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HomeLifestyleThe best grills for 2024, according to BBQ champions and grill masters

The best grills for 2024, according to BBQ champions and grill masters

Summer is finally upon us, which means it’s officially backyard barbecue and baseball tailgate season. And what better way to rally a crowd — not to mention rouse up an appetite — than with the best grills for 2024, including propane, electric or charcoal grills that will help you take advantage of the warmer weather while perfecting all of your favorite recipes?

Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or someone else (a special someone for Father’s Day, perhaps?), whether creating an outdoor oasis or taking your delicacies on the road, keep reading to discover a mix of top-rated, editor-favored grills will help you (or them) achieve grillmaster status in no time.

A quick note before you dive in: Different fuel types require different setups and yield different flavors, so we’ve included tips on choosing the right grill for your skill level, outdoor space and personal preferences at the end of this list. You’ll also find a few smokers and pizza ovens for those who want to evolve their cooking chops.

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Weber

Weber’s Spirit II E-210 is a compact, no-frills gas grill that gets the job done — and then some. With two stainless steel burners, it can carve out hot and cold zones for more targeted results (i.e., less wait time and more consistency). The grill works with a 20-pound propane tank and is easy to set up, plus it comes with a two-year warranty.

$112 at Lowe’s

Weber

This extra-large, splurgeworthy gas grill from Weber has enough cooking surface space for larger parties — there’s even a second layer of cooking area that acts as a warming rack with indirect heat for roasts and more. Among its bells and whistles are an extra burner for simmering sauces, a searing station and an app-connected thermometer that monitors food from start to finish.

$1,099 at Weber

Char-Broil

When it comes to scoring a great gas grill on a budget, Char-Broil’s Performance Series 4-Burner is the one to beat, with a huge grilling surface — 435 square inches, with an additional 130 square inches of secondary cooking space — for serving up a sizable feast (includes a five-year burner warranty).

$259 at Char-Broil

Blackstone

If you’re looking to invest in a flat-top grill, Blackstone’s are some of the biggest in the game. And this popular model offers a 756-square-inch grilling space and two variable cooking zones for whipping up breakfast, lunch and dinner in no time. 

$297 at Walmart

Weber

This flat-top from Weber is another common pick among grill masters for its fast, even heat distribution reaching over 500°F. Sear your burgers, sausages and the occasional salmon to perfection with the flip of a wrist (it doubles as a slick omelet station for hearty brunches and overnight crews).

$579 at Amazon

Pit Boss

Want a serious smoker sans the sticker shock? Consider this compact wood pellet grill and smoker from Pit Boss. It’s constructed of durable stainless steel with a 465-square-inch cooking surface — large enough for 20 burgers — and a 5-pound hopper capacity.

$350 at Amazon

Traeger

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding Traeger grills — and for good reason, as these dynamos don’t mess around. This roomy model has over 1,500 five-star ratings on Amazon and features an ultraprecise temperature controller that allows for 15-degree adjustments so your meats come out just right. Plus, the bronze finish adds a certain polish to any backyard or patio.

$700 at Amazon

Recteq

Recteq’s Flagship 1100 Wood Pellet Grill is another heavy-duty, stainless steel smoker with a hearty following, described by the brand and many of its enthusiasts as “the definition of gold standard in pellet grilling.” When factoring in the second shelf, you’re looking at a 1,100-square-inch grilling surface — the largest in this category — which can be used to bake, sear, smoke, grill, dehydrate and more. 

$1,104 at Amazon

Char-Broil

This small but mighty number from Char-Broil turns a basic patio into a backyard burger bistro — just plug it in and you’re good to go. As reinforced by fans of the grill (it has over 2,000 on Amazon alone), the porcelain-coated cooking grates also stand up to rust and other signs of wear over time.

$199 at Lowe’s

Weber

Weber’s top-rated, portable electric grill is a great option for those looking for the ease of electric in a compact, table- and counter-friendly frame. It’s racked up over 1,000 five-star ratings from reviewers who’ve come to rely on it for its easy setup, quick — and even — heat distribution and sufficient grilling space (fits six burgers comfortably).

$299 at Lowe’s

Hamilton Beach

Looking to plug in at a low price tag? Check out this versatile pick from Hamilton Beach, which goes on triple duty as a full grill, full griddle or grill-griddle hybrid in one. Just switch up the aluminum plates — there’s enough room to serve eight — according to the menu and occasion. 

$70 at HSN

Weber

It just doesn’t get any more classic than this Weber standby. Backed by over 8,000 five-star ratings, the portable (and dare we say adorable?) grill has a small, campsite- and patio-friendly design and boasts wheels for easy maneuvering. A lid hook keeps the cover from blowing or rolling away.

$139 at Amazon

Weber

Prepare up to 13 burgers at a time, then let the one-touch cleaning system on this sleek charcoal grill from Weber handle all the dirty work. The cooking grate is hinged and there’s a built-in lid thermometer, plus a removable backlit LCD cook timer, for added convenience.

$499 at Amazon

BakerStone

This trattoria-worthy oven reaches a sizzling 800°F and can bake up pizzas to perfection in a matter of minutes (less than two, to be exact). Consider expanding your outdoor offerings with the addition of a BakerStone cooking grate or griddle.

$340 at Amazon

Roccbox

For an OG pizza oven with a retro yet somehow also futuristic feel, we — and more than 1,500 raving reviewers — can’t get enough of this high-powered hub from Gozney. Described by the brand as “the pizza oven that started a revolution,” the gas-fueled contraption reaches a temperature of 950°F and cooks up a crispy, bubbly pie in 60 seconds flat. 

$499 at Amazon

Ooni

Really want to treat yourself? Consider the Ooni Karu 16, a popular choice among backyard pizzaiolos for its cutting-edge design (Ooni’s most innovative to date), durability (encased in a carbon steel shell) and ability to pack some serious heat (up to 950°F).

$799 at Amazon

Intended use: With so many options, you’ll want to zero in on a grill that’s practical for your space and cooking taste. “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 barbecue champion Melissa Cookston, owner of Memphis BBQ Co. “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?”

Type of fuel: If you’re planning to use your grill for regular, weeknight cooking, Fox advises going for a gas grill that connects to a propane tank and can be ready to go in five to 10 minutes. If you dream of a grill that doubles as a smoker, often requiring wood, 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 Jonathan Fox of Atlanta’s Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q. Charcoal grills fall somewhere in the middle for heat-up time and can add a unique smoky flavor to veggies and meats.

Experience level: Before you go out and buy the most expensive option with all the bells and whistles, get real about your skill set in the kitchen, er, backyard. Says Fox: “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.”

Price point: You don’t have to break the bank to make a great meal on the grill. But price will likely be a major factor as you shop. With that in mind, Fox says a higher price tag isn’t always better or necessary, but more expensive grills do tend to last longer.

Propane and charcoal differ primarily in their method of combustion. Propane provides consistent heat and is easy to ignite, while charcoal creates a smokier flavor and reaches higher cooking temperatures. Keep in mind that charcoal grills require much more prep and cleanup time.

Pellet grills burn wood pellets (essentially pieces of compressed hardwood). Wood pellets are typically moved from a hopper to a fire pot (via an auger) — where they’re then ignited — and typically rely on a precise system that regulates their heat output for a consistent cooking experience and a natural woodsmoke taste.

It all depends! Griddles and grills serve different purposes, so you’ll want to figure out which types of foods you plan to cook primarily. Griddles are ideal for pancakes and eggs given their flat surface, while grills lend a smoky flavor — and those signature grill marks — that a griddle can’t achieve.

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