorite way to get together with friends and family and watch their favorite football game, celebrate birthdays and summer holidays.  Every barbecue host needs a fantastic grill, the centerpiece of any barbecue enterprise. Selecting the right barbecue grill for your home will help solidify your reputation as the best host on the block.

Rather than spending hours sifting through hundreds of reviews, we’ve done the hard work of researching and reviewing grills in every budget class for you. We’ve selected a range of grills to suit everyone from the most novice of grillers to the barbecue guru. We have compared five of the best-reviewed grills available on the market, synthesized their pros and cons and answered the most frequently asked questions by those shopping for a bbq grill.

BBQ Grill Reviews Guide

The modern barbecue grill originated in the 1950s by George Stephen, a welder at Weber Brothers in Mount Prospect Illinois. In 1954, Don McLaughlin of the Chicago Combustible Corporation made the barbecue grill portable and it is his model that is the precursor to the modern grills we know and love today.  Most grills have a cart design with wheels and a frame that holds a fuel tank. Since its inception, barbecuing has become a distinctly American cultural phenomenon that continues to shape our weekends and summers.

Barbecue grills work by providing heat via a source below the food.  

Did you know the word barbecue is believed to have originated from the word “barbacoa?” in reference to the word the Spanish colonizers used to describe the indigenous peoples' method of slow-cooking meat over a wooden platform. ”

Best Grill for those on a Budget CHAR-GRILLER 3001 GRILLIN' PRO

This barbecue grill has some of the most avid and colorful defenders who insist that its quality more than exceeds the required investment from the buyer. Many reviewers described it as a “workhorse” that outperformed their expectations. Purchasers agreed that for small family get-togethers” and meals, this grill produces excellent quality food. We found it to be a strong favorite among consumers in terms of value.

Parts of a Grill

  • The Burner: Found on gas grills, the burner is the primary source of heat for cooking food and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, the most common of which are “H” burners that resemble the letter “H” turned on its side
  • Grates: Used over charcoal grills, the grate is a frame of evenly spaced metal bars on which the food sits over an open heat source and cooks from the bottom up.  
  • Heat shields: Generally replaceable parts, these are plates that protect the burner surface from corrosion and heat dispersion
  • Valves: On gas grills, valves connect the gas from the burner to the grill through a venturi tube
  • Cover: A cover fits over the top of the grill to protect the grill from outdoor elements
Best Gas Grill CHAR-BROIL SIGNATURE TRU INFRARED

Even those consumers who were challenged by this grill conceded that the quality of the cooking produced by the design and the infrared technology was top notch. While assembly can be challenging and stainless steel grills do require some additional upkeep and maintenance to extend the grill’s lifetime, the reviews for the overall quality of the food produced by this grill were unmatched.  The grill holds its temperature well and makes barbecuing rather straightforward, doing much of the monitoring work for the griller, rather than the other way around. Additionally, this grill has three burners, which gives it the capacity to cook more food simultaneously making it great for backyard parties.

Barbecuing Vs. Grilling

It is important to note that grilling is distinctive from barbecuing in that grilling only requires a short amount of time for cooking meat with high and direct heat, whereas barbecuing is about slow-cooking meat for a long period of time.  A barbecue grill is designed for this purpose.

4 Factors to Consider

Heat Source

The heat source has a direct impact on the taste and quality of the food you are grilling, which is why hobbyists are so particular about whether they cook over charcoal, wood or gas.  If you are new to barbecuing, consider trying several varieties of barbecue meats to determine your preferences and talk to your friends, family, and neighbors about which types of grills they prefer and why.

Price

In addition to having a variety of fuel sources, barbecue grills range widely in price.  A basic outdoor charcoal grill can cost you as little as $25. However, if you truly want to learn how to barbecue, you will likely need to invest more money.  The average cost of a decent barbecue grill is around $250 with the low end of $80 to a high end of $700, although extremely deluxe and commercial grade barbecue grills can cost thousands of dollars.  

Available Space

It’s also important to consider the outdoor space available for you to grill safely, particularly if you are living in a condominium or apartment and the amount of people you are likely to be barbecuing for regularly.  And finally, you will want to consider your own physical capacity, patience and skill level. You may have to assemble and maneuver the grill yourself and teach yourself how to use it. Consider starting out with something that is manageable if you are new to barbecuing or if your physical capacity for handling the grill and its components (such as a heavy fuel tank) is limited.

Safety

Finally, consider safety very carefully when selecting your grill.  Safety considerations with barbecue grills should be as carefully weighed as those for buying a car.  Risks with barbecuing include fire and property damage, burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, and injuries related to handling and maintaining heavy equipment.  It is essential, especially if you are a new barbecue grill owner, to thoroughly read and review your owner’s manual and to carefully follow the assembly instructions.  Additionally, failure to properly clean and maintain your grill can also lead to a greater risk of fire and other injuries.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 2012-2016 an average of 16,600 patients per year went to emergency rooms because of injuries involving grills.”

Frequently asked questions

What is the Best Barbecue Grill to Buy?

Barbecuing is a very wide-ranging and sophisticated recreational activity in the United States. Barbecue enthusiasts are very particular and knowledgeable about their flavor preferences and those who prefer wood versus charcoal versus gas grills are very passionate about which class of barbecuing they prefer.  Additionally, the size and capacity of the barbecue grill play a significant role in a buyer’s selection, as well as their skill level and their level of dedication to barbecuing as a hobby. A very high-end expensive grill with plenty of features and cooking capacity may be overwhelming to a new barbecuer and may not get used as a result.  On the other hand, an experienced grilling guru may feel hamstrung with a smaller, all-purpose grill designed for a single user or small family.

What is the best time to buy a grill?

The best time to buy a grill is typically in September after the peak summer season has just ended.  You will see your deep discounts on that year’s barbecue grill models starting after the fourth of July and continuing through the end of the Fall season.

How many years does a grill last?

The lifespan depends on the overall quality and durability of the parts.  The biggest long-term challenge to maintaining barbecue grills is rust. Cleaning and maintaining your barbecue grill can extend its lifespan, and the lifespan of individual parts can vary greatly as well.  Lower end grills below $350 have an average lifespan of three years whereas much more expensive grills can have extensive high-quality warranties of ten years or greater. The cost of individual parts can vary widely as well. Depending on the amount of money you spent on your grill and its specific age, you may want to consider repairing and replacing parts.  However, some parts can be too expensive to replace depending on the age and original cost of your grill and it may be time to get a new grill instead.

The team that worked on this review

Kealia Reynolds
Photo Editor
Rebekah Sedaca
Writer
Kelsey Roadruck
Editor
John Morgan
Producer

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